Sarcophagus fragment: galloping horses
first quarter of 3rd century A.D.
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 264; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 113 (additional published references).
Height: 30 cm (11 13/16 in.); width: 23 cm ( 9 1/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Stone, pentelic marble
Not On View
The fragment is of an irregular, “diamond” shape. What remains of the surfaces is in fairly good condition.
The poses of the horses suggest a scene of rapid motion in a chariot, perhaps the abduction of Persephone to the underworld. A large sarcophagus with chariot-race of Erotes in the Circus Maximus offers a likely scene, although it is somewhat unusual to have one of the horse’s heads turned rearward. The full, unquadrated gallop is a special feature of Persephone sarcophagi.
The date of this fragment ought to be in the first quarter of the third century A.D.
1876, gift of Charles Callahan Perkins (b. 1823 - d. 1886), Boston, to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 1, 1876)
Gift of Charles C. Perkins