The J. Paul Getty Museum

Tomb Altar for Caltilius and Caltilia

Object Details

Title:

Tomb Altar for Caltilius and Caltilia

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Roman

Place:

Roman Empire (Place Created)

Date:

A.D. 100–125

Medium:

Marble

Object Number:

83.AA.209

Dimensions:

128 × 80 × 63.5 cm (50 3/8 × 31 1/2 × 25 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Achille Moretti

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Object Description

Portraits of a husband and wife decorate the front of this Roman funerary altar. The inscription reads, "To the souls of the deceased, Lucius Caltilius Stephanus and Caltilia Moschis." Although badly damaged, the portrait of Lucius depicts his distinctive, short hairstyle and his hollow cheeks and sagging flesh to show his age. These stylistic characteristics date this altar to the Trajanic period, from A.D. 100 to 125. The woman's dramatic curled hairstyle also derives from that favored by the women in Trajan's royal court.

Roman funerary altars were an especially popular means of commemorating the dead in the early 100s A.D. This altar is typical of the funerary monuments commissioned by freed slaves, which were often located in front of the family tomb, advertising the new social status of the deceased to passersby. Several funerary reliefs found at Ostia also bear the Caltilii family name; one of these reliefs has an almost identical portrait of Caltilia. These Ostian reliefs and the Getty Museum's altar may have originally belonged to one tomb.

Provenance
Provenance
- 1983

Achille Moretti (Zurich, Switzerland), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Bibliography
Bibliography

Chamay, Jacques, Jiřì Frel, and Jean-Louis Maier. Le monde des Césars: Portraits romains (Geneva: Musée d'art et d'histoire de Genève 1982), p. 131; pl. 25 Cited without inv. no.

Fittschen, Klaus, and Paul Zanker. Katalog der römischen Porträts in den Capitolinischen Museen und den anderen kommunalen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom. Kaiserinnen- und Prinzessinnenbildnisse Frauenporträts, vol. 3. (Mainz am Rhein : von Zabern, 1983), p. 59n11.

"Acquisitions/1983." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 12 (1984), pp. 237-38, no. 26.

Koch, Guntram. Kaiserzeit Sarkophage in Albanien. Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archaeologischen Instituts, Roemische Abteilung 95 (1988), pp. 234-256, fig. 1.

Koch, Guntram, with Karol Wight. Roman Funerary Sculpture: Catalogue of the Collections (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), pp. 76-79, no. 27, ill.

Koch, Guntram. "Zu einigen Privatporträts auf Grabmonumenten im Getty Museum." In Ritratto ufficiale e ritratto privato. Atti della II Conferenza internazionale sul ritratto romano, Roma 26 - 30 settembre 1984, Bonacasa, Nicola and Giovanni Rizza, eds. (Rome: Consiglio Nazionale delle ricerche, 1988), pp. 355-359, fig. 1.

Margolis, Stanley, and William Showers. "Ancient Greek and Roman Marble Sculpture: Authentication, Weathering, and Provenance Determination," Marble. Art Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Ancient Sculpture. Papers Delivered at a Symposium at the J. Paul Getty Museum, April 28-30, 1988, pp. 283-299. Malibu: 1990, pp. 286, Table 1, no. 1.

Dixon, Suzanne. The Roman Family. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), pl. 5. Without inv. no.

Bodel, John, and Stephen Tracy. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist (New York: American Academy in Rome, 1997), p. 14.

Vedder, Ursula. Grabsteine mit Portraet in Augusta Emerita (Lusitania). Koelner Studien zu Archaeologie der roemischen Provinzen 5 (2001), p. 39, n. 231; pl. 14 d.

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Looking at Greek and Roman Sculpture in Stone (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), pp. 7, ill.