This fragmentary, freestanding group was attached to the top of a funerary shrine, or ‘naiskos’. From 325-250 BC naiskoi tombs were commonplace in Tarentum, a Greek colony in South Italy. They were decorated with pedimental relief figures, acroteria, metopes and sculpted friezes. Their existence is best attested to in local red-figured vases of the period. These naiskoi were carved from an indigenous limestone and were mainly reserved for the tombs of the wealthy.
The symmetry in the contrasting movements seen here is accentuated by the overlapping legs and the vegetal supports, creating a series of intersecting diagonals. Jucker (op. cit., p.21) notes that the group tilts forward, indicating that it must have been attached to the upper part of the naiskos. As there are no visible traces on the back to suggest that the figures were fixed to a background, the group would have most likely been free standing.
ProvenanceFreddie Küng Antiquitäten, Lucerne, Switzerland
Dr. Anton Pestalozzi (1915-2007), Zurich, Switzerland; acquired from the above 28th March 1979, thence by descent