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image M755

Fragment of a Greek architectural frieze relief depicting a running amazon.

5th century BC to early 4th century BC

Pentelic marble or other Greek mainland marble

Height: 27cm
Width: 18cm
Thickness: 7cm

Museum number: M755

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 279help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

Against a flat, finished surface background the figure appears to be running to her right, so that the folds of her chiton flutter lightly about her waist and behind her back. The chiton is arranged in a pleated overfold about the waist and is drawn up loosely between her exposed breasts to the left shoulder. The stump of her right arm, which was extended to the right, remains; the head, which is missing as is all below the abdomen, was probably turned to the figure's left.

The sensitive carving and almost studied refinement of the figure and especially the delicately arranged, windblown, drapery suggest that this fragment is late fifth or earlier fourth century Greek work. The background from which the figure is carved indicates a one-piece panel rather than the separate attachments of the Erectheum frieze, and the strong sense of motion conveyed by the figure and the drapery points to an architectural frieze band with possibly athletic or combative figures. The cataloguer (i.e. Vermeule) has been unsuccessful in linking the fragment with any known monument between the period of the Erectheum and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (420-350 BC), but publication of the piece may lead to its identification. A provenance such as the Athenian Acropolis seems not unlikely and the work is certainly close in every respect to that of the frieze of the Temple of Athens Nike.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unrecorded

Literature

A. Michaelis, Ancient Marbles in Great Britain, trans. C.A.M. Fennell, Cambridge, 1882, p. 476, no. 18 (and reference to a cast of this piece in the British Museum).


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