1. Olympian Centre The façade of the Olympian Centre is an adaptation of the Temple of Hera, the oldest sacred building in Olympia, Greece. The
Doric columns of the portico are scaled to the exact size of those on the
seventh century B.C. temple and the colorful acroterian ( roof ornament)
is a replica of one in the Olympia Museum. The acroterian copy here
was given in honor of Bernice Brooks Hill.
Stand in front of the building and you will be able to envision the
Temple of Hera as it appeared in its ancient glory. A walk through
The Jasmine Hill Gardens will bring you to the world’s only full size
Replica of its ruins. ( Number 32)
In the Great Hall of the Olympian Centre are displayed reproductions
of some of Greece’s finest works of sculpture including one which stood
in the Temple of Hera in ancient times. Hermes of Praxiteles.
Olympian Centre-Great Hall
Hermes of Praxiteles Discovered in 1877 during excavations of the ruins
of the Temple of Hera, this sculpture of Hermes, the messenger of the
gods, holding Dionysis, the infant god of wine, is now on display at the
Olympia Museum. Carved in 343 B.C. from white Parian marble, this
work by Praxiteles is the only sculpture which survives today that can
be attributed to one of the six great Greek masters.
The Diadem Wearer The original of this sculpture of a youthful athlete
was done around 425 B.C. by Polykleitos, one of the great masters
of the classical period. The bronze original no longer exists. The
work is known today from Roman copies in marble.
Polykleitos devised to make mathematical formula his “canon”,
for determining the ideal proportions for the human figure as
depicted in sculpture. This system had a profound influence on
Charioteer of Delphi The original of this early classical sculpture
is a heroic sized bronze in the museum at Delphi, Greece. The
Charioteer was once part of a large sculpture group, complete
with chariot and four horses. It was commissioned to commemorate
the King of Gela’s victory in the chariot races of 478 B.C. However,
It is not the portrait of an individual but an idealized evocation of
heroic strength and beauty, done by a sculptor whose identity is
Urn Carriers ( from the Parthenon’s Northern wall) and the Riders
( from the Parthenon’s Western Wall) are a portion of the spectacular
running frieze, designed by Phidas and carved by a team of anonymous
masons. The originals of these dating 447-438 BC are in the Acropolis
Museum in Athens.
2. Marble Bust of Homer The bust of the author of The Illiad and The
Odyssey is an artist’s concept of how the blind poet may have looked
and not an actual portrait, as it was done centuries after Homer’s death.
The Jasmine Hill copy is derived from a work in the National Museum,
3. Bronze Bust of Socrates The original of this piece is in the National
Museum, Naples, and was the means of identifying the likeness of the
famous Athenian philosopher who flourished 469-399 B.C., for it bears
his name and also a Greek inscription from Plato’s Crito, which reads,
Socrates speaking: “For I am and always have been one of those natures
who must be guided by reason, whatever reason may be which upon
reflection appears to me to be the best.
4. Egyptian Marble Fountain An original piece, 300 years old, from a harem
in Cairo, Egypt. Terracotta Vases around the fountain are originals from a
garden in Tuscany, decorated with the coats of arms of families of Italy.
5. Marble Well Head An original piece by Professor A. Petrilli of Florence,
Italy. The Cherubic figures are representative of the young Dionysus, Greek
god of wine.
6. Statuette of Athena Master sculptor Phidias’ thirty five foot ivory and gold
cult figure of Athena which once stood in the Parthenon on the Athens
Acropolis disappeared in ancient times. In 1859, the French archeoogist
Lenorment discovered a small replica of the lost work which served
as a model for Jasmine Hill’s statuette.
7. Mourning Athena This replica of a 5th Century B.C. relief sculpture
from the Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece, was probably a horos
(boundary stone) which marked the perimeter of Athena’s sacred
precinct on the Acropolis. It depicts the goddess leaning in sorrow
on her spear, gazing downward at the inscription on a funerary monument.
8. The Combatant The original of this work, in the Louvre Museum in
Paris France, bears the signature of the Greek artist Agasias of
Ephesus. It is probably of the Hellenistic period, although it embodies
elements of the style of the earlier fourth century sculptor Lysippus. The
work represents a warrior engaged in combat, the left arm showing a
strap of the shield with which he defends himself, while the right arm
is drawn back to deal a heavy blow.
9. Venus of Melos The original of this piece is of heroic size and is
the most famous statue in the Paris Louvre. Carved of Parian marble
during the 2nd Century B.C. by an unidentified sculptor the work as
discovered in 1820 on the Greek island of Melos. This semi-nude portrayal
of Venus allowed the artist to treat the two subjects best loved by Greek
sculptors, human anatomy and clothing draped over the human form.
10. The Marathon Boy The original bronze, of which this is an exact
copy, was found in the sea near Marathon in 1925. It stands in the National
Museum, Athens, and is a Greek statue of the 4th Century B.C. (classical
period). When found, the statue was in near perfect condition- even the
limestone and glass eyes were intact. The beautiful curves of the statue,
its graceful pose and charming simplicity all make it as being the work of
the great Praxiteles or one of his pupils.
