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A ROMAN MARBLE SARCOPHAGUS PANEL
THE PROPERTY OF A SWISS COLLECTOR
A ROMAN MARBLE SARCOPHAGUS PANEL

CIRCA MID 2ND CENTURY A.D.

Details
A ROMAN MARBLE SARCOPHAGUS PANEL
CIRCA MID 2ND CENTURY A.D.
Depicting four sensuous nude Nereids each reclining on a dolphin upon the foamy sea, each dolphin with a mantle draped over its back, with four Cupids flying above, one presenting a shield, two offering a garland, and one carrying a torch
75 5/8 in. (192.1 cm.) long
Provenance
with Donati Arte Classica, Lugano, circa 1980.

Lot Essay

The presence of the shield held by one of the Cupids suggests that this scene represents Thetis and her sister Nereids bringing new armor to Achilles in Troy after the death of Patroklos (Iliad, book 18), with the Nereid to the far left perhaps representing Thetis herself. For a related sarcophagus panel, now in the Vatican Museums, on which four Nereids are similarly reclining on dolphins, with one in the center carrying Achilles' helmet, see no. 238 in Koch and Sichtermann, Römische Sarkophage.
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