This funerary monument, known as a grave stela takes the form of a naiskos. This particular type of stela is composed of several elements, comprising a scene carved in high-relief framed by architectural elements. The present naiskos has flanking antae surmounted by an arch above which a triangular pediment is mounted, centered by a plain circular shield, adorned with palmette acroteria. The disk in the centre of the pediment may represent a shield or an astral symbol. Alternatively, it may be connected with Isis, whose worship was widespread from the Hellenistic period onwards. The recessed central panel sculpted in high-relief shows three persons. The central figure, likely the deceased, is portrayed in a larger scale than the surrounding figures, a very common feature. He's draped in a himation over a short-sleeved chiton and in his left hand he's holding a large foliate branch and leaning it against his shoulder. Next to him on the left a bearded man, also draped in a himation over a short-sleeved chiton, can be seen. On the right a woman is standing, her himation pulled over her head as a veil. Their heads are turned towards the deceased. At their feet two children can be seen. The one to the left is portrayed nude, holding the drapery of the deceased with his left hand and a vessel in his right.
The naiskos no longer bears any epigraphical traces revealing the identity of the person to whom it was dedicated. Above the head of the central figure the stela still carries the vague remainders of original pigment delineating a faded red cross visible in the background of the high-relief. As is the case for the majority of the extant funerary monument, it is impossibly to precisely date the present stela. However, the style of drapery, the proportions of the figures depicted, the particular type of monument, its composition and the particular details of its ornamental elements reveal an origin dating to the Late Classical period.
Private Collection U.S.A.
Sotheby’s London, 8th December 1994
Grossmann, J.B., Greek Funerary Sculpture: Catalogue of the Collections at the Getty Villa, Los Angeles, 2001.
Boardman, J., Greek Sculpture: The Late Classical Period, London, 1995.