A Niobid

A Niobid Sculpture

Artist: Possibly Skopas
Date: About 100 B.C.
Location: Jones Student Center

In Greek mythology, Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus, married Amphion, the King of Thebes, and bore him six handsome sons and six beautiful daughters. Extremely proud of her offspring, Niobe criticized Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis, for only having had two children. When the women of Thebes offered incense to Leto to ward off punishment, Niobe flew into a rage declaring that she herself was more worthy of such offerings. The goddess Leto then sent Apollo to shoot down Niobe's sons and Artemis to shoot down her daughters. In anguish Niobe wept for her slain children, and Zeus changed her into a weeping statue.

The fleeing, grieving figure presented a subject so dramatic and compelling, it was often attempted by Greek sculptors and frequently copied by the Romans. 

This particular Niobid, the original of which was found near Lateran in Rome is probably a Roman copy of a group of Greek statues. It is now found in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

Descriptive and historical information about the sculptures compiled by Dr. Douglas O. Eason.