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From temple C at Selinus in Sicily and made out of
Represents the story of when Herakles fell asleep and two
Kerkopes stole his weapons. When the hero woke and
caught them, he tied them up side down to a pole and carried
them over his shoulders. From this view, the creatures had a
view of his hairy bum. They amused him by the jokes they
made so much that he let them go.
All three figures look to the front and Herakles walks firmly to
the right. His legs provide enlivening diagonal accents in a
composition that is otherwise dominated by verticals and
The two Kerkopes hang in mirror images of each other, even
their arms, hair and faces are arranged to create symmetry.
MetopeHerakles & the It is carved in shallow relief meaning the figures are not very
Kerkopes: 575550 rounded and the whole design is very flat.
BCArchaic. Originally the image was sharpened by paint for the details of
the figures, their hair, eyes and clothing and background
were all coloured.
From the Sikyonian Treasury at Delphi and made from
Uses repetition instead of symmetry as a device to give the
composition decorative coherence.
The story illustrated concerns a cattle raid conducted by
twopairs of heroic brothers.
The fours raider was shown on the far left. The remaining
figures occupy the full height of the metope, a triad of parallel
vertical figures. In their left hands they hold their sloping
spears at the same angle and walk in step with the icattle,
whose legs (all aligned) recede into the background.
A fine pattern is built upon repeated forms: the frontal heads
MetopeHeroic Cattle of the cattle and the sloping spears bind the heroes together.
Raid: 575550 BC.
The 12 labours of The struggle is over. The lion lies dead at the bottom of the
Herakles from the metope. Herakles has placed one foot on top of it, but far
from assuming the triumphant pose of the traditional big
temple of Zeus: 470BC game hunter, he rests his elbow on his knee and his head
upon his hand. Clearly he is exhausted. Athena stands by,
looking on sympathetically. The fragment of a food suggests
Hermes was present too.
Previously Herakles had been portrayed as the invincible hero
striding from victory to victory. Here the sculptor has begun to
think about the price he paid for those victories, and in doing
so, reveals his humanity.
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In his struggle with the Cretian bull, Herakles is shown alone.
The simple but powerful composition is based on two
The two contestants strain away from each other yet
Herakles has pulled the bulls head around so that man and
beast confront each other and interest is brought in towards
the centre as well as flung out to the corners of the metope.
This dynamic design was to serve as the basis of many later
Here's a taster:
Similar in composition, but clearly carved by a less skilled
Interest is bunched up in the centre, meaning there is a blank
expanse to the right.
The figures are awkward harsh lines indicate their muscles
the centaur appears to have no neck and his flattened face is
crude and illexecuted.
The Lapiths drapery is meant to be slipping from his arm as
he fights.…read more