Roman Marble Relief Fragment of Horse and Rider


A fine Ancient Roman marble fragment, possibly part of a votive figural panel carved in relief. The piece depicts a young horseman riding left and holding the bridle of a large horse. The young man wears a short, sleeved chiton (χιτών -khiton), a type of tunic fastened at the shoulders worn in Ancient Greece and Rome. The garment leaves the rider’s leg bare, revealing his long limb bent at the knee. His hair is short and his beardless face shows stylised features, giving bulging eyebrows, emphasised eyes and a snub nose to the character.

Date: Circa 2nd - 3rd Century AD
Condition: Fine condition. This piece comes with a custom made stand. The height including the stand is 23.8cm.

In stock

During the Roman Empire, horses were extremely important for battle, as well as for aspects of everyday life, such as transportation, hunting, farming, and chariot racing. The Romans associated the horse with the spoils of war, connecting it symbolically with power, victory, honour, domination, and virility. In Graeco-Roman mythology and culture, the horse was said to have been created by Poseidon (Neptune) and devoted to Hades (Pluto) and Ares (Mars). The Romans also believed the horse to be a symbol of the continuity of life, and would sacrifice a horse to the god Mars every October, keeping its tail through the winter as a sign of fertility and rebirth.

For more information about the meanings of animals in Roman art, see our relevant blog post: Animal Symbolism in Roman Art.

Weight 2126.8 g
Dimensions W 10.5 x H 20.7 cm



You may also like…