The lid of the sarcophagus shows an unarticulated, downward tapering body and the head of a woman framed by flowing hair; traces of red paint are still preserved in the hair. At the foot end of the box and on the lid appears the Phoenician letter “shin.” According to recent investigations, the anthropoid sarcophagi of marble were quarried on the Greek island of Paros. They were prepared up to a certain point and finished at their destinations. The inscribed letters here strongly suggest that the sculptor was Phoenician, which would be entirely plausible at Amathus and Kition, two centers of Phoenician occupation on Cyprus. Such fine, expensive coffins inspired local copies in limestone and terracotta.
This is the earliest and most complete known representation of an Attic wedding. The bridal couple with the best man behind them sit in a cart drawn by two donkeys. A mule cart with four guests follows. Other members of the procession are on foot. The woman in the lead holds two torches, indicating that the scene takes place at night. The procession heads toward the bridegroom’s house where a woman, probably the mother of the groom, awaits. The architecture of the house is carefully indicated; the white columns of the porch may be painted wood.
Attic grave monuments of the end of the sixth century B.C. tend to be simpler than their earlier counterparts. In particular, the sculpted finials in the form of sphinxes are replaced by palmettes that are integral with the shaft. The figures, moreover, may be painted instead of carved in relief. It is enlightening to compare a representation such as this with contemporary vase-painting. The light figure against a darker background is comparable to the red-figure technique in pottery. Indeed, the influence of painted sculpture has been adduced in precipitating the change from black-figure to red-figure.
Statue of Dionysos leaning on a female figure (Hope Dionysos)
c. 27 BC - AD 86
Augustan or Julio Claudian
The head is ancient but from another statue. Restorations by the eighteenth-century Italian sculptor Vincenzo Pacetti: (on Dionysos) ivy wreath, neck, both arms, lower right leg, calf and boot of left leg, hanging drapery on right side; (on the archaistic image) uplifted corner of drapery, both arms, lower half of lower legs, feet, pedestal, entire base.
Roman copy of Greek original. Adaptation of a Greek work of the 4th century B.C.
Dionysos, god of wine and divine intoxication, wears a panther skin over his short chiton and his high sandals with animal heads on the overhanging skin flaps. He stands beside an archaistic female image whose pose and dress imitate those of Greek statues carved in the sixth century B.C. It is difficult to know whether the original Greek bronze statue of Dionysos, of which this is a copy, included the female figure. Supports in the form of pillars, herms, and small statues were not uncommon in Classical art, but this figure may have been added to support the outstretched arm and may represent Spes, a Roman personification of Hope, who was commonly shown as an archaistic maiden.