Funerary Relief Of A Woman And Two Children
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1908.3
Title
Funerary Relief of a Woman and Two Children
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture, bust
Date
c. 150 CE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Palmyra (Syria)
Period
Roman Imperial period, Middle
Culture
Roman
Location
Level 3, Room 3710, North Arcade
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Limestone
Technique
Carved
Dimensions
71.5 cm h x 56.5 cm w x 27 cm d (28 1/8 x 22 1/4 x 10 5/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: Ba'altega, daughter of Hairan. Alas! Si'mon her son.; Hairan, her son.
Provenance
Purchased by Richard Norton in Damascus in the spring of 1908.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Alden Sampson, Richard Norton, and Edward W. Forbes
Accession Year
1908
Object Number
1908.3
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Descriptions

Published Catalogue Text: Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums , written 1990
The relief depicts a woman in elaborate costume flanked by two children above, left and right. The monument has been dated by Harald Ingholt. The woman in the center is touching the edge of her veil with the usual gesture of her raised right hand; she holds a ceremonial object, like a cord with pomegranate tassels, against her upper stomach with the left hand. She wears jewelry where it is possible for display, from gold bands in the hair to triple-pendant earrings, to four different types of necklaces, to bracelets on both wrists, and, finally, to rings on her fingers.

The children behind her seem to be a young girl with a necklace or apron of fruits, on her right, and a slightly older boy on her left, a ceremonial tassel in his left hand.

There are three inscriptions on the relief. The one belonging to the woman is located to the right of the veil and extends to the left side of the head of the child on the right. It reads "daughter of Hayran, Alas!" The inscription to the right of the child on the right, belongs to that child and reads "Hayran, her son." The inscription on the left, belonging to the child on the left, reads "Simon, her son."

Cornelius Vermeule and Amy Brauer

Publication History

Waldemar Déonna, "Collections archeologiques et historiques, Collections Fol, Salle des Armures, Collections lapidaires", Genava, ville de Geneve bulletin du Musee d'Art et d'Histoire (1923), vol. I, p. 52

Waldemar Déonna, "Monuments Orientaux du Musee de Geneve", Syria, Revue d'Art Oriental et d'Archeologie (1923), no. 4, p. 231

Harald Ingholt, Studier over palmyrenske skulptur, C.A. Reitzel (Copenhagen, Denmark, 1928), pp. 132, ps 374, 158

Edward Waldo Forbes, Yankee Visionary, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1971), The Checklist, p. 150

Cornelius C. Vermeule, III, Greek and Roman Sculpture in America, University of California Press (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, 1981), p. 380, no. 329

Cornelius C. Vermeule, III and Amy Brauer, Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 163, no. 149

Stephan Wolohojian, ed., Harvard Art Museum/Handbook, exh. cat. (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008)

[Reproduction Only], Persephone, Vol. 11, No. 1, Spring 2011, p. 14.

Exhibition History

Roman Gallery Installation (long-term), Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/16/1999 - 01/20/2008

Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/22/2007 - 01/20/2008

Re-View: S422 Ancient & Byzantine Art & Numismatics, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 04/12/2008 - 06/18/2011

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Artstor Digital Library

Google Art Project

Related Works
Verification Level

4 - Best. Object is extensively researched, well described and information is vetted