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The Historic Plaster Cast Collection

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A plaster cast of a man with his foot up on a rock tying his sandal next to two horses. His robe hangs from around his neck, barely covering him. He is cut off at the head and one of the horses to the left is cut off halfway through its body.

Open Access

Horses with Man Fastening Sandal

North / West Frieze, Slab 15 Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens
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: Plaster Cast
Creation Place: Europe, Greece
Medium and Support: Plaster cast from Pentelic marble original
Credit Line: Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Accession Number: L1991.06ab
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 where 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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Athenian Acropolis
An ancient citadel located in the city of Athens containing the remains of several ancient buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike.
Pentelic marble
A famous Greek marble quarried at Mount Pentelikon near Athens. It is pure white but may turn yellow after long exposure to air; a few miniscule veins of talc sometimes cause a faint greenish tint. It was used in antiquity as early as the 6th century BCE and continued to be popular for both sculpture and architecture; both the sculptural decoration and the architectural members of the Parthenon are made of Pentelic marble.
High Classical
Refers to the middle phase of the Greek Classical period and style, from around 450 BCE to around 400 BCE. In sculpture it is characterized by the complete mastery of the ideal human form, represented in balanced, subtle movement and with drapery that clings to the body to reveal the form beneath. In vase painting, it is characterized by an increased refinement and variety of human forms and facial expressions. In architecture it is characterized by a lightening of proportions and a refinement of earlier established orders.
public domain
Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government. Also, the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.
acropolises
The higher and usually fortified sections of ancient Greek cities, typically containing temples and some public buildings and used as places of refuge.
Ancient Greek
Refers to the culture and styles of ancient Greece, generally excluding modern and prehistoric periods, but including periods between around 900 BCE to around 31 BCE. For the culture of Greece in general, including modern Greece, see "Greek."
Parthenon
An ancient temple on the Athenian Acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena Parthenos during the 5th century BCE. The structure was built to commemorate the Greek victory over the Persians and also served as the city's treasury.
friezes
Extended horizontal bands decorating architecture, furniture, or other objects and containing figures, scenes, inscriptions, or ornamental motifs. For the specific parts of classical entablatures, see "friezes (entablature components)."
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."

Portfolio List

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