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Statue from the Nereid Monument

Lykian, about 390-380 BC
From Xanthos, (modern Günük, south-western Turkey)

One of the daughters of the sea-god Nereus

The daughters of the sea-deities Nereus and Doris are known as Nereids. Numbering between 50 and 100, they were popular figures in Greek literature. They were believed to be personifications of the waves of the ocean, and benign toward humanity. The best known of the Nereids were Amphitrite, consort of Poseidon (a sea and earthquake god); Thetis, wife of Peleus, king of the Myrmidons, and mother of the hero Achilles; and Galatea.

This figure is draped in a fine chiton (tunic), its folds enlivened by the rush of the sea breeze against her. A mantle falls over her left shoulder. She was carried along by a sea bird visible below the hem of her skirt. Her portrayal here is perhaps meant to suggest the means by which the soul of the deceased was transported to the afterlife.

Find in the collection online

Statue from the Nereid Monument

  • Nereid Monument in the British Museum

    Nereid Monument in the British Museum

 

More information

Bibliography

L. Burn, The British Museum book of Gre (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)

Dimensions

Height: 140.000 cm

Museum number

GR 1848.10-20.81 (Sculpture 909)

GAA8112

Excavated by Sir Charles Fellows

Location

Find in the collection online



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