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Fragment of loculus slab with partially preserved painting.
A child plays with his favourite pets behind a partly open wall. The child’s name, now missing, would have been written on the left of the scene, while the farewell XAIPE can be seen on the right.
The living and the dead are separated by a wall in which an opening reveals a garden with trees and, in the centre between two pilasters, a room with lateral walls and a coffered ceiling. To the rear, two doors open onto an exterior space under a blue sky. In this pleasant space, the garden of the hereafter, the child can be seen in profile wearing a long tunic and playing with his small white dog which stands on its hind legs trying to catch the bird held in the right hand of the child. While the central scene is a classic representation of a young dead child, the architectural setting is a more novel Alexandrian interpretation of belief in a happy afterlife.
A.-M. Guimier-Sorbets, "Marqueurs de tombes d’enfant à Alexandrie", in A. Hermary, C. Dubois (eds.), L’Enfant et la Mort dans l’Antiquité III. Le matériel associé aux tombes d’enfants, (
A.-M. Guimier-Sorbets, « Believing in afterlife in Hellenistic and Roman Alexandria. A study of some funerary paintings », dans Chr. S. Zerefos, M.V. Vardinoyannis, Hellenistic Alexandria. Celebrating 24 centuries (Athènes, 2017), Oxford, 2018, p. 87-94.
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