4th C Free Standing Statues



  • Some stylistic tendancies continued from 5th C but sculptors are now trying to make images interesting from all sides and interact with viewer
  • Starting to see trend moving back to realism
  • Some of the uniformity gives way and we see more individual emotional pieces
  • Many sculptors move back to casting in marble as they feel there is more they can explore with surface of marble in terms of effects they can make and beauty of the end figure
  • Start looking at personification - taking abstract ideas and trying to convey them in figure
  • Specialisation - artists realised they were good at presenting certain types of figures so start to specialise in particular areas
  • Key sculptors: Kephisodotos, Praxiteles, Skopas, Lysippos
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Peace and Wealth by Kephisodotos

  • 375BC (coincides with Athens defeating Sparta)
  • 6ft 6.5"
  • Original was bronze, just have marble copy but it is felt the copy captures everything original did
  • Mother and child - emphasised by eye contact her titled head in very nurturing gaze and baby craning neck to meet and hold the gaze. 
  • Personification - mother is peace, child is wealth
  • Propaganda here - to get wealth you need peace, peace nurtures wealth
  • Post Persian and Peloponnese wars and sacking of Athens - rebuilding Athens (all relevant)
  • Drapery similar to Hestia statue - has a mass about it, no thinness or transparency has correct sense of what weight would have been
  • Beautiful folds in drapery but not for decoration and not overworked - simplicity and grandeur
  • Modelling lines there
  • Really beautiful way the dress crumples over foot coming out underneath - vast improvement to what it used to be like with Korai
  • Bent knee breaks fold again showing form 
  • Don't want anything overly decorative to draw away from the emotive gaze which is focus. 
  • Babies and children been difficult for artists in the past (Astyanax) more realistic depiction here
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Hermes with infant Dionysus by Praxiteles

  • Important sculptor, we think working from 370-330BC and potentially Kephisodotos' son
  • 7ft 1" statue around 340BC
  • Very clearly influenced by peace and wealth
  • Kephisodotos was interested in personification, Praxiteles more interested in humanising gods
  • Hermes holding Dionysus' in his arm (we think other raised arm would have been holding grapes) Sense of humour here as Dionysus is fod of wine and reaches up for it even as a baby
  • We dont normally see gods ageing but Dionysus show in infancy draws parallels with mortals
  • Uses tree trunk with Hermes' cloak draped over - used as support as with marble things would often break, but artist has made it part of the narrative
  • Drapery exquisitely hanging over tree provides nice contrast with bare expanse of flesh
  • Similar to Doryphoros with walking stance although less with Hermes who is still. Both have contrapposto but with Hermes we see Praxitelean S curve  - natural and relaxed pose. Doryphoros has a straighter line going through body. 
  • Nice reaction of muscule response where arm is outstretched
  • Compare expression and reaction with peace and wealth. PandW give sense of loving nurture. here relationship depicted slightly differently - more brotherly. older brother teasing Dionysus - head slightly pulled back on Hermes suggesting enjoyment in the teasing. 
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Aphrodite of Knidos by Praxiteles

  • 6ft 8" around 350BC
  • First female nude we know of. 
  • Catching Aphrodite before/after bathing- right arm covering herself quite defensively
  • She was erected in a shrine so visible from all angles - she is shown at most vulnerable 
  • Typically Praxitelian S curve - hip juts out to the right and knee brought in modestly to protect her dignity. Shown quite awkwardly and wanting to hide herself
  • Typical of Praxiteles wanting to humanise the gods
  • Quite a small head - eyes much narrower than we've seen before. Shock and anxiety shown more in pose than expression however. 
  • Hyrdria and Cloak which would have been support is made part of the narrative. 
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Raging Maenad by Skopas

  • Skopas from Paros (Parian marble purest kind you can get)
  • Really dedicated himself as an artist to depiting emotion - capturing moments of high emotion
  • Magarians wanted to improve Aphrodite temple - hired both Praxiteles and Skopas - Skopas to produce images of much higher and passionate emotion e.g. love, desire, yearning
  • 350-325BC
  • Copy but does convey same drama and emotion
  • Can see immediately difference in pose to the works of Kephisodotos and Praxiteles
  • Tiwist of body, arched back, way head is flung back and the sunken eyes and quite protruding brow all showing the raging
  • back of robe flown across back and leg exposed 
  • very dramatic piece.
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Apoxyomenos by Lysippos

  • Appointed court sculptor by Alexander the Great - shows how good a sculptor he was
  • extremely prolific - said to have produced over 1500 works
  • Broke away from Polykeiton canon and bases work on Praxiteles' canon but prefers to create slender bodies and smaller heads so statues appear taller. 
  • Preffered to work in bronze but we dont have any originals left, only roman copies
  • One of the things he was most famous for was treatment of the surface details unfortunately not something kepy in the copies
  • Apoxymenos 325BC
  • Lots of focus on leg muscles responding to body's action - tensed knee holding weight
  • Ideal proportions - head significantly smaller, long slender body. 
  • Naturalism: image v. realistic, very natural activity.
  • bent left arm deliberately cuts off torso so cant see balance of forms. encouraged to see statue from all angles
  • Real grace with the statue - although standing still you can sense theres vivacity- hes about to move position
  • musculature done really well. 
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