Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bronze statuette of Zeus or Poseidon

Period:
Archaic
Date:
early 5th century B.C.
Culture:
Greek
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
H. 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm)
Classification:
Bronzes
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1921
Accession Number:
21.88.52
Not on view
This mature bearded figure must represent either Zeus, the god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian deities, or his brother Poseidon, who controlled the seas. The identity would have been clear from the attribute that was originally held in the right hand. Zeus's weapon was the thunderbolt, and a sanctuary to him was established wherever lightening struck. Poseidon wielded a trident, the three-pronged spear that fishermen used to catch huge tuna.
Said to be from Cyrene, North Africa

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1923. "Classical Bronzes: Recent Accessions." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 18(3): pp. 73, 75, fig. 6.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 67, 208, pl. 48b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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. 1997. Thespiades-Zodiacus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 8. Zeus, no. 29e, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Padgett, J. Michael. 2017. The Berlin Painter and His World : Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century B.C. no. 38, p. 280, New Haven: Yale University Press.

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