Artistic Representations of Zeus
An Artistic Representations of Zeus term paper will discuss the artistic representations of Zeus that are often found in statues, carvings and paintings. For example, the first artistic representation of Zeus a term paper may discuss could be the magnificent bronze statue of Zeus–once thought to be the statute of Poseidon–that was found in the waters off Cape Artemisium. It is dated by Janson and Janson as being from the middle of the 5th century B.C. It is free standing and completely nude and shows the god in the act of hurling a thunderbolt. Second, there is a black-figure vase painting showing Zeus attacking Typhon, an episode that occurred after the war with the Titans. The vase dates to the 6th century B.C. and it too shows Zeus in the act of throwing a thunderbolt. There is also a fine figure of Zeus in a metope (a “metope” is a small section of the frieze of a Doric temple placed between geometric “triglyphs”) of the Temple of Hera at Selinus. This shows the wedding of Zeus and Hera. Here we have the tender side of Zeus; he is seated and Hera is standing, her raised left arm held up by his raised right arm. This is believed to date to about the middle of the 5th century B.C.
The first two of these artistic representations of Zeus have something in common with most of the surviving Greek art representations of Zeus in that he is seen in the act of fighting. The bronze statute found off Cape Artemisium has no hint of an enemy, but the statute (it is almost 7 feet in height) exhibits a powerful, athletic body poised to hurl death at someone. One gets a sense from this statue of utter self-confidence and utter power.