Painted limestone funerary stele with a woman in childbirth

Period: Early Hellenistic

Date: late 4th–early 3rd century B.C.

Culture: Greek

Medium: Limestone, paint

Dimensions: H.: 29 in. (73.7 cm)
Other: 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm)

Classification: Miscellaneous-Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904

Accession Number: 04.17.1


A woman falls back on a fabric-covered chair, her lower body draped in a red mantle with pink border and a white robe, her upper body exposed. She is supported by two female attendants, one on either side. The woman at left holds her right arm while another woman standing behind her supports her under the left arm. Both attendants wear white robes covered with brown mantles.
This scene of physical duress depicts a woman dying in childbirth. Such stark expressions of physical grief and suffering, though generally uncommon in Greek art of this period, are evident in a small group of sculpted late Classical grave stelai with this subject.