Relief with Heroic Banquet

Object Details


Relief with Heroic Banquet






Eastern Mediterranean (Place created)


second half of 2nd century B.C.




50.6 × 83.3 × 9.5 cm (19 15/16 × 32 13/16 × 3 3/4 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

See more

See less

Surrounded by sumptuous furnishings, a bearded man reclines on a couch, holding a phiale, a shallow bowl frequently used to pour libations or liquid offerings to the gods. A servant stands at the left, ready to refill the phiale from a large krater that would have held a mixture of wine and water.

Reliefs such as this one depicting heroic banquets were popular in eastern areas of the Greek world in the Hellenistic period. First made as devotional offerings to various deities, they were also used to honor those mortals elevated to heroic status and as grave markers. This relief is a simpler example of the type. Missing are the wife, who usually stands at the end of the couch, and any attributes, such as weaponry or horses, denoting the man's status. This absence of attributes probably indicates that this relief had a votive rather than funerary purpose. Although this relief has fewer figures and attributes than others of the type, it is exceptional for its elegant workmanship and rich detail. The legs of the couch and the table are intricately carved, the table is set with ritual cakes, and the couch's coverlet has a tasseled border.


Dr. Muller (Switzerland)

- 1987

Thomas Howard Sneyd (London, England), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1987.

1987 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman


and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995

True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, exh. cat. (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994), pp. 240-42, cat. no. 121.

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust (1997-98), p. 63.

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Looking at Greek and Roman Sculpture in Stone (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), pp. 35, ill.