Stealing Athena: Cast of Characters

Lord Elgin

Lord Elgin (1795) when he was still young and handsome. Engraving by G. P. (George Perfect) Harding.

Lady Elgin

Lady Elgin (1803). Oil painting attributed to Francois, Baron Gerard, probably executed during the Elgins’ detainment in Paris.


A Roman copy of a Greek herm in the Vatican Museum with Aspasia’s name inscribed at the base. Possibly a copy of her funerary stele.


Herm of Pericles in the Vatican Museum bearing the inscription “Pericles, son of Xanthippus, Athenian.” Roman copy of the original by Kresilas, Athenian sculptor from the era of Pericles and the Peloponnesian Wars.


Bust of Pheidias.


Marble bust of Socrates at the Capitoline Museum in Rome.

Aspasia and Pericles in Pheidias' Studio

Oil painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1868). Inspired the scene in Stealing Athena where Aspasia and the Athenians are given the privilege of touring the frieze before the dedication of the Parthenon.

Pheidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to his Friends

While studying this painting by Hector Leroux (1682-1740) I got the idea to have Pheidias ask Aspasia to pose for the colossal statue of Athena Parthenos.