Herakles and the Kerkopes: Temple C - Silenus


All 3 figures have Archaic smiles

Gravity has been observed in the hair of the Kerkopes, however it is very basic (as if the hair had literally been carved upside down)

Herakles legs in profile but the rest of the body full frontal (not physically possible)

Symetrical composition (Kerkope, Herakles, Kerkope) whilst also being symmetrical

Herakles legs act as a triangle directing the eyes up at Herakles and the Kerkopes (triangular composition) also stand out against all other verticles and horizontals

Relief carving, Not very high relief, scupture not very rounded

Almond eyes

Tells story of when the Kerkopes stole Herakles weapons so he punished them by tying them to a shoulder pole

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Heroic Cattle Raid, Sikoynian Treasury - Delphi

c560BC - Archaic

Depicts the brothers Kastor and Polydeukes after a successful raid

Made of Limestone

All figures identical and repeated

Herd of cattle 3 deep, legs offer a degree of depth

Almond eyes and repetitive hair, NO archaic smile

Heads of cows come out infront of the men, when their bodies are behind, physically impossible

High Relief

Rhythm (Man,cow,man,cow,man,cow)

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Heracles and the Nemean Lion, Temple of Zeus - Oly


Depicts his first labour, having to kill the Neman lion

Athene stands to the left facing an exhausted Heracles, who is resting atop the lion. Hermes was standing to the right

Exhaustion of a man contrasts with the relaxed nature of Athene a godess

No beard, shows Heracles is still fairly young

Unusual to show after the battle rather than at the climax

Sculptor thinks of the price which would Heracles would have had to pay for the victories

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Heracles and the Cretan Bull, Temple of Zeus - Oly


7th Labour of Hercules, had to capture a bull terrorising Crete

Stands in contrapposto, with a curve in his body

Musculature is dynamic, it reacts to the stresses and movement of the body

Heracles and the bull form two diagonals thats cross Heracles' abdomen 

Heracles and the bull both look toward the centre, drawing the viewers gaze there

Sculptor makes great use of the space

Interest is brought in towards the cente due to Heracles pulling the head of the bull. 

It is all action

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Heracles and the Apples of Hesperides, Temple of Z


11th Labour of Heracles, sent to steal an apple from garden of Hesperides. Heracles asked atlas to go retrieve it in return for holding up the universe. Heracles tricks Atlas to take the universe back

Relief carving

Athene raises an arm to help Hercules, alot less strain as she is a god

Atlas on the right holds his arms out perpendicular to his body at a right angle

Athene frontal, Heracles profile and Atlas 3/4 viewing

Athene's drapery falls freely and naturally with catanaries between her breasts

Three verticles dominate the metope, relieved by Atlas' arms

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Heracles and the Augean Stables, Temple of Zeus -


Heracles 6th labour, ordered to clean the stables, Heracles redirects the River Alpheus to run through and hence clean the stables

Marble and high relief

Hearacles bears the severe expression, more apt for the scene than an archaic smile

The struggle of Heracles is emphasised by the contrast of Athene who is relaxed

Heavy drapery, some catanaries visible around Athene's breasts

Athena holds her arm parallel to Heracles as a gesture of support

Athena's dress, a peplos that falls in broad simple folds

Reveals distribution of her weigh

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Metope I, The Parthenon - Athens


Centauromachy (Lapiths v Centaurs) (Civilisation v Barbarianism)

'The wrestlers hold'

Centaur has a angry expression on his face

Lapith adopts severe expression, unlikely given circumstances (in a headlock)

Lapith is clothed, whilst the centaur is naked - contrast of civilisation and barbarism

Muscularture well observed, moulded not etched

Uses the space fairly effectivly

Motion lines on the Lapith's drapery from being pulled

'Figures appear to move freely, engrossed in combat'

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Metope XXVI, The Parthenon - Athens



Fairly basic drapery for lapith, carved in very low relief. So as not to detract from action?

Musculature is fairly idealistic with no reaction to his actions

Line of muscle at the top of his legs

Centaur's musculature more realistic. Contrasts

Lapith seems to be in control of the situation while the Cenatur is in a struggle

Centaur has no neck

Detail is limited

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Metope XXVII, The Parthenon - Athens



Lapith stands in front of the centaur

Sculptor tried to give impression of depth, however makes the centaur seem very small, relative to the Lapith

Both counteract each other by pulling away

The flowing drapery behind the lapith does well to fill the space

The horizontal of the Lapiths outstretched arm and diagonal of his left leg draw the attention to his right hand, where he would be holding his weapon about to strike

The tense musculature reacts to itself, whilst providing a contrast to loose folds of the drapery

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Metope XXVIII, The Parthenon - Athens



Centaur in motion over a dying lapith on the floor

The animal skin on the Lapith's arm shows little detail or reaction

Tail is in motion

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