Collection: Berlin, Antikenmuseen
Title: Relief from an honorary decree
Context: From Athens
Findspot: Found at Athens
Object Function: Honorary
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Stele, relief-decorated
Category: Separated fragments
Style: Late Classical/Hellenistic
Technique: Low relief
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 350 BC - ca. 300 BC
Dimensions: P.H. 0.248 m; P.W. 0.535 m; Th. 0.10 m; P.H. (stele) 0.4 m; D. (relief) 0.008 m
Scale: Miniature (pictorial field)
Region: Attica
Period: Late Classical/Hellenistic


Subject Description:

A female figure, Boule or a local personification, standing 3/4-view to right, with weight on her left leg, right leg bent, wearing a chiton with a himation draped veil-like over her head, a triangular overfold across mid-torso, with the selvage down her left side, right hand emerging from the edge of her himation, holds the left edge of her himation with her left hand; a nude youth, Hippothoon (the phyle hero) standing 3/4-view to right, with weight on his left leg, and his right leg bent back, with a chlamys draped over his bent left arm, holds a horse's reins (once painted?) in his closed left hand, while he extends his right arm to the right, presenting a wreath to the honorand; the horse, in lower relief behind him, prances profile to right, left legs bent and raised; a small, bearded male figure, the honorand, standing 3/4-view to left, with weight on his left leg, and his right leg bent back, wearing a himation draped around his chest and upper left arm, raises his right hand, presumably to receive the crown.

The female figure has been generally taken to be Boule or a place personification. Most recently Lawton (145) has suggested that she may be Demeter, as the cult of Hippothoon was located at Eleusis.

Form & Style: The relief, which is very low, is framed by antae (W. tapering up from 0.036 to 0.032 m) with rhomboid capitals, supporting an entablature (H. 0.056 m), comprised of a moulding (chipped off, except on the sides where it is a cyma above an ovolo) above a flat architrave.

Condition: Single piece

Condition Description: One fragment preserving the top and vertical edges of the relief; broken roughly at bottom, and chipped on all edges, particularly on the moulding on the upper edge; bottom loosely adhered to modern stone base; back rough-picked; modern hole in the center back; the upper surface is painted white, while some white speckles are visible elsewhere; surface stained pinkish-orange on back, with some plaster adhesions, speckled with reddish-brown (iron) stains on front; faces of Boule (?) and honorand chipped off.

Material Description: Grayish-white, fine-grained marble

Collection History: Acquired at Athens in 1844 through L. Ross.

Sources Used: Lawton 1995, 145 no. 148, pl. 78 (with previous bibliography).