A family mourned


Grave stele with a family group, marble, c. 360 BCE, Greek, Attic

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY






The museum’s guidance is that it cannot  be clear who is being mourned because the framing niche with its inscription are missing


It is possible that a family is mourning a daughter at the top left.


It seems more likely that that daughter is mourning them.  The seated man and woman behind him do not acknowledge her presence. They are looking into the distance. 





The little one’s face is impassive.  Her right hand is slipping from her mother’s large grasp. Something has also slipped from her left hand.


Her stance is as poised and as solid as if she were alive at the time of this carving.  




But I don’t think she was and then you begin to enter into the grief of the young woman at top left.