Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Marble sarcophagus with garlands

ca. A.D. 200–225
Marble, Proconnesian
Overall: 53 x 88in. (134.6 x 223.5cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Abdo Debbas, 1870
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169
This was the first gift accepted by the Museum.

The back and cover of this sarcophagus are unfinished, and its inscription tablet is blank, which may imply that it went unsold in antiquity. Garlands of oak leaves supported by two erotes and four Victories adorn the front and sides. Medusa heads fill the spaces above the garlands, except in the center of the front, where there is the blank inscription tablet. Six erotes hunt various wild animals along the front face of the cover, while two others stand at the corners. On the left end, Eros awakens Psyche with an arrow, and on the right, they embrace.
Found at Tarsus, Cilicia, near the bridge over the Cydnus River in 1863 (Davis 1879, p. 31).

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1871. Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1: p. 10.

Davis, Edwin John. 1879. Life in Asiatic Turkey. A journal of travel in Cilicia (Pedias and Trachoea), Isauria, and parts of Lycaonia and Cappadocia. p. 31, London, E. Stanford.

Cesnola, Luigi Palma di. 1903. A Descriptive Atlas of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriote Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Vol. 3, Plates & Text 1–150. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 258, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

McClees, Helen. 1924. The Daily Life of the Greeks and Romans: As Illustrated in the Classical Collections. p. 135, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Rodenwaldt, Gerhart. 1927. Die Kunst der antike Hellas und Rom. p. 699, pl. 6, Berlin: Propyläen-verlag.

Rodenwaldt, Gerhart. 1933. "Sarcophagi from Xanthos." The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 53(2): no. 57, p. 204 n. 73.

Rodenwaldt, Gerhart. 1938. "Sarkophag-Miscellen." Archäologischer Anzeiger, 53: column 398, n. 3, column 413, n. 1.

Ward-Perkins, John B. 1958. "Four Roman Garland Sarcophagi in America." Archaeology, 11(2): pp. 102-3.

Bandinelli, Ranuccio Bianchi. 1966. Enciclopedia dell'Arte Antica, Classica e Orientale, Vol. 7. p. 628, fig. 747, Rome: Instituto della Enciclopedia Italiana.

McNally, Sheila. 1971. "The Frieze of the Mausoleum at Split." Studies Presented to George M.A. Hanfman, David Gordon Mitten, John D. Pedley, and Jane Ayer Scott, eds. p. 110, n 38, Cambridge, Mass.: Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums.

McCann, Anna Marguerite. 1978. Roman Sarcophagi in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 2, pp. 21, 29-33, figs. 23-24, 26, 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. 1994. Oidipous-Theseus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 7. Psyche, no. 111 bis, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 468, pp. 3, 398, 497, figs. 1a, b, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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