Parthenon Metope 26 South
Parthenon Metope 36 South
Parthenon, Akropolis, Athens, ca. 447 – 432 BC E.
South Metope # 26 (Centauromachy) London, British Museum (Copyright A. Nicgorski, 1998)
Perhaps because they were not directly visible, or because their subject was misunderstood by the early Christians, the 32 m etopes of the south side survived in perfect condition until 1687 when Venetian mortaring of the Turkish arsenal in the Parthenon caused an explosion that destroyed metopes # 11, and # 13-20. The remaining south metopes (now split between Athens, Paris, and London) are the best preserved and show the greatest originality and variety of composition. Metope # 26, however, utilizes a more conservative pyramidal composition, and includes other Archaizing features such as the stylized pubic hair of the Lapith and the zigzag and eye folds in his drapery. Perhaps this metope was sculpted by an older sculptor.