The J. Paul Getty Museum

Fragment of a Sarcophagus Lid

Object Details


Fragment of a Sarcophagus Lid






Rome, Lazio, Italy (Place Created)


A.D. 180–190



Object Number:



22 × 85 × 6.8 cm (8 11/16 × 33 7/16 × 2 11/16 in.)

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Object Description

This sarcophagus fragment preserves part of a lid with six nude young men engaged in athletic exercises. Their hair is tied in a small knot at back of head. To the right four men are running; the last runner carries a shield on his left arm. To his left, a man holding halteres, or jumping weights. To the far left, a man bending forward holding a pick or rake with both hands. The inscription in the tabula indicates that Iunia Rufina, daughter of Titus Aelius Maximus, had this sarcophagus made for her father.

by 1699

Maccarani Family (Rome, Italy)

- 1793

William Ponsonby, 2nd earl of Bessborough, 1704 - 1793 (Bessborough House, Roehampton, England)

1793 -

Frederick Ponsonby, 3rd earl of Bessborough, 1758 - 1844 (Bessborough House, Roehampton, England)

after 1848/by 1872

William Lowther, second earl of Lonsdale, English, 1787 - 1872 (Lowther Castle, Cumbria, England), by inheritance to his heirs, 1872.

1872 - 1876

Henry Lowther, third earl of Lonsdale, 1818 - 1876 (Lowther Castle, Cumbria, England), by inheritance to his heirs, 1876.

1876 - 1882

St George Henry Lowther, fourth earl of Lonsdale, 1855 - 1882 (Lowther Castle, Cumbria, England), by inheritance to his heirs, 1882.

1882 - 1944

Hugh Cecil Lowther, fifth earl of Lonsdale, 1857 - 1944 (Lowther Castle, Cumbria, England), by inheritance to his heirs, 1944.

1944 - 1953

Lancelot Edward Lowther, sixth earl of Lonsdale, 1867 - 1953, by inheritance to his heirs, 1953.

1953 -1969

James Hugh William Lowther, seventh earl of Lonsdale, 1922 - 2006 [sold, Sotheby's, London, July 1, 1969, lot 127, to Royal Athena Galleries.]

1969 - 1971

Royal Athena Galleries, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1971.

Art in Roman Life: From Villa to Grave (September 19, 2003 to October 12, 2005)
  • Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (Cedar Rapids), September 19, 2003 to October 12, 2005

Fabretti, Raphael. Urbinatis Inscriptionum Antiquarum Quae in Aedibus Paternis Asservantur Explicatio et Additamentum. (Rome: Antonio Herculis, 1699), p. 370, no. 142.

d'Orville, Jacques P, and Petrus Burmannus. Sicula: Quibus Siciliae Veteris Rudera, Additis Antiquitatum Tabulis, Illustrantur (Amsterdam: Gerardum Tielenburg, 1764), p. 593, no. 73.

Christie, James. A Disquisition upon Etruscan Vases: Displaying Their Probable Connection with the Shows at Eleusis, and the Chinese Feast of Lanterns, with Explanations of a Few of the Principal Allegories Depicted Upon Them. (London: William Bulmer, and Co., 1806), pp. 38-9, ill.

Christie, James. Disquisitions upon the painted Greek vases, and their probable connection with the shows of the Eleusinian and other mysteries (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, Paternoster-Row, 1825), p. 1, 40, ill.

Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (Berlin: 1862-), vol. 6, no. 10735.

Matz, Friedrich."Antikensammlungen in England." Archäologische Zeitung 31 (1874), p. 30.

Michaelis, Adolf Theodor Friedrich. Ancient Marbles in Great Britain (Cambridge: University Press, 1882), p. 494, no. 48.

Sotheby's, London. Sale cat., July 1, 1969, lot no. 127.

Frel, Jiří. Antiquities in the J. Paul Getty Museum: A Checklist; Sculpture II: Greek Portraits and Varia (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, November 1979), p. 23, no. V33.

Bonanno Aravantinou, Margherita. "Un frammento di sarcofago romano con fanciulli atleti nei Musei Capitolini," Bollettino d'arte 15 (1982) 67-84, 71, no. D7.

Koch, Guntram, with Karol Wight. Roman Funerary Sculpture: Catalogue of the Collections (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), pp. 28-29, no. 10, ill. (with additional bibliography).

Amedick, Rita. Die antiken Sarkophagreliefs, 1. Die Sarkophage mit Darstellungen aus dem Menschenleben, 4. Vita privata. Berlin, 1991, p. 133, no. 69; pl. 87,3.

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

Dresken-Weiland, Jutta. Sarkophagbestattungen des 4.-6. Jahrhunderts im Westen des römischen Reiches (Rome: Herder, 2003), p. 246, no. 10735.