THE GALLERY OF THE GODS

 

The Antalya Museum possesses priceless statues recovered from the ancient city of Perge excavated by Professors A. Müfit MANSEL and Jale İNAN from İstanbul Üniv. since 1946. The museum's collection of statues is a unique exhibit of the Pergaean school of sculpture that occupied a special place during the period of Roman sovereignity in Asia Minor. More than one hundred statues are grouped and displayed according to their characteristics and types, in various halls and galleries. Hall number 6 contains some of the major treasures of the museum. In the Gallery of the Gods the statues on display date back to second century A.D., Perge.
A finely porous white marble from Proconnesos (present- day Marmara Island) and from Dokimeion (present-day Afyon -İscehisar) has been used for all of these sculptures.
Zeus, the king of gods, the father of gods and man, is depicted standing in all grandeur. In his hands he held a globe symbolizing his
sovereignty and a thunderbolt, both of which are missing today. His sacred animal , the eagle is by his right leg.
Aphrodite the goddess of beauty is shown in the nude, standing. The particular statue of Aphrodite is a copy of the original known as the Capua Aphrodite carved by the famous sculptor Scopas in the fourth century B.C. The Pergaean sculptor has taken the liberty of adding a shield in Aphrodite's hands. On the shield is inscribed the name of Claudios Peison, the Pergaean patron of arts.
The goddess of fortune, Tyche (Fortuna) is also the protector of cities. On the head of the statue of Tyche is a crown depicting the Pergaean city walls symbolizing her patronage of the city.
On the shoulders of the statue of Hygieia, the daughter of the god of health, Asclepios there are two snakes, which as the caduceus is still the symbols of medicine and pharmacy.
Apollo the god of music and fine arts, is depicted nude, as an idealized male figure.
With her shield, armor, and helmet, the statue of Athena, the goddess of war and handicrafts possesses the characteristics of an original sculpture of the "Athena Parthena" type that dates back to the fourth century B.C.
One of the twins, the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), offspring of the god Zeus from Leda, stands to the left of Zeus. With his Phrygian helmet, he represents a youth with his sword on his back Gemini in astrology.
In the same hall, another Pergaean statue of Aphrodite made after Praxiteles' Aphrodite of the fourth century B.C., is shown as a totally nude youth.
Artemis, the main goddess of Perge, however, is depicted as a proud, robed young woman. In her hands she is supposed to carry a bow and an arrow, both of which are missing today. On her back is a quiver.
Nemesis, the goddess of retributive justice who punished grudge and pride, is portrayed as a proud and attractive young woman. She carries symbols of measurement to measure behavior, but they are missing from this particular statue. Next to her left foot there is a griffon, her symbol.
The statue "Hermes Tying His Sandals" located in the center of the hall is a masterpiece of Pergaean sculpture. The messenger god is portrayed in a momentary pose, recalling the famous fourth century B.C. sculpture made by Lysippos in the same from. This particular statue is even more noteworthy for making possible the identification of the other four copies presently housed in various European museums. (Copenhagen, Paris, Münich and Vatican copies)
At the entrance of the Gallery there are three statues which depict gods of Egyptian origin. Osiris, the chief god of Egyptian mythology, is shown seated next to his wife, İsis. Their son Horus (Harpocrates) is portrayed as a nude youth standing.
The statue placed last in the same hall belongs to Artemis who is shown running. The swiftness of her motion drapes her clothes. She must have carried a bow and a arrow both of which are missing today. There is a quiver on her back. The style of the statue is reminiscent of the sculptor Leohares' Artemis of Versailles, dated the fourth century B.C.