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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Corcyra, Temple of Artemis, west pediment

Sculpture from the gable end of the temple.

The temple is unusually large for its early date. The shallow triangular shape of the pediment is awkward to fill. The sculptor has tackled this problem by allowing the monstrous gorgon, who is shown reaching towards her son, and the leopards to dominate. The radically reduced scale of the other figures allows them to squeeze into the corners. But they are not mortals but gods: on the right, we see Zeus with his thunderbolt fighting a giant.

With her staring eyes and snakes in her hair, the terrifying gorgon was a common motif of Corinth, which controlled Corcyra (modern Corfu) at the time. She was shown with the same company at the other end also; unlike in later temples, both pediments were identical

Number: 
12
Material: 
Limestone
Location of Original: 

Corfu

Size: 
22.16m x 3.15m
Accession: 

Purchased 1930

References: 

Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 28 (n.13), pl. 6.1
Rodenwaldt, G: Korkyra II (1939) 15-
Rodenwaldt, G: Altdorische Bildwerke in Korfu (1938) 5-
Stewart: Greek Sculpture, 113, pls. 62-5
Richter: Ancient Italy, 2

Date: 
c.580 BCE
Provenance: 

From the Temple of Artemis, Corcyra

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