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Sculpture

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Open Access

Horses, with Man Fastening Sandal, Parthenon, West Frieze, Slab XV

Artist: Unknown Greek Artist Primary
Date: 442 BCE - 438 BCE
5th century BCE
Dimensions: 34 x 40 x 4 in. (86.36 x 101.6 x 10.16 cm)
Object Type: Relief Sculpture
Creation Place: Europe, Greece
Medium and Support: Plaster cast from Pentelic marble original
Credit Line: Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Accession Number: L1991.06
This work is not currently on view


The West frieze of the Parthenon consists of six blocks of Pentelic marble with relief sculpture. Two of these blocks are in the British Museum, while the remaining four were removed from the Parthenon in the 1990s to undergo laser cleaning. Today these cleaned blocks are installed in the Acropolis Museum wherea a stone cast of the frieze appears on the Parthenon. The west frieze is possibly the best preserved section of the entire Ionic frieze that once decorated the exterior of the cella.

This cast shows the block closest to the southwest corner of the frieze where the portrayal of the Panathenaic procession begins. There is an intimacy felt between us and the young man who intently laces up his sandal. He is unaware that we are observing him, which makes the scene all the more honest and realistic.

Here, all is quiet as the young man faces to the right, with his sandaled foot resting on a rock, in contrast to the horses which face to the left. As the spectators, we understand that what we are witnessing is the beginning of an event that has both great importance and historical significance.




Keywords

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sculpture
Three-dimensional works of art in which images and forms are produced in relief, in intaglio, or in the round. The term refers particularly to art works created by carving or engraving a hard material, by molding or casting a malleable material (which usually then hardens), or by assembling parts to create a three-dimensional object. It is typically used to refer to large or medium-sized objects made of stone, wood, bronze, or another metal. Small objects are typically referred to as "carvings" or another appropriate term. "Sculpture" refers to works that represent tangible beings, objects, or groups of objects, or are abstract works that have defined edges and boundaries and can be measured. As three-dimensional works become more diffused in space or time, or less tangible, use appropriate specific terms, such as "mail art" or "environmental art."

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