Archaic Period
about 525–510 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens


Overall: 13.4 x 6.6 cm (5 1/4 x 2 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Black Figure

On View

Gallery 212A-B


The Ancient World



The upper-left hand fragment of an Attic black-figure pinax, or clay plaque, most likely once adorned a tomb. Three men are shown, each draped in mantles, holding their right hands aloft and singing a dirge for the deceased (the singing is likely indicated by their slightly parted lips). Their hair is neatly clipped, as are their beards. The man in the foreground originally had white hair rendered with a white slip, which has since faded almost entirely.

Based on numerous parallels, this group of male mourners was likely part of a prothesis scene (the laying out of the dead) and stood at the foot of the funeral bier, while female relatives mourned more dramatically (tearing hair, rending garments caressing the corpse, wailing, etc.) closer to the corpse’s head.


By 1895: with E. P. Warren (according to Warren's records: bought December 1895 and said to be from Athens); 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