The J. Paul Getty Museum

Front Panel from a Sarcophagus

Object Details


Front Panel from a Sarcophagus






Rome, Italy (Place Created)


about A.D. 180



Object Number:



46.5 × 173 × 16 cm, 272.1582 kg (18 5/16 × 68 1/8 × 6 5/16 in., 600 lb.)

See more

See less

Object Description

This fragment preserves the front panel of a four-sided sarcophagus. The central scene is composed of a kline with turned legs, curved sides, and a backrest. Reclining on a mattress is a bearded man with a short-sleeved tunic and mantle wrapped around his lower body. He holds a beaker with his left hand and his right hand holds out a cluster of grapes to the rooster at the end of the mattress. A three-legged table and a basket-wrapped lidded bottle are before the kline. The inscription at the upper edge continues at the left side of the table. On the left, a woman approaches, holding a garland with her lowered left hand and a beaker in her outstretched right hand. She wears a sleeved tunic and mantle wrapped around her body. Her hair is fastened by a thick knot at the back of her head. There is a goat behind her legs. To the left, a man in a long-sleeved tunic and boots is seated on a stool. In his left hand he holds a three-pronged tool. With his right hand he pulls wool from a basket next to a chairlike frame with a ball of wool on the seat. The left edge preserves a projecting rock and a goat climbing a tree. At the far right, a seated young man with a short-sleeved tunic and shoes is pulling wool from a basket next to a table and scale. Underneath the scale is a slender amphora. Above, a man is leading a horse through an arched doorway. Next to him is a second man, moving to right, but looking back, with his arms above his head. On the right, a dancing female with a short-sleeved tunic and mantle over her shoulder is waving at the two men, who wear long-sleeved, belted tunics, trousers, shoes and Phrygian caps. The hindquarters of sheep are visible on the left short end of the sarcophagus.

by 1981 - 1986

Summa Galleries (Beverly Hills, California), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986.


Birk, Stine. “Man or Woman? Cross-gendering and Individuality on Third Century Roman Sarcophagi.” In Life, Death and Representation: Some New Work on Roman Sarcophagi, Jaś Elsner and Janet Huskinson, eds. (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2011), p. 242n39.

Summa Galleries, Beverly Hills, California. Auction I: featuring Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine Art, September 18, 1981, lot 75.

Whitehead, J. K. "Roman Biographical Sarcophagi: Style and Social Class." Ph.D. diss. (Yale University, 1984), pp. 51-52, no. 3; 80-89.

"Acquisitions/1986." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 15 (1987), p. 159, no. 3.

Koch, Guntram. Kaiserzeit Sarkophage in Albanien. Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archaeologischen Instituts, Roemische Abteilung 95 (1988), pp. 234-256, p. 238, n. 13.

Koch, Guntram, with Karol Wight. Roman Funerary Sculpture: Catalogue of the Collections (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), pp. 24-27, no. 9, ill.

Amedick, Rita. Die antiken Sarkophagreliefs, 1. Die Sarkophage mit Darstellungen aus dem Menschenleben, 4. Vita privata. Berlin, 1991, p. 133 no. 68 pls. 1.2, 2.1, 3.3, 116.2.

Dixon, Suzanne. The Roman Family. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), pl. 7. Without inv. no.

Cremer, Marielouise. Hellenistisch-römische Grabstelen im nordwestlichen Kleinasien 2. Bithynien. Asia Minor Studien 4, 2. (Bonn : R. Habelt, 1992), p. 44; pl. 10.

Holliday, Peter J. "The Sarcophagus of Titus Aelius Evangelus and Gaudenia Nicene." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 21 (1993), pp. 85-100, 85-99, figs. 1a-d.

Whitehead, Jane. "The Cena Trimalchionis and Biographical Narration in Roman Middle-Class Art," Narrative and Event in Ancient Art (P. Holliday, ed.), pp. 299-325. Cambridge, 1993, p. 312; fig. 94.

Schmidt, Margot. "Zur Sarkophagfront des Titus Aelius Euangelus im J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu," in: Grabeskunst der römischen Kaiserzeit. 4th Symposium of the Sarkophag-Corpus, Marburg 23-27 July 1990 (Mainz: von Zabern 1993), pp. 187-93, ills.

Cremer, Marielouise. "Antiken Spinnrocken," Boreas 19 (1996), pp. 241-245, p. 242; pl. 25, 8.

Bodel, John, and Stephen Tracy. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist (New York: American Academy in Rome, 1997), p. 13.

Ziegler, Daniela. Frauenfrisuren der römischen Antike-Abbild und Realität. (Berlin: Weißensee-Verlag, 2000), pp. 138, 140-41, 146, 148, no. S 21.

Loven, Lena Larsson. The Imagery of Textile Making: Gender and Status in the Funerary Iconography of Textile Manufacture in Roman Italy and Gaul (Goteburg: Goteburg University, 2002), pp. 45-46, pl. VII a-c.

Heidebroek-Soldner, Eva. Die Traube auf hellenistischen und kaiserzeitlichen Grabdenkmaelern: Untersuchungen zur Ikonographie und Bedeutungsgeschichte eines Attributs und verwandter Motive (Hamburg: Dr. Kovac, 2004), pp. 42, 48-50, 126-28, 154, 180, 213, no. 78; pl. 13.1 (Provenance: Ostia).

Birk, Stine. Depicting the Dead: Self-Representation and Commemoration on Roman Sarcophagi with Portraits (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2013), 119, 294, no. 534, fig. 63.

Norman, Geraldine, ed. Bob Hecht by Bob Hecht. (n.p., n.p., 2014), p. 51.

Draycott, Catherine M. "Dining after death?" Minerva (November/December, 2015), p.49.