Sarcophagus of the Moment

Speaking of the Met (see next post), one of the things my spiders regularly drag back from the interwebs is a sarcophagus photo of some sort, usually from the Met, but sometimes from the Walters. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with these (since they are usually quite interesting) and so I’ll see if a ‘Sarcophagus of the Moment’ feature is sustainable. Here’s the first entry (from the Met):

This is the one that got me thinking about having such a feature since it is so darned interesting. There is absolutely no concept of scale here … the focus is, supposedly, Theseus and Ariadne, but what really catches your eye are the giant erotes hauling whatever it is that frames the comparatively tiny scenes from the myth. Even more interesting is the upper register with the chariot-driving erotes … one pulled by dogs, one by lions, one by bulls, and one by boars (all, ostensibly, the same scale!).

… there’s a larger view at the Met’s page, of course, and a couple of photos of the ‘ends’ … not sure what’s on the other side, if anything.

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2 thoughts on “Sarcophagus of the Moment

  1. Lovely specimen! The back side is uncarved (which was typical for Metropolitan products — sarcs from Attica and Asia, in contrast, were usually carved on all four sides).

    The Met’s online entry says that it is made of BOTH Luni (i.e., Carrara) and Pentelic marble. That in itself is rather unusual. Judging from the colors, I assume that the bluer-white Carrara was used for the chest, creamy Pentelic for the lid. But given that Pentelic was of more value than Carrara, and chests privileged over lids (hence their deeper carving), this would reverse expectations. Intriguing.

    Love your blog, by the way!

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