Tomb Relief from Palmyra, Syria: Patrician Woman and Servant
Palmyra in Syria became a Roman colony in AD 212 and was an important trading city with Middle Eastern kingdoms. This wealthy woman is dressed in Middle Eastern fashion of tunic and pants, although she is presented in the conventional Roman grave pose of reclining on a couch. Such representations of the deceased reclining on a couch go back to Etruscan (pre-Roman) times, and represent the Greek and Roman notion that the afterlife was a sort of celestial banquet, at which one was waited on for eternity. The carving of the drapery is shallow, the folds indicated merely by striations. Such a technique for carving drapery is seen in Romanesque sculpture in European churches (12th C).
Artform: SCULPTURE, Pre-20th Century
Artist: Unknown. Early Empire
Artist Dates: 27 BCE-284 CE
Country/Culture: Ancient Rome
Date: 230 CE
Medium: crystalline limestone
Size: overall: 55.3 x 73.7 x 18.5 cm
Style: Early Empire
Museum: Cleveland Museum of Art
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