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Eros, Aphrodite, Helen and statue of Athena
Unknown Greek Artist
5th century BCE
49.5 x 54.5 x 10 in. (125.73 x 138.43 x 25.4 cm)
Medium and Support:
plaster cast from Pentelic marble original
Gift of the First Ephorate of Prehistoric & Classical Antiquities, Acropolis Museum, Athens, 2010
Bellarmine Hall Galleries
from "Highlights of the Plaster Cast Collection" published by the BMA 11/10 in conjunction with the exhibition, Gift from Athens, p. 8.
This metope depicts a key moment during the Sacking of Troy: when Menelaos sets out to find his wife Helen, whom he intends to murder in revenge for the loss of so many of his comrades. Meanwhile Eros and Aphrodite work their charms, causing Menelaos, in the adjacent North Metope 24, to drop his sword at the sight of his beautiful wife. In the next moment he will fall hopelessly in love with her again.
This version of the story shows Helen racing to the safety of a statue of Athena before harm can befall her. Importantly, this specific metope helped 19th-century scholars to decipher the entire thematic program of the north metopes. (K.A. Schwab)
Eros, Aphrodite, Helen, and statue of Athena, 447-442 BCE
North Metope 25, Parthenon, Athens
Plaster cast from Pentelic marble original
Acropolis Museum, Athens
Gift of the First Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical
Antiquities--Acropolis Museum, Athens, 2010