Neo-Attic relief block from base or altar: woman with garland


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 298.


Height x width: 59.5 x 37 cm (23 7/16 x 14 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, fine-grained, translucent, Greek

Not On View


The Ancient World



The block is triangular in plan; the two unsculptured faces are fairly smooth, and show dowel holes for fastening to adjoining slabs. A large dowel hole in the top of the fragment probably dates from an ancient repair.
The large base or altar seems to have been of polygonal shape, to judge from the thin plinth at the bottom which ends in a curve at the right and is cut off at an obtuse angle at the left. There is a complex molding along the right edge, behind the curved plinth. This indicates the angle of the next slab was slightly greater here than the corresponding slab beyond on the left.
The lower half of the woman is carved in high relief, standing in profile to the left, weight on the right leg. Her hands were evidently raised, holding up a garland, the lower end of which hangs before her. She wears a long Ionic chiton, its texture indicated by crinkly lines, and over it a long peplos with overfold in elaborate creases to below the waist. The garland is composed of ivy leaves and berries, with a fillet wound about them at intervals.
The relief is a Neo-Attic decorative work, mixing styles of several earlier periods from Archaic Greek (the zigzag folds) to Graeco-Roman (the wreath or the carving of the left foot). Other such large Archaistic, multi-sided bases or altars are known from Rome and in Athens.


By 1910: with E. P. Warren; purchased by MFA from E. P. Warren, June 2, 1910, for $4,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 10.159-10.230)

Credit Line

Julia Bradford Huntington James Fund and Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution