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Sarcophagus with the story of Achilles and Polyxena (Fragment)
Greek Sculptor from Attica
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Greek Sculptor from Attica

Sarcophagus with the story of Achilles and Polyxena (Fragment)

Mid-IIIcentury. White marble, 82 x 78 cm.

Fragment from an incomplete and fragmented Attic sarcophagus (E00118, E00120 and E00182) dating from around 250 A.D. with an especially interesting because it is the only example of its iconography. The story, which is highly appropriate because of its tragic character, is divided into various scenes. The front shows the armistice celebrated between Aqueans and Trojans to celebrate the marriage of Achilles to the Trojan princess, Polyxena. Agamemnon can be clearly seen in the center, between Ulysses and Paris (the latter´s head is restored). The right side shows how the treaty was broken when Achilles dies after being wounded in the heel by Paris. Finally, the left side shows Polyxena marching to her own sacrifice in honor of the dead hero, accompanied by various Aqueans including Achilles´ son, Neoptoloemus. The front of the sarcophagus is missing, except for a few fragments in the Louvre. It represented a combat between Aqueans and Trojans.


Technical data

Inventory number
Greek Sculptor from Attica
Sarcophagus with the story of Achilles and Polyxena (Fragment)
White marble
High/Height: 82 cm.; Width: 78 cm.; Base/bottom: 7 cm.
Colección Real (Golfo de Nápoles antes de 1776; tal vez Madrid, Palacio Real. Col. Carlos III).

Bibliography +

Hübner, Emil, Die Antiken Bildwerke in Madrid, Druck Und Verlag Von Georg Reimer, Berlín, 1862, pp. 148.

Barrón. Eduardo, Catálogo de la escultura, Imprenta y fototipia de J. Lacoste, Madrid, 1908, pp. 140, n.180.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de la escultura, Madrid, 1908, pp. 100.

Ricard, Robert, Marbres Antiques du Musee du Prado a Madrid, Feret & Fils, Burdeos, 1923, pp. 111.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las esculturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1949, pp. 70.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de la Escultura, Madrid, 1957, pp. 81.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de la escultura, Patronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1981, pp. nº180.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Escultura clásica : guía, Fundación Marcelino Botín; Museo del Prado, Santander, 1999, pp. 126.

Schröder, Stephan F., Catálogo de la escultura clásica: Museo del Prado, II, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 499-503.

Corona y arqueología en el Siglo de las Luces, Patrimonio Nacional, 2010, pp. 237-245.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, Escultura, 1857. Núm. 363.
363. Otro relieve igual al anterior. / Largo 2 pies, 11 pulg. / Ancho 2 pies, 10 pulgadas.

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Location +

Room 072 (On Display)

Update date: 22-04-2017 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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