Pediment depicting the apotheosis of Hercules
This pedimental composition belonged to an unidentified small temple, or, according to some scholars, to the early so-called Hekatompedos (hundred foot long) Parthenon. Made in an Attic workshop, it represents the apotheosis (deification) of Hercules, in other words his induction to Mount Olympus after his death. To the left, an imposing seated Zeus welcomes the hero. The supreme god is accompanied by his wife, Hera, who is pictured frontally, which was quite daring for its time. Hercules strides towards them, dressed in a short chiton and his characteristic lion skin. He is followed by Iris, the messenger of the gods. Between them stood a third figure, which is now missing. It may have represented Athena, the hero's divine guardian, leading Hercules to her father. The scene is framed by a kymation in relief, while the entire composition was painted with bright colours, traces of which are still visible today. The artist paid great attention to detail, which he represented both in relief and by engraving.