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SKU: 7118

Relief of the “Pensive Athena”



Athena standing in front of a low stele. It was found in two pieces, south of the Parthenon in 1888 and is one of the finest examples of the so-called “Severe Style”.

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Product description

Details of the original: culture/period: Classical Greek, production date: ca. 460 BC, production place: made in: Athens (Greece), excavated/findspot: Greece: Attica: Athens: Acropolis, materials: marble from Paros, category: architectural sculpture, dimensions: H: 0.54m, W: 0.315m, D: 0.05m, museum: Acropolis Museum, producer name: attributed to Attic workshop.


The 30 years between the Persian catastrophe and the founding of the Parthenon, the art took great steps of evolution. The period is named "Severe style" because of the dominant idiom of the sculptures, that stopped smiling with the characteristic archaic smile. Characteristic of the style is the posture that shifts the body weight to one leg thus transferring the movement to the rest of the body (contrapposto). The "Severe Style" lasted until approximately 450 BC and embodied the transition from Archaic to Classical art.


The small relief of the Mourning Athena is one of the most famous works in the Acropolis Museum. It was found in 1888 south of the Parthenon and from the very beginning, the sad way in which she is bending her head created a strong impression: The head is leaning down and is presented in such a way that the stance and the expression on the face show melancholy and sorrow. This conduced to its emotional treatment through the use of adjectives such as melancholy or mourning. The goddess is wearing an Attic peplos with belted overfall, and is portrayed armed, wearing a helmet and leaning on her spear with the right hand. Her left hand is resting on her hip. Her feet are bare; her bodyweight placed primarily on the right foot, while the left is extended backward, her toes just resting on the ground. The spearhead seems to be pointing to the post on the lower right. When it was found, this pillar (stele), still bore traces of paint: In front of her there is an oblong rectangular stele whose surface, especially the upper part, almost like its capital, was painted and adorned with decorations, as indicated by the traces of colour that have been preserved. Whatever was painted on the stele has not been preserved and thus the scene has been the object of much speculation. The stele is believed to have demarcated the limit of the sanctuary or to have contained a catalogue of the sanctuary’s treasures or perhaps even a list of casualties a subject that would fit the goddess' thoughtful, almost sad expression.

Product details

Width: 15 cm / 5.9″
Depth: 2 cm / 0.79″
Height: 26 cm / 10.23″




Mold cast
Aging patina effect applied.


Greek Classical Period


Wall sculpture


Production date

Production place
Made in: Athens (Greece)


Weight: 1 kg