Early Classical Statues


Piraeus Apollo

  • 530-520BC
  • Bronze statue 6ft 3"
  • More relaxed and natural to what we've seen before
  • Bronze colour is more alike sun-tanned skin of Greek men
  • Stance is freer with hands totally free from body - easier to do with bronze
  • No need for plinth as it bears its own weight
  • left foot not at front - right leg advanced but less so than before
  • Hair still very formulaic 
  • Musculature is subtle and soft - not very complex
  • No fat ankles
  • Blank expression
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Kritios Boy

  • 480BC
  • weight subtly shifted onto back foot (improvement in pose) but reaction through body does not occur
  • No archaic smile 
  • Head turns slightly to right to give more an impression of life.
  • Details of anatomy show little advance from Aristodikos and pose changes are small but the difference in effect is dramatic - statue comes to life more
  • Body is carved with great delicacy and tenderness of youth is well conveyed 
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Blond Boy

  • 480BC
  • Other sculptors attempted this new 'brought-to-life' effect of the kritios boy. This is a head likely from one of these statues
  • slight angulation of the head 
  • No archaic smile, more pensive
  • Hair still decorative but less than previous
  • Facial features better proportioned
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Delphic Charioteer

  • 470BC
  • 5ft 11"
  • Part of a group of charioteers and horses. 
  • Copper lips and eyelashes, eyes ivory and onyx
  • Headband originally made of silver.
  • hair is flat, 3D wisps and curls around eyes are good though
  • Calm expression
  • Generally the drapery is responsive
  • From angle of head to the feet there would be a slight twist in body which the drapery skillfully manages to hide
  • Tensed arm responds to chariot and reins
  • Not really necessary to show lower half of human form underneath drapery as would have been obstructed by the chariot. 
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Riace Warriors

  • Second quarter of 5th C BC
  • Bronze statues.
  • stands with weight on right leg, left slightly bent placed in front
  • Would have had a shield on left arm, right arm by his side
  • Hips respond to displacement of the weight onto one leg - right hip higher than left but this upper body less responsive. 
  • Should be more difference in tension between the two arms 
  • Turn on the head gives greater sense of life however 
  • These small improvements got rid of rigidness and symmetry and made the statue alive with potential energy. 
  • Each of sides have character. the back has vitality with the slight S curve up the arched back. Shows how much grace and liveliness small changes in pose can do for the figure
  • Bronze is dramatic and striking
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Artemisium Zeus

  • 460-450BC
  • 6ft 10"
  • Depiction of large scale figure visible from all sides in the middle of action
  • symmetry abandoned comlpetely here
  • Outstretched arms like this would only have been achieved with bronze
  • Concentration - head and pointed finger. Statue looks into the distance
  • Varied position of limbs - contrasts straight arm with bent, weight bearing leg with the free
  • Front foot slightly raised, rocking action, about to hurl
  • Problems though: Difficult to understand this statue from side views however
  • Torso should be reacting to this action but it is as still as a simple standing statue would be
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Diskobolos by Myron

  • Second quarter of 5th C
  • Bronze original 
  • Highly praised of its time
  • Chose to depict an instant moment of stillness before the action of hurling discus - split second pause between back swing and forward thrust
  • Suggestion of potential movement so strong - the statue is alive with energy
  • Both symmetry and repetition are avoided e.g. one side of statue is zig-zag outline (four lines of the body meeting at almost right angles giving great sense of harmony), the other side sweeping curve of arms
  • Same problem as with artemisium zeus - hard to distinguish what the statue is from seeing it side view for example. looks very confused. 
  • And again the torso is realistic but givces no response to the violent actions of the limbs 
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Hestia Guistiniani

  • Second quarter of 5th C
  • Great simplicity.
  • Very severe line of line of overfold
  • Looks much more restrained than figures of second half of 5th C
  • Quite serious and stern, stiff stance. Goddess of hearth - perhaps should reflect comfort of hearth and family but definitely doesnt
  • Veil over head doesnt really flow well or have the softness you would expect from that material
  • Thick chunky hair, big prominent nose
  • Two halves of statue quite distinct from each other - sharp line across middle doesnt help
  • Very structured formulaic folds of skirt - no variation or attempt to show bodily form underneath drapery
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