- Museum number
- Series: The Parthenon Sculptures
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.
- Production date
Height: 81.28 centimetres (max)
Length: 188 centimetres
Depth: 56 centimetres
- Bibliographic references
Sculpture / Catalogue of Greek Sculpture in the British Museum (304.A)
Smith 1892 / A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum (pp.119-120)
Smith 1910 / The sculptures of the Parthenon (p.16, pl.7)
Brommer 1963 / Die Skulpturen der Parthenon-Giebel (pp.30-31, pl.80-84)
Palagia 1993 / The pediments of the Parthenon (pp.41-42, 61, fig.71-72)
Choremi-Spetsieri 2004 / The Sculptures of the Parthenon: Acropolis, British Museum, Louvre (pp.137, 139, 141, fig.97-98)
- On display (G18)
- Exhibition history
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.
2018, 26 Apr-29 Jul,The British Museum, Rodin and the art of ancient Greece.
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number