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The sculptors who achieved the greatest successes in this genre of art became international celebrities, like the Athenian Pheidias1 (c. 490-425 B.C.). His dazzling creation of an enormous image in gold and ivory2 of the goddess Athena, standing in full armor nearly forty feet high and serving as the cult statue for the interior of the Parthenon, won him fame and the friendship of leaders such as Pericles as well as invitations from other Greek states to make great statues for their temples. For instance, he also created the famous statue of Zeus seated on a throne for the main temple in the sanctuary at Olympia3. Like the design of the sculpture attached to the outside of the Parthenon, the enormous size and expense of the free-standing figure of Athena placed inside the Parthenon expressed the innovative and confident spirit of Athens in the Golden Age.

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