Quantcast

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
  • Description

    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.

  • Provenance

    Sanctuary of Golgoi–Ayios Photios

  • References

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

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, 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.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, 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. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Geryoneus, no. 3.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, 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. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Kerkopes, no. 27.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, 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. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Perseus, no. 125.

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

    Hermary, Antoine and Joan R. Mertens. 2013. The Cesnola Collection: Stone Sculpture. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 340, Myres 1292.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
242142:2

Close