Statuette of Poseidon
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Bruce White Photography
Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

Greek, Eastern Mediterranean, about 120 - 100 B.C.
6 7/16 in.

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Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, stands completely nude with his weight resting on one leg. Originally, his raised right hand would have rested on a trident or three-pronged fishing spear, and he would have held a dolphin or ship's ornament in his left. Even with these attributes missing, the figure's unkempt hair, spiky crown of water plants, and mobile, restless-looking pose identify him as the sea god.

The god's elongated but muscular physique, his small head, his majestic stance, and the way in which his arms extend into the space around him derive from the innovations of the Greek sculptor Lysippos in the late 300s B.C. The mannered and almost playful exaggeration of the traits in this figure, however, typifies a revival of the style in the late 100s B.C.