(in Greek, Athene). The most famous statue of this goddess was by Phidias, the Greek sculptor. It was wood encased with ivory; the drapery, however, was of solid gold. It represented the goddess standing, clothed with a tunic reaching to the ankles, a spear in her left hand, and an image of Victory (four cubits high = about six feet) in her right. She is girded with the aegis, has a helmet on her head, and her shield rests by her side on the ground. The entire height was nearly forty feet. This statue was anciently one of the “Seven Wonders of the World.” A superb statue of the goddess was found at Velletri, but whether this was the famous statue of Phidias is not known. It is preserved in the Imperial Museum.
`The exquisite antique statue of Minerva Medica is in the Vatican of Rome.
Invita Minerva, without sufficient ability; against the grain. Thus, Charles Kean acted comedy invita Minerva, his forte lying another way. Sir Philip Sidney attempted the Horatian metres in English verse invita Minerva.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Minerva from Infoplease: