Free Standing Early Classical Sculpture notes

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Early Classical / Transitional
How to improve archaic sculpture - rounded planes, fleshy, archaic face, add more movement and
lifelike hair.
Lost wax technique:
This was the name for the method of production used when creating bronze statues (sometime
it's referred to as the hollow wax technique).
Figure made in clay
Figure then covered in wax.
Wax-covered figure next encased in clay moulds.
Molten bronze poured into the clay moulds- this melts the wax, and, when cooled, leaves
a hollow bronze statue that bears the shape of the original clay figure.
Bronze statues allow for much greater experimentation in pose, as bronze's high tensile strength
means that limbs can be extended. Aesthetically, bronze also creates a different impression than
marble. Bronze reflects light (rather than absorbing it, as marble does), and so creates radiant,
dazzling statues.
Piraeus Apollo (530-520 BCE)
Bronze casting / Piraeus = harbour. Harder to use paint -
copper on eyebrows, glass inserts for eyes etc
Advantages of bronze moulding: rounded more fleshy,
quicker than scraping of rock, can have arms extended out into
plane, light can shine off it unlike marble (makes it more realistic)
& more durable. Can be constructed in pieces thus more elaborate.
Disadvantages of bronze: expensive & get melted down for
other use.
Bridge of his nose is sharper
Face is slightly downcast
Arm would have had a sacrificial dish on it.
Hair is still like a sausage - curls are created though in a
finer way through delicate shaping with thumb etc.
Feet and calves are the same.
Rounded torso and muscle definition on the arms - sharp
lines have gone.
Nipples sometimes brazed on with extra copper.
Garish application of paint has now gone.
Tensile strength - bronze does not collapse as it is not weighed down.
No struts unlike stone statues - often designed to be hidden by drapery etc.

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Kritios Boy (490-480 BCE)
century Classical Period,
The Kritios Boy is the first statue of the 5th
and represents an artistic revolution as the statue manages to
break out of the restrictive kouros pose and create a fully realistic
statue. Kritios achieves this in a number of ways:
Unlike the Archaic kouroi, the statue's weight is not evenly
distributed across both hips.…read more

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Delphic Charioteer (478-474 BCE)
The Delphi Charioteer
was erected by
Polyzalos, tyrant of the
polis of Gela on Sicily,
to commemorate his
victory in the chariot
race at the Delphic
games. The sculptor
seems to have been
keen to achieve
realism, as well as
being eager to exploit
the aesthetic
possibilities of bronze.
The sculptors use of Classical Idealism is particularly successful here;
the Charioteer's blank, introspective, emotionless features seem to give an aura of inevitability to
his victory.…read more

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Artemision Bronze (460 BCE)
The sculptor has exploited bronze's high tensile strength to
create a dynamic and dramatic pose. The god holds a bolt of
lightning/trident in his right hand, while his left is fully
extended as if aiming at his target.
The sculptor has used the `frozen moment' technique; the
figure is paused in the act of transferring the weight of his body from his back to his front leg.…read more

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Riace Warriors (The Youth) (460-450 BCE)
The Riace Warriors, or Calabrian bronzes, were found at the bottom of the sea near Calabria in
the 1970s. It is believed that both Warriors would
originally have held a spear and a shield. The sculptor's
attention to meticulous detail is apparent; both statues
have inlaid eyes, textured and elaborate beards, and
copper nipples.
Height: 1.9 metres
Probably made by Pheidias.
Gentle soft curve of his backbone, sinuous.
Weight is on the right leg, resting on the left.…read more

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Chest muscles are still a little bit symmetrical.
Knees are pointing forward.
Left foot is ready and poised for the throw.
Looking back at his arm as he would do.
Large muscles of his flags - can see hip bone.
Tendons and veins can be seen on his arms and legs.
Cropped curled hair. Lack of detail
Focused and severe looking face - face not showing any emotion
1.55 metres tall. Felt he had made a breakthrough - started to show figures more
naturally.…read more

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Size decreases - much more like an ordinary man or woman
Severe expression, no emotion - not different as it is the same as archaic.…read more


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