The Classical Period Of Greek Art

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The beautiful “Three Sided Relief”, also known as the “Boston Throne”, is a treasure

of the Museum of Fine Arts, as it is an original relief from the Early Classical Period of Greek

art. Though it was found in Rome, it is not a Roman copy of the relief, which makes it

incredibly unique. The Three Sided Relief was found in a private villa on via Boncampagni.

The intriguing part of this discovery was that the Three Sided Relief was found in the same

region as the Ludovisi Relief, a relief of a similar proportion, subject matter, and creation

date. The artwork, though found in Rome, is very easily identified as Greek due to the

material used (marble) and also the distinctly Greek style of the relief, containing

reference to both Ionic Greek agriculture and Attic grave reliefs. Greeks used their art

much more religiously than the Romans, who used it more for political propaganda

purposes. Artwork to the Greeks was used to honor their gods and decorate the temples

they erected to celebrate their gods.

The main face of the Three Sided Relief depicts a winged boy in the nude standing in

the center of the relief, and holding up a large balance. There are three large holes cut into

the relief, one in each wing of the boy and another in his chest. These holes were made to

receive the ends of tenons, proving that the now lost beam was made of marble, not bronze.

The two pans of the balance are still attached to the relief, as they are anchored to the
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