Colossus of Rhodes Appearance

Many people have seen drawings of the Colossus in books about Greek history and mythology, usually shown straddling the entrance to Rhodes Harbor with its great legs on either side. But no one is sure what the statue looked like, whether it was of stone or, as is usually accepted, of metal... or whether one of its hands was clenched. A famous engraving of the Colossus, made by a sculptor called Rottiers in the 18th century, clearly shows the fingers of both hands were spread.

But this - like so many others - is an artist's impression. No accurate illustrations of the mysterious giant sculpture exist.

Colossus of Rhodes Reconstruction

The British Museum's expert, Dr Susan Walker, supports the view that the Colossus was made of both stone and bronze, so other stones found off Rhodes may well be part of the genuine article.

"The bronze was sheet metal over an armature of iron bars set into blocks," she said.

The head of the statue is said to have been framed with rays of the sun with the body dressed in a chlamys, the tunic of the ancient gods. Its head was more than 5 m high while one of the statue's thumbs could have been circled by the two arms of an average man. The shoulders of the Colossus were estimated at 10 m broad.

The base pedestal must have been at least 18 meters in diameter and either circular or octagonal.

Colossus of Rhodes engraving
Rhodes Old Town

Rhodes Island

Colossus of Rhodes