Constructed in 432 B.C., the West Pediment from the Parthenon is an esteemed relic of ancient Greek architectural and artistic achievement. Carved from superior Pentelic marble, the remnants of its original structure present a significant visualization of Athenian history.

Depicting the mythological competition between Athena and Poseidon for the patronage of Attica, the West Pediment elegantly fills its triangular framework, measuring 28 meters across. The arranged figures create dynamic tension with their poses, expressions, and relationships.

The central figures, Athena and Poseidon, are fragmented yet still convey their divine disagreement. Athena, standing upright and steady, signifies wisdom with her shield, while Poseidon exhibits his strength, serving as a representation of the turbulent sea. The arrangement of these two figures indicates the outstanding craftsmanship of the presumed sculptor, Phidias.

Accompanying the dominant centerpiece, the sculptural tale extends to include gods and goddesses from the Olympian pantheon. Each entity exhibits different states of movement and rest, embracing both human and divine aspects.

Notably, reclining figures, likely Dionysius and a river-god, inhabit the pediment's corners. These figures frame the scene effectively, making pioneering use of available space and highlighting the unique characteristics of classical Greek craftsmanship.

Remarkably, the West Pediment maintains a significant level of conservation despite its tumultuous history. Although some pieces are absent and weathering has dulled many of its intricate details, the expressiveness of the sculptural assembly, demonstrated through body language, drape patterns, and interactions, continues to convey its intended narrative.

Acropolis Museum
Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, Greece