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Greek - Garland Sarcophagus, about 250 CE


Garland Sarcophagus, about 250 CE

Possibly Phrygian marble , 44.1 x 122.6 x 55.2 cm (17 3/8 x 48 1/4 x 21 3/4 in.)


Inside the Courtyard is perhaps the most poignant piece of funeral sculpture in the collection: a child's sarcophagus of about CE 250, decorated with garlands, which many interpret as a nod to Isabella's own son, Jackie, who died in early childhood.  It stands at the very center of the Courtyard, at the foot of the Medusa mosaic.  By positioning this small sarcophagus, the Farnese Sarcophagus, and the Islamic tombstone in and around the garden of the Courtyard, Gardner echoed the nineteenth-century invention of landscaped cemeteries with elaborately carved monuments and mausoleums that invoke ancient architectural styles.