Sunday, July 10, 2011

Grave Stele of A Youth And A Little Girl (Part I)

Have you ever considered that art objects are like human beings in many ways? Like human beings, they encounter different people at different times; Like human beings, they have been many places and will have many more places to be; Like human beings, they seem to have their own inner workings and unique qualities; and like human beings, some of them have more tales to tell than others. 

Here I present you a piece of art object which ventured a quite long and interesting journey to settle into The Metropolitan Museum of Art: a Greek grave stele of a youth and a little girl with finial in the form of a sphinx.

According to Gisela Richter (classical archaeologist and art historian) who was the curator of Greek and Roman art in 1925 of the Metropolitan Museum of Ar, a tall marble archaic relief stele decorated with a youth and a little girl, together with its inscribed base was acquired for the museum in 1911. On the top of the stele there were three visible paws, evidently of a finial in the form of sphinx (the possibility of a lion was not denied). Almost twenty years later a photograph of a sphinx was shown to Gisela Richter and she realized there was a link between this sphinx and the grave stele of a youth and a little girl. When the sphinx came to the museum they were a perfect match. It was concluded that the sphinx belonged to the stele. Years later, several pieces belonging to the youth's body were found in the National Museum of Athens. When the reconstruction was done, the structure stood over thirteen feet high.

Considering everything, this grave stele has become the most remarkable example of its kind that survived from the Archaic period to our day.

Continue to read the part II

Department of Greek and Roman art. "Greek Art: From Prehistoric To Classical". Heilbrunn Timeline Of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
"Grave stele of a youth and a little girl [Greek, Attic] (11.185a-c,f,g)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Image Copyrights 
Photographs of works of art were taken by The Photograph Studio, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, unless otherwise noted below.

1 comment:

  1. awesome analogies and a lovely read! Keep up the good work!