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Cult statue of Apollo Patroos, detail of right foot

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Cult statue of Apollo Patroos, detail of feet and lower edge of drapery

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Cult statue of Apollo Patroos, upper torso

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Cult statue of Apollo Patroos, detail of legs and lower drapery

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Cult statue of Apollo Patroos, upper torso from right

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Cult statue of Apollo Patroos, detail of lower left profile

Collection: Athens, Agora Museum
Title: Apollo Patroos, cult statue
Context: From Athens, Agora
Findspot: Excavated at Athens, Agora, in the Metroon (1907)
Summary: Apollo Kitharoidos
Object Function: Cult
Sculptor: Literary attestation to Euphranor
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Free-standing statue
Category: Single monument
Style: Late Classical
Technique: In-the-round
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 350 BC - ca. 325 BC
Dimensions:

H 2.54 m not including plinth

Scale: Over life-size
Region: Attica
Period: Late Classical


Subject Description:

Standing Apollo dressed in chiton, high-belted peplos and shoulder-pinned himation, with kithara at left side. Found in the Metroon, near the Temple of Apollo Patroos. Since the stylistic date of the statue corresponds with the erection of the new temple in the third quarter of the 4th century, the statue has long been taken as the cult image of the temple, a work of Euphranor according to Pausanias (Paus. 1.3.4). This is the first use of an Apollo with kithara as an Apollo Patroos type. The costume has been called both feminine and Ionic and is linked to his role as musician. It has been suggested that there is a reference to Apollo as leader of the Muses and possibly also to his connection with Delos, the musical contests at the Delia and the Athens/Ionia link.

Form & Style:

High-belting of peplos, non-supporting leg breaking through the veil of heavy material, tiered arrangement of drapery with V-pattern of folds over chest and long, straight, deeply-carved folds below, and pose with direction of head in opposition to turn of body all find parallels in the third quarter of the 4th century in votive and grave reliefs and in vase painting. The shoulder-pinned back mantle is especially noteworthy. Though Athena wears it already in the later 5th century, the garment becomes especially popular after the middle of the 4th century, probably reflecting an important and much-copied statue of Athena created at this time. Apollo adopts the mantle from her but thereafter makes it his own.

Date Description:

A more specific dating to ca. 340-330 B.C. is often suggested.

Condition: Nearly complete

Condition Description:

Torso mended from two huge fragments. Arms and kithara have been broken away. Head was inset; now lacking. General lack of weathering suggests the statue stood indoors or in a protected position.

Material Description:

Pentelic Marble

Associated Building: Athens, Temple of Apollo Patroos

Collection History:

Excavated in 1907 in the Metroon in the Agora by the Greek Archaeological Service.

Sources Used: Palagia 1980, 13-20; Agora Guide 1990, 74-77, 193; Hedrick 1988, 155-210; Adam 1966, 94-97; Roccos 1991, 399

Other Bibliography: Boardman 1995, fig. 30; H.A. Thompson 1953/54, 30-44