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Two fragments of a relief

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


The two relief fragments are made of a white, fine-grained marble with a golden patina, probably Pentelic. There are no traces of original paint to be observed with the naked eye. The fragments have been examined with Visible Induced Luminescence, and showed traces of Egyptian blue on the chair, the large mantle, the hand and the background.

In July 1993 the relief fragments where thoroughly cleaned.

Description of object

a. Head and shoulders of a standing woman in relief. She is turning her face down to her left shoulder while hunching her shoulders up. She is wearing a thin chiton which comes down over her right shoulder; her hair seems to be gathered at the neck and over it she is wearing a headdress called a kekryfalos which comes down over the forehead and covers the entire head. There is a spherical ornament hanging from her ear lobe. The profile is very rounded, and the eye large, but only lightly emphasised.

b. The lower part of the body of a man, who is sitting on a finely decorated klismos with curved legs and back, as well as a fine palmette under the seat. Inasmuch as the middle of the stomach can be seen on the naked upper part of the body, the body itself appears to be turned, and the left hand is angled back for support on the seat. Around the lower part of the body he is wearing a large mantle which falls in wild, elegant folds. On his feet which are resting on the curved legs of the chair he wears finely modelled sandals. Just in front of his knee are the traces of a staff he is supporting with his right hand. a. comprises a part of the relief’s upper edge, while b. represents the lower part of the relief’s right side, which seems to have been intentionally broken in pieces. The rear side has been finely worked with a rasp, but on a. and the upper part of b. this surface has been attacked with a point chisel; the same applies to s 5 cm border at the bottom where a curving part seems to have hacked away. This is, therefore, a block that has been used.

Choice of methods

Visual examination

  • Macroscopic

Technical imaging

  • VIL

Marble identification method

  • Naked eye: White, fine-grained marble with a golden patina, probably Pentelic.

Technical imaging

In April, 2010, the fragments where examined using VIL. Traces of Egyptian blue were found on the chair, the large mantle, the hand and the background.


F. Poulsen 1951, Catalogue of Ancient Sculpture in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. No. 196.

J.S. Østergaard 1996, Catalogue. Imperial Rome. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. No. 87.

  • IN 459
  • Relief
  • 1st century B.C.E.
  • Roman Republican
  • White marble
  • Bought in 1888 through the art-dealer Albericci.
  • a. H. 0.2 cm.; W. 0.25. cm.; b. H. 0.31 cm.; W. 0.34 cm.; thickness at the edge: 0.05 cm.

Selected photos

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