skip to content

Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Sleeping Ariadne

Ariadne was a motif more commonly seen in paintings and reliefs than in sculpture in the round, and was popular on sarcophagi due to the promise of eternal life that her story offered. The theme shown here is that of the troubled sleep the Ariadne endures. Theseus abandoned her after she helped him to escape from the Minotaur’s labyrinth, but she dreams that Dionysos, a god not a mortal, wants to marry her

Location of Original: 

Rome, Vatican, Galleria delle Statue 414

Length: 2.35m

Purchased in 1884 from the Louvre


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 347 (n.3), pl. 112.4
Müller: Römische Mittheilung LIII (1938), 164-
Amelung: Catalogue of the Vatican Museum II (1908), 636-43
Brunn-Bruckmann: Denkmäler Griechischer und Römischer Skulptur, pl. 167
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 106, no.556
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 894, no.523
Ridgway, B: Hellenistic Sculpture (1990), vol. I, 330
Bieber, M: Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age (1981), 145
Haskell & Penny: Taste and the Antique (1981), 184

Roman. Original: Hellenistic

Found in Rome

Search Casts

Use our search tools to search the Casts Archive

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge

Every cast tells two stories.
One ancient. One modern.

Admission is free.

We are open

Opening hours

Tues-Fri: 11am-2pm
Sat: 2-5pm (Univ. term-time only)
Sun & Mon: Closed

Closed on Bank Holiday Mondays

Visit us

Museum of Classical Archaeology
Faculty of Classics
Sidgwick Avenue

Get in touch

Tel. +44 (0)1223 330402

Facebook Twitter

For an explanation of what personal information we gather when you visit the University’s website and details of how that information is used please see the following University Privacy policy:

Copyright statement

All images and material on our websites are ©Museum of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge unless otherwise stated. Permission is required to reproduce our images.

See also our Copyright Notice and Take Down Policy.

Important Information

Museum of Classical Archaeology Web Accessibility Statement