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The Parthenon Sculptures

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1816,0610.99

  • Title (series)

    • The Parthenon Sculptures
  • Description

    Marble statue from the West pediment of the Parthenon (West pediment A). The West pediment showed the mythical contest between Athena and Poseidon for supremacy over the land of Attica.
    This is a figure of a reclining naked man, made from a single piece of marble, who appears as if caught in the action of raising himself. He would have originally supported his weight on his left hand and is poised as if turning to his left. A piece of drapery hangs over his left arm and then flows on the ground behind him to rise over his right knee. The head, left hand, right arm and hand, part of his right leg and left foot are missing. These parts were already missing by the time of Carrey made a drawing in 1674. The figure was placed in the far left corner of the pediment, looking towards the centre. The pose and design of the statue fits well in the corner angle of the pediment. The back of the statue is finished in surprising detail, considering it would not have been seen once it was in place in the pediment.
    The statue is thought to represent the river-god Ilissos, a stream in Athens, shown as if rising from the water onto the riverbank. Other suggested identifications are other Athenenian streams, Eridanos and Kephisos.

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  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 438BC-432BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Depth: 56 centimetres
    • Height: 81.28 centimetres (max)
  • Bibliography

    • Sculpture 304.A bibliographic details
    • Smith 1910 p.16, pl.7 bibliographic details
    • Smith 1892 pp.119-120 bibliographic details
    • Choremi-Spetsieri 2004 pp.137, 139, 141, fig.97-98 bibliographic details
    • Brommer 1963 pp.30-31, pl.80-84 bibliographic details
    • Palagia 1993 pp.41-42, 61, fig.71-72 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G18

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2014-2015, 6 Dec-18 Jan, State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, 250th Anniversary Exhibition.
    2015, 26 Mar-5 Jul, The British Museum, Defining Beauty: the body in ancient Greek art.

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1816

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1816,0610.99

Marble statue from the West pediment of the Parthenon (West pediment A).  Figure of reclining naked man, who appears as if caught in the action of raising himself onto a rock. He would have originally supported his weight on his left hand and is poised as if turning to his left. A piece of drapery hangs over and clings to his left arm. The pose and design of the statue fits well to the corner angle of the pediment. The back of the statue is surprisingly well finished, considering it was blocked by the pediment wall. The statue is made out of one block of marble. The head, left hand, right arm and hand and both legs under the knee and feet are missing. These parts were already missing in Carrey's drawing.  The statue is thought to represent the river-god Ilissos, a stream in Athens. Other suggested identifications are Eridanos and Kephisos.

Marble statue from the West pediment of the Parthenon (West pediment A). Figure of reclining naked man, who appears as if caught in the action of raising himself onto a rock. He would have originally supported his weight on his left hand and is poised as if turning to his left. A piece of drapery hangs over and clings to his left arm. The pose and design of the statue fits well to the corner angle of the pediment. The back of the statue is surprisingly well finished, considering it was blocked by the pediment wall. The statue is made out of one block of marble. The head, left hand, right arm and hand and both legs under the knee and feet are missing. These parts were already missing in Carrey's drawing. The statue is thought to represent the river-god Ilissos, a stream in Athens. Other suggested identifications are Eridanos and Kephisos.

Image description

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