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Atalanta

1921 Paul Manship Born: St. Paul, Minnesota 1885 Died: New York, New York 1966 Roman Bronze Works (Founder) bronze 28 3/4 in. (73.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Paul Manship 1966.47.20 Not currently on view


Gallery Label

In Greek mythology, the lovely swift-footed maiden Atalanta could run faster than all others. Because a prophecy warned her to avoid marriage, she challenged each of her suitors to a footrace — death being the penalty for defeat. While observing the races, a handsome youth named Hippomenes fell in love with Atalanta and challenged her, hoping to gain her hand in marriage. The young suitor invoked the aid of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who presented him with three golden apples. During the contest, Hippomenes dropped the apples one at a time, each of which Atalanta paused to pick up. The delays allowed Hippomenes to win the race and to take as his bride Atalanta, who was secretly pleased by the race's outcome. Flying dolphins, a common motif in ancient Greek art, adorn the sculpture's base.

Keywords

Figure female - full length

Figure female - nude

Mythology - classical - Atalanta

sculpture

metal - bronze

cast

About Paul Manship

Born: St. Paul, Minnesota 1885 Died: New York, New York 1966

About Roman Bronze Works

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