Statue of Athena

Inv. Scu 654

The sculpture depicts the goddess Athena (the equivalent of the Roman deity Minerva) in motion. The figure’s weight is carried on the slightly bent right leg. The left leg is rotated in the opposite direction and is shown in movement with the foot coming down to the ground. The exact motion of the figure is not obvious from this pose, but the statue is often called Athena Running.

The figure wears a chiton which is belted beneath her breasts and reaches to her feet. The fabric of the chiton is caught up in the movement of the woman and has begun to follow the rotation of the body to the left, forming creases and pleats in the area between the deity’s legs.

Above the bust the figure wears the aegis (a large collar imbued with divine protection) symbolic of Athena – in the center of the aegis we can see the Gorgoneion . Both of the sculpture’s arms have been restored and thus are unoriginal to the piece.

While the head of the figure has already moved to the left in accordance with the movement of the legs, the torso is just beginning its leftward rotation. The goddess seems as if she is about to face an approaching enemy.

The work comes from Villa d’Este and it is a replica from the Imperial age, of an original dating to the Classical period .