Support for Bench, Low Table, or Sarcophagus: Skin of Nemean Lion

Imperial Period
probably 2nd century A.D.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), no. 042.


21.8 cm (8 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Stone, Italian marble, somewhat like limestone

Not On View


The Ancient World



Condition: The marble has been broken across the middle of the pillar or rectangular support, and there is chipping around the lion’s head and the knotted skin, including the paw at the viewer’s left.
Top of feline’s leg topped by lion’s skin: scalp over top, paws knotted below. Behind ears roughly vertical cut with notch at top to receive a projecting element. Fine-grained marble, probably from Carrara quarries.


Thought to have come from the vicinity of Rome; by 1977: with The Summa Galleries Inc., 342 North Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California (catalogue 3, December 1977, no. 2); November 1977: purchased from The Summa Galleries Inc. by Emily T. Vermeule; December 1977: gift of Emily T. Vermeule to Cornelius C. Vermeule; gift of Cornelius C. Vermeule III to MFA, December 1997

Credit Line

Gift of Cornelius C. Vermeule III