The decorative program of the Parthenon pediments is attributed to Pheidias, who sculpted the pedimental groups in the Classical style. The three goddesses’ postures vary from left to right in order to accommodate the triangular architectural space. Dione is positioned in the middle; she is slightly crouching and turning to her left in order to support the reclining Aphrodite. The naturalistic rendering of the goddesses' anatomy, harmoniously blended with complex drapery that flows over them transparently as if liquid, make this grouping a remarkable example of Classical style at its most refined.
In 1911, the year he became the Dean of the Faculty, Battle purchased the two-piece cast of the goddesses of the Parthenon's East Pediment. Although he probably did not realize it at the time, with this acquisition Battle involved UT in the ongoing debate of ownership that had surrounded the Parthenon Marbles for nearly a century. While serving as the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1799 to 1803, Thomas Bruce, 7th Lord Elgin, removed sculptures and ornaments from the Parthenon for his private collection. This instigated immediate public outcry; notable individuals, like Lord Byron, attacked Elgin's actions in print. In 1816, having squandered his wealth obtaining and storing the marbles, Elgin sold them to the British government for £35,000. Today, they are displayed in the British Museum, though Greece continues to request their repatriation.
At UT, the goddesses were first displayed in the Old Main Building. Initially installed on the lower floor, they were moved in 1914 to the newly organized cast gallery on the top floor of the building. They were then moved in 1937 to the cast gallery in the New Main Building, where they remained until conflicting claims on the space led to the casts’ dispersal. The goddesses landed in the Classics Lounge at Waggener Hall; a 1974 memorandum records a vote of the whimsically-named "Committee on the Casting Off of the Casts" to keep the goddesses in the lounge. From 1980, the goddesses were prominently displayed at UT’s Huntington Art Gallery. In 2006, they moved to the second-storey atrium of the new Blanton building, but their tenure there was brief: in 2009, the cast of the Dione and Aphrodite group was placed in storage, where it remains today. In 2019, however, the two pieces of this cast, staged separately, were temporarily re-installed in the Blanton galleries as part of Lily Cox-Richard's vibrantly-colored She-Wolf + Lower Figs.. The catalogue description of the two parts of this cast as "Lower Figs." inspired the title of the artwork.