Greek Architecture and Sculpture

HideShow resource information

Marble and Method

  • Kouros means "Young Man" in Greek, Koroi are generic depictions of men used as grave markers
  • Based on Egyptian methods of proportion- generic grid method were figures "walked out" of piece of stone
  • Egyptians were kilted and not cut free from the block of marble, the Greek figures were naked (this was gratuituous) and cut free from the marble. The lack of tensile strength of marble resulted in weaknesses at the limbs and figures often broke
  • Working in marble initially resulted in an equal weight distribution and lack of realism, the generic system of proportions resulted in a lack of experimentation with pose which was difficult to achieve from a marble block
  • Example of proportions- 13/21 units to the navel (NYK)
  • Encouraged the Sentary box pose- fists clenched and attached to body, left foot forward, head facing forwards, little interaction with viewer (generic)
  • Front and profile view drawn on to marble block, artist chipped away surpluss stone from all angles = Quadrifacial frontality
  • Marble sculptures were cut from single block of marble (expensive medium)- mistakes could not afford to be made
  • Took 6 month- 1 year
  • Absorbed light- hair needed to be cut deeply to create shadow
1 of 34

New York Kouros 610-590BC

  • Grave marker- made before Athenian democracy was established (507/506BC) and this type of function was not banned
  • Sentary box pose/ Equal Weight distribution- cut free from a block of marble, difficult to create bends in the body, lack of confidence cutting fists away from body
  • Long, braided Egyptian hair- around 7th century Egyprian hostility to foreigners relaxed and Greeks could visit Egypt and experience civilisation (lack of greek identity)
  • Symmetry- grid method, used to check proporions - double V effect of pelvis, etched in and delineated lines
  • Generic males, did not use life models - off proportions 1:6, little awareness of underlying form (obsession with pattern), equal weight distribution, lack of emotion/ interaction with viewer
  • lack of realism- ears too high up on head, voluted
  • Lack of context- leg greaves suggest commemorates soldier 
2 of 34

Anavyssos Kouros 530BC

  • Function- grave marker, Athenian democracy had still not been established (507/506 BC). Generic male but memorial to Kroisos "Stand and have pity at the tomb of the great Kroisos, whom raging Ares slew as he fought on the front line"
  • Shorter hair than New York Kouros- still anachronistic, long and braided Egyprian style. Hair is thicker at sides to frame the face. This is generic depiction and Greek identity is not yet established
  • Change in emotion- development of the archaic smile (first seen on 580BC Kleobis and Biton), impacts the muscles of face but is inappropriate in context as grave marker.
  • Sentary box pose remains, fists attached/ left leg forward- still using grid method and single block of marble, attempt at realism as the thighs are rounded for balance. criticism that they are overly curvy
  • less obsession with pattern- Sculptors becoming aware of underlying form, evidence of ribcage
  • Woodford believes in a move towards naturalism and "radient" facial expression- curved masses suggest soft flesh, sensitive swelling of cheeks and subtle modelling around mouth/eyes
  • Forms were gently rounded- no flat planes meeting sharply at angles
3 of 34

Archaic moves towards naturalism

  • Naturalism was an innovation which was difficult to achieve and could not happen all at once.
  • A Greek identity appears to be established at the end of the 6th Century BC with the Aristodikos Kouros having the discordant hair cut short.
  • The problem with this was that the figure looked unnaturally stiff, for the first time in 100 years the pose is called into question.
  • Broze Piraeus Apollo, 2nd half of 6th century has extended arms separated from body/ tilted head
  • Sentary box pose became disturbing- suggestion of movement within a static figure (half-way between walking and standing) The Archaic period focused on developing the portrayal of the form of the body
  •  Tried to recreate pose in marble
4 of 34

Berlin Kore 570-560BC

  • Function remains a grave marker, democracy is not yet established. Identification as a grave marker as pomegranate (Hades) was held in left hand
  • Sentary box pose was exclusive for males, hands are still firmly attached to female figures- right hand holds mantle
  • Drapery (linen chiton) conceals the body, inappropriate to carve naked- columnar folds, avoids sculpting legs (little experience in underlying female forms)
  • Off-proportions (no life model) 1:6, very thick fingers and toes, ears too large and not central to head
  • Lacking realism- Archaic smile inappropriate in death, bulgy eyes (not bronze-eyes were inlaid)
  • Obsession with pattern- large concentric folds of mantle,  Meander, lotus and bud hat, columnar folds of drapery. Long braided hair bound in tight ponytail
  • Little traces of femenine figure from frontal view (flat chested)
  • Quadrifacial frontality
  • Feminimity more evident at back, chiton swells around buttocks to emphasise them
  • Woodford argues Sculptors had talent for decorative organisation rather than underlying form (exclusive to males)
5 of 34

Peplos Kore 540-530BC

  • Remains in formal pose- right arm attached firmly to side with fist clenched. However, innovation in pose as left forearm was made with separate piece of marble and inserted into socket. (weakness in marble's tensile strength) Perhaps holding offering
  • Votive statue of goddess- dedicated to Athene/ Artemis?
  • Drapery reveals the body but avoids scultpting the legs (Inappropriateness meant little experience), high separated breasts
  • Changes in fashion in Greece as the Peplos became more popular (sleeved linen chiton underneath a woolen peplos, the crinkly hem of chiton can be seen) - Variety and contrast
  • Obession with pattern remains- Circular pattern on waist which is emphasised by belt/ overfold, columnar effect of skirt, braited hair with three- plaited tresses over each breast
  • Archaic smile affecting facial muscles- more appropriate in context?
  • Realism- proportions 1:7, ears central to head, unvoluted and correct size 
  • No nose bridge- affects realism of anatomy
  • Woodford argues skill for decorative organisation
  • Smaller than lifesize 1.17M / 3ft 10" - saving expense, trial for bronze?
6 of 34

Kritios Boy 490-480BC

  • Attempt to achieve naturalism in pose whilst working in marble, however this statue is smaller than life size (3ft 10") and features indicate bronze methods/ trial (inlaid eyes, whisps in neck)
  • change in pose to relaxed pose, revealing intention which determins action
  • broken right leg is bent/ relaxed whereas weight is on taut left leg (left hip is raised due to leg bearing the weight, left shoulder is raised) giving figure a slight S shape
  • Head inclines slighlty to the right
  • Change in emotion to more appropriate severe look, the function however is no longer a grave marker
  • Democracy is established by cleisthenes 507/506 BC and grave markers (associated with aristocracy) are banned- everybody is equal in death!
  • Attribution to Kritios ( head looks similar to Kritios' Harmodios, Tyranicides)
  • Awareness of bronze sculpture techniqes- come into contact with Persians 499BC Ionian revolt
  • Less obsession with pattern- attempt to achieve realism, only pattern is thick row of curls around the circumference of head, establishes more Greek identity but has to be cut deeply due to properties of marble which absorb light
  • Awareness of underlying form - torso, faint inguinal ridge, ribcage
7 of 34

Delphi Charioteer 478-474BC

  • Change in material to Ancient Bronze (in contact with Persians, Persian wars), no longer in sentary box pose and arms can be sculpted extended from the body
  • Whole figure full of asymmetries, slight spiral to body as body turns slightly to viewers left
  • Also allows details to be added in different materials (Onyx eyes, copper lips)- realism
  • Male drapery which is appropriate to honorific subject matter, dedicated to Polyzylos of Gela, commemorated victory in chariot races (original contained horses, groom and charriot).Wore a Xytis with straps to prevent billowing.
  • Drapery becomes exaggerated due to context, long unbroken folds would have been covered by charriot.
  • Naturalism is also conveyed in drapery and care was taken to avoid repetition and adjacent folds were different in width, depth and direction. 
  • Cuts over abundently athletic torso, awareness of underlying form, unlike females where drapery focused on pattern and organisation. Belt emphasised waist
  • Maintains Greek identity- short, "wet" curls, appropriate for athlete
  • Severe expression is appropriate to subject matter, concentrating on task/shows no exuberance like kouroi
  • Scholarly realism of feet add fluidity and support to naturally heavy bronze, the foot is facing forward and moved right slightly to reveal it
  • 5ft 10", tall and nimble
8 of 34

Tyrannicides 476BC

  • Honorific statue, built after democracy was establised (not a grave marker), commemorating achievements of Harmodios and older lover Aristogeiton in attempt to overthrow tyrant Hippias in 514BC. First time narrative is incorporated into sculpture.
  • Severe expression is appropriate as it conveys anger or hatred during assasinsation
  • Originally bronze sculpture (Antentor), Athens was sacked in 480BC and original was carried off from agora by the Persians. Kritios and Nesiotes created a bronze copy in 477/476 BC- now only Roman marble copy with obtrusive tree trunks remain (less tensile strength/ cheaper)
  • Bronze allows action poses- Harmodios' right hand is raised in the air, although this is inncorrect on marble copy and should be raised behind his head according to Woodford
  • Integrated narrative and age, Harmodios' pose is appropriately used as a coup de grace to finish of a disabled enemy, with this pose being used to attack an active opponent it conveys Harmodios as rash as the whole body of the assailant is left undefended.
  • Aristogeiton's pose conveys him as older and more wary, his left arm is thrust forward with resolution. His sword is held low awaiting an opportunity and a cloak is draped over the arm for protection.
  • Age is conveyed by difference in temperament and personality, Harmodios is beardless and eager with the only source of pattern being the swirly Greek syle curls of his hair.
  • Aristogeiton is bearded with a firm muscular body
  • The weight of both figures is on the front leg (inside)
9 of 34

God of Artemisium 460-450BC

  • Bronze allows dynamic action pose- right arm is raised separate from the body and the left arm is thrust dynamically forward. Weight rests on left leg.- parts could have been casted separately
  • Realism is affected as the torso does not respond to the dynamic activity of the limbs. Naturalism has also been achieved in Kritios boy and the trend moves towards harsh musculature- well built, cuirass torso, harsh inguinal ridge, six pack
  • Votive subject matter continues,  found at Cape Artemisium which may be Zeus/Poseidon
  • Viewpoint is affected by dynamic pose, not effective when viewed from the side
  • Use of broze also allows extra details to be added- eyes inlaid with glass and bone, copper lips and *******
  • thick curly Greek style beard suggests age and is only source of pattern
  • accurate 1:7 proportions
10 of 34

Riace Warrior A 460-450BC

  • Original bronze allows pose experimentation (contact with Persians) , this is a 5th century sculpture as there is no lead present in the broze and the limbs are similar to God of Artemisium rather than stocky Doryphoros. Asymmetrical lay out of limbs as left arm is raised to torso with bent elbow (held a shield). Weight is also on back right leg and the left leg is bent in front. Hips respond to this
  • Lacks realism as upper body is largely unresponsive to different degrees of tension in two arms but the alert turn of the head to his right counteracts impression of static immobility- figure is alive with potential energy
  • Honorific subject matter (commemorate warriors- ie Kodros/ Tydeus?) - democracy responsible
  • Realistic proportions 1:7
  • Severe expression shows concentration on task at hand, bears teeth-personality (appropriate if Tydeus)
  • Bronze allowed additional details in new materials - copper lips/ *******/ silver lashes for teeth
  • Realism is compromised for aesthetics- not anatomically possible, no coccyx bone, very harsh inguinal ridge, cuirass torso, defined musculature and six-pack
  • Too tall - 6ft 5"
  • Only pattern is the hair- each row of curls has different pattern, swirly pattern of beard
11 of 34

Riace Warrior B 460-450BC

  • Thought to be older warrior (honorific subject matter, democracy, possibly Miltiades), had shorter hair than warrior A so possibly more athletic
  • well developed muscular body with harsh inguinal ridge and six pack
  • Only pattern being the hair, thought to have worn a helmet (Miltiades, Corinthian)
  • Original broze allowed experimentation with pose- Asymmetrical layout of limbs contributed to naturalism
  • Front leg relaxed and none weight bearing, weight on back leg which raises hip
  • Bronze allowed details to be added in additional materials- silver eyelashes, copper lips and *******
  • 1:7, 6ft 5"
  • Realism affected by absense of coccyx bone
12 of 34

West Pediment- Aphaia at Aegina 510-490BC

  • Solution to basic pediment problem- trying to fit all figures in the composition when all figures were same height and could not fit in the raking cornice of pediment. Solution was a God presiding over a scene of violence (allowed dying warriors to fill the corners) and allowed unity of theme- depicting one myth relevant to sanctuary as the worship was done outside of a temple
  • West Pediment was from the archaic period and depicted the Trojan War
  • Features Archer Paris (left side) on Trojan side  in typical Phyrgian dress/ hat of turkey- the sculptor could avoid sculpting the underlying form and muscle tensions
  • Use of archaic smile was innappropriate for subject matter- warriors were dying in the Trojan war, awkward layout of the limbs do not convey the struggle of war
  • Cumulation of archaic style- fatally wounded man lifts upper right arm and reaches lower left arm down to extract arrow (added in bronze). Position of legs echo position of arm as right leg is folded over left leg.- despite painful predicament complex and beautiful design (triangular pattern of gaps), full frontal , carefully carved locks of hair
  • Athene stands at the apex, the archaic smile is inappropriate for subject matter and she remains rather static and innactive as the goddess of war. Her arms are firmly attached to body as she holds aegis of Zeus.
  • Drapery avoids sculpting underlying form- covers most of Athene's female form
  • Sculpure did not have to looke aesthetic from numerous angles and the back did not need to be complete
13 of 34

Temple of Aphaia East Pediment 500-480BC

  • East Pediment- Heracles' earlier expedition against Troy
  • Athena has sprung into action with her left arm extended
  • The movement out from the centre is balanced by a counter-movement inward from the corners which produces a unified design
  • Later warrior turns away from enemy as strength fails. Left hand has lost grip on shield and droops with pathetic lifelessness. 
  • Dying warrior tries to raise sword (added in bronze) with right hand but begins to keel forward onto chest. The ebbing life slipping away is powerfully suggested.
  • Right angle of dying warriors arms are not parallel to each other but suggest controlled sequence of movement, figure is neither frontal nor profile but gradually unwinds from one point of view to another.
  • Awareness of underlying form, veins respond to Heracles' movement, extended right leg effectively conveys muscle tension.
  • Severe expression is more appropriate for context of death
14 of 34

Temple of Zeus at Olympia Metopes 466-456BC

  • 12 Labours of Heracles, appropriate to sanctury as Heracles was a Demi-God son of Zeus
  • No fixed order, local myths to sanctury given prevalance
  • 6 over Pronaos/ 6 over opisthodomos porches above columns and antae , from a distance view was interupted by columns
  • Innovation in conveying Labours (Dynamism vs Rest)
  • Diagonals conveyed action (Cleansing the Augean stables) as Labour is in progress
  • Verticles/ Horizontals - rest and weariness after Labour (Nemean Lion)
  • Heracles and Athene age over the course of the metopes- unbearded to bearded
  • Limited figures in metope to 2-3, each "episode" could be viewed separately and retain unified theme
  • Shape and pattern created - triangles suggest submission and Heracles' victory
  • Use of overlap effectively conveys 3D figure, Heracles' actions seen as dominant as he overlaps Athene's arm when instructing him to cleanse the Augean stables
  • Innovation seen in relationship between figures - Apples of Hesperides- Athene lessens the burden for Heracles when holding world for Atlas. Athene is frontal with head facing profile Heracles whereas Atlas' torso is turned to face front.
  • Severe expression is appropriate for weariness in labours/ concentration
15 of 34

Temple of Zeus at Olympia West Pediment 466-456BC

  • Depicted Perithoos and Deidameia's wedding (Lapiths), Centaurs do not mix their wine with water and attempt to carry off the women. Eurytion  tries to carry off bride
  • Play of opposites is important in organisaion/psychology of pediment- full of action with virtually all figures interlocked in violent compat
  • God presides over scene of violence once more, Apollo is at Apex standing alone amid turmoil. Apollo's right extended arm meets upright body at right angle and gives impression of stability to commanding presence.
  • The bride on Apollo's right grapples fiercely with Eurytion, she thrusts an elbow into his face whilst trying to pry his hand from her breast
  • Deidameia endeavours to detach centaur's other hand from around waist, Eurytion winces but secures grip by winding his hoof around Deidameia's thigh
  • Deidameia's body clearly expresses desperation and struggle but face is unmoved. Woodford argues this was not because of inability to show emotion because other faces show feelings more freely (Lapith youth wrinkles brow as lips apart convey cry of pain).
  • Instead Deidameia is unmoved as artist probably thought grimace would not accord with dignity of queenly figure
  • Emotionally richer tangle of men, women and centaurs than simple well-matched fights at Aegina. Idea of men defending women against savage onslaught had high significance after Persian wars and was used again on Parthenon.
16 of 34

Temple of Zeus at Olympia East Pediment 466-456BC

  • Pediment skill shows ability to reveal different characters/ personalities
  • Different subject mater to god presiding over scene of violence, Zeus still dominates (temple dedicated to him) but this is over a scene of tension- chariot race between Pelops and Oinomaos for his daughter Hippodamia-Intense scene, but wholly without action.
  • Personality is conveyed- Oinomaos on Zeus' left (commanding presence of fate) has hand confidently placed on hip as he explains conditions of the race whilst Pelops on the right has head modestly bowed. Figures psychologically closely bound
  • Sterope to Oinomaos' left has arms folded anxiously, wears simple Peploi revealing stance and foild to assured husband- Different personalities
  • Corners/ raking cornice is effectively filled composition, instead of dying warriors this is made up of kneeling spectators- boy playing with toes/ River Gods in each corner- 2 rivers flowing past Olympia
  • Horses are essential to myth and conform to slope in natural way
  • One of first times age has been depicted in architecture- Seer Lamos has sagging flesh on chest, balding head and wrinkled brow 
  • Emotion and tension is president, hand up to the cheek is a sign of grief/ alarm, Seer foreshadows outcome of race (death of Oinomaos) in the moments before.
  • Simple figures devoid of decoration-austere style
17 of 34

The Parthenon Frieze 442-438BC

  • Ionic continuous frieze made from pentellic marble  inside Temple, porches and walls,
  • Only glimpsed at through intervals in outer collonade- collumns served as foil to movement
  • 1M in height and 524ft long/ 160M
  • Painted with blue background so that figures stood out
  • Disputed subject matter-Panathenaic festival (4 years, Athene) preparations and folding of the Peplos to give as a present to Olive Wood statue of Athene-decoration needed to be unified but not monotonous (Athene Parthenos, Northern Acropolis, saved from Persians)
  • Variety of pace/accent- some horses in swift movement, human figures standing, walking- all figures reach top of frieze to give impression of even pattern with no undue gaps
  • Boardman theory- Gods are facing away from celebrations,greeting 192 dead from 490BC Battle of Marathon (selective counting is required)
  • Gods reach the top of the frieze whilst sat down (Gods conventionally taller than humans.)
  • Procession forms in West porch and proceeds along north/ south sides (acropolis is only accessible from west
  • Twelve Gods seated in groups of 6 on east frieze between the folding of the peplos but facing the approaching procession, rigid symmetry is avoided by alternating sexes of Gods, assured balance of composition (ie Hera/ Hephaistos face inwards, Zeus/Athene face outwards
  • Orderly variation- Poseidon, Apollo, Artemis- logical sequence, continuous movement (arm placement) use of overlap- each more draped than neigbour 
18 of 34

The Parthenon Metopes 447-442BC

  • All Metopes of the external doric frieze were carved (92)- Centauromachy, Amazonomachy, Sack of Troy, Gigantonmachy- all depict Greek Victory. Only Centauromachy (Centaurs vs Lapiths survive) -Southern Side least accessed, not destroyed by iconoclasts in Christian era
  • Metopes had to be ready before roof could be put in place- large project meant there was not enough time to train sculptors up to same standard
  • High quality metope-centaur rears up holding rock with arm flung up ready for attack. The Lapith's head is secured in a wrestlers grip. The Lapith simultaneously thrusts a metal spit into centaur. Pose has been carefully arranged to fill entire space.
  • Rigour and ease of anatomy
  • Less skillful metope- Interest is bunched up in centre with blank expanse to right. The centaur has no neck and muscles are etched in with harsh lines. Drapery is missing from Lapiths left arm and carved shallowly agains background. In another metope however drapery is more effective- falling behind Lapith with catenary folds- light and shadow provide contrast and drapery stabilises centrifugal composition
  • Metopes limited figures to two figures- Lapith fighting centaur/ centaur carrying off women
  • Pentellic marble, painted
  • Same subject matter as West Pediment (Zeus at Olympia)- Less effective as single episodes
19 of 34

Parthenon West Pediment 438BC-432BC

  • Relevance to sanctuary-  Athene and Poseidons contest for patronage of Athens (Pausanias)
  • Athene and Poseidon at Apex, use of diagonals and oppositions show contest as they stride away from each other but lean to look back
  • Lively figures, excitement ripples outwards through assembled audience of gods and heroes-rich in decorative complexity
  • Similar to East Pediment at Olympia River God (Illisos) fills left corner. Best preserved figure, unlike that at Olympia is not simplistic but characterised by subtle anatomical detail/ delicate transitions- soft layers of fat, elastic muscle, drapery laps at body as if current were sweeping by
  • Pediments were last completed sculptural decoration , during 15 years sculptures were carved (447-432BC)- contributed to development of High classical style
  • Began to relax severity of early classical period and tempered dignity with grace- unified groups from isolated figures, richly expressive carvings called for complex patterns of light and shade of drapery to contrast with nude skin
  • Only surviving figures- Iris, Hermes, Illisos
  • Corners of pediment were wider than those at Aegina so it was difficult to present figures on consistent scale- Gods at Apex are massive vs dwarfed Gods at corners
20 of 34

Parthenon East Pediment 438BC-432BC

  • Shows birth of Athene after Zeus lay with Metis and she sprang from his head with the help of Hephaistos' axe, Zeus and Athene probably stood at apex whilst waves of excitement from centre to corners, decreasing in intensity (figures reclining at extreme ends have back to centre and are oblivious)
  • Balance is achieved through opposites like on the frieze- nude male on left vs (Dionysos) clothed right female (Aphrodite?)
  • Next to reclining figures are seated goddesses who begin to turn to the front
  • systematic axes of rotation - Aphrodite's lefs are profile with upper body gently turned towards front giving three-quarter view of mother Dione who she leans on.
  • Deeply carved drapery produces lively play of light and shadow which links figures together with rhythmic pattern
  • Modelling lines used to convey roundness of legs- throw shadows to suggest 3D, appearence of thin drapery- Aphrodite as ****** goddess of love, peplos falling off shoulder
  • Drapery enhances impression of movement- messenger (Hebe?) rushes to Persephone (eager, facing her) and Demeter?. Folds in peplos swirl back from advancing leg in double curve (motion lines) conveying haste / visually suggests continuity
21 of 34

Discobolos 450-440BC

  • For the first time the use of nudity is not gratuitous in subject matter as this is depiction of an Athlete throwing a discus (democracy)
  • Attributed to Myron who working in broze (tensile stregth, hollow cast method-Persians) was able to experiment with pose and asymmetry. Innovative layout of limbs create shape- Discus throwers' arms create a curve and the right side of the body and crossed legs create a zig-zag.
  • Ideal vantage point is from front, from the side view is restricted by curve of arms and according to Woodford looks like a muddled mass of shapes.
  • Naturalism had previously been achieved with Kritios boy and there is a continued trend of harsh musculature- inguinal ridge, abundently athletic six pack but realism is compromised as torso does not respond to movement of limbs, evident skeleton
  • Realism is also compromised in subject matter as this is incorrect way to throw discus but interesting concept- Discus taken as far back as it will go before being released- innovative momentary action pose 
  • Short hair- Greek and Athletic
  • Myron's innovation- only the toes of the left foot are touching the plinth
  • Severe look appropriate in concentrating on task at hand, not specific athlete
22 of 34

