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Onatas (Ὀνάτας), a Greek sculptor of the time of the Persian wars, a member of the flourishing school of Aegina.

Many of his works are mentioned by Pausanias; they included a Hermes carrying the ram, and a strange image of the Black Demeter made for the people of Phigalia; also some elaborate groups in bronze set up at Olympia and Delphi. For Hiero I, king of Syracuse, Onatas executed a votive chariot in bronze dedicated at Olympia.

If we compare the descriptions of the works of Onatas given us by Pausanias with the well-known pediments of Aegina at Munich we shall find so close an agreement that we may safely take the pedimental figures as an index of the style of Onatas. They are manly, vigorous, athletic, showing great knowledge of the human form, but somewhat stiff and automaton-like.

Pausanias:

The story goes that Idomeneus was descended from the Sun, the father of Pasiphae, and that the cock is sacred to the Sun and proclaims when he is about to rise. An inscription too is written on the pedestal:

-- To Zeus these images were dedicated by the Achaeans,
Descendants of Pelops the godlike scion of Tantalus.

Such is the inscription on the pedestal, but the name of the artist is written on the shield of Idomeneus:

-- This is one of the many works of clever Onatas,
The Aeginetan, whose sire was Micon.

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This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, which is in the public domain.

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