Category Archives: Classical

Minerva Supervises the Building of the Argo

DescriptionEnglish: [From the original description:] A bas-relief, representing the goddess Minerva superintending the construction of the ship Argo. The figure, employed in using a chisel and hammer, is Argus, the builder of the ship; and the other figure, assisted by Minerva in fixing the sail to the yard, is Tiphys, the pilot of the vessel.
Date1810
SourceA Description of the Collection of Ancient Terracottas in the British Museum (https://archive.org/details/descriptionofcol00brit/page/10/mode/2up?view=theater)
AuthorWilliam Alexander

Head of Medusa

DescriptionEnglish: A bas-relief, representing a head of Medusa, ornamented with wings; on each side of it an eagle is represented in the act of seizing, with its talons, one of the snakes, which are entwined in the locks of her hair. The custom of adding wings to the head of Medusa was not always followed by the ancient artists. Aeschylus and Apollodorus have both described her as furnished with wings, but on coins of the cities of Amisus, Cabira, and Comana in Pontus, and of Amastris, and Sinope in Paphlagonia, the wings are represented not on the head of Medusa, but on her shoulders. Dimensions 1 foot 7 inches, by 9½ inches.
Date1810
SourceA description of the collection of ancient terracottas in the British Museum (https://archive.org/details/descriptionofcol00brit)
AuthorWilliam Alexander

Agave with the Head of Pentheus

DescriptionEnglish: Agave with the head of Pentheus. In her right she grasps by the hair the head of her son, in her left a thyrsus capped with leaves and trimmed with floating ribbands. Her head is violently thrown back, and the lower part of the drapery is tossed about as she dances for joy. The woodcut is enlarged, by one-third, from a ‘paste’ in the gem-cabinet of the British Museum.
Date1880 (from an ancient gem)
SourceBacchae of Euripides (https://archive.org/details/bacchaeofeuripid00euriuoft/page/72/mode/2up)
AuthorAnonymous
This scalable illustration can be used at any size.

The Tiber

DescriptionEnglish: “Image of the Tiber River in marble, the work of an excellent artist, in the Vatican garden of the Popes in Rome.”
Latina: Tiberis Fluvii simulacrum è marmore excellentis artificis opus, in Vaticano Pontificum viridario Romae.
Date1585
SourceAntiqvarvm statvarvm vrbis Romae primvs et secvndvs liber (https://archive.org/details/antiqvarvmstatva121cava/page/n29/mode/2up)
AuthorGiovanni Battista de’Cavalieri

Laocoon

DescriptionEnglish: “Statue of Laocoon, made from marble with wondrous art, in the Pontifical garden, Rome, not as described by Virgil or Pliny but after the description of the Greek Poets.”
Latina: Laocoontis signum e marmore mira arte factum in Pontificio viridario, Romae non quale à Virgilio, ac Plinio, sed cuiusmodi à Gracis Poetis describitur.
Date1585
SourceAntiqvarvm statvarvm vrbis Romae primvs et secvndvs liber (https://archive.org/details/antiqvarvmstatva121cava/page/n29/mode/2up)
AuthorGiovanni Battista de’Cavalieri