Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant

Unknownabout 100 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Lounging in a cushioned armchair, a woman reaches out to touch the lid of a shallow chest held by a servant girl on this funerary relief. The depiction of the deceased reaching out for an item held by a servant has a long history in Greek funerary art and probably alludes to the hope of continuing earthly pleasures in the afterlife. The dead woman must have come from a prominent and wealthy family. Numerous elements on the relief signal her high status, as do the scale and overall quality of the work. She wears snake bracelets, presumably gold, on her upper and lower arms. Her elaborate chair has a turned leg decorated with lions' paws and an eagle arm support. The clothes and hairstyle of the attendant characterize the young girl as a slave.

This relief has been substantially altered over the years. Originally, it took the form of a shallow naiskos, or three-sided grave monument, but three elements have been cut away: an architectural top portion, probably in the form of a pediment; the left side wall; and a lower portion that probably had an inscription. Some of these alterations may have occurred in the late eighteenth century, when the relief became part of the collection of Lord Lansdowne and was hung over a door in his London house.


  • Title: Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: about 100 B.C.
  • Location Created: (Delos?), East Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 94.6 × 120.7 × 21.6 cm (37 1/4 × 47 1/2 × 8 1/2 in.)
  • Type: Relief
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Marble
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 72.AA.159
  • Culture: East Greek
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Sculpture (Visual Works)

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