Three marble relief slabs from the revetment of a pedestal or of an altar. Found at Mantineia, Arkadia
ca. 330-320 BC.
The three slabs, together with a fourth one, now lost, formed the revetment of a pedestal for the statues of the Delian trinity (Leto, Apollon and Artemis), or of an altar. On one slab (inv. no. 215) is depicted the music contest between Apollon and Marsyas. Apollon sits on a rock holding a kithara (lyre). Marsyas is shown at the right in a dramatic pose, playing his flute, in a final effort to defeat the god of music. The contest has been desided, however, and the Scythian at the centre holds a knife in his right hand, ready to carry out his fearful task of flaying the defeated Marsyas. On each of the other two slabs (inv. nos. 216, 217) are depicted three of the nine Muses holding musical instruments and scrolls. The reliefs are distinctly Praxitelean in style and were probably carved by one of the great sculptor’s pupils.
Height 0,98 m.