About This Artwork


Architectural Relief Depicting the Gigantomachy (Battle Between Gods and Giants), 3rd/2nd century BC

Terra-cotta, pigment
45.8 x 46 x 21.9 cm (18 1/16 x 18 1/8 x 8 5/8 in.)

Katherine K. Adler Memorial Fund, 1984.2

As the name suggests, the Gigantomachy was the struggle between and the Giants and the Olympian gods, who were led by Zeus. In flowing robes, a god and goddess capture a Giant, depicted with wings and serpent-like features, to deliver the final blow in this epic battle. These three animated figures were probably once part of a series of ornamental covers called antefixes, which were placed along the lowest row of roof tiles on a small building, probably a temple. Etruscans often decorated their buildings with brightly colored sculptural compositions based on Greek mythology.

—Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute of Chicago, Ancient Art Galleries, Gallery 156, April 20, 1994 - February 6, 2012.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Of Gods and Glamour: The Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art, Gallery 152, November 11, 2012 - present.

Publication History

Karen Alexander, "The New Galleries of Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago," Minerva (May/June, 1994), vol. 5, no. 3, p. 33, fig. 9.

Richard De Puma, Etruscan Art, Museum Studies: Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago 20, no. 1 (1994), pp. 58-59 (ill).

Maria José Strazzula, "Motivi Pergameni in Etruria a Proposito di una Terracotta Architettonica con Gigantomachia a Chicago," Archeologia Classica 43 (1991), pp. 1163-1178.

Art Institute of Chicago Annual Report 1983-1984, p. 47, p. 17 (ill.).

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