A large Roman marble sarcophagus fragment
Lot 56*W
A large Roman marble sarcophagus fragment
Sold for £60,000 (US$ 100,849) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A large Roman marble sarcophagus fragment
Circa 2nd Century A.D.
The upper rim remaining, the scene carved in high relief, depicting the hunt of the Calydonian boar, in a forest with leaves behind and three figures in front, Diana, the goddess of the hunt standing at the centre, moving to right, her head turned back and gazing upwards, holding her bow with zoomorphic terminals in her left hand, distinctively-draped in her short chiton with overfold at the waist and boots on her feet, her wavy hair centrally-parted with a top-knot and dressed with a fillet, a hound at her feet with long ears and a patterned collar, a man with a full-beard stands to her left, depicted in motion to the right, holding a crescentic double-axe over his left shoulder, with a bow tucked into his belt, a younger man standing on her right, wearing a pilos and holding a mace, their hair finely drilled, 29 x 22in (73.6 x 56cm) mounted


  • Provenance:
    Acquired in the 1960s.

    On loan to the Classics Department, University of Melbourne, Australia, March 1979 - Feb 1982. Then to the University of Melbourne, March 1988 - July 2003.

    According to Homer (Illiad, ix, 524-99), in punishment for their king failing to sacrifice to Diana, she sent a monstrous boar to terrorise the land of Calydon until the hero Meleager and his men slew the beast. The scene of the Calydonian boar hunt appears on a number of Roman sarcophagi of this period. Cf. the sarcophagus in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome: R. Calza, Antichità Di Villa Doria Pamphilj, (Rome 1977), pp. 159-60, fig. 189 a. An iconographically- similar figure of Diana can also be seen on the less finely carved Calydonian hunt sarcophagus in the Capitoline Museum (accession no. MC 917).