Pediment high reliefs
Collections OnlineGregorian Etruscan MuseumRooms V and VI

Pediment high reliefs

Tivoli
late 4th-3rd cent. BC.
Polychrome terra-cotta
max preserved height cm 148
cat. 14103-14104-14106-14117-20820-20821

The fragmentary high relief figures were found casually in 1835 during works on the area in front of the Ponte Gregoriano over the Aniene river. The nineteenth century report on the find speaks, with characteristic imprecision of "...six fragmented groups of terra-cotta statues... ", all "...missing their head, hands and feet...". The subject of the illustration can be deduced from a detail of the tree placed beside the fourth figure from the left, from which hangs one of the hind legs of a sheepskin, empty and lifeless. This detail recalls the iconography of the golden fleece and confirms, without any doubt, that the central theme of this monument is the quest of the Argonauts. The figures decorated the pediment of a temple. This can be demonstrated by their proportions and by their considerable projection (about 20° inclination) which ensured a good view from below. The reconstruction that has been proposed to the public only wishes to allude to the original location of the high relief.