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Mausoleum at Halikarnassos, Frieze

A long relief from the Mausoleum in south western Turkey. The Mausoleum was built for her deceased husband Mausolus, king of Caria, by his widow Artemisia. He died in 352 BCE and the monument was finished in 345 BCE. She did not live to see it completed.

The main frieze depicts battles between Greeks and Amazons, a theme traditionally used for Greek temple decoration. Pliny and Vitruvius tell us that four sculptors were used, Skopas, Bryaxis, Timotheos and Leochares, and that they made one side each. As the slabs were already removed from their archaeological context when found, the frieze cannot be linked with just one of the four sculptors named; but on stylistic grounds — deep set eyes, open mouths, elegant poses — the frieze is usually attributed to Skopas

Location of Original: 

London, British Museum 1006-1022

14.85 x 0.90m

10 of the panels were donated by S Colvin 29 May 1880 to the Fitzwilliam Museum; 13 were transferred from the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1884, and that 3 more were purchased in the same year


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 255-, pl. 92
Ashmole: Journal of Hellenic Studies LXXI (1951), 17-, pl. XIII
Law: Journal of Hellenic Studies LIX (1939), 92-
Richter: Sculpture & Sculptors of the Greeks (1950), 271, figs.697-701, 720-2, 729-30, 735
Smith: Catalogue of British Museum Sculpture II (1900), 99-
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 894, nos.437-452
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 72, nos.336-348

352-345 BCE
Skopas (?)

Most of the slabs were recovered not from the actual site at Halikarnassos but from the medieval castle nearby, which had been built of stones largely taken from the site by the Knights of St John

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