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second half of the eighteenth century-the
use of simple, homely themes, the adaptation of oriental models, the revival of classic
styles, and the celebration of events or
people at the moment of their popularity.
How porcelain followed the same tendencies but in a more impersonal, elegant,
and sophisticated way is suggested by the
The Museum has recently been able to
acquire what constitutes one of the desiderata of all museums-an example of the
sculpture of Greece produced in the period
of her prime. The object is a marble relief of
the second half of the fifth century B.C.representing a combat scene.' Except in the
museums of Greece and London, fifth-century sculptures are not common. For its
comparative rarity, therefore, and also for
its intrinsic beauty our new relief is a most
welcome object-one that will help the
American public to appreciate the refinement and vigor of Greek art. It has been
placed in the Sixth Greek Room (Gallery
J 6) with other works of its period, close to a
somewhat similar relief (see below).
The relief represents an episode in a battle.
A warrior, evidently a hoplite, in a belted
tunic, with a shield on his left arm and a
dagger or sword hanging from his shoulder
by a baldric, has placed one foot on his fallen
opponent and is about to deal the death
blow with his spear. The opponent, who
wears a conical helmet and a mantle down
his back, has in this moment of extremity
unsheathed his dagger and is holding it
point upward, aimed at his enemy's heart.
It is a momentary action, full of movement
and tension, and rendered even more dramatic by the suffering yet alert expression
of the fallen warrior. He knows that his own
1Acc. no. 40.11.23. Fletcher Fund. Formerly
in a collectionin Paris.Said to have beenfound
in Attica. Pentelicmarble.H. as preserved21 in.
(53.4 cm.); width at base 15 116 in. (40.5 cm.);
w. at top 1538 in. (39.1 cm.). The top portion of
the slab and the left cornerof the protruding
plinthwerebrokenoff in antiquityand are missing. An ancient break across the lower portion
causedthe loss of partof the left leg of the fallen
warrior,includingthe knee,andof somesplinters
elsewhere,which have been restoredin plaster.
The surfaceof the relief is remarkablyfresh in
some places, retainingeven some of its original
color (on shield, helmet, dagger, tunic, and
mantle); in other places the modelingis somewhat obscuredby a hardincrustation.The back
of the slab is roughlytooled with the point, except near the edges, right and left, where it is
workedwith the claw; the sides are tooled with
the claw; the bottom is worked quite roughly
with the point;the plinthalsowith the point,but
Chelsea porcelain vase recently given to the
Museum by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Eric and
also shown this month in the Room of Recent Accessions.3 This vase represents an
eel-basket with cattails growing up against
its sides and a pair of water birds with softtoned plumage at its base. Though the idea
may have been inspired by rural life, the
delicately plaited basket and the birds with
their refined colorings are indeed glorifications of the mundane.
Acc. no. 40.177.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve, and extend access to
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin
end is near, but as his last act he will try to
wound or kill his enemy.
It is noteworthy that the standing warrior-like the Athena on a late fifth-century
amphora in the Louvre2-is using the butt
end for his final blow. In a Greek spear both
ends were serviceable in battle; when the
sharp, leaf-shaped head was broken, the
spear could be reversed and the stout butt
end used with good effect. Whereas the
standing warrior's left leg is in profile, the
right leg is shown in front view with the left
malleolus in full sight. To carve in low relief
a frontal human foot, with all its five toes
showing, is a difficult feat in foreshortening.
And the artist of our relief seems to have
found it so, for the shape is confused; the
toes recede instead of projecting. Perhaps
the marble broke off at this point and not
enough material was left for carving the
lower part of the foot.
The relief is evidently a grave monument
erected to a soldier who died in battle. His
name was probably inscribed on the missing
top portion, which-to judge by other extant slabs-ended either in a horizontal
molding or in a triangular pediment, or was
rounded. We cannot, of course, compute
exactly the original height of the slab, but,
to judge by other extant examples, the
finial probably began a short distance above
the standing warrior's head. It is not necessary to reconstruct the whole length of the
spear; part of it would have been sufficient
to explain the action.
