The work entitled "Votive" refers to a legendary competition held in the fourth century BC, in Greece. Accounts relate that renowned sculptors, Phedias, Polyclietus and Krysalis were invited to submit designs for a statue representing a wounded Amazon. The winning design was to be a votive offering for a temple dedicated to Artemis. Those original bronze statues are long lost, and only ancient texts and Roman marble copies allude to the event. Three distinct versions of the wounded Amazon statues are known, though the question as to which statue type was designed by which sculptor, and the eventual winner, remains unproven.
In Greek mythology, a nation of powerful, aggressive female warriors were said to have dwelt near the Black sea. Folklore related that the amazons cut off one breast so that they could fight more efficiently and were said to be the daughters of Ares, the Greek god of war. The etymology of the word amazon, translated from ancient Greek means "without- breasts'.
The legend of the amazon warriors provides a vivid example of the fusion of pseudo-historic texts with mythology. Amazons were depicted in battle with Greek men in, "amazonomachies", and academics have argued that the myth of women warriors was invented as propaganda directed at other civilisations which differed from the Hellenic model. Recent archaeological discoveries of the presence of female warriors in ancient burial sites in southern Ukraine, infer that the Amazon legend may have some historic precedence.
In ancient Greece, prestigious statues, such as the votive amazons, would have been preferred in bronze, whereas Roman versions were more often transcribed in marble. The intrinsic qualities of the two differing materials would have had an influence on the final iconography and composition. The majority of ancient Greek statuary is "known" through Roman reproduction spanning several centuries, and thus the modern desire to attribute a single work to a unique artist is often conjecture. The Amazon myth continues to be relevant to the modern psyche, and the women warriors have found expression in a vast spectrum of contemporary culture. Homers narrative from the epic Illiad resonates strongly in the present day, when he recounted the amazons as "women the equal of men".
We know that classical bronze statues were often enhanced by the addition of color and this could be achieved most simply with paint. As an alternative artists were known to choose between various bronze alloys. Metals such as gold, silver and copper were mixed in with the bronze to achieve different hues. In addition details such as eyes were often inlaid with glass or gems, with lips defined in copper and teeth in silver. Drapery could be enhanced with gold metal leaf too.