Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Limestone Geryon

Period:
Archaic
Date:
2nd half of the 6th century B.C.
Culture:
Cypriot
Medium:
Limestone
Dimensions:
Overall: 20 7/8 x 15 1/4 x 10 1/8 in. (53 x 38.7 x 25.7 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
74.51.2591
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 174
In Greek mythology, Geryon was a three-bodied creature who lived far away in the West with his dog, a great herd of cattle, and a herdsman. One of the labors of the hero Herakles was to fetch the cattle for King Eurystheus of Tiryns (see the relief 74.51.2853). The sculptor here has dealt summarily but efficiently with Geryon's arms and legs. The major emphasis is on the decoration of the garment and shields. The skirt of the tunic shows a roughly heraldic scene of two men with large swords battling two rampant lions. The figure may be Herakles performing the feat that gained him the lionskin. The leftmost shield depicts Perseus, accompanied by Athena, beheading the Gorgon Medusa. On the central shield, Herakles carries away one of the Kerkopes while another attacks him. The right shield, now much damaged, shows Herakles shooting a centaur. One wonders whether Herakles the archer (74.51.2500) was taking aim at this Geryon.
Sanctuary of Golgoi–Ayios Photios

Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. no. 1292, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Tatton-Brown, Veronica. 1984. "Sculptors at Golgoi." Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus (RDAC) p. 172, n. 31, pl. XXXIII:5.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1988. Eros-Herakles, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 4. Geryoneus, no. 3, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1992. Kentauroi-Oiax, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 6. Kerkopes, no. 27, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1994. Oidipous-Theseus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 7. Perseus, no. 125, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Karageorghis, Vassos, Joan Mertens, and Marice E. Rose. 2000. Ancient Art from Cyprus: The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 193, p. 128, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Karageorghis, Vassos. 2002. Early Cyprus: Crossroads of the Mediterranean. pl. 490, Los Angeles, California: J. Paul Getty Museum.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 290, pp. 249, 463, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Stylianou, Andreas and Patrick Schollmeyer. 2007. "Der Sarkophag aus Golgoi." Dynastensarkophage mit szenischen Reliefs aus Byblos und Zypern: Der Sarkophag aus Amathous als Beispiel kontaktinduzierten Wandels, 2. no. 182, p. 216, pl. 50a, Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern.

Hermary, Antoine and Joan R. Mertens. 2013. The Cesnola Collection of Cypriot Art: Stone Sculpture. no. 340, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Counts, Derek B. 2014. "Myth into Art: Foreign Impulses and Local Reponses in Archaic Cypriot Sanctuaries." The Cambridge Prehistory of the Bronze and Iron Age Mediterranean, Arthur Bernard Knapp and Peter van Dommelen, eds. pp. 288-9, 291, fig. 16.4, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Related Objects

Limestone Herakles

Date: ca. 530–520 B.C. Medium: Limestone Accession: 74.51.2455 On view in:Gallery 174

Limestone statue of a youth

Date: early 5th century B.C. Medium: Limestone Accession: 74.51.2457 On view in:Gallery 175

Limestone head of beardless male votary

Date: mid–1st century B.C. Medium: Limestone Accession: 74.51.2787 On view in:Gallery 176

Limestone head of a bearded man

Date: early 6th century B.C. Medium: Limestone Accession: 74.51.2857 On view in:Gallery 174

Limestone funerary stele (shaft) with a "Cypriot capital"

Date: 5th century B.C. Medium: Limestone Accession: 74.51.2493 On view in:Gallery 175