Painted limestone funerary stele with a seated man and two standing figures

Period: Early Hellenistic

Date: late 4th–early 3rd century B.C.

Culture: Greek

Medium: Limestone, paint

Dimensions: H.: 29 1/8 x 5 1/4 in. (74 x 13.3 cm)

Classification: Miscellaneous-Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904

Accession Number: 04.17.2


A man with ochre flesh and pale yellow garment is seated in the center on a raised stool. In a traditional gesture of farewell, he clasps the hand of a tall woman dressed in a pale chiton and himation. Another man wearing a dark violet himation stands behind him. The background is divided vertically into two areas, grey on the left and violet on the right. The style and subject matter of this quiet, well-balanced scene derive from Greek grave reliefs of the 4th century B.C. Although this stele was found resting against the wall in an underground tomb, its large size and the tenon cut at the bottom suggest that it was originally set in a base, above ground.