Bas relief from Remerschen and Emerange showing Vitis

2th centurySandstone ; LimestoneH x L x P: 75 x 242 x 62 cm

Dating back to the 2nd century AD, this large monolithic bas-relief was part of the central frieze of a monumental funerary pillar originally located along the Moselle River near Remerschen - Mecheren. It was put up in Roman times to commemorate a wine grower and vintner and discovered during two separate excavations in 1970 and 1972.

Depicted on the bas-relief and surrounded by vine tendrils and leaves is Vitis, the personification of the vine, presented as a naked young woman in right profile whose legs end in climbing vines that she holds in her two hands. She is flanked by Cupids who are harvesting the grapes: one bending over a basket, and the other picking a bunch of grapes and putting them into his mouth with his left hand. On the right there is a wading bird picking at grapes. Traces of a second bird can be distinguished at the opposite end of the sculpture.

During the subsequent Frankish period, the frieze was removed from the funerary monument, hollowed out and used as a sarcophagus, hence its current form. It was found buried in the neighbouring village of Émerange at the confluence of the Altbach and Elegsbach. At the time of its discovery in 1852, it held two skeletons.


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