Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Painted limestone funerary slab with a man controlling a rearing horse

Period:
Hellenistic
Date:
2nd half of 3rd century B.C.
Culture:
Greek
Medium:
Limestone, paint
Dimensions:
Height: 15 1/2 × 10 1/2 × 2 7/8 in. (39.4 × 26.7 × 7.3 cm)
Classification:
Miscellaneous-Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904
Accession Number:
04.17.3
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
During the Ptolemaic period a distinctive type of subterranean tomb for multiple burials proliferated in the cemeteries around the city of Alexandria. Underground chambers cut into the living rock radiated from a central courtyard open to the sky. Most chambers contained a number of loculi, long narrow niches cut into the walls, which served as burial slots. Some loculi were sealed with painted limestone slabs in the form of small shrines. Here, a lively depiction of a man trying to bridle a horse, while a boy stands behind him, commemorates a man from Thessaly in Northern Greece, who must have been one of the many foreigners who congregated in the wealthy, cosmopolitan Ptolemaic capital.
Inscription: Painted inscription: “Pelopides, a Thessalian”
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. IV, p. 265.

Gillett, Charles R. 1896. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Catalogue of the Egyptian antiquities in Hall III, Handbook no. 4. no. 871, 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. 864, p. 58, 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. 10 (under no. 2156), p. 56.

Pagenstecher, Rudolf. 1919. Nekropolis: Untersuchungen über Gestalt und Entwicklung der alexandrinischen Grabanlagen und ihrer Malereien. no. 54, pp. 54, 69, Leipzig: Giesecke & Devrient.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 192, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Swindler, Mary Hamilton. 1929. Ancient Painting, from the Earliest Times to the Period of Christian Art. pp. 344-46, fig. 551, New Haven, London: Yale University Press.

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

Brown, Blanche R. 1957. Ptolemaic Paintings and Mosaics and the Alexandrian Style. pp. 16, 20, pl. V, Cambridge, Mass.

Birren, Faber. 1965. History of Color in Painting. p. 16, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.

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.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 213, pp. 186, 447, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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