Can Anyone Identify These Three Greek Mythological Faces on My Fireplace?

So there are three ceramic faces embedded in the tile above our fireplace. It never dawned on me, until today, to look closely at them… and to figure out just who the heck they are.

On closer inspection, I think I know one of the figures… but the other two I’m less certain of. Know your Greek mythology? Well, let’s see if you can puzzle this one out.

On the far left is an unidentified male, with what looks like a headband. Small points above the headband kind of look like a crown (but not).

In the middle (and the top), there’s this face. I take this to be Medusa, given all the serpents in her hair. I know there are multiple gorgons, but seeing as how Medusa is the most famous of them… guessing this is her?

Weird that she’s top and center. I’m ignoring the creepiness of this fact, and just kind of rolling with “hey, look at our cool Greek face tiles” thing.

And on the far right, another male. Instead of a headband, he’s wearing what looks like laurels. My first thought was – Bacchus?

Anyone have any thoughts on this? With Medusa present, perhaps one of the guys is Perseus and the other is… Zeus? His dad?

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. The dude on with the headband/crown looks like one of the tiles in this fireplace surround; I thought your medusas might also be the same but maybe not… Sorry, I can’t identify them!!

    I found your site through your lovely wife’s sewing blog, absolutely gorgeous projects!! and clicked on one of her links to your page, which I have found to be absolutely a huge time suck (which I mean as a compliment) because I get lost in your (a separate from mine) reality…

    Miki Reply

    • Nice link, Miki! And thanks for the kind words about the site. I’m always delighted whenever someone new winds up losing a little time here.

      avoision Reply

  2. I posted up this question using Jelly, and got some interesting responses. So far, everyone seems to agree on Medusa, and the two main guys are possibly Perseus (with the headband) and Odysseus (with the laurels).

    avoision Reply

  3. To the best of my recollection, Perseus is usually shown un-bearded (young). It makes sense, contextually, but not visually. Odysseus too, is commonly shown wearing a Pilos (helmet), not a laurel – which is more common on an athlete.

    The laurel shows the favor of the gods, but I don’t think the gods themselves wore them (at least not in sculptural depictions). E.g. you will find sculptures of worshippers in Apollo’s temples with laurel wreaths, but not on Apollo.

    It is a mystery to me, who they actually are though.

    Liam Reply

  4. I’m going to go with Prometheus @ left, Zeus @ right.

    juliet Reply

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