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Temple C at Selinus, two metopes

Reliefs depicting myths of Perseus and Herakles.

Temple C was one of a succession of temples at Selinus in Sicily, built in the late 6th century BCE. The metopes — square panels high on the temple’s sides — were decorated with sculpture. On the first, Perseus is cutting off Medusa’s head with Athena standing by, while Pegasus, the winged horse, is born from Medusa’s blood. The other metope shows Herakles carrying off the Kerkopes, little demons that haunted the area around Ephesus. He has tied them up and slung them on a pole. The picture shows the Perseus and Medusa metope.

Selinus (modern Selinunte) was a large Greek settlement. These sculptures were found during excavations in 1822. Impressive temple remains are still visible there today

Number: 
49
Material: 
Limestone (?)
Location of Original: 

Palermo

Size: 
1.47m
Accession: 

Purchased 1888-9

References: 

Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 91 (n.10 & 12), pl. 29.1
Richter: Archaic Greek Art, 126-7, fig.203
Richter: Sculpture & Sculptors of the Greeks (1950), fig.405
Kähler: Das Griechische Metopenbild (1949), pls. 26-7
Benndorf: Metopes of Selinus, 44-5, pls. I-II
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 11-2, nos.27-8
Stewart: Greek Sculpture, 115, pls. 83-7

Date: 
Late C6 BCE
Provenance: 

Excavated in 1822 at Selinus (modern Selinunte), Sicily

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