Phidias (ca. 480-430 B.C.)Phidias (ca. 480-430 B.C.) - The greatest sculptor of ancient Greece, Phidias designed two of antiquity's most iconic images; the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, which is regarded as one of the Seven Ancient Wonders, and the statue of Athena (Athena Parthenos) which resided in the Parthenon. Both were Chryselephatine sculptures; that is, ivory adorned with gold. Actually, he designed a third famous statue as well, the Athena Promachos, a giant bronze statue of the goddess which sat atop the Acropolis between the Parthenon and the Propylaea. He was a close friend and adviser to the Athenian statesman, Pericles. After Pericles rose to power in 449 B.C., he commissioned Phidias to rebuild the Acropolis, which had been destroyed by the Persians during the Persian Wars. His representations of Zeus and Athena were so awe-inspiring that almost all subsequent statues of the two gods were modeled after his work. In fact, many believed that the gods revealed themselves to Phidias so that he could reveal them to mankind. Centuries later, the Romans would revere him as highly as his fellow Greeks. However, none of his original works survive today and all we know of their appearance comes from written descriptions and coins which bore their images. But his workshop was discovered in Olympia in 1958, where the Statue of Zeus was assembled. It contained tools, shards of ivory and a black glaze drinking cup with the words, "I belong to Phidias" engraved on it.