Test Announcement 123


Greek Archaic Sculpture

The Archaic Period in Greek Art (600-480 BCE) emerged out of the Geometric and Orientalizing Periods. Thus the patterns and abstract forms of earlier ages were abandoned in favor of more individualized styles. Culturally, growing personal and state wealth - and a concomitant rise in civic pride - led to the commissioning of grand temples with sculptural programs as well as individual dedications (including metalwork, sculptures, ivories, and textiles) becoming more common in sanctuaries and cemeteries.

New explorations of anatomy led to an increased mastery of the human form; an evolution that would peak in the High Classical period. Subject matter was expanded throughout the Archaic period with a clear interest in mythology, lore and legend.

The Rampin Master (attributed to)
(Greek, active 6th century BCE)


ca. 300 BCE
550 BCE
Grave stele fragment from the Dipylon Cemetery
Plaster cast from pentelic marble original National Archaeological Museum (no. 38), Athens
13 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 5 inches (34.3 x 44.5 x 12.7 cm)
Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art


Euthydikos' Kore (maiden)

ca. 490 BCE
Plaster cast from marble original
Acropolis Museum, Athens
27 ½ x 15 x 10 ½ inches (70 x 38 x 26.5 cm) (including base)
Gift of the First Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities - Acropolis Museum, Athens


Originally mounted on a single Doric column, this Kore, or "maiden," bore the inscription: "Euthydikos, son of Thaliarchos, dedicated (me)." The upper part (represented by the cast on display) was found east of the Parthenon.


Head of Athena

ca. 510 BCE
From the West Pediment, Old Athena Temple, Acropolis
Plaster cast from marble original
Acropolis Museum, Athens
18 1/2 x 9 x 9 1/2 inches (47 x 22.9 x 24.1 cm)
Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art


This head is from a full-length marble original of Athena that was at the center of the East Pediment of the Old Athena Temple (Acropolis). The pedimental figures, depicting the Battle of the Olympian Gods Fighting Giants showed Athena attacking a fallen giant.


Athena and Theseus

ca. 480 BCE
Metope from the Athenian Treasury at Delphi
Plaster cast from Parian marble original
Archaeological Museum (inv. 1496), Delphi
27 1/2 x 24 1/2 x 6 inches (69.9 x 62.2 x 15.2 cm)
Gift of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006


The Athenian Treasury was located below the Temple of Apollo on the Sacred Way in Delphi. It was built as a Doric structure around 490 BCE; a time of transition from the Late Archaic to the Early Classical period in Greek Art.

This treasury, which was just one of many such structures at Delphi, functioned on several levels. It was, for example, a votive offering, dedicated to Apollo and the Delphic Oracle in recompense for their perceived help in defeating the Persians. On a more prosaic level, the structure functioned as a repository for rich gifts left by worshipers, in addition to providing an important, visually compelling, place to display war booty.

The metopes of the Treasury depict some of the labors of Herakles as well as the Deeds of Theseus. On the south side, for example, Theseus confronts various monsters and barbarians, including a Minotaur and an Amazon, both frequent metaphors for the Persian enemy, whose defeat by the Athenians is celebrated in the sculptural program.

The metope represented here shows a meeting between Athena (on the left) and Theseus (on the right). The goddess bestows her blessing on the Athenian hero, thus emphasizing the special relationship and protection she offers him and, by extension, the entire city of Athens. Theseus stands quietly, unlike the other metopes, in which he battles mythological beasts or uncivilized foes.

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