Ancient Art
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Archaistic relief showing five divinities: Zeus, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, and Apollo.

25 B.C.–A.D. 14

Marble (apparently Thasian)

70 × 130 × 5.5 cm (27 9/16 × 51 3/16 × 2 3/16 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund
Although the figures in this relief have been rendered in a style reminiscent of Archaic Greek sculpture, the piece is actually a work of the late first century B.C. or early first century A.D. Beginning in the late Hellenistic period, some workshops began to produce so-called Archaistic sculpture, which imitates Archaic artistic conventions, such as the stylized zig-zag pattern of drapery folds. Nevertheless, the manner in which the garments cling almost transparently to the bodies underneath clearly marks this relief as a later work. The subject represented is a procession of Olympian gods, from front to back: Zeus, carrying a thunderbolt and a staff; Hera, with a staff; Athena, holding a helmet and a spear; Aphrodite, with a flower; and Apollo, carrying his lyre.
On view*

Formerly in the collection at Athelhampton Hall, Dorset


Cornelius Vermeule, Greek and Roman Sculpture in America, 1st (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1981), 195, no. 161, ill.

“Recent Gifts and Purchases,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 31, no. 1 (Spring 1966): 6–11, 42, ill.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 266, ill.

Mary-Anne Zagdoun, La sculpture archaisante dans l’art hellenistique et dans l’art romain du Haut-Empire (Paris: Diffision De Boccard, 1989), 87–88, 90, 94, 97, 100, fig. 27.

Janet Susanna Rose Sauser, “The Twelve Gods Relief in the Walters Art Gallery,” The Journal of the Walters Art Museum 45 (1987): 6, fig. 4.

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, 3 (Zurich: Artemis Verlag, 1997), 651.

Jennifer Gross, ed., Edgar Degas: Defining the Modernist Edge, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2003), 52, fig. 16.

Christa Bauchenss-Thüriedl, Erika Simon, and Ingrid Krauskopf, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, 8 vols. (Zurich: Artemis, 1981–97), vol. 3, p. 651, no. 21, pl. 512; vol. 4, p. 701, no. 360; vol. 5, p. 848, no. 306.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.