This statue depicting Athens was originally placed on a pedestal on theacropolis of Athens, was used by the inhabitants to ensure the protection of the goddess.
Athena in this statue is not depicted as conventional, with the helmet symbol of war, usually worn by the patron goddess of heroes, of industrious women and craftsmen; the goddess has her head uncovered in a peaceful and restful attitude, with a serene expression.
In this representation the goddess gives up the shield and the helmet does not cover her face, her warrior nature gives way to a more human representation.
- Material: bronze, lost wax casting
- Black colour
- Dimensions: 42 x 27 x 25cm
- Weight: 10 kg
Product in Italy
Roman sculpture of the imperial age - Pentelic marble copy of the Augustan age of the head of Athena Lemnia of Phidias - h 43 cm - 1st century BC – 1st century AD - Civic Archaeological Museum, Bologna
The Head of Athena (Palagi Collection, late 1st century BC – early 1st century AD), better known as Athena Lemnia. It is a reproduction of the head of a full-length bronze statue of the goddess Athena, created by Phidias - the great Athenian sculptor famous above all for his role as superintendent of the construction works of the Parthenon - in the years between 451 and 447 B.C. and subsequently raised on the Acropolis.
The clients were the Athenian colonists of the island of Lemnos. The statue, which for this reason was called "Lemnia", had the function of an ex-voto, to ingratiate itself with the protection of the goddess, "patroness" of Athens, during the colonizing enterprise. The great novelty of the sculpture was Phidias's choice to depict Athena, usually presented in arms and ready to fight, in a non-belligerent attitude, standing, dressed in a tunic and cloak, leaning on a spear and with the helmet in her right hand. Athena Lemnia therefore became the symbol of the supremacy of thought, and the monumental transcript of the political power and imperial dominance of the Athenian people. Unfortunately, the original Phidian work is irretrievably lost today, but it is possible to reconstruct its appearance using some stone replicas from the Roman era, which above all reproduce the head: among them, the most accurate and faithful has always been considered the one kept in the Archaeological Museum of Bologna, commonly attributed to a Greek sculptor active in the Augustan period (1st century BC-1st century AD), made of Pentelic marble.