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and somewhat picturesque motive. No. 10 is the metope now in the Louvre, representing a Centaur rushing off with a Lapith maiden. The equine body of the Centaur and the body of the maiden present the appearance of low relief detached as a mass from the background to the same extent as the equine body of the Centaur. The arm of the maiden crossing the chest of the Centaur is, in fact, rendered in low relief, like the drapery on her body and between her and the Centaur. Even more striking in this respect is 12, now in Athens, in which the Centaur seizes a maiden, grasping her with his right foreleg as well as with his arms. Excepting the equine body of the Centaur, the rest of this metope may be described as low relief brought forward to the necessary degree of projection. It seems beautiful in the contrasts of nude form, as in the breast, leg, and foot of the maiden, against her disordered yet clearly indicated dress, with its strongly marked folds. The body of the Centaur is modelled on the surface with great care and minuteness, and therefore has not the full and rounded appearance of most of the other Centaurs. In Carrey's drawing the Centaur is not yet headless. In the metope, as it exists now, we see that the victim's dress is thin and clings in fine folds to her person, following the movements of the limbs. Her thick himation has almost gone to the winds. We see traces of it on her left arm, where she is trying to dislodge the Centaur's hand, and again floating at the back of the Centaur. But her body is closely pressed against the Centaur, so as to leave no room whatever for deep shadows within the general contours and to produce the effect of a broad surface of low relief.
In 1, which is in Athens, we have a similar effect, with the difference that it is here a combat of a Lapith and Centaur at very close quarters indeed. Here again drapery is used to conceal the close impact of the two bodies and to introduce contrasts between the entwined legs of the two combatants.
Lastly there is 29, in which the Centaur has carried off the Lapith maiden to a distance; we may call her the first victim. The Centaur has raised her in his arms ; she has no foothold on the ground like her sisters.
These are the most striking instances of the mixture of both high and low relief in the Centaur metopes; but among them there are several others where something of the same kind is noticeable. For instance, there is the grandly composed 7, in which the sudden impact of Lapith and Centaur produces a nearly pyramidal group, as happens when two opposing forces crash into each other at full speed. Here again we see the space between the Lapith and Centaur occupied with drapery; but the folds are sharply indicated, and the effect of the drapery in stopping out the dense shadow which might have been there is less marked than in the metopes just noticed. In Carrey's drawing the Centaur's right arm is complete, his hand clutching the right arm of the maiden.
How differently drapery may be treated is seen in 27, which is generally accepted as the grandest of all the metopes of the Parthenon. In execution it far surpasses the others. The whole figure of the Lapith stands free from the background, except in two small places where his left leg crosses the crupper of the Centaur and where his shoulder is not altogether severed from the background. In the other metopes there are numerous places where limbs are partially detached from the background, but there is no instance which can at all compare with this tour de force. Both heads existed in Carrey's time. Here the mantle of the Lapith is made to stretch behind him like a curtain, to show off his fine bodily form. The folds are kept in low relief close to the background, and in no perceptible degree lessen the amount of shadow there, but only break it up by their sharp undulating edges.
The ends of this great mantle hang over each arm of the Lapith. At the next moment the whole will have fallen to the ground in a bundle, and the spell will have been broken. The sculptor has chosen an instantaneous point of the action at which this immense mantle would be seen at its best as an element of display, and doubtless also the attitude of the Lapith has been conceived for the sake of display and an imposing effect, rather than to indicate a special group in the legend. The left hand of the Lapith has got a hold of the Centaur's head—we can see parts of his fingers—and is dragging it towards him to deal it an effective blow from his right hand. To prevent this, the Centaur exerts all the might of his left hand, which is thrown up to dislodge the Lapith's grasp, while the right hand goes round his back for the same purpose, almost suggesting that the Centaur's hands were bound behind him, which, of course, was not
This is one of the metopes where the Centaur is plainly getting the worst of it. Why the instances of that sort are so few we do not know. But it is a fact that the Centaurs of these metopes are favourably represented. No one of them is to be seen stretched dead on the ground, like the Lapith in the next metope, 28, with his opponent passing over him triumphantly. At the worst the Centaur is in the grip of the Lapith, who is about to deal a heavy blow, but in no case is the blow already dealt. There is no indication of any weapon in the hands of the Lapiths, though perhaps in the broken condition of the marbles it would be too much to say that there had not been any, especially as two of the Lapiths carry shields on their arms. The one 4, and the other 11, are now known only from Carrey. Equally the Centaurs do not appear to have carried branches of trees, such as they employed for weapons ordinarily. One of them is driven to seize on a wine jar to strike his opponent with. It was a sudden fray which had arisen at a peaceful wedding, where neither side ought to have been armed, and this was apparently the view taken of it by the sculptor of the Parthenon.
In these respects the metopes of the Parthenon differ very greatly from the frieze of Phigaleia, which represents the same subject by a contemporary artist–by an artist, in fact, who had taken part as an architect in the building of the Parthenon. One slab will serve as an illustration. There is no delay there in striking. There is indeed a brutality in both Centaur and Lapith which is far removed from the spirit of the Parthenon metopes. We see also there how a dead Centaur could be represented, with due regard to his equine and human forms. He could not have been thrown on his back like the dead Lapith without looking ridiculous. He had to fall prone to the ground, with his arms and legs powerless, and the panther's skin which had been wrapped
round his shoulders almost grinning at what has happened altogether a pathetic figure.
In the metope of the dead Lapith, 28, the Centaur also wears a panther's skin ; it hangs stretched over the left arm almost defiantly like a banner. That display of it may be mere accident, for the panther's skin was a recognised article of dress among the Centaurs to wrap round their human shoulders. In one of the frescoes by Polygnotos at Delphi a panther's skin was hung up over the door of the house of Antenor in Troy to indicate to the Greeks when they entered the city that they were to spare that house because of the friendliness of its owner to the Greeks on a former occasion, so that possibly there may be some symbolism in the manner in which the Centaur holds forward the panther's skin. In the Parthenon metopes the panther's skin only occurs here and in three more instances; that is to say, in 3, where it is just visible, twisted over his left arm, and in 5, where it has been tied round the neck of the Centaur, and has floated back behind him, as we see from traces on the marble. In this metope the Lapith, originally in combat with the Centaur, has entirely disappeared, but in Carrey's time he was there all but the head. In 30 there is just a bit of panther's skin sketched in slightly on the background, but no apparent connection with the Centaur.
In 26 it is curious to observe a slight piece of drapery sketched in on the background behind the legs of the Lapith, but having at present no visible connection with the figure. Possibly the right hand of the Lapith had originally held the end of this diminutive mantle. There seems to be a support for that hand still projecting on the