Cast of proper left side of grave altar of M. Antonius Alexander
From: Vatican Museums (Vatican City)
RA Collection: Art
On free display in South Dining Room
The cast is of the proper left panel of a grave altar for a man, M. Antonius Alexander, who was the freedman of a freedman of Antonia the Younger (niece of Augustus, grandmother of Caligula, and mother of Claudius). The original object is in the Museo Chiaramonti of the Musei Vaticani (no. 1850, H: 85, W: 65 cm. It was acquired from the Giustiniani collection but had already passed through two collections before that. The altar can be dated securely to the mid-or later second century because of the individuals mentioned.
The panel shows birds drinking from a large krater or vase and a smaller pitcher stands nearby. It is an unusual depiction for such a monument; these monuments had a repetitive and set visual repertoire. The water vessels were used in religious ceremony and were probably intended to recall the funerary ceremony.
The cast and a cast of the similar right panel of the grave altar, 11/898, were part of the collection of Thomas Lawrence. His casts were acquired by the Royal Academy after his death in 1830.
600 mm x 450 mm x 80 mm, Weight: 10.05 kg
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