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Grave Stele of a Youth: The “Cat Stele”

Date early 20th century (plaster cast), 430-420 BC (original)
Object type relief
Medium, technique plaster

108 x 80 x 14 cm

Inventory number Ag.224
Collection Classical Antiquites - Plaster casts
On view Star Fortress (Komárom), Athenian men and women from the fourth century BC, Corridor A

The finely carved stele shows the deceased in his familiar surroundings. He holds a little bird in one hand, while reaching towards its cage with the other. To the left, his cat rests on a pillar. The boy leaning against the pillar is probably his servant, mourning his master. The top is decorated with a lotus-palmette frieze. The style of the stele strongly resembles the frieze of the Parthenon; its sculptor probably took part in carving its reliefs. Once the decoration of the temple was complete (432 BC), the sculptors looked for new commissions. This heralded the great series of Athenian grave stelae in relief.


Hekler, Antal, Az antik gipszgyűjtemény I-II., Budapest, 1919-1920, 1923, no. no. 245.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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