Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant

Object Details

Title:

Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

East Greek

Date:

about 100 B.C.

Medium:

Marble

Dimensions:

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

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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. Also 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. These alterations may have occurred in 1770 when the relief became part of the collection of Lord Lansdowne and was hung over a door in his London house.

Provenance
- 1805

William Petty-Fitzmaurice, second earl of Shelburne, first marquess of Lansdowne, 1737 - 1805 (Lansdowne House, London, England), acquired from his estate by his son, John Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 1805.

1805 - 1809

John Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, second marquess of Lansdowne, 1765 - 1809 (Lansdowne House, London, England), by inheritance to his wife, Mary Arabella Petty, 1809.

1809 - 1810

Mary Arabella Petty, marchioness of Lansdowne, d. 1833 (Lansdowne House, London, England), sold to her brother-in-law, Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 1810.

1810 -

Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, third marquess of Lansdowne, 1780 - 1863 (Lansdowne House, London, England)

by 1930

Henry William Edmund Petty-Fitzmaurice, sixth 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.]

- 1972

George John Charles Mercer Nairne Petty-Fitzmaurice, eighth 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.]

Exhibitions
Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past (August 23, 2003 to December 5, 2004) (Woman with Attendant)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 14 to December 5, 2004
Bibliography

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. 1882. p. 443, no. 26.

Arndt, Paul, and Walter Amelung. Photographische Einzelaufnahmen antiker Skulpturen. Munich: 1893-1940. XI, p. 12.

Christie's, London. Sale cat., 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. 129-150. p. 131, under Bowood, no. 26.

Sotheby's, London. Sale cat., December 4, 1972. lot no. 128, pl. 26.

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

Frel, Jirí. Antiquities in the J. Paul Getty Museum. A Checklist. Sculpture II. Greek Portraits and Varia. Malibu: 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.