Grave Relief of a Woman, general view

Grave Relief of a Woman, torso and head of seated woman

Grave Relief of a Woman, legs of seated woman

Grave Relief of a Woman, detail of legs of figures

Grave Relief of a Woman, detail of principal figures

Grave Relief of a Woman, torso of standing woman

Collection: Berlin, Antikenmuseen
Title: Grave relief of a woman

Stele showing seated woman and standing woman (servant?).

Object Function: Funerary
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Stele, relief-decorated
Category: Single sculpture
Style: High Classical
Technique: High relief
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 420 BC

H. 0.77 m; W. 0.44 m

Scale: Under life-size
Period: High Classical

Subject Description:

A mature woman, seated 3/4-view to the right on a stool (with pillow), beneath which stands a large chest. The stool and her footstool are placed on a slight diagonal. The woman wears a thin chiton and a himation, which covers her left upper arm, back of her head, back and lower body, as well as sandals. The left foot is shown in profile, although the right foot is shown in 3/4-view. Her hair is short and curly over the forehead, and she also wears a kekryphylon (?) wrapped around her head. Further adornment includes an earring in her right ear. She reaches her left hand forward, as if in a speaking gesture, with palm turned up. She crossing her right arm across her lap, with her right hand seeming to clutch an unidentifiable object (Conze suggested a bracelet that she was about to put on her hand; Brümmer, however, suggested fabric, perhaps a handkerchief). Across from her stands a younger woman (perhaps a servant, although Clairmont suggests a relative), standing 3/4-view to the left, with her head inclined. She wears a peplos over a chiton (?), with buttoned sleeves. In her right hand she holds a mirror close to her shoulder, and in her left hand a rectangular box, in front of the seated woman.

Form & Style:

The stele is crowned by a pediment with large akroteria of unusual shape: the ones on the sides have concave inner profiles that merge with the diagonals of the top of the pediment. Within the pediment stand two confronting winged sirens, wearing poloi on their heads, shown with their head in profile and wings spread slightly over the side akroteria. The siren on the left plays a kithara, the one on the right plays the double flute.

Condition: Nearly complete

Material Description:

'Pentelic' according to Clairmont

Collection History: Once in the Pourtalès Collection, from which it was acquired in Paris (1865) by Helbig

Sources Used: Clairmont 1993, 2.142, cat. 2.208

Other Bibliography: Brümmer 1985, 97, n. 423; Vedder 1985, 41f., F 33; Heres & Kunze 1984, 29 no. 29; Woysch-Méautis 1982, no. 434, pl. 70; Schmaltz 1970, 92, n. 159; Adam 1966, 60; Blümel 1966, 26, no. 18 (K 31), fig. 27; Friis Johansen 1951, 18, n. 2; Buschor 1944, 63, fig. 47; Diepolder 1931, 29, 33; Conze 1893-1922, no. 74, pl. 35.1