The period of the relief is not difficult to
determine. The simplified modeling of the
nude warrior's body with its few, contrasting planes and a certain lingering severity
in the rendering of the faces suggest that we
are still in the fifth century; and the treatment of the drapery with its extensive
smooth areas and its few curving ridges representing folds is that current in the last
quarter of the fifth century. The sense of
movement in the drapery, the wind-swept
folds and turned-back edges are indicative
of the same period. And so is the rhythmical
composition. Similar transparent, vivacious,
and co-ordinated draperies occur in the
frieze and metopes of the temple of Phigaleia, on the frieze and parapet of the
Athena Nike temple in Athens, on the frieze
of the Gjolbaschi monument, and on some
record reliefs of the last quarter of the fifth
century B.C.The draperies of the Parthenon
frieze (442-438 B.c.) and pediment (438431 B.C.) are denser, less revealing of the
body beneath, with the folds closer together.
On the other hand, the grave monument of
Dexileos, who fell in the battle of Corinth
in 394 B.C.,appears more advanced in style,
especially in the rendering of the faces with
their rather deep-set eyes. If we date our
new relief, therefore, toward the end of the
fifth century, about 420-400 B.C., we shall
probably not be far wrong.
There are a number of grave monuments
representing warriors, some in lively combat, which are related to our piece; for instance, the well-known one of a horseman
and fallen warrior in the Villa Albani, the
small battle scene in this Museum (placed
next to the new relief for comparison), the
standing warrior from Cairness House now
at Worcester, Lisas of Tegea now in Tatoi,
the two standingwarriors in the Piraeus,the
three figures, two with conical helmets, in
Berlin, and the single striding warriors incised on black stone in Thebes. As soldiers
and battles are comparatively rare subjects
on Greek gravestones, where scenes from
daily life and family farewells predominate,
it is natural to associate these warrior
monuments with the long-drawn-out hostilities between Athens and Sparta during
the tragic Peloponnesian War of 431-404
B.C.The nameless soldier commemorated in
our new relief-who, though represented as
the victor in the combat scene, was perhaps
himself killed by the upturned dagger-was
probably one of the many Greeks who lost
their lives in this internecine strife.
Can we go further and identify the city
states of the two warriors? There are of
course many possibilities since the Peloponnesian War involved most of the Greek
world. But if the report is true that the
relief was found in Attica, the striding
2 A. Furtwangler
andK. Reichhold,Griechische warrior may well have been an Athenian.
Vasenmalerei, vol. ii (I909), pl. 96. Cf. also
In that case his bones would presumably
American Journal of Archaeology, vol. xlIII
rested in a public grave along with
ff(1939), PP- 194
fallen comrades; for we know from Thucydides (II.34) that the Athenians always
buried those who died in battle in a public
sepulcher "situated in the most beautiful
suburb of the city." Our relief would then
have to be-like that of Dexileos-a private
memorial erected in addition by relatives in
the family burial plot.3 In the case of the
opponent the short sword may be a clue. At
least Plutarch4 implies that the Lacedaemonians used short swords: "When a cer-
The Museum'scollectionof Muhammadan ceramicart has been enrichedrecently
by sixteen pieces1generouslypresentedby
Horace Havemeyer,a Trustee of the Museum. The gift consistsof fourteenPersian
tiles of the thirteenthand fourteenthcenturies, a Turkishtile of the sixteenth century, and a Turkish flower vase of the
beginningof the seventeenthcentury.
I2I I/I2
The Persian tiles with lustered decoration
add to our ceramic collection several types
that have not been hitherto represented.
Most of the lustered tiles in the Havemeyer
gift belong to the Kashan school of the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, which
produced some of the finest lustered ware of
the Near East. A typical early example of
the Kashan school is a large star-shaped tile
(fig. I) decorated with a court scene in which
a bearded sultan seated on a throne is surpossible.
rounded by four court officials and enter3 A. Brueckner,Der Friedhofam Eridanos tainers. Such court scenes were very popu(Berlin, 1909), p. 62; A. Conze, Die attischen lar in the Saljuk period and are frequently
vols, II, III (Berlin, 1900, 1906), nos. represented on pottery, stucco sculpture,
1157, I529.
1Acc. nos. 40.181.1-16. Exhibitedin Galleries
4 Lycurgus XIX.2; cf. also Moralia 191e, 217e,
E 14, E 14A,and E 12.
andso forth.
tain Athenian made fun of the Spartan
swords for being so short and said that
jugglers in the theater easily swallowed
them, [King Agis] replied: 'And yet we certainly reach our enemies with these daggers.' " The combat represented on our relief may therefore have been between an
Athenian and a Lacedaemonian. To go
further and suggest the actual battle at
which the combat was fought is hardly