Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Marble sarcophagus lid with reclining couple

Imperial, Severan
ca. A.D. 220
length 91in. (231.1cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1993
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169
The couple are shown as semidivine personifications of water and earth. Like Hellenistic and Roman images of river gods, the bare-chested man holds a long reed, and a lizard-like creature crouches beside him. The woman holds a garland and two sheaves of wheat, attributes of Tellus, goddess of the earth. At her feet is a furry-tailed mammal with a small Eros on its back. While the man’s head is carefully
portrayed, his wife’s head has been left unfinished, suggesting that he predeceased her, and no one added her portrait after she died.
Wrede, Henning. 1989. "Ein Sarkophagkasten und ZweiDeckel." Städel-Jahrbuch, 12:

Wrede, Henning. 1990. "Der Sarkophagdeckel eines Mädchens." Roman Funerary Monuments in the J. Paul Getty Museum. pp. 15-46, fig. 16, Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum.

Milleker, Elizabeth J. 1993. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1992-1993." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 51(2): pp. 16-7.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1993. "One Hundred Twenty-third Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1992 through June 30, 1993." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 123: p. 29.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 467, pp. 398, 497, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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