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Artemision Zeus bust

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84,64248,05 (Inc. Tax)

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When the bronze original was discovered in the sea it held nothing in its raised right hand. Thus, we cannot know whether it shows the sea god Poseidon, who would be holding a trident, or Zeus, ruler of the gods, brandishing his thunderbolt. The figure is a prime example of the stringent classical style that marks the transition from Archaic stiffness with its familiar stereotypical smile towards a greater range of expression, as is evident here where we see the body captured at the moment before the deity’s anger and strength is released in his throw.

This figure, alongside several other works from the Royal Cast Collections, were given as a gift to theCAFA art academy in Beijing in 2008 to replace the figures that had been smashed during the cultural revolution of the 1960s. The casts have been used in drawing classes at the academy, a tradition that continues in China and Japan long after it has disappeared in Europe.

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