Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Painted limestone funerary stele with a woman in childbirth

Period:
Early Hellenistic
Date:
late 4th–early 3rd century B.C.
Culture:
Greek
Medium:
Limestone, paint
Dimensions:
H.: 29 in. (73.7 cm) Other: 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm)
Classification:
Miscellaneous-Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904
Accession Number:
04.17.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
The dying woman leans back, supported on either side by an attendant. Her torso and arms are naked, while two garments—one reddish and one pink—cover her lower body. The composition and subject of the painting derive from Classical Greek grave reliefs. This stele was found in the same underground tomb as the adjacent tomb marker and it probably once served as a funerary monument above ground.
Found in a tomb near Alexandria, Egypt, in 1884

1884, found in a tomb in Alexandria, Egypt; 1884, purchased by Elbert E. Farman, New York; after 1887, purchased by Darius Ogden Mills from Elbert E. Farman; until 1904, collection of Darius Ogden Mills; acquired in 1904, gift of D.O. Mills.
Merriam, Augustus C. 1885. "Inscribed sepulchral vases from Alexandria." American Journal of Archaeology, 1 (1): p. 18 (general mention).

Merriam, Augustus C. 1887. "Painted Sepulchral Stelai from Alexandria." American Journal of Archaeology, 3 (3/4): no. VI, pp. 266-67.

Gillett, Charles R. 1896. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Catalogue of the Egyptian antiquities in Hall III, Handbook no. 4. no. 869, p. 59, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Gillett, Charles R. 1898. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Egyptian Antiquities in Halls 3 and 4. no. 869, p. 59, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Reinach, A. J. 1910. "“Les Galates dans l’Art Alexandrin.”." Monuments et mémoires de la Fondation Eugène Piot, 18(1): no. 2157, p. 52.

Pagenstecher, Rudolf. 1919. Nekropolis: Untersuchungen über Gestalt und Entwicklung der alexandrinischen Grabanlagen und ihrer Malereien. no. 63, p. 56, Leipzig: Giesecke & Devrient.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. p. 132 n. 103, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Brown, Blanche R. 1957. Ptolemaic Paintings and Mosaics and the Alexandrian Style. pp. 15, 20, 45, pl. II, 1, Cambridge, Mass.

Cook, Brian. 1966. Inscribed Hadra Vases in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Papers of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vol. 12. pp. 12, 16-8, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Vedder, U. 1988[Athens]. "Frauentod – Kriegtod im Spiegel der attischen Grabkunst des 4. Jhs. v. Chr." Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung, 103: p. 173, n. 56.

Leona, Marco and Dr. Seán Hemingway. 2009. "The Materiality of Art: Scientific Research in Art History and Art Conservation at the Metropolitan Museum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 67(1): p. 7, fig. 6.

Latini, Alexia, Paolo Moreno, Mario Grimaldi, and Elisa Chiara Portale. 2011. "Riflessi della mortalità neonatale e materna nella pittura ellenistica." Pittura ellenistica in Italia e in Sicilia, Linguaggi e Tradizioni: Atti del Convegno di Studi (Messina, 24-25 settembre 2009), Gioacchine Francesco La Torre and Mario Torelli, eds. p. 65, fig. 25a, Rome: Giorgio Bretschneider Editore.

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