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Marble stele (grave marker) of Sostratos

Period:
Late Classical
Date:
ca. 375–350 B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Attic
Medium:
Marble, Pentelic
Dimensions:
Overall: 54 1/8 x 24 x 6 in. (137.5 x 61 x 15.2 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1908
Accession Number:
08.258.41
  • Description

    The inscription at the top of the stele informs us that it commemorates Sostratos, the son of Teisandros, of the deme of Paiania (an administrative precinct of Athens). Sostratos is presented as an athlete. In his right hand, he holds a strigil, the metal scraper used to cleanse the skin after it had been rubbed with oil. The slave boy beside him holds the aryballos (oil flask) and carries a garment over left shoulder. The youth's hand touching his head suggests that he may be crowning himself after a victory. The placement of the fingers offers the alternative that the gesture is one of mourning. This theme is continued in the siren just above: she tears her hair and beats her breast—traditional expressions of grief. The sphinxes at each end of the superstructure are guardians of the tomb.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscribed on the epistyle: "Sostratos, the son of Teisandros".

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 221, fig. 134.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 258-59, fig. 181.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 258-59, fig. 181.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 108, 247, pl. 87b.

    Ridgway, Brunilde Sismondo. 1997. Fourth-Century Styles in Greek Sculpture. Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, p. 181.

    Antikensammlung, Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. 2002. Die Griechische Klassik: Idee oder Wirklichkeit. Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, no. 158, p. 259.

  • See also
    What
    Where
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
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