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Fragment of votive relief

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


This fragment of the left side and the lower corner of a relief is made of white marble. The head of the central figure is worn. Traces of red colour in the eye can be discerned with the naked eye. The fragment was examined with a magnifying glass of X 10 magnification and with Visible Induced Luminescence (VIL). The VIL-image showes a small concentration of Egyptian blue shining bright white on the sleeve.

Description of object

A short-haired, young man dressed in a woman’s chiton and cloak is carrying a full mask of a worried looking, mature woman by a strap in the wig. He is a tragic actor performing the role of a heroine in a tragedy. The motif is rare, only a relief from Piraeus with actors and muses surrounding Dionysos is comparable. The relief may have been dedicated as a homage to a successful playwright. The fragment shows the left side and lower corner of a stele. The head of the actor is worn.

Choice of methods

Visual examination

  • Macroscopic
  • Microscopic in situ

Technical imaging

  • VIL

Visual examination

Traces of red colour is found in the eye.

Technical imaging

VIL: Only the a small concentration of luminescent particles is shining bright white on the sleeve indicating the use of Egyptian blue.


F. Poulsen (1951), Catalogue of Ancient Sculpture in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. no. 233.

M. Moltesen (1995), Catalogue. Greece in the Classical Period. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. no. 72.

  • IN 465
  • Relief
  • Ca. 350 B.C.E.
  • Classical
  • White marble
  • Bought through P. Hartvig in Rome.
  • H. 78 cm..; W. 25 cm.

Selected photos

  • Img_6944_red
  • Detail_foto_vil
  • Detail_photo-2

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5 Macintosh