The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 1, 2024

Grave Stele (Relief)

Grave Stele (Relief)

c. 50 BCE
Location: 102C Greek

Did You Know?

The seated woman is depicted larger to visually emphasize her importance; her servant is in the background.


The multiple figures, inscription, use of perspective, and architectural frame distinguish this ambitious relief as one of the most important of its type. The Greek inscription on the base reads, “To Sbardia, also named Tate, Eumelos, son of Aphrodisios, her father, [set this up].” The deceased is shown seated on an elaborate chair. A servant girl holding a fan suggests Sbardia’s high social standing. At the bottom right corner, a hen perches on an upturned basket, a symbol of “the good life.” The stele incorporates a “springing” gable supported by engaged half columns with simplified Corinthian capitals. Other features relate to beliefs about mortality and the afterlife. Above and to the left of her chair is her winged psyche (soul) shown leaving her body. Figures of the three fates are shown in the pediment above, reminding us that human life is finite.
  • In 1986
    Private Collection, Germany
    May 23, 1991
    (Sale: Sotheby's London, May 23, 1991, no. 250)
    November 14, 1996
    (Sale: Harlan Berk, Chicago, IL, November 14, 1996, no. 661)
    December 18, 1997
    (Sale: Christie's New York, NY, December 18, 1997, no. 173)
    James E. and Elizabeth J. Ferrell, gifted to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Ludwig, Irene, Peter Ludwig, and Ernst Berger. ANTIKE KUNSTWERKE AUS DER SAMMLUNG LUDWIG 3 3. BASEL: ARCHÄOLOG. VERL., 1990. pp. 293-99
    Sotheby's (Firm). Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenaean, Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Middle Eastern and Egyptian Antiquities. 1991. no. 250
    Cremer, Marielouise. Hellenistisch-römische Grabstelen im nordwestlichen Kleinasien. Bonn: R. Habelt, 1991. p. 9, pl. 2
    Harlan J. Berk Ltd. 93rd Buy or Bid Sale. 1996. no. 661
    Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc. Antiquities. 1997. no. 173
  • {{cite web|title=Grave Stele (Relief)|url=false|author=|year=c. 50 BCE|access-date=01 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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