Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Limestone column capital

Late Classical
late 4th–3rd century B.C.
Greek, South Italian, Tarentine
7 1/8 x 13 in. (18.1 x 33.0 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of the Aboutaam Family, 1995
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
Gift of the Aboutaam Family, 1995 (1995.95, .291)
Purchase, Alexander and Helene Abraham Gift, 1996 (1996.26)

The capitals, carved in crisp and striking detail, are a variant of the early Hellenistic Corinthian capital. The figure of a double-bodied sphinx dominates front and back, and large palmettes ornament the sides. They are typical of the architectural decoration found on Tarantine naiskoi (funerary monuments). On one, the figure of the sphinx is unusually large, leaving little of the original Corinthian acanthus-leaf design visible. All that remains of a third capital is a pair of volutes from one corner, showing the elaborate openwork that accompanied the figural decoration.
Herrmann, Ariel and Dr. Seán Hemingway. 1995. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1994-1995." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 53(2): p. 7.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1995. "One Hundred Twenty-fifth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1994 through June 30, 1995." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 125: p. 16.

Related Objects

Capital fragment from a funerary shrine (naiskos)

Date: 4th–3rd century B.C. Medium: Limestone Accession: 1995.291 On view in:Gallery 162

Corinthian column capital

Date: 4th–3rd century B.C. Medium: Limestone Accession: 1996.26 On view in:Gallery 162

Marble column from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis

Date: ca. 300 B.C. Medium: Marble Accession: 26.59.1 On view in:Gallery 160

Marble akroterion

Date: ca. 350–325 B.C. Medium: Marble Accession: 20.198 On view in:Gallery 153

Marble head of a goddess

Date: 4th century B.C. Medium: Marble Accession: 10.142.1 On view in:Gallery 153