The Art Institute of Chicago
Relief Panel, 1st century A.D.
58.8 x 46.9 x 5 cm (23 1/4 x 18 3/8 x 2 in.)
Katherine K. Adler Memorial Fund; restricted gift of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Bro, the Classical Art Society, and Mr. and Mrs. Walter Alexander, 1990.87
Ancient and Byzantine Art
During the early Roman Empire, terracotta relief panels were a popular form of interior decoration for houses, public baths, and tombs. The mold-made reliefs, which could be rapidly reproduced to create a decorative frieze, reflect an interest in older Greek styles. Here female temple attendants, whose costumes and hairstyles recall fashions worn at least 200 years earlier by the Greek occupants of southern Italy and Sicily, kneel before a tall incense burner, upon which they place an offering. The scene is bordered by an egg-and-dart pattern above and a lotus pattern below. In the background are four nail holes used for affixing the panel to the wall.
Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories