Reliefs from a sarcophagus

Roman
Imperial Period
about A.D. 180–210


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 241; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 112 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height x width: 40 x 24 cm (15 3/4 x 9 7/16 in.) (hero) Height x width: 41 x 46 cm (16 1/8 x 18 1/8 in) (horses)

Accession Number

1970.267a-b

Medium or Technique

Marble, Dolomitic from the Greek island of Thasos

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

The larger fragment includes the heads of two horses, a cloaked male torso and the hand of a figure at the right. The smaller section shows a male figure from the back, wearing a cloak and petasos.
The legendary Calydonian Boar Hunt is probably the subject represented on these fragments. The frontal torso may be of the hero, Meleager, who was the son of the Calydonian king and the man who led the expedition to kill the boar.
The mutilated central section was sawed out and discarded. The upper molding remains on the larger fragment; otherwise they are broken where not cut and have damages, as visible, to the sculptured surfaces. What is not damaged is very fresh, with a crusty yellow patina.

Scientific Analysis:
Marble has been scientifically tested with X-Ray Diffraction and determined to be Dolomitic.
Harvard Lab No. HI367b: Isotope ratios - delta13C +3.12 / delta18O -3.92, Attribution - Thasos-Cape Vathy, Justification - Dolomitic by XRD.

Provenance

By 1970: with Royal-Athena Galleries, 1066 Madison Avenue, New York 10028 (said to be from Rome); purchased by MFA from Royal-Athena Galleries, April 8, 1970

Credit Line

Charles Amos Cummings Fund