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Name: Funerary Stele of Hegeso
Description: Kerameikos, Athens. Athens, National Museum. H. 1.58m. A simply-dressed slave-girl stands to the left, offering her mistress a jewellery-box. Hegeso, seated in a high-backed chair and with her draperies over her head, takes a (painted) necklace from the box. The two women are close -- their arms extend across the foreground to meet at the jewellery-box. Hegeso is self-absorbed and pensive; either she is making ready for her life in Hades, or she is mourning the things she has left behind. Inscription across the top of the stele: Hegeso, daughter of Proxenos.
Date: c. 400 B.C.
Discussion: Hegeso's slave gazes at her mistress with concern and compassion, heightening their feeling of intimacy already suggested by the position of their arms, but Hegeso is brooding, and she does not notice her slave's look. This slight feeling of alienation of the central figure from the surrounding ones will increase with the next century. See Robertson 1981: 131; Stewart 1990: 92, 172; 477 (ill.).