Statue of Zeus Enthroned

Object Details


Statue of Zeus Enthroned






about 100 B.C.




74 × 46 × 45.6 cm (29 1/8 × 18 1/8 × 17 15/16 in.)

See more

See less

In about 430 B.C., the sculptor Pheidias created a colossal, forty-foot tall, gold and ivory statue of Zeus for the temple of Zeus at Olympia, one of the most important religious sanctuaries in the Greek world. Pheidias's cult statue later came to be considered one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. The sculptor of this marble statuette was strongly influenced by that famous image. Zeus, the king of the gods, sits on an elaborately ornamented, high-backed throne with his feet on a footstool. His cloak is wrapped about his body in a manner that leaves his powerful chest exposed. His raised right hand would probably have held a thunderbolt and his left hand a scepter. This statuette may have served as a cult statue in a private shrine of a wealthy Greek or Roman home. As the marine incrustations indicate, this statuette spent a long period of time submerged in the sea. The unmarred left side of the sculpture was probably buried in the sand and was thus protected.

- 1987

Robin Symes (London, England), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1987.

1987 - 1992

Barbara Fleischman


and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992.

A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995

"Acquisitions/1992." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 21 (1993), p. 103, no. 1.

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Looking at Greek and Roman Sculpture in Stone (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), pp. 78, ill.

Watson, Peter, and Cecilia Todeschini. The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities From Italy's Tomb Raiders to the World's Greatest Museums (eBook: PublicAffairs, 2007), p. 324, no. 1767.

Lapatin, K.D.S. "Representing Zeus." In The Statue of Zeus at Olympia. New Approaches, Janette McWilliam et al., eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011), 90, fig.15.

Education Resources

Education Resource




Ancient Greek & Roman Talk Show

Lesson in which students research and study artworks that depict Greek and Roman deities and present a mock TV talk show with the deities.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; History–Social Science

6-8; 9-12

Three/Five-Part Lesson