Stele with young seated girl, frontal view

Stele with young seated girl, detail of right side of stele

Stele with young seated girl, detail of head and torso of seated girl

Stele with young seated girl, detail of dress of seated girl

Stele with young seated girl, detail of servant girl and man to right

Stele with young seated girl, detail of left edge of stele

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Title: Grave monument with young seated girl
Summary: Servant, older man, and young seated girl
Object Function: Funerary
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Stele, relief-decorated
Category: Single sculpture
Style: Late Classical
Technique: High relief
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 325 BC
Dimensions: H 0.75 m, W 0.56 m
Scale: Under life-size
Region: Attica
Period: Late Classical


Subject Description: A small woman stands in a 3/4-view to the right, with her weight on her left leg. She clutches a large (jewelery) box in her left hand, and reaches her right arm to that of the seated woman. Her hair is bound in a sakkos. Her garment is not finely detailed, but seems to be a long-sleeved dress, which designates her as a slave. Another woman, with more complicated drapery (a high belted chiton, or undergarment, and a mantle draped around shoulders and across her lap) sits on a stool (diphros), 3/4-view to the left, with her head slightly bowed, her left hand resting on her seat, and her right hand reaches into the box (pushing the lid of the box up). A disk brooch clasps her chiton over her right shoulder, and her hair is bound in a melon coiffure (with braids). Between the two woman, in low relief, seems to be another standing figure, taller than the woman with the box--perhaps the seated woman's father--of whom only the right shoulder drapery is preserved.

Form & Style:

Only the figural portion of the stele is well preserved, although the seated woman backs onto what seems to be the right anta (pilaster) of the relief. This suggests that the relief might have been enclosed in a pedimental naiskos, like the woman with the mirror in Boston 04.16.

The anatomy is foreshortened, while drapery is carved in an angular, tubular style, with short catenaries, and large plain swaths of fabric (as on the standing woman's skirt).

Condition: Fragmentary

Condition Description: Two large fragments, preserving most of two figures, broken above their heads and below their calves. A large portion of the (male?) figure standing between them is missing. The left edge (and much of the back of the standing female) is missing, but the right edge of the stele, to the right of the seated woman is intact. The surface is stained, with solution cracks, light scratches and chips, especially on the drapery, and some medium-brown incrustations.

Material Description: Pentelic marble (Vermeule & Comstock)

Collection History: Formerly in the Ernest Brummer Collection and the Ernest Brummer Gallery in New York. Acquired by the MFA in 1979.

Sources Used: Clairmont 1993, 3.376 no. 3.446; Vermeule & Comstock 1988, no. 8

Other Bibliography: M. Aurenhammer in Koester/Ephesos, 254-55 n. 16; Schöne-Denkinger 1993, 173; Stewart 1993, 211 n. 62, fig. 73; Uhlenbrock 1990, 53 n. 20; Connelly 1988, 14 n. 30; Herrmann 1988, 13, 14, 16, 21-22, 53; Reeder 1988, 89, under no. 15; Vermeule 1981, 115 no. 87