South Italian relief with battle scene

Date: early 3rd century B.C.
Medium: carved, limestone
Dimensions: 47 x 67 cm
Type: relief
Inventory number: 4788
Collection: Classical Antiquities

This fragment of a relief came to light in Lecce, in the south-eastern tip of Italy, and depicts horsemen and foot-soldiers in battle. It probably decorated a sumptuous sepulchral monument. The bold spatial effects, like the inward turning figure of the central horse or the two horsemen galloping past each other, represent a trend in early Hellenistic art which was inspired by large-scale painting and was widespread from Macedonia to Italy. The Budapest relief was probably produced in one of the sculptors’ workshops that flourished in Tarentum until the Roman conquest in 272 B.C.

János György Szilágyi

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