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The Gods of the Parthenon: 3D

The Gods of the Parthenon: 3D

Curated by Rui Nakamura, Kochi University and Tokyo University of the Arts


This temporary display explores the gods represented on the Parthenon frieze from a new perspective, by encouraging us to see them as fully-realised three-dimensional figures. The twelve Olympian gods from the frieze are visualised in miniature form, hand-carved and displayed in a semi-circle as if they watch the Panathenaic procession unfolding before them.


From 2009 to 2012, the graduate course in Artistic Anatomy at Tokyo University of the Arts created a three-dimensional model of the twelve gods of the Parthenon's east frieze, as part of the Parthenon Project Japan 2007-2009 and 2011-2014.  The figures of the gods were made by student sculptors with their own hands (Ryo Kimoto, Kota Kato and others). Together, the figures explore how the overlapping bodies of the gods filled space in the frieze. The exhibition also includes a speculative bird’s eye view of the frieze based on the unique study of the Parthenon frieze for sighted and visually impaired people.


parthenon 3D diagram
Drawing by Kota Kato. Image Ⓒ Rui Nakamura

The model has been displayed at the British Museum, the International Conferences at Free University of Berlin, the Archaeological Institute of America in 2014, and university art galleries in Japan. From 2014 on, this study has been continued as a collaboration between Kochi University and Tokyo University of the Arts, its main interest being the visual representation of the divine in the Classical period.


This project is supported by funding from Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, Monbukagakusho, Japan.


Find out more...

Publication: The Parthenon Frieze. The Ritual Communication between the Goddess and the Polis, Parthenon Project Japan 2011-2014, edited by T. Osada, Phoibos Verlag, Vienna, 2016

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