Originating from the High Classical period in Ancient Greece circa 5th century BCE, the East Frieze of the Parthenon serves as a representative instance of Athenian artistic style. Fabricated from Pentelic marble, the frieze illustrates a procession consisting predominantly of young and adult males on horseback, accompanied by senior individuals bearing gifts. Its dimensions, extending nearly 2.52 meters in length and reaching 1.10 meters in height, offer a comprehensive scene for meticulous depictions of draped clothing, human muscularity, and horse morphology.

The frieze was installed at a significant height on the outer wall of the Parthenon, the chief temple on the Athenian Acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena. Its prominent placement and the detailed chiseling used introduce a level of dynamicism not commonly associated with large-scale stone carvings from this period, marking a departure from earlier, static configurations found in Archaic Greek sculpture.

The attire worn by the depicted figures demonstrates the blend of stylized and realistic techniques employed by Greek sculptors of the era. Each fold of cloth depicted in the high relief is carved with precision, creating complimentary vertical lines against the solid forms of the human and equine participants. Considerable focus is given to accurately reflecting human and horse anatomy, maintaining realistic proportions, and emphasizing fluid motion.

In a historical context, the frieze represents the Panathenaic procession, an annual religious ceremony held in ancient Athens to honor Athena. The procession involved citizens of all ages and classes, moving from the Dipylon Gate in the Kerameikos, through the Agora and towards the Acropolis. The east frieze seemingly indicates the beginning of the festival's sacrificial ritual.

Acropolis Museum
Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, Greece