Grave marker (Radeke Stele)
Unknown artist, Attic (ancient style)
Grave marker (Radeke Stele), 4th century BCE
145.4 x 62.2 x 10.8 cm (57 1/4 x 24 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches)
Museum Appropriation Fund 31.278
From the sixth to the fourth century BCE, erect stone slabs (stele) with painted or sculpted scenes and inscriptions were the most common form of grave marker in Greece. This example shows a woman, probably the deceased, with her hair covered, indicating that she was married. Her left hand moves the cloth away from her cheek in a gesture often seen in funerary monuments. Grave markers with single figures, such as this one, could have been situated together to create family groupings so that they appeared to be taking part in a family gathering. This work, known as the Radeke stele, was purchased in memory of Eliza Metcalf Radeke, president of RISD from 1913 to 1931.