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Relief Plaque

A work made of terracotta.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta.


Early 1st century



About this artwork

During the early Roman Empire, terra-cotta relief plaques were a popular form of interior decoration for houses, public baths, and tombs. The mold-made reliefs, which could be rapidly reproduced to create a decorative frieze, reflect an interest in older Greek styles. Here female temple attendants, whose costumes and hairstyles recall fashions worn at least 200 years earlier by the Greek occupants of southern Italy and Sicily, kneel before a tall incense burner, upon which they place an offering. The scene is bordered by an egg-and-dart pattern above and a lotus pattern below. The presence of four nailholes indicates that these panels
were likely affixed to a wall.


Currently Off View


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Roman


Relief Plaque


Rome (Object found in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1 CE–50 CE




58.8 × 46.9 × 5 cm (23 1/4 × 18 3/8 × 2 in.)

Credit Line

Katherine K. Adler Memorial Fund; purchased with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Bro, the Classical Art Society, and Mr. and Mrs. Walter Alexander

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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