Marble statue of wounded AmazonRoman imperial period,1st-2nd century A.D. Copy of a Greek bronze statue of ca. 450-425 B.C. Lower legs and feet have been restored with casts taken from copies in Berlin and Copenhagen. Most of the right arm, lower part of pillar, and plinth are eighteenth century marble restorations. Gift of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., 1932 Accession# (32.11.4). Located in Gallery 153. I chose this figure because it stood apart once I walked into the gallery.She looked like she would be an Amazon since the figure was astonishingly tall.
I also chose her because of the significance of the story behind the Amazons. They have been known for their power, authority and strength, characteristics seldom attributed to women. The marble statue of a wounded Amazon is of a typical Greek nature. It showcased beautiful and symmetrical facial features, strong jawline and perfect nose. The statue displayed large muscles and romanticized an ideal body. The statue’s body is tall and dramatically posed, creating an ambiance of strength and power.
Her hand is cut off and her arm is resting on a pillar. The object did present a short story. In Greek art, the Amazons, a mythical race of warrior women from Asia Minor, were often depicted battling such heroes as Herakles, Achilles, and Theseus. This statue represents a refugee from battle who has lost her weapons and bleeds from a wound under her right breast. Her chiton is unfastened at one shoulder and belted at the waist with a makeshift bit of bridle from her horse. Despite her plight, her face shows no sign of pain or fatigue. She leans lightly on a pillar at her left and rests her right arm gracefully on her head in a gesture often used to denote sleep or death. Such emotional restraint was characteristic of classical art of the second half of the fifth century B.C. The original statue probably stood in the precinct of the great temple of Artemis at Ephesus, on the coast of Asia Minor, where the Amazons had legendary and cultic connections with the goddess. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder described a competition held in the mid-fifth century B.C. between five famous sculptors, including Phidias, Polykleitos, and Kresilas, who were to make a statue of an Amazon for the temple. This type of statue is generally associated with that contest (metmuseum.org, 2019).The object gave me a visual understanding of the beauty Greek sculptures possess. The Amazon women were introduced in Homer’s Iliad. Homer depicted them as savage warriors who apparently mated with male enemies and committed infanticide by killing male newborns because females were of more value and viewed as supreme beings. This was odd to me since Homer usually displays women as inferior to men in the Iliad. Brises is simply described as a prize (195). when Agamemnon fought over her. She was also known only as Achilles’ concubine. Hera deceives Zeus only when she seduces him. (360). The Amazon women were the exception to this inferiority in the Iliad. Homer goes as far as indicating that the Amazons were equal to men and referred to them as women the peers of men (192). An Amazon woman that stood out to me was Andromache, her name means man fighter.” In book 6 of the Iliad, Andromache is shown watching what’s happening in the city below from the top of the wall, an unusual place for a woman.I’ve read information on Amazons previously and so the text didn’t really help me broaden my understanding, however, having seen the piece at the Met, did help me visualize how the Amazon women were able to defeat so many of their male counterparts. The fact that a Rockefeller owed the piece, speaks to the importance of the piece. The statues’ description shows that it probably stood in the precinct of the great temple of Artemis at Ephesus, on the coast of Asia Minor. I don’t think I would have displayed it differently because it is deserving of where it stands at the Met. I think it was placed to be the focus to the entrance of the museum. Marble column from the Temple of Artemis at SardisThe Marble Column from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis is from the Hellenistic period circa ca. 300 B.C. It is a made out of marble and nearly 60 feet tall in its original state. The artifact was given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art from the American Society for the Excavation of Sardis, 1926. It is located in gallery 160, Accession# (26.59.1)The section of a fluted Ionic column in the center of this room stood over fifty-eight feet high in its original location at the Temple of Artemis. The delicate foliate carving on the capital is unique among extant capitals from the temple, and the torus (foliated base), with its vegetal scale-like pattern, is also exceptionally elaborate. This capital is slightly smaller than others found at the site, indicating that it does not belong to the outer colonnade. Two similar pairs of columns (marked in red on the plan shown nearby) stood in the east and west porches. The column, displayed here with most of the shaft omitted, was probably originally from one or more of those pairs. Alternatively, it may be from the cella (inner room) or from the inner back porch. Parts of the fluted shaft are restored, and the profiled base below the torus is a copy of the original (metmuseum.org, 2019).The column is beige and is thought to have been from the cella because of its smaller structure and because of where it was found. When gifted to the Met, sections of the column were restored for its display. It’s marble composition is of cosmic durability and strength. strength. Most interesting was the inscription in Greek located at its bottom fillet, similar to the archaic Temple of Artemis at Ephesus where the Marble statues of wounded Amazons were said to have once stood. The message was placed at eye level and begins at the southeast base with its thick shaft encircled clockwise so as to reveal its meaning. A beautiful and elaborate vegetal-scale like pattern encompassed the torus and fashioned as a wreath. The entire torus, in effect, is a victory wreath, complete with ribbons, glorifying the column as the winner of a competition (A Victor’s Message, 2014). The monumental column was in the same area as the marble statue of a wounded Amazon and was exquisite. Its placement at the Met was fine. I probably would’ve placed it directly under the glass ceilings, instead it’s in a dark area of the museum, however, because of its enormous size, it can be placed anywhere, and one can still feel its singular achievement.To conclude, ancient Greek artwork often show combat between the Amazons and the Greeks which is why we see many of the sculptures with no arms or hands, but their beauty remained unscathed. The Amazons lived independently and were thought to be unmarried. I thought this was so empowering. I also noticed Homer’s subservience of women noted throughout the entire Iliad, his hard work was completely lost when he references the Amazons. Amazons: Feminism at its best in Hellenistic times. With regard to the column of the temple of Artemis at Sardis, I’ve learned a lot about Greek architecture. Ancient Greek architecture is distinctive and unique. The proportional design, the columns, friezes, and sculptures are magnificent. The influence Greek architecture has had on the US is evident in almost every major downtown area. Their influences are featured in almost every court house you walk into, just look at the colonnades at the New York Stock Exchange or the United States Capitol. The research I’ve done for the two figures for this project have me so excited for my trip to Greece this coming August. I feel confident in going into the museums and recognizing some of the pieces.