Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Marble sarcophagus with the myth of Endymion

Period:
Antonine
Date:
mid-2nd century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
Overall: 19 1/4 x 78 1/4 x 21 in. (48.9 x 198.8 x 53.3 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1924
Accession Number:
24.97.13
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169
Found on the Via Ardeatina, on the outskirts of Rome

The myth of Endymion, a beautiful shepherd who was so loved by the moon goddess Selene that she gave him eternal youth with eternal sleep, became a popular funerary motif in Roman art. Here, the moon goddess alights from her chariot to visit her reclining lover. Both this sarcophagus and another that faces the open area with a fountain in the courtyard, are decorated with this subject. It is
interesting to compare the relief technique; on this mid-second century A.D. work, the relief is shallow, while the other sarcophagus, dated to the early third century, has deep carving with strong light and dark effects created by much use of the running drill.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1925. "A Roman Sarcophagus." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 20(3): pp. 77-80, figs. 1-3.

Matz, Friedrich. 1957. "An Endymion Sarcophagus Rediscovered." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 15 (5): p. 127.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1970. "The Department of Greek and Roman Art: Triumphs and Tribulations." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 3: pp. 70, 80-1, fig. 15.

McCann, Anna Marguerite. 1978. Roman Sarcophagi in the Metropoltian Museum of Art. no. 3, pp. 21, 34-38, 4, figs. 28-30, 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. 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. 1986. Atherion-Eros, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 3. Endymion, no. 55, 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. 1988. Eros-Herakles, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 4. Eros/Amor, Cupido, no. 159, 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. Hypnos/Somnus, no. 96, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Sorabella, Jean. 2001. "A Roman Sarcophagus and its Patron." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 36: p. 73, fig. 7.

Cohon, Robert. 2015. "Roman Metrics and Roman Sarcophagi." Römische Sarkophage: Akten des Internationalen Werkstattgesprächs 11.-13. Oktober 2012 (Graz), Barbara Porod and Gabriele Koiner, eds. cat. 13, p. 83, Graz: Universalmuseum Joanneum.

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