Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Marble pillar with snake and wreath

Period:
Imperial
Date:
1st–2nd century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble, Pentelic ?
Dimensions:
h. 14 5/8 in (37.2 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
12.229.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
This pillar may be either votive or sepulchral. The snake is both an attribute of the healing god Asklepios, suggesting this object may have been a thank offering on behalf of one cured of an illness, and a potent symbol of the underworld, alluding perhaps to a funereal function. The wreath, meanwhile, evokes victory in the broadest sense, as well as the realm of Dionysos, whose mythological rebirth makes his iconography particularly appropriate in a tomb context.
Said to be from Delos

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 234, p. 115, pl. 141b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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