|Collection:||Museum of Fine Arts, Boston|
|Title:||Grave Stele of Woman with Mirror|
|Summary:||Woman facing right, looking into mirror|
|Sculpture Type:||Stele, relief-decorated|
|Original or Copy:||Original|
|Date:||ca. 410 BC - ca. 400 BC|
|Dimensions:||H .058 m, W (top) 0.457 m, W (bottom) 0.425 m|
Subject Description: The woman stands in a 3/4-view to right, with her head profile to right. She wears a medium-sleeved chiton with an overfold and a mantle draped over both shoulders, around her waist, and back over her left elbow. Her hair is bound tightly on top of her head, and a thin veil emerges behind the back of her head; she wears disk earrings. She directs a solemn gaze down at the mirror (perhaps in contemplation of her life, assuming that this image is meant to represent the deceased). The round mirror has a plain surface (polished smoothly for reflective purposes), with a handle comprised of a short cylindrical shaft, a rectangular element at the top, and a spherical knob at the bottom.
Form & Style:
The naiskos within which she stands is comprised of the triangular pediment (front) of a gabled roof, with palmette akroteria over the top and at both corners, supported by two antae (pilasters) flaring to narrow, square abaci (transitional elements), with etched lines ca. 3 cm below each abacus.
The relief is carved in a simple style, with finely worked detail, in medium relief over most of the body, with engraved detail used to represent the woman's veil, fluttering behind her neck. According to Comstock & Vermeule, J. Frel has suggested that this stele, a banquet relief discovered near the Piraeus Archaeological Museum, and a similar fragment in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, are by the same sculptor (for which see J. -M. Dentzer, BCH 94 (1970) 67-90, fig. 1).
Condition: Single piece
Condition Description: A single piece comprising the top of the stele, including both vertical edges, broken off just below the woman's waist and elbows; chipped slightly at the bottom, with some scratches and yellowish-gray adhesions on the front surface; the face, which was in highest relief, is quite worn, so that facial features are indistinct.
Material Description: A fine-medium grained, white, somewhat translucent marble, 'Pentelic' according to Comstock & Vermeule
Collection History: Formerly in the E.P. Warren Collection. Acquired by the MFA in 1904.
Other Bibliography: M. Polojiorghi, Boreas 13 (1990) 16;