The J. Paul Getty Museum

Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant

Object Details


Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant




East Greek


(Delos?), East Greece (Place Created)


about 100 B.C.



Object Number:



94.6 × 120.7 × 21.6 cm (37 1/4 × 47 1/2 × 8 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

Lounging in a cushioned armchair, a woman reaches out to touch the lid of a shallow chest held by a servant girl on this funerary relief. The depiction of the deceased reaching out for an item held by a servant has a long history in Greek funerary art and probably alludes to the hope of continuing earthly pleasures in the afterlife. The dead woman must have come from a prominent and wealthy family. Numerous elements on the relief signal her high status, as do the scale and overall quality of the work. She wears snake bracelets, presumably gold, on her upper and lower arms. Her elaborate chair has a turned leg decorated with lions' paws and an eagle arm support. The clothes and hairstyle of the attendant characterize the young girl as a slave.

This relief has been substantially altered over the years. Originally, it took the form of a shallow naiskos, or three-sided grave monument, but three elements have been cut away: an architectural top portion, probably in the form of a pediment; the left side wall; and a lower portion that probably had an inscription. Some of these alterations may have occurred in the late eighteenth century, when the relief became part of the collection of Lord Lansdowne and was hung over a door in his London house.

by 1861 - 1863

Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd marquess of Lansdowne, 1780 - 1863 (Lansdowne House, London, England), by inheritance to his heirs, 1863.

1863 - 1866

Henry Thomas Petty-Fitzmaurice, 4th Marquess of Lansdowne, British, 1816 - 1866, by inheritance to his heirs, 1866.

1866 - 1927

Henry Charles Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th marquess of Lansdowne, 1845 - 1927, by inheritance to his heirs, 1927.

1927 - 1936

Henry William Edmund Petty-Fitzmaurice, 6th marquess of Lansdowne, British, 1872 - 1936 (Bowood House, Wiltshire, England) [offered for sale, The Celebrated Collection of Ancient Marbles: Property of the Most Honourable the Marquess of Lansdowne, Christie's, March 5, 1930, lot 100, bought back into the Lansdowne Collection and transferred to Bowood House, Wiltshire, England.], by inheritance to his heirs, 1936.

1936 - 1944

Charles Hope Petty-Fitzmaurice, 7th Marquess of Lansdowne, British, 1917 - 1944, by inheritance to his heirs, 1944.

1944 - 1972

George John Charles Mercer Nairne Petty-Fitzmaurice, 8th marquess of Lansdowne, 1912 - 1999 (Bowood House, Wiltshire, England) [sold, Egyptian, Western Asiatic, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Ancient Jewellery, Isnik and Islamic Pottery, Sotheby's, London, December 4, 1972, lot 128, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past (August 23, 2003 to December 5, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 14 to December 5, 2004
Pergamon and the Art of the Hellenistic Kingdoms (April 11 to July 17, 2016)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), April 11 to July 17, 2016

Michaelis, Adolf. "Die Privatsammlungen antiker Bildwerke in England." Archaeologische Zeitung 32 (1875), pp. 1-70, 36, no. 22.

Michaelis, Adolf Theodor Friedrich. Ancient Marbles in Great Britain (Cambridge: University Press, 1882), p. 443, no. 26.

Smith, A. H., ed. A Catalogue of the Ancient Marbles at Lansdowne House, Based Upon the Work of Adolf Michaelis. With an Appendix Containing Original Documents Relating to the Collection. (London: n.p., 1889), pp. 19-20, no. 26.

Arndt, Paul, and Walther Amelung. Photographische Einzelaufnahmen antiker Sculpturen (Munich: Verlagsanstalt für Kunst und Wissenschaft, 1893-1940), Vol. 11, p. 12.

Christie's, London. March 5, 1930, lot 100.

Vermeule, Cornelius C. "Notes on a New Edition of Michaelis: Ancient Marbles in Great Britain." American Journal of Archaeology 59 (1955), pp. 129-50, 131, Bowood no. 26.

Sotheby's, London. Sale cat. December 4, 1972, lot 128, pl. 26.

Frel, Jiří. Recent Acquisitions. Ancient Art: The J. Paul Getty Museum (Pullman, Washington: 1974), no. 10.

Frel, Jiří. Antiquities in the J. Paul Getty Museum: A Checklist; Sculpture II: Greek Portraits and Varia (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, November 1979), addendum, p. 44, no. 87bis and p. 46 (concordance: wrongly cited in both as 73.AA.159).

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Greek Funerary Sculpture: Catalogue of the Collections at the Getty Villa (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 125-29, cat. no. 46.

Nagle, D. Brendan, and Stanley M. Burstein. Readings in Greek History: Sources and Interpretations (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 298, fig. 8.5.

Gkikaki, Mairi. "Die weiblichen Frisuren auf den Münzen und in der Grossplastik der klassischen und hellenistischen Zeit: Typen und Ikonologie." (Rahden: Verlag Marie Leidorf, 2014), pp. 19-20, 59, cat. Ha G5.

Leopardi, Giacomo. "1824: Recanati, or Dialogue between Fashion and Death." Lapham's Quarterly 8, no. 4 (Fall 2015), pp. 101-103, pp. 101-103, 103.

Picón, Carlos A. and Seán Hemingway, eds. Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2016), p. 267, no. 210, ill., entry by Jacquelyn Helene Clements.

Angelicoussis, Elizabeth. Reconstructing the Lansdowne Collection of Classical Marbles. 2 vols. (Munich: Hirmer Verlag GmbH, 2017), Vol. 1, pp. 65-66. 75, 112 fn. 130; vol. 2, pp. 390-393, no. 68, figs. 68.1-68.5.

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