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.