Greek statues and reliefs often decorated temples or public buildings: architecture and sculpture were thus closely intertwined. Here, we can only offer a glimpse into the infinite richness of this art.
Rainwater drained off the roofs of buildings through figural waterspouts
placed at regular intervals. These usually had the shape of a lion’s head, with water flowing from the animal’s mouth. Such “taps” were also placed on the public fountains that provided households with water. This piece (1
) was unearthed at one of Corinth’s central fountains, the Glauke Fountain.
Statues (acroteria) were often positioned at the three corner points of a temple pediment; perhaps the torso (2
) was a statue of this kind. It may represent Nike (Victory) or Iris, the herald of the gods, as many acroteria do. But it is also possible that another mythological figure (Atalanta? Callisto? one of the Danaides?) was meant: the interpretation is made difficult by the statue’s fragmentary condition. The rank of the piece is shown by its material, the best quality marble (Parian lychnites), and also by its high esteem already in antiquity: the Basel Museum preserves a very similar, and more intact piece dating to the Roman period, which may have been modelled on this one.
The torso is the only representative of large-scale Parthenon-period Greek sculpture in Hungary.