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Hydra pediment

Collection: Athens, Acropolis Museum
Title: Hydra pediment
Context: From Athens, Acropolis
Findspot: Found at Athens, Acropolis, SW of the Parthenon
Summary: Herakles killing the Lernaian Hydra
Material: Limestone
Sculpture Type: Architectural
Category: Single monument
Placement: Pediment
Style: High Archaic
Technique: Very low relief
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 600 BC - ca. 570 BC
Dimensions: H. (max.) 0.79 m; W. 5.80 m; H. relief (max.) 0.03 m
Scale: Under life-size
Region: Attica
Period: High Archaic

Subject Description: The Hydra's fills the entire right half of the pediment; this coils of its many necks fill the right corner. A giant crab (Hera's crab, sent to aid the Hydra) fills the opposite corner. To the right of the crab is Iolaos, Herakles' helper and charioteer, who seems to be mounting (or dismounting) the chariot (while the horses seem to graze). While he faces to the left, Iolaos turns his head to the right to watch Herakles. Herakles, bearded and wearing a short, belted tunic (as is Iolaos), is shown at a larger scale than his mortal assistant. He strides toward the Hydra, with his left leg advanced, and holds his club high in his right hand, about to strike the monster.

Condition: Fragmentary

Condition Description: Reconstructed from many fragments. Large portions of all figures are missing, but enough details remain to substantiate the reconstruction in the museum. The pediment is brightly painted; mostly black and red pigment remain.

Sources Used: Brouskari 1974, 29, figs. 15-17 (with previous bibliography)