Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Marble sarcophagus with garlands and the myth of Theseus and Ariadne

Period:
Hadrianic or early Antonine
Date:
ca. A.D. 130–150
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble, Luni and Pentelic
Dimensions:
Overall: 31 x 85 3/4 x 28in. (78.7 x 217.8 x 2.3 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase by subscription, 1890
Accession Number:
90.12a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
On the lid, shown in delicate low relief, winged erotes drive chariots drawn by animals associated with the four seasons: bears with spring, lions with summer, bulls with fall, and boars with winter. On the front, four erotes bear seasonal garlands composed of flowers, wheat, grapes, pomegranates, and laurel. Between the swags are three episodes from the myth of the Greek hero Theseus. With the help of the Cretan princess Ariadne, Theseus slew the Minotaur, a part-bull and part-human monster who was caged in a labyrinth, where he consumed Athenian boys and girls sent as annual tribute. Depicted from left to right are: Ariadne giving a thread to Theseus at the entrance to the labyrinth, Theseus slaying the Minotaur, and the sleeping Ariadne abandoned on the island of Naxos, where she will be awakened by the god Dionysos to become his immortal bride.
1889, found embedded into a masonry wall near Capranica, Roman Campagna (Frothingham 1890, p. 220)

1889, found near Capranica, Roman Campagna, in the vicinity of Rome; acquired by Reverend Dr. Robert Jenkins Nevin, rector of the church of St. Paul, Rome; acquired in 1890, purchased from Rev. Dr. R. J. Nevin.
Bazzichelly, G. 1889. "Capranica di Sutri." Notizie degli Scavi di antichità, : pp. 358-360.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1890. Annual Report of the Trustees, 21: p. 474.

Frothingham, A.L. 1890. "Archaeological News: Italy. Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities." The American Journal of Archaeology and of the History of the Fine Arts, 6: p. 220.

Robert, Carl. 1897–1919. Einzelmythen, Die Antiken Sarkophagreliefs, Vol. 3. no. 425, pp. 501-5, pl. 133, Berlin: G. Grote'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung.

Altmann, Walter. 1902. "Architectur und Ornamentik der antiken Sarkophage." Ph.D. Diss. fig. 29. Weidmannsche Buchhandlung.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 312, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Rodenwaldt, Gerhart. 1925. Der Sarkophag Caffarelli. Winckelmannsprogramm der Archäologischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin., 83. no. 83, p. 31, Anm. 41, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co.

Toynbee, Jocelyn M.C. 1927. "A Roman Sarcophagus at Pawlowsk and Its Fellows." Journal of Roman Studies, 17: p. 25.

Rodenwaldt, Gerhart. 1930. "Der Klinensarkophag von S. Lorenzo." Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, 45: p. 143, figs. 22, 23.

Toynbee, Jocelyn M.C. 1934. The Hadrianic School, a Chapter in the History of Greek Art. pp. 211, 220-1, pl. 47, 2, Cambridge: The University Press.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1935. Annual Report of the Trustees. p. 474, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Horn, Rudolf. 1938. "Archäoligische Funde in Italien, Tripolitanien, der Kyrenaika und Albanien vom Oktober 1937 bis Oktober 1938." Archäologischer Anzeiger, 53: col. 657.

Rodenwaldt, Gerhart. 1940. "Römische Reliefs Vorstufen zur Spätantike." Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, 55: p. 22.

Hanfmann, George M.A. 1951. The Season Sarcophagus in Dumbarton Oaks, Vol. 1. pp. 133, 161, 180, 216, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Hanfmann, George M.A. 1951. The Season Sarcophagus in Dumbarton Oaks, Vol. 2. pp. 160-1, fig. 140, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bieber, Margarete. 1956. "Une Mosaïque Romaine de Ulpia Oescus by Teofil Ivanov." American Journal of Archaeology, 60(1): p. 81.

Panofsky, Erwin. 1964. Tomb Sculpture: Four Lectures on its Changing Aspects from Ancient Egypt to Bernini. p. 34, pl. 108a-c, New York: Harry N. Abrams.

Turcan, Robert. 1966. Les Sarcophages romains à représentations dionysiaques, essai de chronologie et d'histoire religieuse. pp. 86, 151, 600, 608, Paris: E. de Boccard.

Vermeule, Cornelius Clarkson. 1967. "Large and Small Sculpture in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston." The Classical Journal, 63(2): p. 58.

Honroth, Margret. 1971. Stadtrömische Girlanden: ein Versuch zur Entwicklungsgeschichte römischer Ornamentik. pp. 56, 89, no. 105, Wien: Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut.

Harrison, Evelyn B. 1976. "The Portland Vase: Thinking it Over." In Memoriam Otto J. Brendel: Essays in Archaeology and the Humanities, Larissa Bonfante and Helga von Heintze, eds. pp. 133-5, n. 12, n. 61, pl. 32, Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

McCann, Anna Marguerite. 1978. Roman Sarcophagi in the Metropoltian Museum of Art. no. 1, pp. 21, 24-29, 1, figs. 11, 15-20, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Schauenburg, Konrad. 1980. "Review of Roman Sarcophagi in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by A.M. McCann." Gymnasium, 87: p. 227.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1984. Aphrodisias-Athena, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 2. Ariadne, nos. 11, 69, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Moret, J.-M. 1984. Œdipe, la Sphinx et les thébains: essai de mythologie iconographique. p. 125, n. 10, Rome: Institut suisse de Rome.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. Greece and Rome. no. 101, pp. 132-33, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1988. Eros-Herakles, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 4. Eros/Amor, Cupido, nos. 190, 389, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1990. Herakles-Kenchrias, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 5. Kairoi/Tempora anni, nos. 68, 112, 218, 233, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1992. Kentauroi-Oiax, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 6. Minotauros, no. 60, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 455, pp. 390, 494, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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