Roman Marble Funerary Stele

Culture: Roman Empire
Period: 2nd century A.D.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: 90 cm high
Price: Sold
Ref: 3159
Provenance: Kunst der Antike Axel G. Weber, Cologne. Sold on 31 January 1979 to Dr. Klaus Morkramer, Oberhausen. Thence Galerie Antiken-Kabinett Gackstätter, Frankfurt. With a handwritten certificate of Axel G. Weber. With sale confirmation from Dr. Klaus Morkramer dated 15 October 2013, as well as a certificate from the Galerie Antiken-Kabinett Gackstätter, inventory number 4462. With excerpt from the Art Loss Register.
Condition: Some small wear and restaurations on the faces and on the gable, on the bottom levelled for stability, otherwise intact.
Description: Very detailed, Roman Empire funerary stele from the western Black Sea region. There are two image areas on top of each other. The top one depicts the patron lying on a klinai. The left arm resting on a pillow, holding a drinking cup. He is handing over a wreath to his mourning veiled wife, seating on the foot end of the klinai, possibly as a symbol of his high position. In front of the klinai is a table where in total three slaves, depicted proportionally smaller, serving a banquet. On the right a slave draws wine from a krater, the center one sets the table and a female slave enters from the left with a vessel (cista) the image area. In the lower image field a man and a woman are again depicted in full size. The woman is holding a baby. Left and right from her two slaves. There are diverging opinions regarding the interpretation of the lower image area. Probably the woman died in childbed, that is why she is depicted with a baby while the man presents with his right hand the typical mourning gesture. Reference examples (e.g. a very similar stele at Christie’s – lot 123, 9 June 2011, New York) always depict scenes of the deceased’s life. Therefore it is also suggested that this is a funerary stele of a medical doctor depicted during a consultation. The stele is crowned by a gable and two akroteria on the sides.