Photographer's Note

***Aphrodite (Venus ) of Milos***
*** The Winged Victory of Samothrace-4***
*** Six Days In Paris ***

Athena known as the Pallas of Velletri
This huge statue of Athena, found in Velletri in the eighteenth century, is a copy of a bronze effigy, now lost, known from Roman copies and fragments of antique casts, found in Baia, near Naples. The original, dating from about 430 BC, is generally attributed to Cresilas, a Cretan sculptor who also produced a portrait of Pericles, a copy of which is in the British Museum. The hero's oval face and sharply defined features are strikingly similar to those of the goddess.

The Pallas of Velletri: an exceptional discovery
In 1797 Vicenzo Pacetti, an art restorer, discovered a huge statue, more than three meters tall, in the ruins of a Roman villa near Velletri, a small Italian town whose name has now become synonymous with the copies of this style of statue. The helmet and aegis (a breastplate edged with serpents and with the head of the Gorgon Medusa fixed in the center) indicate that the statue represents the goddess Athena-known by the Romans as Pallas or Minerva. The statue was purchased by the French commissioners of the Directoire and taken to Rome before being confiscated by Neapolitan troops in 1798 and moved to the royal collections in Naples. On 28 March 1798, the work was handed over to France by the Treaty of Florence. It has been on display in the Louvre since December 1803.
A copy of a work dating from the late 5th century BC
This monumental work is a copy of a bronze effigy on the same scale, now lost, although several Roman copies survive. Fragments of antique casts were also found during the excavation of a Roman workshop specializing in copies of ancient works, in Baia, near Naples. It is likely that these fragments were cast from the original, confirming the size and the material of the original statue, which probably dated from the Classical period, in the late 5th century BC. The small size of the aegis, the goddess's long, sleeved tunic, and her cloak or himation, gathered at the hips in a large triangular drape, are all characteristic of the period. The solemn, hieratic pose of the goddess, her attributes, and the folds of the cloth are influenced by the Athenas sculpted by Phidias, such as the Athena Parthenos and the Athena Promachos.
A sculpture attributed to Cresidas
The original from which this statue was copied has sometimes been identified as the statue sculpted by Alcamenes in about 430-420 BC for the interior of the temple of Hephaistos on the agora in Athens. However, the style of the goddess's facial features makes it more likely that the statue is the work of the Cretan sculptor Cresilas, who worked on the Acropolis in Athens in the late 5th century BC. The regular oval shape of the face, together with the sharply defined brows, eyes, and nose, are strikingly similar to the bust of Pericles wearing a helmet, now in the British Museum. The bust is a copy of the statue of the strategist that Cresilas produced in about 430 BC, according to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History (34.25). This work is mentioned again in the second century AD by the traveler Pausanias, in his Periegesis (1.28.2), when it was in the Acropolis in Athens. The Pallas of Velletri is therefore likely to be a Roman copy of an original by the Cretan master sculptor, although it is impossible to say precisely which statue, whether the original was religious in nature, and what building the original was made for.
Info: *** ***

Nobody has marked this note useful

Photo Information
Viewed: 2839
Points: 0
  • None
Additional Photos by Aimilios Petrou (aimiliospet) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 63 W: 162 N: 486] (2355)
View More Pictures