Athena Lemnia


Athena Lemnia
The original acrolithic statue was created by Pheidias (ca. 440-435) and paid for by Athenians living on the island of Lemnos (hence, the "Lemnian Athena"); the statue stood on the Acropolis in Athens. The Wilcox Collection has a plaster cast replica of one of the two existing Roman marble copies. The Roman copies, a head preserved in Museo Civico, Bologna (the Palagi Head), and a body that is shown in the Staatliche Museum, Dresden, were modeled after an original Greek bronze. Adolf Furtwängler reconstructed the statue in 1891. His reconstruction is in Dresden. There is also a well-preserved cast of the whole figure in Oxford, England. The association of the head and body has been disputed, and Athena is also missing her arms. It is presumed that she held either an owl or a helmet in her outstretched arms. The original sculpture was among the first of many famous works to come, including Athena Parthenos at Athens and the Zeus in the temple of Olympia. It was said by the ancient Pausanias that the Athena Lemnia is the most worth seeing of the works of Pheidias.
Select Bibliography

Frederiksen, R., et al., The Cast Gallery of the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford 2011), 155, C75 (composite cast of Athena Lemnia); 193, C249 (Palagi Head).