|Collection:||Paris, Musée du Louvre|
|Title:||Stele from Pharsalos|
|Findspot:||Said to be from Pharsalos|
|Summary:||Two facing women holding flowers|
|Sculpture Type:||Stele, relief-decorated|
|Original or Copy:||Original|
|Date:||ca. 470 BC - ca. 460 BC|
H 0.565 m, W 0.67 m, D 0.15 m
The fragmentary stele from Pharsalos in Thessaly depicts two women, preserved from the waists up. They face each other, and the directness of their glances suggests an aura of intimacy. The women are dressed in nearly identical fashion. Each wears a peplos pinned at the shoulder, leaving the arm in view almost entirely exposed. The finely combed hair is bound in a saccos, the end of which emerges in front of the ear. They do not wear jewelry. Each holds a pomegranate (or flower, according to some) in her raised right hand. The figure on the left holds some sort of pouch in her left hand, from which it dangles. The figure on the right also appears to hold another object, but since the relief is broken across her hand, the object is difficult to identify.
Since the time of its discovery in 1863, the relief has been a focus of controversy. It is now generally agreed that the relief is funerary rather than votive, that the figures represented are mortals rather than goddesses, and that both figures are standing (there may be less consensus on this score). The precise significance of the objects they hold or offer to each other remains unclear.
Condition: Single fragment
Relief preserved on both sides, broken across top and bottom. Weathered; many pick marks and surface nicks but most features of both figures are clear in so far as the figures are preserved.
Parian marble (Hamiaux)
Collection History: Found at the church of Paleo-Loutro in Pharsalus by the expedition of Heuzey and Daumet, 1863.