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An extraordinary Roman statuary white marble sarcophagus
2nd Century A.D.
carved in deep relief depicting “The Rape of Proserpine” in narrative,
The dimensions of this exquisite sarcophagus suggest the burial of a fairly young child. The subject matter would suggest that the deceased was female (Proserpine being carted off to the Underworld). Its elaborate and accomplished carving indicates that she was from a family of some wealth. The marble coffer is carved to one long and two short sides with an animated succession of twenty figures, gods and mortals in togas and himations with their various attributes. The scene includes two horse-drawn chariots, one driven by an outraged Minerva and Aphrodite. The protagonist Pluto drives the second chariot as he carries the struggling Proserpine off to Hades. The story of