Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fragment of the marble stele (grave marker) of a hoplite (foot soldier)

ca. 525–515 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Marble, Hymettian
Overall: 55 15/16 x 20 1/8 in. (142.1 x 51.1 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1938
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 154
This grave marker commemorated a soldier, who was shown facing right, holding a spear. His lower legs, protected by greaves (shin guards), are preserved. The scene in the panel below shows a warrior mounting a quadriga (four-horse chariot), while his charioteer holds the reins. Such vehicles were used by the Mycenaean Greeks of the second millennium B.C. and are described by Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey. By the Archaic period, quadrigas were no longer used in daily life. They were driven in competition, however, for the most prestigious events at Greek games were chariot races. This scene may have been intended to recall a victory of the deceased in the apobates race in which an armed runner jumped on and off a chariot, or it may evoke the family's aristocratic lineage by depicting a legendary hero departing for the Trojan War. The panel is carved in extremely low relief; the many planes were originally differentiated with red and black paint. The greaves and spear of the large-scale figure were painted blue; the background was red. Traces of red, blue, black, and green remain on the interlaced curved lines that decorate the border of the shaft.
Said to be from Attica

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1944. Greek Painting: The Development of Pictoral Representation from Archaic to Graeco-Roman Times. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 135, 274, pl. 114a, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 16, pp. 13-14, pls. 19-20, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1961. The Archaic Gravestones of Attica. no. 45, pp. 32-3, figs. 126-8, London: Phaidon Press.

Forsyth, William Holmes and The International Confederation of Dealers in Works of Art. 1974. "Acquisitions from the Brummer Gallery." The Grand Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Sixth International Exhibition presented by C.I.N.O.A.. p. 2, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Reuterswärd, Patrik. 1980. Studien zur Polychromie der Plastik. p. 48, n. 86, Stockholm: Bokförlaget Svenska.

Woysch-Méautis, Daphné. 1982. La Représentation des Animaux et des êtres Fabuleux sur les Monuments Funéraires Grecs: de l'époque archaïque à la fin du IVe siècle av. J.-C., Cahiers d'archéologie romande de la Bibliothèque historique vaudoise, No. 21. no. 7, pp. 34, 105, pl. 3, Lausanne: Bibliothèque Historique Vaudoise.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. Greece and Rome. p. 8, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Bodel, John P. and Stephen Tracy. 1997. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist. p. 184, Rome: The American Academy in Rome.

Keesling, Catherine M. 1999. "Endoios's Painting from Themistoklean Wall." Hesperia, 68(4): p. 537 n. 133.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 68, pp. 72, 419, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lazzarini, Lorenzo and Dr. Clemente Marconi. 2014. "A New Analysis of Major Greek Sculptures in the Metropolitan Museum: Petrological and Stylistic." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 49: pp. 125, 127, fig. 27.

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