Greek art and architecture had remarkably influenced the societal, cultural and artistic flowerings during the Renaissance period in Europe. And now one can see the clear inspiration behind those late medieval masterpieces, courtesy of the above pictured statues that were discovered in Crete by archaeologists from the Greek Ministry of Culture. Found inside a Roman-era villa, the 21-inch high sculptures depict the Greek gods (and brother-sister twins) Artemis and Apollo, and date to the 1st or 2nd century AD. The villa was located inside the city of Aptera, a formerly powerful ‘city-state’ from western Crete that was unfortunately destroyed by an earthquake in 7th century AD.
Now interestingly, the figurine of clothed Artemis (wearing a chiton or Greek tunic) was made from copper, while the antithetically nude Apollo was carved from marble. Additionally, the posture of Artemis – which seems to be ready to shoot a bow, was also constructed with an ornately designed heavy copper base. On the other hand, red traces of paint are still decipherable along the pedestal of Apollo’s figure.
Now judging from their visual impact, suffice it to say that the sculptures are still in an excellent state of preservation. Historians are specially impressed with the white material – that defines their respective eyes, still being sustained after 1,900 years or so. And even more fascinating is the conjecture put forth by the archaeologists that pertains to how these statues were probably not of local made. They might have been imported specifically to decorate the luxury Roman-era villa, thus mirroring our present-day ritzy scenarios.