Marble sarcophagus fragment

Roman

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169

This fragment can be recognized from other intact examples as part of a sarcophagus on which the portrait bust of the deceased is displayed in a central tondo. The hand and arm of a figure, probably a Cupid, is preserved to the right of the tondo. The person commemorated here was an elderly woman; she wears her hair in a style favored by members of the Severan dynasty, in particular Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus, and Plautilla, wife of Caracalla. Although sarcophagi were mass-produced, the distinctive features of the woman's portrait make it clear that this particular sarcophagus must have been purchased and then prepared for a specific customer.

Marble sarcophagus fragment, Marble, Roman

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