Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Ten marble fragments of the Great Eleusinian Relief

Period:
Early Imperial, Augustan
Date:
ca. 27 B.C.–A.D. 14
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
H. 89 3/8 in. (227 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1914
Accession Number:
14.130.9
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 153
National Museum, Athens. The ten fragments have been set into a cast of the original relief.

Copy of a Greek marble relief of ca. 450–425 B.C. found at Eleusis and now in the

Demeter, the goddess of agricultural abundance, stands at the left, clad in a peplos and himation (cloak) and holding a scepter. At the right is Persephone, her daughter and the wife of Hades, the god of the underworld. She is dressed in a chiton and himation. Each goddess extends her right hand toward a nude youth, but it is no longer possible to determine what they held. The boy is thought to be Triptolemos, who was sent by Demeter to teach men how to cultivate grain. On contemporary Athenian vases, he is usually shown as a bearded adult seated in a winged chariot about to set out on his civilizing mission. The original marble relief was found at the sanctuary of Demeter at Eleusis, the site of the Eleusinian mysteries, a secret cult that was famous throughout antiquity.
The original Greek work and a number of Roman copies survive. Here the ten Roman fragments are embedded in a cast of the Greek relief. Compared to the original, the execution of the hair and drapery in the copy is sharper and accords with the style current in Augustan art.
Said to have been found in Rome (Richter 1935, pp. 216, 219)

[Until 1914, with Alfredo Barsanti, Rome]; acquired in November 1914, purchased from A. Barsanti, Rome.
Seyffert, Oskar. 1902[1891]. A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities: Mythology, Religion, Literature & Art, 7th edn. p. 177, London: Swan Sonnenscheon and Co., Lim.

Salmi, Mario. 1914. "Architectura Romanica in Mugello." Bollettino d' Arte, 8(4): p. 32 n. 6932.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1935. "A Roman Copy of the Eleusinian Relief." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 30 (11): pp. 216-220, figs. 1, 3-4.

Art News. 1935. "Reconstructed Copy of Eleusinian Relief at the Metropolitan." Art News, 34. p. 8.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1937. A Guide to the Collections. no. 4, p. 36, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1937. "A Roman Copy of the Eleusinian Relief." Archaiologike Ephemeris, : pp. 20-26, figs. 2, 3, pls. 1-4.

Götze, Heinz. 1938. "Die Attischen Dreifigurenreliefs." Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung, 53: pp. 225, 249 (note 2), 251 (note 1).

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1939. A Guide to the Collections. p. 37, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Schrader, H. 1940. "Agorakritos." Wiener Jahreshefte, 32: 169ff.

Lippold, Georg. 1950. "Die griechische Plastik." Handbuch der Archäologie, Vol. 3, Walter G.A. Otto and Reinhard Herbig, eds. p. 160 n. 5, Munich: Beck.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1951. Three Critical Periods in Greek Sculpture. p. 42, fig. 75, Oxford.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 136, 276, pl. 116a, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 34, pp. 27-28, pl. 32a, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Dohrn, Tobias. 1957. Attische Plastik vom Tode des Phidias bis zum Wirken der grossen Meister des 4. Jahrhunderts v. Chr.. pp. 48, 226, n. 37, Krefeld: Scherpe-Verlag.

Arias, P.E. 1960. "Demetra." Enciclopedia dell'arte antica, classica e orientale, Vol. 3. p. 64, Rome: Instituto della Enciclopedia Italiana.

Richter, Gisela Marie Augusta. 1960. "Attici e beotici centri e tradizioni." Enciclopedia Universale dell’Arte, Massimo Pallottino, ed. column 168, Venezia: Istituto per la Collaborazione Culturale.

Budde, Ludwig and Richard Vaughan Nicholls. 1964. A Catalogue of the Greek and Roman Sculpture in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. p. 25, n. 3, Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum.

Schneider, L. 1973. "Das Grosse Eleusinische Relief und seine Kopien." Antike Plastik, Vol. 12. pp. 110ff., Abb. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 15-20; Taf. 32, 33b, 34b, 35, 36b-39b, Berlin: Gebr. Mann.

Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. pp. 314, 641, n. 41, Cambridge, England.

Thimme, Jürgen. 1976. Kunst und Kultur der Kykladeninseln im 3. Jahrtausend v. Chr.: Ausstellung unter d. Patronat des International Council of Museums ICOM im Karlsruher Schloss vom 25. Juni-10. Oktober 1976. no. 44, pp. 68-69, Karlsruhe: Müller.

Bieber, Margarete. 1977. Ancient Copies: Contributions to the History of Greek and Roman Art. pp. 29, 36, fig. 37, n. 12 (p. 36), New York: New York University Press.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Froning, Heide. 1981. Marmor-Schmuckreliefs mit griechischen Mythen im 1 Jh. v. Chr.: Unterzuchungen zu Chronologie und Funktion. pp. 4, 55, 109, Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Ridgway, Brunilde Sismondo. 1981. Fifth Century Styles in Greek Sculpture. p. 141, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Mayor, A. Hyatt. 1984. Artists & Anatomists. pp. 31-32, fig. 19, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1986. Atherion-Eros, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 3. Demeter, no. 375, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. Greece and Rome. no. 44, pp. 68-69, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1994. Oidipous-Theseus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 7. Ploutos, no. 13, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1997. Thespiades-Zodiacus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 8. Triptolemos, no. 13, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Harrison, Evelyn B. 2000. "Eumolpos Arrives in Eleusis." Hesperia, 69 (3): pp. 268-269, fig. 2.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 133, pp. 121, 431, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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