Votive shrine to Artemis Lagbene

Roman Provincial
Late Imperial Period
probably A.D. 300–350


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 292; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 113 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height x width: 17 x 8.5 cm (6 11/16 x 3 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

1973.165

Medium or Technique

Limestone-like marble, presumably a local variety from Asia Minor

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

The architectural setting takes the form of a steep roof with a high pediment broken by an arcuated lintel. This is supported by twisted columns with simple capitals and bases, set on a plinth which forms the bottom of the relief. Within the rectangular niche with its curved top, a rider (Artemis) is shown nearly frontally, on a boar with snout and tusk moving to the right. Artemis wears a cloak pinned on the right shoulder with two brooches and a short tunic, all bound with a belt. She holds an ill-defined torch in her left hand and a patera in her right. Her head seems to be veiled, an unusual feature for Artemis.
The akroteria of the pediment have been chipped or cut off, and the lower right corner of the entire stone and its carving has been broken away.
Face, hair, and crown suggest the ultimate inspiration of frontal portraits on imperial aurei beginning with Licinius about A.D. 315 and continuing on aurei or solidi of Constantine the Great and his family later in the century.
The boar appears to have been the sacred animal of Artemis of Lagbe, on the northeast shore of Karalitis (Sogut Lake) in southwest Phrygia.

Provenance

By 1973: Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Wagner Collection (said to be from Asia Minor); gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Wagner to MFA, March 14, 1973

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Wagner