Damophon by Messene

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Fragments of statues of the group of figures of Damophon from Lykosura, from left to right: Artemis, Demeter, Veil of Despoina, Anytos and a female Triton (fragment from the throne), National Archaeological Museum of Athens

Damophon von Messene ( Greek  Δαμοφῶν ), the son of Philip, was a Greek sculptor of the 2nd century BC. BC, who created a large number of images of gods for his hometown Messene , partly in the difficult chryselephantine gold ivory technique or in imitation of the same made of gold and marble.

Life and works

There is no precise information about the creative period. While earlier in the 4th century BC. Today a later date to the 2nd century BC is preferred. Chr. Damophon is said to have repaired the famous Zeus statue of Phidias in Olympia after the ivory had become brittle. Pausanias mentions the following works by Damophon:

  • in Lykosura :
    • Figure group of Demeter and Despoina , each seated on a throne, surrounded by Artemis and the giant Anytos

Fragments from Messene and the base and other parts of the group of figures in Lykosura have been preserved from his works. While the plinth has remained at the site, the statue fragments are in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens . Casts of these are exhibited in the Lykosura Museum.


  • Pausanias: Travels in Greece , 4, 31, 6 - 7; 4, 31, 10; 7, 23, 6-7; 8, 31, 2; 8, 31, 6; 8, 37, 3.


  • Petros Themelis: Damophon von Messene. His work in the light of the new excavations. In: Ancient Art. Volume 36, 1993, pp. 24-40.
  • Petros Themelis: Damophon of Messene. New evidence. In: Archeology in the Peloponnese. New excavations and research. 1994, pp. 1-17.
  • Petros Themelis: Damophon. In: Yale Classical Studies. Volume 30, 1996, pp. 154-185.
  • Petros Themelis: Damophon. In: Olga Palagia and JJ Pollitt (eds.): Personal styles in Greek sculpture. 1996, pp. 154-185.

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