The J. Paul Getty Museum

Grave Naiskos of Demainete with an Attendant Holding a Partridge

Object Details


Grave Naiskos of Demainete with an Attendant Holding a Partridge






Greece (Attica) (Place Created)


about 310 B.C.



Object Number:



96.5 × 47.5 × 15 cm, 80.3 kg (38 × 18 11/16 × 5 7/8 in., 177 lb.)

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Object Description

Taking the form of a shallow naiskos, or three‑sided funerary monument, this Greek relief sculpture once marked the grave of a little girl. The girl takes up virtually the full height of the relief, while a smaller figure is recognizable as an enslaved person by her diminutive scale, short hair and long‑sleeved garment. The inscription running over their heads identifies the girl as Demainete, the daughter of Prokles. Both Demainete's hairstyle and the shoulder cords of her dress are signs of her youth. 

The girl holds a bird in her now damaged right hand and her attendant cradles another large, fat bird, probably a partridge. Although the meaning is not known for certain, young girls frequently hold birds on funerary monuments. The depiction may be a simple reference to a beloved pet, or it may have a deeper symbolic meaning representing the life or soul of the child. The size of the monument, the quality of the carving, and the individual touches included, such as the two types of birds, indicate that Demainete came from a wealthy and prominent Athenian family.

- 1975

Nicolas Koutoulakis, 1910 - 1996 (Geneva, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975.

Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past (August 23, 2003 to December 5, 2004)
  • Hood Museum of Art (Hanover), August 23 to December 14, 2003
  • Cincinnati Art Museum (Cincinnati), May 21 to August 1, 2004
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 14 to December 5, 2004

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