Dionysos Attacking a Giant
East Metope 2, Parthenon, Athens
Artist: Unknown Greek Artist Primary
This is one of the earliest mythological battles and its placement on the front of the Parthenon was significant because Athena played a major role in the battle and ultimate victory. The Parthenon was a temple dedicated to her. In East 2 Dionysos, at left, strides to the right and attacks a giant dressed as a warrior. A panther leaps alongside and bites the Giant’s torso. A bronze snake, cast separately and attached with nails in the lower half of the metope, also attacks the Giant. This particular composition contains four figures, whereas most of the Parthenon metopes have two figures. The Giant may be running to the right and twisting to escape the animals, but he will not survive.
In the photo below, you can see a graphite on paper drawing showing the metope surface in its current condition (© K.A. Schwab, 2005),
First Ephorate of Prehistoric & Classical Antiquities, Acropolis Museum, Athens (now called the Acropolis Restoration Project ); gift 2010 to the Fairfield University Art Musuem (now called the Fairfield University Art Museum).
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