Goddess Athena Pensive - bronze statuette
It was found in two pieces, south of the Parthenon in 1888 and is one of the finest examples of the so-called "Severe Style".
It depicts Athena standing in front of a low stele. The goddess wears a peplos, secured around the waist with a belt, and a Corinthian-style helmet. She stands leaning on her spear with one hand, while the other rests on her hip. Her feet are bare; her bodyweight placed primarily on the right foot, while the left is extended backward, her toes just resting on the ground. The goddess has her head bowed, directing her gaze at the low stele in front of her.
This stele has been the object of various interpretations. Some consider it to be a boundary marker of the goddess's sanctuary; others suggest it was inscribed with an archive of the sanctuary's precious offerings. Still others believe it recorded the names of fallen warriors in some battle – a subject that would fit the goddess' thoughtful, almost sad expression.
Although today this relief is completely white, spectrographical analysis have shown that its background in ancient times was painted blue.
Athena had a special relationship with Athens, as is shown by the etymological connection of the names of the goddess and the city.
Athena was said to have won a contest with Poseidon, god of the Sea, over the city of Athens.
Dimensions: 7 X 4 X 26 cm
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