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Circular Relief of the Slaughter of the Niobids

The slaughter of Niobe and her children is the myth depicted here, possibly a Roman adaptation of the frieze on the throne of the cult statue of Zeus at Olympia, by Pheidias. The adaptation from a horizontal frieze to a circular composition has resulted in the including of the figure of a bearded man, lower left, not normally shown in the free-standing sculptures of the Niobe story.

The middle two rows show dead and dying children, with possibly Niobe herself in the centre. At the top are the punishing gods, Artemis and Apollo, firing their arrows. All are set in a rough landscape

Location of Original: 

London, British Museum 2200


Purchased from the British Museum in 1922


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 159 (n.8)
Lowy: Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts XLII (1927), pl. opposite 136
Smith: Catalogue of British Museum Sculpture III (1904), 260-
Cook BF: Greek and Roman Art in the British Museum (1976), 184

Roman. Original: early C3 BCE

From Rome

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