This over-life-size honorific statue of a woman was found in the ancient city hall of Magnesia in Asia Minor. The woman's name was inscribed on the plinth (now lost), which may also have given the reason for the honour and the cost of the monument. Honorific sculpture of this kind played an important role in the self-representation of the Hellenistic urban élite. In order to guarantee the smooth functioning of the community, wealthy citizens had to take on honorary posts, which could entail a considerable financial burden. By the erection of a portrait sculpture in a public space the social contribution of such citizens was recognized, encouraging others to follow suit. From the third century BCE the ever more frequent granting of the right to erect these honorific statues led to the squares of Greek cities being filled with thousands of such images. This example, however, is one of the best of its kind. The fine undergarment falls in large pleats over the free leg, placed slightly to the side. The coat is wrapped tightly around the body and pulled over the head. The subtle play of the drapery throughout testifies to the sculptor's mastery of his craft.


  • Title: A lady from Magnesia
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: -100/-75
  • Location: Meander
  • Physical Dimensions: h200 cm
  • Type: Statue
  • Medium: Marble
  • Inv.-No.: Sk 1904
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-814319
  • External link: Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Scala Publishers / Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Andreas Scholl || Photo: © b p k - || Photo Agency / Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Johannes Laurentius
  • Collection: Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

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