Zeus was the the king of the Greek gods. Living on Mount Olympus, he was ruler of the skies and weather, known to throw thunderbolts and conjure lightning. Dispenser of justice and not an entity to be crossed, his all powerful presence was felt throughout the ancient world, later becoming Jupiter for the Romans.

Needless to say there are many images of Zeus to draw from; these two above are from well-known sculptures. Often depicted as moody with long wavy hair and flowing beard, I chose to create a white clay sculpture. This neo-classical style is very unlike the more formal, severe style of the ancients, and so as a nod to the elaborate hairstyle of the day, a band was added around the back of his head, which has been painted with gold acrylic as an afterthought. It could well look like a slipped halo, and anyone looking at this can easily see Michelangelo’s depiction of God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel which is one of the first in the history of art. Michelangelo’s God is reminiscent of Zeus, a powerful bearded figure. (See here for more). The acrylic paint added here to the band at the back is water soluble so will eventually wash away in the rain but can always be repainted.

Being prone to clumsiness, I managed to break some of the side before firing, and broke off pieces of hair (in the saving of the head) before it crashed to the floor. This sculpture was made using some old left over earthenware clay from wheel throwing. Wanting sculptures mainly for the garden, they need to be frost proof and therefore stoneware. There may well be another more ancient style severe Zeus (which I prefer), to follow in a different clay.

Zeus, with a gold band

Work in progress

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s