Page images

is concerned, we accept this gap as meant to separate the legendary family of Cecrops from A, the personification of the river Ilissos (or Cephisos) reclining in the angle; and if we could convince ourselves that the group of women and boys, P-U, in the right wing represent the family of Erechtheus, as Professor Furtwaengler has proposed, we would be content so far. The two remaining figures in the right angle, V-W, would then be, from our point of view, local personifications, possibly the Cephisos (or Ilissos) and the fountain Callirrhoe, as they have so often been called. There would thus be three orders of beings in the pediment-deities in the centre, legendary beings next them, and personifications in the immediate angles. In any case we insist on this artistic division of groups in the pediment.

From the family of Cecrops we now turn more particularly to the supposed family of Erechtheus in the right wing. In Carrey's drawing and partly also in the actual remains we recognise there a group of women and boys, P-U. One would have expected even more excitement among them since they were on the losing side. But it is hardly so. The woman Q next to Poseidon's charioteer is seated high to the front. She herself does not appear to share the same excitement as the corresponding figure F on Athene's side, but the boy on her right side, P, has rushed impetuously to her, his right hand clasping her knee, and his mantle stretched between him and her. On her left was another boy, R, of whom we have no remains. Next comes an almost nude figure, S, sitting on the knees of a draped woman, T, who appears to be seated low on the ground, and in the act of raising her knees as if in some astonishment. Lastly, a woman, U,

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic]
[blocks in formation]

seated, moving uneasily, to the front. In Carrey's drawing she appears to be like the corresponding figure D in the left wing, but in both cases that appearance of moving uneasily may be due solely to the point of view at which Carrey made his drawing

We have thus in the two angles two groups of women and children whom we are tempted to suppose sitting in the sun at the moment of the divine contest in a garden beside the sanctuary of Athenè and Hephaestos, where Plato imagines the ruling families to have dwelt in the legendary age. That would be on the Acropolis ; but in his picture the Acropolis of those days extended to Mount Lycabettos on the one hand and to the Pnyx on the other. In any case the beings who are first surprised by the divine contest are women and children. And of these the group on the left are unmistakably the family of Cecrops. Of them we need say no

But the other group presents difficulties. way or another they must be associated with Poseidon. They are on his side, and above all there is the sea-monster under the feet of his charioteer. In Carrey's drawing the tail of that monster seems to have stretched behind the feet of the next seated figure, Q, and in the marble in the British Museum there is a joint behind her feet which shows that something, sculptured separately from her, had passed along there (Pl. V.). If that was the tail of the sea-monster, as it ought to be, we could then easily understand the joint in the marble. Under her feet Carrey has drawn what may fairly be regarded as marine objects of some kind. On her left side he draws another young boy, R, also standing high, possibly on the rock on which she is seated. Next we have a figure almost entirely nude, S, seated on the knees of a draped figure, T. To regard this nude figure, S, as a third boy is to ignore Carrey's obvious intention in drawing it as a woman. Woman or not, being on the side of Poseidon she must be explained in some relation to the sea.


In one

i Critias, 6.

If a woman, and intended in this connection, we have no difficulty in finding analogies for her among sea-nymphs. For that purpose we give (Pl. IV., Fig. 2) a group of two nymphs on a bronze relief in the British Musem. They are seated on a seamonster, and are surprised, the head of Poseidon rising out of the sea.

It is not strange, therefore, that the nude figure, S, has more often than not been regarded as the sea-born Aphroditè. In our judgment this whole family group in the pediments may reasonably be taken as nymphs or such-like with their children, on the coast of Attica. Their individual names is a matter of indifference from an artistic point of view. We should add here that the body of the boy P was identified and put in its proper place some years ago, having been previously considered to be the body of a Lapith in one of the south metopes; that the drapery of the figure Q is very beautifully sculptured; and that we possess in the Museum a large draped fragment which may be one of the thighs of T, also very finely sculptured (Pl. IV., Fig. 1).

We now return to the two extreme angles of the pediment, having already expressed an opinion that the reclining figure in the left, A, is a river-god, either the Ilissos or Cephisos, and that the reclining woman in the right, W, may be the fountain Callirrhoè, the male figure next her,

i Catalogue of Bronzes, No. 973 ; Arch. Zeit., 1884, pl. 2, fig. 2.

« PreviousContinue »