11. Venus of Cyrene The from which this copy was made was unearthed
in 1911 by Italian archaelogists in Cyrene, an important Greek colony
on the Mediterranean coast of Africa. It is now in the National Museum at
Rome, Italy. Sculpted in the mother country of Greece around 100 B.C.
(Hellenistic period), The Venus of Cyrene bears certain stylistic similarities
to earlier works from the 4th Century B.C., a time when the female nude
emerged as a favorite subject of Greek sculptors.
12. Pair of Lions Pair of Lions of pink Sienna marble from Florence,
Italy. The gray color today is due to sap from overhanging trees.
13. Olive and Wine Jars Large wine and Olive Jars throughout the
gardens are from Italy and Greece.
14. Wedding Garden
Relief of Battle of the Centaurs Centaurs were Greek mythological
creatures which were half man and half horse.
Baskets of stone The baskets containing fruits and vegetables
are scattered throughout the gardens. They were carved from soft
vicenza stone by apprentice sculptors as a learning exercise before
being allowed to work in a more difficult and costly material, such as
marble. Probably done in Italy during the 1930’s, each basket is
slightly different from the others.
15. Wall Plaques Like the stone baskets, the wall plaques were collected
by the Fitzpatricks during their travels to Europe. Many of the glazed ceramics
are copies of works by the Italian sculptor Della Robbia.
Corinthian Capital The design at the top is a good example of the
acanthus leaf decoration that became popular in Greek and Roman times.
16. Donatello’s Lions Stone Copies of Donatello’s Lions used as the
emblems of Florence, Italy.
17. Dolphin Fountain This piece was made by Petrilli in Florence, Italy.
It is surrounded by a bronze Boy with Dophin. The original, now in the
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, was done by Andrea del Verrocchio, Florentine
18. Nike of Samothrace (Winged Victory) The original is a heroic piece
that is one of the most prized possessions of the Louvre, Paris. The French
found and excavated it on the island of Samothrace in the Aegean in the
year 1863. A second century B.C. statue of the school of Pergamon
commemorating a naval victory, it was set up on this island upon a
Greek trireme for a base. Nike, sounding the signal for battle on her
trumpet, is arrested at the moment of alighting on the prow of a vessel.
The marvel of this work lies chiefly in the masterly handling of the
draperies by its sculptor. The piece as you see it here is of Carrara
marble and was executed in Florence, Italy.
19. Lions Leading to Bench, copies from Venice and Florence. Made
of vicenza stone, they decrease in size as they approach the bench,
giving the illusion of a greater distance.
20. Marble Bench This is an original work from Florence, Italy. The back
of the bench is carved in relief with a scene from the mythological tale of
Orpheus and Eurydice. In the story, Orpheus breaks his promise to Pluto,
King of the underworld, when he looks back at Eurydice as he attempts
to lead her back to life. In the scene depicted, Hermes, the messenger
of the gods, places his hand on Eurydice’s arm in order to return her to
Pluto’s realm of darkness. The inspiration for this bench carving
was the design on a Grecian urn in the National Museum, Naples.
21. Girl Playing Knuckle Bones The original of this piece is in the British
Museum, London. It is said by some to be one of six maidens of an old Greek fountain.
22. Dying Gaul The original of this work was sculpted to commemorate the victory of the Greek Kingdom of Peragammon over a tribe of invading Gauls. It portrays a fatally wounded Gallic warrior who supports himself on one arm before succumbing to his wounds. The sculptor has endowed the Dying Gaul with a nobility of spirit which inspired the poet Byron to write, “he consents to death, yet conquers agony”. The 3rd century B>C> bronze original of this work has been lost but a fine marble copy exists in Capioline Museum, Rome.
23. The Fisherman A copy of a Pompeiian bronze in the Naples Museum
24. Two Figures from the Nike Balustrade These figures in relief are from a balustrade, or railing, that enclosed a small temple to Athena Nike, the conquering Athena, on a jutting spur of the Acropolis. Nike is represented many times performing many fears. Here she gracefully fastens a loosened sandal and hangs a trophy. These reliefs are from the outer surface of the balustrade and the originals are in the Acropolis Museum, Athens.
25. Peplos Kore (A maiden of the Acropolis) This statue, along with numbers 26 & 28 is an example of Archaic Greek art form known as the Kore – a standing maiden dressed in a full length garment. Sculpted in the late 6th Century B.C. from Pentellic marble, these “Korai” (plural) stood on Athens Acropolis near the Erechtheum, a sanctuary dedicated to Athena, the patron of young girls. This work exhibits a superiority of both spirit and technique, seen particularly in its expressive face. Faithful to the condition to the original, only the nose of this reproduction has been restored.
