Relief with a Shop Scene

Relief with a Shop Scene

It is morning, the streets are crowded, continuous shouting pervades the forum and the side streets. Along the way numerous small and modest tabernae, with numerous visitors buying goods of all kinds. In a taberna a seller pulls the neck of a hanging goose as she looks at another woman, owner of a meat business, indicated by the six carcasses of animals hung in the shop. It is the scene depicted in this marble relief from the Hadrian and Antonine ages. These kinds of artifacts were usually used as shop signs or as funerary reliefs; this particular one, from the Giustiniani Collection, has an inscription with some verses of the Aeneid, the first line is original while the others were restored. This fact led Winckelmann to suggest that the slab was for funerary use.

Inventory: MT 379

Material: White marble

Technique: Work sculpted through the use of: chisels (also square-tipped and toothed) rasps

Dating: Imperial age

Origin: From Villa Albani; formerly in the garden of the Villa Giustiniani in Porta del Popolo