Figures H and I (Deidameia and Eurytion), West pediment, Temple of Zeus, Olympia
- Figures H and I (Deidameia and Eurytion), West pediment, Temple of Zeus, Olympia
- Cornell Cast Collection
- Unknown (Pausanias attributes the West pediment to Alkamenes, possibly erroneously)
- ca. 1890-1900
- probably Berlin, Germany (reproduction)|Olympia, Greece (original)
- Sage nos. 139-154|797
- Original Culture:
- Original Style:
- Work Type:
- casts (sculpture)
- plaster cast (sculpture)|marble sculpture in the round (original)
- Apollo (Greek deity)
Centauromachy (Greek mythology)
Ancient Olympia (Greece)
- Image View Description:
- from front
- Image View Type:
- Original Extent:
- 235 (H) cm
- This is a full-sized cast of a group of figures, H and I, from the West pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, identified as the Lapith Deidameia and the Centaur Eurytion. Here, Eurytion, the leader of the Centaurs, has seized and sexually assaults Deidameia, bride of Perithoos. Eurytion stands at the viewer's right lifting the peplos-draped Deidameia from the ground with a human and a horse arm and grasping her forcibly exposed left (proper) breast with his left hand. She leans towards the viewer's left in resistance, pushing Eurytion's hand away from her breast with her left hand. The original statue group is substantially preserved but fragmentary. It is missing limbs or parts of limbs from each of the figures, as well as much of the torso of the Centaur. The cast is missing the head, upper torso, and lower left forearm of the Centaur and the Lapith's left arm, with which she elbows the Centaur in the face. These have presumably been lost. Notably, a section of the Lapith's right upper arm is included in this cast that does not appear in the original publication of this group and is not currently in place on the original. Cornell's cast collection originally included full-sized figures from both the west and the east pediments of the temple, as recorded in the Sage Catalogue (ca. 1896). The figures from the west pediment gave their name to Cornell's Temple of Zeus Cafe, where they were on display when the cafe was sited in the space that is now Kaufmann Auditorium in Goldwin Smith Hall. The subject of the West pediment of the Temple of Zeus is a scene of battle between Lapiths and Centaurs at the wedding of Perithoos--king of the Lapiths and friend of Theseus--and Deidameia. Apollo watches over the chaotic scene, directing the action. After an earthquake in the sixth c. CE toppled the temple, its broken elements were gradually covered and protected under several meters of alluvial deposits from the Alpheios and Kladeos rivers. Many figures and fragments from the Olympia pediments were uncovered by German excavators in the final quarter of the 19th c. Excavations at the site are ongoing. Pausanias' description of the temple pediments (5.10.2-10) sheds great light on the subjects of the pediments and both clarifies and confuses the placement of the figures in relation to each other. Various arrangements of figures have been proposed and scholarly debate on the topic continues.
- Good but incomplete condition
missing Centaur's head and upper torso and part of his left forearm
- ID nos. 793-798 are a set of figures from the west pediment. Also included in the set are nos. 449, 436, and 474.
- Bernard Ashmole and Nicholas Yalouris, Olympia: The Sculptures of the Temple of Zeus (London: Phaidon, 1967).
Hans-Volkmar Herrmann, ed., Die Olympia-Skulpturen. Wege der Forschung, Band 577 (Darmstadt, 1987).
Andrew Stewart, Greek Sculpture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), 142-146, 253-254, figs. 262-276.
John Boardman, Greek Sculpture: The Classical Period (London: Thames and Hudson, 1985), 33-50, figs. 18-23.6.
Gipsformerei, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Katalog der Originalabgüsse, Heft 4, Griechenland und Rom: Freiplastik, pls. 76-79.
Georg Treu, Die Bildwerke von Olympia in Stein und Thon. Die Ergebnisse der von dem Deutschen Reich veranstalteten Ausgrabung, Band III (Berlin: Asher & Co., 1894-1897).
Judith Barringer, "The Temple of Zeus at Olympia: Heroes and Athletes," Hesperia 74 (2005), 211-241.
- Cornell University (current)
Olympia, Archaeological Museum (original)
- Repository Location:
- Goldwin Smith Hall (Room 174), Cornell University
- Collecting Program:
- Cornell Collections of Antiquities
- The images in the Cornell Collection of Antiquities: Casts are protected by copyright, and the copyright holders are their creators, generally Cornell University Library, Annetta Alexandridis, and Verity Platt. This collection of plaster casts owned by Cornell University was photographed by Cornell University Library, Alexandridis, Platt, and Andreya L. Mihaloew from 2010-2015, with funding from a Digital Collections in Arts and Sciences Grant to Annetta Alexandridis. Cornell is providing access to the materials for research and personal use. The written permission of any copyright and other rights holders is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use that extends beyond what is authorized by fair use and other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. Please contact Annetta Alexandridis and Verity Platt for more information about this collection, or to request permission to use these images.
- Items in the Cornell Cast Collection are meant for inventory and reference purposes. Metadata may not be complete in all cases.