A Roman marble sarcophagus relief fragment
Lot 285*W
A Roman marble sarcophagus relief fragment
Sold for £39,650 (US$ 64,747) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Roman marble sarcophagus relief fragment
Antonine Period, circa A.D. 161-192
Depicting a battle scene with Barbarian, a bearded barbarian in the foreground, his held tilted back and left arm reaching upwards, his torso bare with a cloak round his neck, shoulder and waist, wearing a cap on his head, behind him another bearded man in the midst of battle, his long hair flowing out behind him, wearing a tunic and trousers, holding a shield in his left arm, holding a sword in his right arm outstretched behind him ready to thrust, the legs of another figure flying through the air outstretched behind his head, 17in (43cm) maximum height, mounted

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    The Aldo Branca Collection, Ascona, Switzerland, acquired between the 1960s and 1980s.

    Literature:
    Battle sarcophagi depicting the supremacy of the Roman forces over the 'Barbarian' hordes were particularly popular in the Antonine period, with all known examples save one dated to the last three decades of the second century A.D. Cf. D. Kleiner, Roman Sculpture, Yale, 1992, pp. 301-2. Similar iconography to this sarcophagus fragment can be seen on the Column of Marcus Aurelius in Rome, demonstrating the close link between personal sarcophagi and state imperial relief sculpture at this time; both reflecting the strong military focus of the Antonine period, particularly Marcus Aurelius's rule which was largely spent on the front lines of such battles.
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