Marble plaque showing parturition scene, Ostia, Italy, 400 BCE-300 CE
This marble plaque depicts a ‘parturition’, or birthing scene. Such scenes eased the fears of expectant mothers by depicting positive birthing images. During this time, midwives were female. Men were not present at births unless a doctor was required in the case of a high status mother. Here, a woman reclines on a couch covered in drapes, attended by three women. They are dressed in classical Roman robes and one is holding the baby. The plaque was excavated at Ostia, Italy.
Related Themes and Topics
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The act or process of giving birth to a child
An ornamental tablet of metal, porcelain etc that depicts a person, scene or inscription. Often fixed to a building in commemoration of a person or notable historical occurence.
Glossary: relief sculpture