K. J. Hewett, British, 1919 - 1994 (Bogg Farm, Ashford, Kent, England), sold to Robin Symes, 1974.
Robin Symes, Limited, founded 1977, dissolved 2005 (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1974.
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.
Open Content images tend to be large in file-size. To avoid potential data charges from your carrier, we recommend making sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading.
Not on view due to temporary Getty closure
Grave Naiskos of Apollonia
Greece (Place Created)
about 100 B.C.
Marble with polychromy
112.4 × 63.5 × 20 cm, 308.4 kg (44 1/4 × 25 × 7 7/8 in., 680 lb.)
A young girl stands within a naiskos or shallow three-sided structure on this Athenian grave monument. The inscription at the top identifies her as Apollonia, the daughter of Aristandros and Thebageneia. She wears a dress fastened by a round button at the right shoulder and belted above the waist, with a cloak over her left shoulder and platform sandals. Her hair hangs at chin length, with a braid down the center part. These features help to date the monument to about 100 B.C.
Originally, the whole relief would have been enlivened with polychromy, and traces of red paint are visible on Apollonia’s sandals. There are four holes near the top of the grave monument, two above the columns, and two in the upper corners of the field. These would have been used to hang funerary wreaths, and one of the holes still holds part of an iron peg. The bottom of the naiskos under Apollonia's feet was left rough to be embedded in a base.
Apollonia holds a pomegranate and reaches up to stroke a dove perched on a tall pillar. The pomegranate had a long history as funerary symbol for the ancient Greeks. In mythology, after being kidnapped by Hades, Persephone had to remain in the underworld for part of the year because she had consumed a pomegranate seed. Birds frequently appear with little girls in funerary sculpture, possibly as a sentimental reference to a favorite pet, or perhaps with a deeper symbolic meaning related to the correlation of the soul with a bird in Greek thought.
Le Dinahet, M.-T., and Mouret, N., "Les Steles funeraires grecques: Etudes stylistiques et iconographiques, annees 1980-1992," Topoi 3 (1993): 124-5, p. 128, no. 61.
Frel, Jiří. Recent Acquisitions. Ancient Art: The J. Paul Getty Museum (Pullman, Washington: 1974), no. 11.
Frel, Jiří. Antiquities in the J. Paul Getty Museum: A Checklist; Sculpture I: Greek Originals (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1979), p. 24, no. 92.
Trillmich, W. Das Torlonia-Mädchen, Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften Göttingen 99 (1976), p. 46 n. 157.
Vermeule, Cornelius C. Greek and Roman Sculpture in America (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 1981), p. 202, no. 167.
Lymperopoulos, St. G. Untersuchungen zu den nachklassischen attischen Grabreliefs unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Kaiserzeit. Diss Hamburg 1985, pp. 90, 101, 132, 136, 391 no. G 1 ("1st half of 1st c. BC").
Armstrong, A. H. Classical Mediterranean Spirituality (London: SCM Press, 1986), p. 370, fig. 29.
Butz, Patricia. Exequial paleographics: A catalogue of the later inscriptions in Greek on the funerary stones of the J. Paul Getty Museum. MA thesis. (University of Southern California, 1987), pp. 75-82, pl. IV, sheet 4, figs. 1-2.
Spiliopoulou-Donderer, Ioanna. "Das Grabrelief der Apollonia im J. Paul Getty Museum," Roman Funerary Mounuments in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1. Occasional Papers on Antiquities, 6 (1990), pp. 5-14, figs. 1a-b.
Osborne, M.J., and Byrne, S.G., eds., A Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, vol.2, Attica (Oxford, 1994) p. 324, pp. 44, 51.
Bodel, John, and Stephen Tracy. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist (New York: American Academy in Rome, 1997), p. 6.
Grossman, Janet Burnett. "Hellenistic Sculpted Funerary Monuments from the Athenian Agora". In Regional Schools in Hellenistic Sculpture, Palagia, Olga, ed. (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 1998), fig. 11, pp. 79-80, fig. 11.
Ridgway, Brunhilde. Hellenistic Sculpture III: The Styles of ca. 100-31 B.C. (Madison: 2002), p. 217, plates 96a-b.
Neils, Jenifer and John H. Oakley, eds. Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past, exh. cat. (Hanover, NH: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College).
Spivey, Nigel and Squire, Michael. Panorama of the Classical World (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2004), p. 19, fig. 20.
Blume, Clarissa. Polychromie Hellenistischer Skulptur: Ausführung, Instandhaltung und Botschaften. (Petersberg : Michael Imhof Verlag, 2015), p. 181, cat. no. 16, pl. 47.
Klinger, Sonia. "Fauna in the World of Women in Ancient Greece and Some Observations on the Animal Votives at the Demeter and Kore Sanctuary at Acrocorinth." In Pflanzen und Tiere auf Griechischen Vasen, ed. by C. Lang-Auinger and E. Trinkl. (Vienna: Verlag der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2015), 36.