La Dea e i suoi Re
From the top of a column, the goddess Athena dominates and guides her kings. Carlo Zoli symbolically depicts her as a simulacrum: a limbless torso covered by the Greek peplos, with the golden helmet and the effigy of the moon behind her, as she is associated with the nocturnal dimension, but also with the perpetual cycle of regeneration, with the light and in the shade, in the feminine — she is protector of the arts of spinning and weaving — and in the masculine – patroness of industrious and intelligent work. Athena stands out for her wisdom, her cunning and her skilled strategy in battle; she has also defeated her half- brother Ares (emblem of bloody violence) more than once as she is more cunning and wiser than him, in fact she too is considered a divinity of war but “positive”, a leader of armies who saves soldiers, acts as guardian and defends. She protected Athens, but not only: temples in her honour were built in Sparta, Argos, Gortyna, Lindos and Larissa. Thus the artist presents her in a dominant position from her column-temple to safeguard five leaders with crowned helmets, at the head of as many kingdoms. He also shows how a woman can be superior to men, able to govern and command thanks to her gifts and abilities, but whoever has the qualities should make good use of them and show them, whether woman or man.