Zeus or Poseidon of Artemision

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poseidon artemisiou 03This is one of the most beautiful but also of the fewest, unique bronze statues of the classical period. It is a cast piece of art, in supernatural size and depicts either Zeus or Poseidon. This God is represented standing, nude and in wide stride. Although the form is strictly presented, the motion and rendition of the bodily details is quite successful. The God’s beard is full and the hair is full, long and pulled back in braids around the head while in front his locks are loose around the forehead.

The eyes, that hadn’t been saved, are inserts made of a different material. The left hand is raised in front of him, while the raised right arm would have held either the lightning bolt or the trident. In the first case it portrays Zeus, which is more probable while in the second it is that of Poseidon. It is an excellent example of the ancient Greek molding rhythm, and most possibly can be the work of the an extremely capable artist, maybe the famous sculptor Kalami.
It was found in the seas just across Artemision in Evia, at the point of a shipwreck during the 2nd century B.C. First, his right arm was found in 1926 and the rest of the statue in 1928. The discovery was publicized in 1928 in the “Logs of the Academy of Athens” by George Oikonomou. The search for the shipwreck was cancelled after the death of one of the divers and since hasn’t been re-attempted. The ship was believed to have been carrying Greek art work for export to Italy.

 

 

Information

Dating:                  Around 460 B.C
Site of Findings:  Artemisio, Sea area around the Cape of Artemisio, North Evia
Dimensions:         Height – 2,09m
Material:               Bronze
Hosting:                Being held at the National Archeological Museum in Athens

 

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Zeus or Poseidon of Artemision - Quick Guide

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