The J. Paul Getty Museum

Kline Monument with a Reclining Girl

Object Details


Kline Monument with a Reclining Girl






Roman Empire (Place Created)


A.D. 120–140



Object Number:



38 × 47 × 141 cm (14 15/16 × 18 1/2 × 55 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

Propped up on her elbow, a girl lies on a kline or couch, petting her small dog and looking at her two dolls, which lie at the foot of the couch. The careful attention given to carving the girl's face as a portrait contrasts with the simplified treatment of her body, whose proportions have been elongated to fill the available space. Her hairstyle dates the work to the time of the emperor Hadrian.

On this funerary sculpture, the child appears with her playthings, showing her in eternity with the things she enjoyed in life. This imagery, drawn from everyday life, differs from the mythological allegories often used on sarcophagi. A small sleeping Cupid, a symbol of premature death, is carved in relief on the top of the couch back.

Beginning in the Augustan period, kline monuments were placed in tombs, either in niches or on flat bases. Eventually, as Roman funerary practices changed, these sculptures began to be used as lids for sarcophagi. This piece has grooves on the underside that would have fit the walls of a sarcophagus; it is the earliest surviving example of such a use.

- 1973

Robin Symes, Limited, Founded 1977, dissolved 2005 (London, England), by partial credit and partial purchase, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1973.
Source: Note: head (with earring [80.AM.111]) advertised in (Symes, Robin, Ancient Art (1971)].

I, Claudia: Women in Ancient Rome (September 6, 1996 to June 15, 1997)
  • Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven), September 6 to December 1, 1996
  • San Antonio Museum of Art (San Antonio), December 22, 1996 to March 2, 1997
  • North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh), April 6 to June 15, 1997

Symes, Robin. Ancient Art (dealer cat.). (London: n.p., 1971), no. 17 (ill. head only, wearing gold earring).

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), p. 43, ill.

Grant, Michael. "Roman Jewelry." Mankind: the Magazine of Popular History. 5 no. 10 (1976), p. 2 [inside front cover], ill.

Wrede, Henning. "Stadtroemische Monumente, Urnen und Sarkophage des Klinentypus in den beiden ersten Jahrhunderten n. Chr.," Archaeologischer Anzeiger 1977, pp. 395-431, pp. 412, 426, n. 263.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), p. 50.

Frel, Jirí. In collaboration with Sandra Knudsen Morgan. Roman Portraits in the Getty Museum. Exh. cat. for "Caesars and Citizens," Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, April 26-July 12, 1981, pp. 64-65, 126, no. 50, ill.

Harsch transports advertisement. Le Monde des Cesars exh. cat. (1982), n.p., ill. [head].

Boucher, Jean-Paul. "L'epitaphe d'Helene." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal vol. 10 (1982), pp. 121-122, fig. 2. Incorrectly cited as 79.AB.30 under the illustration.

Koch, Guntram and Helmut Sichtermann. Roemische Sarkophage (Munich: 1982), p. 60.

Koch, Guntram, with Karol Wight. Roman Funerary Sculpture: Catalogue of the Collections (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), pp. 11-13, no. 4, ill.

Wrede, Henning. "Der Sarkophagdeckel eines Maedchens in Malibu und die fruehen Klinensarkophage Roms, Athens und Kleinasiens," Roman Funerary Monuments in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1. Occasional Papers on Antiquities, 6 (1990), pp. 15-46, figs. 1a-e, 2.

Dixon, Suzanne. The Roman Family. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), pl. 22. Without inv. no.

Herrmann, Jr. J.J. "Exportation of Dolomitic Marble from Thasos: Evidence from European and North American Collections." In Ancient Stones: Quarrying, Trade and Provenance. Marc Waelkens et al., eds. (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1992), p. 94.

Kleiner, Diana E. E., and Susan B. Matheson. I Claudia. Women in Ancient Rome (ex. cat.). Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven CT, Sept. 6-Dec. 1, 1996; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio TX, Jan. 3-March 9, 1997; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC, April 6-June 15, 1997. New Haven: 1996, pp. 195-96, ill.

Huskinson, Janet. Roman Children's Sarcophagi: Their Decoration and its Social Significance (Oxford: Clarendon, 1996), 23 f., no. 1.46.

Bodel, John, and Stephen Tracy. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist (New York: American Academy in Rome, 1997), p. 14.

Dimas, Stephanie. Untersuchungen zur Themenwahl und Bildgestaltung auf romischen Kindersarkophagen (Munster, 1998), 360, no. 578.

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Looking at Greek and Roman Sculpture in Stone (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), pp. 110, ill.

Harden, Alastair. "Animals in Classical Art." In The Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life. Gordon L. Campbell, ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), p. 46.

Fittschen, Klaus, and Paul Zanker. Katalog der römischen Porträts in den Capitolinischen Museen und den anderen kommunalen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom, vol. 4: Kinderbildnisse etc. (Berlin : de Gruyter, 2014), p. 25, no. 25a, n. 7.