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monument / funerary equipment

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1858,0819.1

  • Description

    Funerary monument, of white marble (probably Parian) with medium-sized crystals. A woman reclines on a kline, holding a bust of a man. The monument is entirely restored from the woman's knees to the end of the kline. The woman's nose is also restored. The woman is supported on her left side by four cushions. In her left hand she holds a small volumen. The male bust stands on her left thigh, supported at the back by her right knee and, at the neck, by her right hand. The woman is dressed in tunic and palla. Her hairstyle is of the late Flavian or early Trajanic period.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 100-110 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 73.8 centimetres
    • Length: 154 centimetres
    • Width: 55.3 centimetres
    • Width: 49.5 centimetres (tapering at left end)
  • Curator's comments

    Walker 1990

    The woman's hairstyle is of the Trajanic period; compare the portrait of Claudia Semne (1). That of her husband could be late Flavian or early Trajanic in date.

    At the corner of the kline, beside the woman's left shoulder, is a round urn decorated with a garland, which is supported by a nude winged female figure holding a caduceus. The rim is rebated as if to receive a lid. The urn is unfinished at the back. Most likely this held the ashes of the deceased. The missing lid may have been inscribed. A similar near-contemporary monument in the Museo Nazionale delle Terme, Rome (Inv. 175829) shows a man reclining on a kline holding the draped bust of a woman.(2) Behind him is a rectangular urn, the lid of which was inscribed with the name of Julia Attica, freed-woman of Gaius (CIL VI, 20383). On this analogy only the cremated bones of the male figure may have been kept in the urn of the monument now in London.
    The irregular shape of the monument, the presence of the urn, and the typology of other known examples, most recently studied by Wrede and Berczelly (3) show clearly that this was not intended as a sarcophagus lid. Most likely the kline was set on a low platform, possibly decorated in relief. Such monuments could be placed in rectangular alcoves, as was likely the case with this unfinished example. Mostly made in Rome, 'Klinenmonumente' were produced from the time of Augustus to the Tetrarchy, with a peak in popularity under the Flavians and Trajan. Many of the inscribed examples were commissioned by freedmen and freedwomen.(4)

    1. H. Wrede, RM 78 (1971), pl. 79.
    2. H. Wrede, AA 1977, 406-7, fig. 79-81; A. Giuliano (ed.), Mus. Naz. Rom. Le Sculture 1, 2 (1981), 167, no. 58.
    3. H. Wrede, AA 1977, 395-431; (1981), 86-131; L. Berczelly, ActaAArtHist 8 (1978), 49-72.
    4. See Wrede (above, n. 3, 1977), 400-10.

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  • Bibliography

    • Sarcophagus 1 bibliographic details
    • Sculpture 2335 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2013 – 2014, 21 September - 5 January, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Empire – Roman Power & People
    2014, 25 January - 27 April, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Empire – Roman Power & People
    2014, 17 May - 31 August, Coventry, The Herbert, Empire – Roman Power & People
    2014 – 2015, 20 September - 4 January, Leeds City Museum, Empire – Roman Power & People
    2015, 24 January - 10 May, Dundee, The McManus, Empire – Roman Power & People
    2015, 30 May - 13 September, Newcastle, Segedunum Roman Fort, Empire – Roman Power & People

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1858

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1858,0819.1

Funerary monument: a woman reclines on a mattress, holding a portrait bust of her dead husband. Parian marble.

Funerary monument: a woman reclines on a mattress, holding a portrait bust of her dead husband. Parian marble.

Image description

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Object reference number: GAA8990

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