26. Antenor’s Lady The original of this statue is one of very few early works of Greek art to bear the artists signature. The inscription on the pedestal identifies him as the sculptor Antenor, unlike other Korai, this piece was carved from a single block of marble, including an extended arm, now broken off. The sculptor of Jasmine Hill’s reproduction has restored the nose and middle portion of the face which are damaged on the original.
27. Goat and Piping Pan from Pompeii Original in Naples Museum, found in Pompeii.
28. The Pouting Maiden This is the third example of a Kore from the Athens Acropolis. Done during the Archaic Period while Greek art was still developing in terms of technique and realism, these statues with their flat surfaces, ridge stance, elongated eyes, patterned hair and exaggerated smile seem unnatural. However, less than one hundred years later the sculpted female figures would exhibit a softened posture and realistic rendering of form and features.
29. Marble Table and Benches Made from mantles originally in the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. The mantles were supported by two marble columns on each side. The total of eight columns which supported these two mantles are now part of the decoration around this stone terrace.
30. Bust of Zeus The original of this work is the Artemesian Zeus – a full length, heroic sized bronze dating from the 5th Century B.C. – which is at the National Museum, Athens. Discovered at sea off Cape Artemesian, it has been preserved almost intact. Shipwrecked saved it from the melting pots, the fate of most ancient Greek bronze statues. It depicts Zeus, the King of the Gods, poised to hurl his dreaded thunderbolt.
31. Terracotta Dogs Antiques from a garden in Italy.
32. Temple of Hera Ruins This is an exact replica (with the exception of the pool of water) of the Temple of Hera at Olympia, site of the ancient Olympic games. Just as it did in ancient times, the lighting of the Olympic torch takes place at the altar of Hera, located in front of the temple, a short distance from the Olympic Stadium. The Temple of Hera, is the best example of the transition between the earliest wooden temples and their successors, constructed of stone. The Temple’s original wooden elements dating from the 8th Century B.C. were replaced with stone ones over a period of many years. Finally destroyed by an earthquake, the Greek temple was partially rebuilt in 1874 and now appears in the exact state of restoration, which you see at Jasmine Hill.
33. Head of Hera At the end of the temple is a head of Hera, the wife of Zeus and the leading goddess of Greek mythology. This example is copied from a head in the Olympia Museum which is all that remains of the 7th Century B.C. colossal cult figure which stood in the Temple of Hera in ancient times.
34. Terracotta Loins Antiques from a garden in Tuscany.
35. Painted Iron Fence From New Orleans was an idea of Mrs. Fitzpatrick to add color to the garden. During the process of painting, she held tea parties to which Montgomery residents were invited to help paint and enjoy the refreshments. Today volunteers keep the fence painted.
36. Lions of Delos The remains of a row of nine archaic lions were found in 1906 by excavators on the island of Delos, Greece. This is a copy of one of these lions. They stood guard over an oval lake sacred to Apollo, on whose banks he is supposed to have been born. This replica was executed from an original now in the Louvre.
37. Apoxyomenos (Athlete with Scraper or Strigil) Lysippus, who was court artist to Alexander the Great, is believed to have produced at least 1500 works portraying an athlete scraping perspiration, dust and olive oil after exercise. The bronze original of this late 4th Century B.C. sculpture is lost. Jasmine Hill’s Apoxyomenus is a replica of a marble copy in the Vatican Museum, Rome.
38. Pankratiasts (The Wrestlers) The pankration is an ancient form of
combat combining wrestling holds with blows of the fists. The Greeks
believed that it was created by Theseus in order to defeat the fierce
Minotaur in the Labyrinth. The Pankration as an event in the Olympic
Games began in the 33rd Olympiad in 648 B.C. The original of this statue
is in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Olympic Judges Bench
39. Discobolus (The Discus Thrower) The sculptor Myron was a legend
in his own time (5th century, B.C.) renowned for his mastery of both
anatomy and action. Whereas most sculptors of the classical period
portrayed athletes at rest, Myron depicted his discus thrower coiled
in the midst of his hurling motion. Discus was incorporated in the
Olympics in the 18th Olympiad in 708 B.C.
The bronze original of this 5th century B.C. work is now lost.
A marble copy in the Vatican Museum served as a model for
Jasmine Hill’s Discobolus.
40. The Boxer This is a copy of a work from the classical period-
the portrayal of an athlete at rest after competition. He wears
the victor’s wreath on his head and has a thong wrapped around
his hands and forearms to strengthen and steady his wrists and
fingers. Boxing was incorporated in the Olympics in the 18th Olympiad in
Gift of Elsie Bellingrath and Howard Stebbins, III.
41. Stadiodromos (Herculaneum Runner) The statue was found in volcanic
Ash from Mount Vesuvius which covered Herculaneum. The first
Thirteen Olympiads consisted only of running events and, as with
All early Olympic competitions, the contestants wore no clothes.
The stadion, a single length of the track, refers to both a distance
(192 meters) and an event (the Sprint).