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The Historic Plaster Cast Collection

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Open Access

Head of Iris

East Frieze, Block 5, Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens
Artist: Unknown Greek Artist Primary
Date: 442-438 BCE
5th century BCE
Dimensions: 8 x 10.5 x 3 in. (20.32 x 26.67 x 7.62 cm)
Object Type: Plaster Cast
Creation Place: Europe, Greece
Medium and Support: Plaster cast from Pentelic marble original
Credit Line: Gift of the First Ephorate of Prehistoric & Classical Antiquities, Acropolis Museum, Athens, 2010
Accession Number: 2010.02.03
This work is not currently on view


The original marble head, after which this cast was taken, was found built into a Byzantine wall to the southwest of the Acropolis. Iris, who has also been identified variously as Hebe or Nike, attended the enthroned Hera who sat beside her consort, Zeus, within an Assembly of the Gods flanking a ceremony usually described as the Peplos Ceremony (see Two Female Attendants in the Peplos Ceremony, 442-438 BCE, below). Block 5 from the east frieze is in the British Museum, with the exception of this head of Iris, which has always remained in Athens and is now in the
Acropolis Museum .


Bibliography

"Highlights of the Plaster Cast Collection" published by the BMA 11/10 in conjunction with the exhibition, Gift from Athens, p. 6.

Provenance

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).



Keywords

Click a term to view other artwork with the same keyword

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.
Iris
Ancient Greek goddess believed to be the personificationof the rainbow and the messenger of the gods.
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)."
mythology
Genre and tradition concerning the study of a culture's body of myths, belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition in an authoritative and official fashion and through symbolic narrative, iconography, or characterization, usually through the forms and personalities of deities.
frieze components
Parts or components of friezes.
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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