Tuesday, December 07, 2010

This statue is a late Roman copy of Phidias' legendary statue of Athena Pagos, the patron goddess of the Pan-Athenaic music festival. Sadly, the original was destroyed in a Herulian raid in A.D. 283, but we know what it once looked like thanks to this description from the ancient travel writer Pausania
"At the edge of the main stage, roughly forty paces from the beer stoa, stands the chryselephantine statue of Athena Pagos, patron of the festival. She stands on a retangular pedestal with the inscription Γςλαζζ inscribed at the base. With her right hand she is operating Hydrualis, her custom Moog microsynth, while she gestures with a bronze microphonos stand in the other."
By the time Pausanias saw this sculpture it was already 650 years old, and had been left exposed to the wind and rain for some time. It is thought that this is why he makes no mention of the vibrant colors used to paint her clothes and make up. No descriptions of this particular statue's decoration remain, but chemical analysis of the remains of a similar statue at Delphi suggest they were originally neon green, orange, and black, with lots of chrome for the accessories.