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Archaising marble relief

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


The relief is made of Carrara marble. It is assembled from five large and several smaller individual pieces. Frederik Poulsen argues (Poulsen, 1951) that the bearded man with the drawn sword on the right is missing a sword belt around the shoulder which must have been painted originally.

In 1962 a marble sample was taken in order to determine the provenance. In May, 1997 the relief was thoroughly cleaned. At that time a marble sample was taken for an isotopic analysis.

Description of object

The relief has been entirely preserved except for minor chipping. It has been assembled from five large and several smaller individual pieces.

The relief was probably intended for insertion in an architectural frame, judging by the dowel-holes on the two short sides. The figure ornamentation is executed in low relief above a base-line moulding, worked with a tooth chisel, and it consists of a complete composition enclosed at each end by the figures of two not particularly tall women, each with their hair down and with their arms raised. In the centre of the picture is a tall woman, clad in chiton and mantle, as well as head-gear. She is striding toward the right, at the same time laying her right hand on the shoulder of a bearded man with a diadem, a short cloak over his shoulders and a drawn sword in his right hand. A naked man has sunk down to the ground, trying with his right hand to stop his entrails from escaping the wound in his stomach. Behind the woman in the centre is another woman of the same height, identically dressed, except as regards the mantle.

Choice of methods

Visual examination

  • Macroscopic

Marble identification method

  • Isotopic analysis. Results: d13C, 1,92 - d18O, -2,29.


F. Poulsen (1951), Catalogue of Ancient Sculpture in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. no. 30.

M. Moltesen & M. Nielsen (1996), Catalogue. Etruria and Central Italy. 430-30 B.C. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. no. 97.

  • IN 1623
  • Relief
  • Second half of the first century B.C.E.
  • Roman Republican
  • Carrara marble
  • Bought in 1898 in Raxa, Mallorca.
  • H. 48 cm.; W. 76 cm.; D. at top 2 cm.; D. at base 8 cm.

Selected photos

  • Img_7058_red