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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: May 2011
  • First published in: 1907



The ideal of Demeter is presented us in a few monuments only, but is among the most interesting products of Greek art, a late blossom of the soil of Attica; for it was especially the Attic religion and art that spiritualized and purified men's imagination of her. The archaic period was unable to contribute much to its development, and it was long before the mother could be distinguished from the daughter by any organic difference of form or by any expressive trait of countenance. On the more ancient vases and terracottas they appear rather as twin-sisters, almost as if the inarticulate artist were aware of their original identity of substance. And even among the monuments of the transitional period it is difficult to find any representation of the goddesses in characters at once clear and impressive. We miss this even in the beautiful vase of Hieron in the British Museum, where the divine pair are seen with Triptolemos: the style is delicate and stately, and there is a certain impression of inner tranquil life in the group, but without the aid of the inscriptions the mother would not be known from the daughter.

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