Altogether the exhibits, many of them explicit works of art, provide a complete picture of the historical development of the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, as well as the brilliant course of ancient Greek art.
Nike of Paionios
Hermes of Praxiteles
Among the highlights of the Museum is the statue that depicts Hermes the messenger god holding little Dionysus in his left hand. After Zeus’ order, Hermes carries his little half-brother to the nymphs of Thebes, and to Dionysus’s aunts. Praxiteles depicts Hermes resting on a trunk of a tree during the journey. It’s an explicit work of art that survived from classical antiquity a statue representative of Greek beauty and craftsmanship.
Zeus and Ganymedes
Clay statue group of Zeus and Ganymede, found nearly intact during the 1878 excavations in the Stadium area (T2/T2a/ Te 1049). Zeus, holding a rod and striding to the left, in a pleated garment, with beautiful curls on his forehead, is carrying Ganymede, the young prince of Troy, to Olympus to make him the gods’ cup bearer.
Ganymede is holding a rooster, a love token from the god. The group was certainly the central acroterion of a building with a Corinthian-style roof, as it is preserved along with the attached triangular pedimental section of its base.
Unparalleled expressiveness, movement, vigour and colour stamp what may be the most exquisite example of large scale terracotta statuary of Ancient Greece, the work of an anonymous artist, originating in a Corinthian workshop (470 BC).
Horse from a Quadriga
Cast bronze statuette of a horse (B 1000). It appears to have been the left outside horse of a small quadriga, offered to Zeus either by a victor, or as a votive offering in gratitude for a chariot race victory (circa 470 BC).
Bronze basin handle
Bronze basin handle with two lions devouring a deer. The impressive composition inspired by the wild fauna with symbolic suggestions and extensions . About 480 BC
Centauromachy scene on bronze sheet
Bronze plate with a forged mythological representation. Two Centaurs are depicted trying to bury the mythical king of the Lapiths (Caineus) into the ground, in order to subdue him. It is dated around 630 BC.