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Detail of body

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Detail of knee

Olympia, Temple of Zeus, Kerynian Hind metope, reconstruction (small)

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Detail of hand, side view

Olympia, Temple of Zeus, Kerynian Hind metope, reconstruction (large)

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Detail of the hind's body

Collection: Olympia Archaeological Museum
Title: Olympia Hind Metope
Context: From Olympia
Findspot: Excavated at Olympia
Summary: Herakles and the Keryneian Hind
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Architectural
Category: Statuary group
Placement: West Metope 5
Style: Early Classical
Technique: High relief
Original or Copy: Original
Date: ca. 470 BC - ca. 457 BC

H 1.60 m (approximately square)

Scale: Under life-size
Region: Elis
Period: Early Classical
In Group: Olympia Metopes

Subject Description:

The fifth metope on the West represents Herakles and the Keryneian Hind. Pausanias identifies the subject. A nearly contemporary reference by Pindar (Pind. O. 3.25-30 notes that the deer is sacred to Artemis, with the implication that it should not be killed. Herakles is shown after he has caught up with the hind and is trying to subdue it. Several newly restored fragments, including one with the right elbow of Herakles, have determined the position of his arms and make clear that he is wrestling the deer to the ground by the horns. (The head and torso fragments of Herakles shown in the old restoration have been reassigned to the Amazon Metope). He has pulled the head of the animal back and, with his right knee, forces her hindquarters to the ground. The composition is one of a bold triangle occupying the height and lower width of the available space.

Other probable references to this Labor include Euripides' Herakles, Diodorus Siculus and Apollodorus (Eur. Her. 375 ff., Diod. Sic. 4.12.13 and Apollod. 2.5.3.

Condition: Fragmentary

Condition Description:

Single large fragment includes torso and chest of hind together with right elbow of Herakles giving angle of his right arm. Also, hind's neck with Herakles' left hand; Herakles' right knee; lower right corner with Herakles' left foot.

Associated Building: Olympia, Temple of Zeus

Sources Used:

Stewart 1990, 142 ff.; Brommer 1986; Boardman 1985a, 33ff.; Mallwitz & Herrmann 1980, 161ff.; Robertson 1975, 276 ff.; Ashmole 1972, 27 ff.; Ridgway 1970; Ashmole & Yalouris 1967