- Museum number
- Series: The Parthenon Sculptures
Marble statue from the East pediment of the Parthenon (East pediment B). The East pediment showed the miraculous birth of the goddess Athena from the head of her father Zeus. Many of the figures from the central scene are now fragmentary or entirely lost.
This group survives as the heads and necks of two horses on a plinth. They are made from a single piece of marble and formed the outer pair of originally two pairs of horses from the chariot of the male figure East pediment A (Helios). The lower jaw of the nearest horse is missing; the corners of its mouth are worked for the insertion of metal reins (now lost). The other horse's head is almost entirely gone. The plinth is worked with three drill holes for the insertion of the horses’ reins; a small portion at the front is hollowed out to accommodate the foot of the figure East Pediment D. The inner pair of horses (East pediment C) is in the Acropolis Museum, Athens.
The horses are the chariot horses of Helios, the sun-god, rising from the sea at dawn. Helios in his chariot was positioned in the very left-hand corner of the pediment, and was complemented by the chariot of Selene, the moon-goddess, sinking beneath the horizon, in the right-hand corner of the pediment.
- Production date
- Curator's comments
- Smith (1892) refers to the horses in the British Museum as B and C. Palagia and others refer to the pair of horses in the BM as B and the other pair of horses in Athens as C.
- Bibliographic references
Sculpture / Catalogue of Greek Sculpture in the British Museum (303.B)
Smith 1892 / A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum (pp.106-107)
Smith 1910 / The sculptures of the Parthenon (pp.8-9, pl.1)
Brommer 1963 / Die Skulpturen der Parthenon-Giebel (p.5, pl.20, 23-25)
Palagia 1993 / The pediments of the Parthenon (pp.18-19, 61, fig.24, 28-30)
Choremi-Spetsieri 2004 / The Sculptures of the Parthenon: Acropolis, British Museum, Louvre (p.121, fig.86-87)
- On display (G18)
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number