Sarcophagus and Architectural Elements, 3rd century - 17th century

Carved marble and limestone, 320 x 266.7 cm (126 x 105 in.) overall


Object details

Accession number



Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the Italian painter and antiquarian Attilio Simonetti (1843-1925), Rome for 15,000 lire on 23 October 1906. (formerly used as a fountain)


Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 59. (column bases: as two animals [lions?], "May have been carved at almost any time during the 'Dark Ages,' or as late as the 14th century"; sarcophagus: as Roman, classical; frieze, arch, and colonettes: as Early Christian period; capitals: as antique Rome or 15th century)
Cornelius C. Vermeule III. "Roman Sarcophagi in America: A Short Inventory" in Philipp von Zabern (ed.). Festschrift für Friedrich Matz (Mainz, 1962), p. 101, no. 5.
Rollin Hadley. “Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 7, no. 33 (12 Apr. 1964), p. 2. (column bases: as "an older pair" of lions)
Estin Atil. Islamic Art at the Gardner Museum. Unpublished manuscript. (Boston, 1971), p. 20, no. 21. (column bases: as Coptic (?), possibly Egyptian)
Cornelius C. Vermeule III et al. Sculpture in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1977), pp. 43-44. no. 60 (sarcophagus: as Roman, 3rd or 4th century AD); p. 173, no. 222 (column bases: as Italian, 12th century?); p. 177, no. 251 (frieze of heads: as Italian, 17th century).
Anne Hawley et al. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Daring by Design (Boston, 2014), pp. 56-57.

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Isabella Stewart Gardner kept meticulous records of many of her acquisitions. In keeping with this legacy, object information is continually being reviewed, updated, and enriched in order to give greater access to the collection.