Vintage Scene

Late classical
Stone
Archeological Museum, Split, Croatia

This is one end of a sarcophagus in the porch of the museum. There are no Christian symbols or images on the sarcophagus, so it can be assumed to have been for a pagan decedent. It is an example of the use of idealized / paradisiacal harvest and vintage scenes popular in late antique sarcophagi. The scene is in a quasi-architectural frame that fences out the male lions in the upper corners. Inside, Nature gives itself abundantly to humanity as the naked boys collect grapes from trees. Buckets overflowing with grapes are in the tree on the right, on the shoulders of the boy leading the panther, and on the panther's back. A huge vessel under the tree on the left also overflows with grapes (a vat for wine-making, perhaps). The panther, often seen in funerary art of this period, is here tamed and docile.

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Photographed at the museum by Claire Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.