Farnese Sarcophagus


The Farnese Sarcophagus was created in the vicinity of Rome in the late Severan period, around 225 CE. Centuries later, in about 1535, it was uncovered in Tivoli, Italy. The Sarcophagus’s magnificent carvings on three of its sides feature satyrs, minor deities who are part man and part beast, and maenads, female followers of the wine god Dionysus. To this day, its joyful imagery reminds the living they should seize the day while they still can. Learn more about this masterpiece with Peggy Fogelman, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Cite this page as: Bank of America, "Farnese Sarcophagus," in Smarthistory, March 21, 2022, accessed May 22, 2022, https://smarthistory.org/farnese-sarcophagus/.