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The Parthenon Sculptures

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (series)

    • The Parthenon Sculptures
  • Description

    Marble relief (Block XLVII) from the North frieze of the Parthenon. The frieze shows the procession of the Panathenaic festival, the commemoration of the birthday of the goddess Athena.
    Like the southern branch of the procession, the northern branch comprises mounted horsemen, chariots, elders, musicians, pitcher-bearers, tray-bearers and figures leading sacrificial victims. As in the South frieze, so in the North the cavalcade comprised sixty riders. Whereas in the South these are carved over twenty-four blocks, in the North they are compressed into nineteen blocks. The groups of riders are not divided equally, as they are in the South. Dress varies from figure to figure. Some are heavily draped in mantle and tunic, while others are all but naked. Some ride bareheaded, while others wear a distinctive form of cap or a helmet. Metal reins, which are now lost, were inserted in drill-holes.
    Block XLVII shows a scene of preparation for the cavalcade that lies ahead, echoing the major theme of the West frize. Its return on the West side is carved with a marshal. On the right a boy, wearing drapery over his shoulder, is tying a girdle around the waist of the waiting horseman, dressed in a tunic. The heads of the youth and the boy are both dipped, just as the head of the horse, waiting patiently by. On the left a figure, wearing a cloak, stands by his horse, which he restrains with his right arm, while his left is raised to the head with the index finger extended. His head is turned back to his unprepared companions. A fragment, the horse’s head, is in the Acropolis Museum, Athens.


  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 438BC-432BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Curator's comments

    This block is also West Frieze, Block I. This is treated as a separate record (1816,0610.46.a).

  • Bibliography

    • Sculpture 325 (Block XLII) bibliographic details
    • Jenkins 1994 p.51, 99, 102, 104 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G18

  • Exhibition history

    2015, 26 Mar-5 Jul, The British Museum, Defining Beauty: the body in ancient Greek art.

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • North Frieze, Block XLVII
Marble relief, corner-stone of Slab XLII from the North Frieze and Slab I of the West Frieze of the Parthenon: procession of horse-drawn chariots.

Marble relief, corner-stone of Slab XLII from the North Frieze and Slab I of the West Frieze of the Parthenon: procession of horse-drawn chariots.

Image description



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Object reference number: GAA6838

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