The Contemplative Athene
470—460 BCE.
Height 0.54 m.
Inv. No. 695.Athens, New Acropolis Museum

The Contemplative Athene.

470—460 BCE.
Height 0.54 m.
Inv. No. 695.

Athens, New Acropolis Museum
(Αθήνα, Νέο Μουσείο Ακρόπολης).


Relief with Athena: The Contemplative Athena

marble, 470-460 B. C.
height 0.54 m
Acropolis Museum, Athens, 695

Here Athena, head bent forward, stands before a stele, gazing intently at it as she leans on her spear. She wears a crested helmet pushed up on her head and a long woolen peplos similar to the garment worn by Euenor’s Athena (cat. 7). Its long folds follow her stance rather than falling vertically as gravity demands. The raised heel of the left foot causes the skirt to form a lovely pattern of folds over the heel, a subtle clue to the fact that she stands with her weight on one leg like the Kritios Boy and Euenor’s Athena.

The subject of the relief has been interpreted in several ways. Athena contemplating a stele might be the dedication of a victorious athlete or perhaps the dedication of the stone masons who completed the fortification of the Acropolis under Kimon in the late 460s. The stele could also have served as a boundary marker for Athena’s sanctuary on the Acropolis, where the relief was found. In a more abstract interpretation, the stele might represent the power of the written word or the power of the decree of Athens, the state the goddess protects.

© Photo, text: Buitron-Oliver D. The Greek miracle: classical sculpture from the dawn of democracy: the fifth century B.C. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1993, pp. 94—95, cat. no. № 8.
Keywords: γλυπτική sculptura sculpture sculptural scultura skulptur greek greca greco greche griechische griechisches grecque grecquesё ανακούφιση relief rilievo ελληνική μυθολογία mythologia graeca mythology mitologia mythologie θεά αθηνά παλλὰς ἀθηνᾶ ἀθήνη athene athena pallas goddess dea atena göttin déesse athéna athéné marble marmo marmor marbre μάρμαρο crista crest crested helmet elmo crestato kammhelm casque à crête κράνος λοφίο κρωβύλος κρώβυλος contemplative minerva near pylon spear female garment garments clothes clothing outerwear long woollen peplos inv no 695