Breastplate

Object Details

Title:

Breastplate

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Greek (South Italian)

Place:

South Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 480 B.C.

Medium:

Bronze

Object Number:

83.AC.7.3

Dimensions:

107 × 25 × 20 cm (42 1/8 × 9 13/16 × 7 7/8 in.)

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This breastplate or prosternidion depicts a four-horse chariot (quadriga) seen from the front, flanked by flying, winged figures. They hold crowns and heralds’ staffs, and may depict Nikai – repeated images of Nike, the goddess of victory. The image of a chariot flanked by Nikai usually appears in Greek art in connection with victory in a chariot race. This elaborate armor probably had a ceremonial purpose, perhaps serving as a prize for a victorious chariot team.

The small holes running around the edge of the breastplate allowed a leather backing to be sewn onto the bronze for cushioning; the larger holes at the ends were used to attach a fastening strap.

Related Works
Provenance
- 1983

Antike Kunst Palladion (Basel, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1983." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 12 (1984), p. 239, no. 33.