The back is rough, the edges partially smoothed. The upper right-hand corner is broken off; the surface is worn and has been cleaned; the faces of Neoptolemos and Hekabe are somewhat damaged. Neoptolemos drags King Priam from the altar of the palace at Troy and prepares to kill the old man with a...
The back is rough, the edges partially smoothed. The upper right-hand corner is broken off; the surface is worn and has been cleaned; the faces of Neoptolemos and Hekabe are somewhat damaged. Neoptolemos drags King Priam from the altar of the palace at Troy and prepares to kill the old man with a short sword. Hekabe, kneeling on the altar behind Priam, stretches out her arms in horror and in an appeal for mercy. Neoptolemos wears a plumed helmet and a mantle and carries a large, round shield on his left arm. Priam is clothed in a Persian cap, a sleeveless chiton, and a himation about his lower limbs, while Hekabe is dressed as an Athenian goddess of the Pheidian period and later, Doric chiton with overfold and himation drawn up over the back of her head. The relief was used by a Roman lady to decorate her tomb. The inscription on the side of the altar reads: AVRELIASECVNDA SEVIVA. FECIT.SIBI.ET.SV IS (these two letters on the bottom molding) "Aurelia Secunda in her lifetime made it for herself and her family." The inscription is dated about A.D. 200. The relief must date in the late Republic or early imperial period, being based on a work of sculpture or painting made in Greece in the late fifth century B.C. The style has been long recognized as that of the frieze of the temple of Apollo at Bassae. Although allegedly found near Florence, the death of Priam relief was probably carved in Rome or southern Italy.
Known since the mid-18th century; said to have been found near Florence, below Fiesole, and to have been in the Palazzo Panciatichi, in Florence; by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; January 19, 1904: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 74,100.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 04.6-04.37)
Henry Lillie Pierce Fund
Greco-Roman, Hellenistic or Early Imperial Period, about 50 B.C.–A.D.50
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 234; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 112 (additional published references).
Height x width x depth: 38 x 49 x 5 cm (14 15/16 x 19 5/16 x 1 15/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble, from mainland Greece (Attic?)