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The Sculpture Collection

On the left, goddess Demeter stands, who delivers to the hero Triptolemos(middle) the sacred grains under the blessing of Persephone (right)
Big Eleusinian relief

This large relief is the best-known representation of the Eleusinian deities, here depicted in a scene of mystic ritual. The goddess Demeter, a scepter in her hand, gives the hero Triptolemos the sacred ears of wheat to bestow on mankind. The young hero stands naked, holding a himation in his left hand, while receiving Demeter΄s gift, which was made of a different material, with his right. Demeter΄s daughter, Persephone, stands behind him, blessing him with her right hand and holding a torch in her left. This scene intends to convey the solemnity of the Mystery religion. The relief΄s rather austere, conservative style points to an Attic workshop. The magnificent representation and, particularly, the large scale of the work suggest that it was not a votive, but rather a cult relief. It was copied already in Roman times.

Exhibit Features
Date: Classical period, 440 - 430 B.C.
Place of discovery: Elefsina, Eleusina
Dimensions: width: 1,52 m, height: 2,20 m
Material: pentelic marble
Inventory number: 126
Exhibition hole: Exhibition hall 15
  Suggestive Bibliography
Σβορώνος Ι.Ν., Το εν Αθήναις Εθνικόν Μουσείον, Αθήνα, 1904, σσ. 106-120, αρ. 126
Schneider L., "Das Grosse Eleusinische Relief und seine Kopien", AntPl 12, Αθήνα, 1973, 103-124, πίν. 31
Clinton K., Myth and cult: the iconography of the Eleusinian mysteries. The Martin P. Nilsson Lectures on Greek religion, delivered 19-21 November 1990 at the Swedish Institute at Athens, Stockholm, 1992, σσ. 39-55, 91-94, εικ. 1-2
Simone E., "Neues zum Grossen Relief von Eleusis", AA, Stockholm, (1998), σσ. 373-387
Harrison E., "Eumolpos Arrives in Eleusis", Hesperia 69, Stockholm, (2000), σσ. 267-291