Toggle

20 North Main St (also enter on 224 Benefit Street) Providence, RI 02903

Open today
10:00am–5:00pm

Art & Design

Unknown artist, Roman
Fragmentary sarcophagus front and lid depicting The Slaughter of the Niobids, end of the 2nd century
Marble
88.3 x 251.3 x 29.2 cm (34 3/4 x 98 15/16 x 11 1/2 inches) (front panel)
Museum Appropriation Fund 21.076

On View

Roman

Fragmentary sarcophagus front and lid depicting The Slaughter of the Niobids

Unknown artist, Roman
Fragmentary sarcophagus front and lid depicting The Slaughter of the Niobids, end of the 2nd century
Marble
88.3 x 251.3 x 29.2 cm (34 3/4 x 98 15/16 x 11 1/2 inches) (front panel)
Museum Appropriation Fund 21.076

This coffin front and lid depicts the slaughter of the children of Queen Niobe of Thebes by the gods Apollo and Diana, the only children of the goddess Latona. According to the Roman poet Ovid (43 BCE—17 CE), Niobe’s boast about having borne fourteen children offended Latona. In revenge, Apollo and Diana killed all of Niobe’s offspring. From the corners of the lid’s frieze, these two deities shoot arrows into the scene below, where the dying children are supported by older figures, including their father, Amphion, on the left—presumably once mirrored by Niobe on the right—and attendants. The myth was popular throughout the Roman Empire period, with similar compositions appearing on other sarcophagi (coffins).


Also from Made in the UK: Contemporary Art from the Richard Brown Baker Collection


Other Sculpture