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Priestess burning incense

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The elderly woman is garbed as a priestess and is engaged in an act of sacrifice. Her missing right hand is to be imagined as scattering grains of incense, taken from a box held in her left hand, upon a small cylindrical altar, or incense burner, part of which is still to be seen at her right...

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1902: found in 1902 at Pozzuoli, in a ruined, vaulted tomb (see Notizie degli Scavi 1902, pp. 57-66 for plan of tomb and account of the find); by 1904: purchased in Naples by Mrs. Edward D. Brandegee, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts); purchased by MFA from Mrs. Brandegee, October 1, 1934, for $ 11,500.00

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912

Roman, Imperial Period, about A.D. 125–130

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 355; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 115 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 046.


Overall: 180 x 60 x 41.5 cm, 830 kg (70 7/8 x 23 5/8 x 16 5/16 in., 1829.82 lb.) Block (White marble base): 14 x 52.7 x 64.8 cm (5 1/2 x 20 3/4 x 25 1/2 in.) Case (painted wooden base ): 76.8 x 59.4 x 71.4 cm (30 1/4 x 23 3/8 x 28 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, from the Greek island of Paros


The Ancient World