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Paramythion Stele, frontal view

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Paramythion Stele, detail of inscription on right

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Paramythion Stele, detail of inscription on left

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Paramythion Stele, detail of urn handle

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Paramythion Stele, from left

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Paramythion Stele, closer view of urn in relief

Collection: Munich, Glyptothek
Title: Grave stele of Paramythion
Context: Probably from Athens
Findspot: Said to be found at Athens, near the Dafni Monastery, on the Sacred Way.
Summary: Stele with urn in low relief and elaborate painted decoration
Object Function: Funerary
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Stele, relief-decorated
Category: Single monument
Style: Late Classical
Technique: Very low relief
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 380 BC - ca. 370 BC

H 0.92 m, H of urn 0.63 m, W at lower edge 0.334 m

Scale: Large
Region: Attica
Period: Late Classical

Subject Description:

In the center of the relief plaque is a loutrophoros-hydria with a vertical handle on the right side, on which designs are painted (a volute), terminating in a goose's head at the lower end. The body of the vessel is decorated with painted ornament: from the base, a ray pattern, a meander, a figural frieze, and a tongue pattern (on the shoulder). Two taeniae, rolled up, are painted in the background, to the viewer's left. A narrow taenia is wound around the neck/handle of the vessel. At the bottom, to the right and left of the vessel are alabastra and a rolled-up taenia (one each on either side).

The figural frieze illustrates two figures, barely visible, with labels. To the left is a young woman wearing a chiton and himation Paramythion; to her right is, seemingly, an older male, Pheidiades, wearing a himation. Paramythion seems to hold her veil with her upraised left hand, in a gesture known as anakalypsis, the removing of the veil, a bridal gesture. Thus, Paramythion is probably Pheidiades' bride, bidding him farewell.

Form & Style:

The stele is crowned with a finial on which is painted a palmette above volutes.

Condition: Nearly complete

Condition Description:

Nearly complete stele in two large fragments. Small fragments missing along break and lower left corner. Surface well preserved. Outline of painted decoration just visible to naked eye, clearly visible under ultraviolet light (see excellent photographs and reconstruction in Vierneisel-Schlörb). Red, brown, blue and other colors preserved.

Material Description:



Names inscribed next to the painted figures on the urn (except the iota in Paramythion, which is painted instead): *P*A*R*A*M*U*Q*I*O*N *F*E*I*D*I*A*D*H*S, "Paramythion","Pheidiades"

Inscription Bibliography:

IG II2 12413

Collection History:

Acquired in 1908.

Sources Used:

Clairmont 1993, 361-62, cat. 2.356b (ill.); Vierneisel-Schlörb 1988, no. 15, pls. 32-35, fig. on p. 86

Other Bibliography:

Berger 1990, 46, app. 7.4; Ohly 1986, saal 4, no. 7, fig. 8; Kokula 1984, 108, 167, G 8=H 23; C. Wolters, MJbBK 11 (1960) 11-13; Wolters 1909, 9f, fig. 4; Wolters 1909a, passim.; P. Wolters, "Erwerbungen der Antikensammlungen Münchens 1907/8, AA 1908;