Doryphoros 440BC

  • Use of bronze (tensile strength) allows  dynamic equilibrium of pose were half the torso is extended and half is contracted contrapposto (hips/shoulders slant in opposite directions)
  • Polykleitos invented the trailing leg technique, weight was previously on front leg. this is moved to the back to imply movement and enhance realism- stable image which retains suggestion of movement
  • Balance of opposites seen on Parthenon pediments 447-432BC is applied to single figure
  • For the first time the torso responds to the movement of the limbs, the left arm is raised holding a spear and the right arm hangs by side, making the sculpture interesting from more than a single vantage point as with Discobolos
  • Intelligible and harmonious side views, the right side at rest is animated by the turn of the head
  • Polykleitos (personal developments of sculptors) was a bronze caster and was interested in analysing anatomy and arranging nude forms of figures (expressive potential of drapery is better explored in marble)
  • Severe expression is appropriate as generic spear bearer
  • Perfect male- realism is compromised- stocky proportions, limbs, six- pack, very harsh inguinal ridge.
  • Ideal unreality (Achilles)- torso looked like a moulded cuirass.
  • Possibly gratuitous nudity
23 of 34

Nike of Paionios 420BC

  • Goddess Nike (Victory) – powerful not humanised
  • Honorific – dedicated by the Messenians (neighbours of Sparta) possibly after Athens helped them defeat Sparta at Sphacteria in the Pelopponesian War
  • Made by Paionios Marble original that once stood in Olympia on a plinth Action pose, she is flying down and landing on the plinth and her drapery billows out behind her (motion lines) Lots of drapery techniques to discuss e.g. catenary folds and modeling lines to emphasise roundness, plus transparent drapery to reveal the body beneath
  • Material is so thin on stomach, you can see her belly button! Drapery offers support at the base but looks too heavy compared to the thinness elsewhere. 
24 of 34

Eirene and Ploutos 375BC

Translates as Peace and Wealth Abstract meaning that Peace is the mother of wealth Divine – had their own cults so can be used for a question on the Gods Sculpted by Kephisodotus, father of Praxiteles Similar to the composition of Hermes and Dionysus Marble copy – not sure about original Relaxed pose (can see bent leg) but argument for contrapposto Peplos obscures most of her figure Catenary folds and columnar folds Baby’s proportions are incorrect (a miniature adult) Viewer looking in at maternal relationship

25 of 34

Hermes and Dionysus 350-330BC

  •   Made be Praxiteles & stood in Olympia Marble copy or original? Disputed Contrapposto? Disputed (are shoulder’s straight?) Trailing foot S-bend in body Long, slender muscles 1:7 ½  to make body even more slender Integrated support (part of the narrative – baby’s blanket) Humanising the Gods – babysitting is an everyday activity. Dreamy expression & tousled hair Viewer is looking in on a private moment Best viewed from the front
26 of 34

Apollo Sauroktonos 350-330BC

Made be Praxiteles Marble copy of a bronze original (remember Praxiteles could work in both materials) Contrapposto Trailing foot S-bend in body Long, slender muscles Head slightly too large for the body Integrated support (part of the narrative – tree that the lizard is resting on) Humanising the Gods – a playful Apollo (but alludes to the fact he will grow up to slay the Python at Delphi to claim the sanctuary as his own Dreamy expression & tousled hair Viewer is looking in on a private moment Best viewed from the front

27 of 34

Youth of Marathon 350-330BC

Made be Praxiteles or one of his students (his school) as there are some subtle differences but it is clearly inspired by Praxitelean style Bronze original Contrapposto Trailing foot but weight is on left leg and all Praxiteles’ statues have their weight on the right S-bend in body Long, slender muscles 1:7 ½ to make body even more slender No integrated support Humanising the Gods? – depends on the lost object (Ganymede or Hermes?) Dreamy expression & tousled hair Best viewed from the front

28 of 34

Knidian Aphrodite 350-330BC

  • Praxiteles was a relative of acomplished sculptor Kephisodotus and was able to work in both marble and bronze. The heaviness of marble had to be supported, Praxiteles was the first to incorporate these supports into his narrative
  • Knidian Aphrodite is first Greek femal nude on large scale (minor arts- Cassandra, vase paintings, predicaments appropriate for nudity)
  • This is not gratuitious nudity- humanising the Gods/ cult of Aphrodite- not so distant from humans
  • Marble was culturally appropriate for females and conveyed soft flesh better than bronze, made use of Polykleitian contrapposto in creative and original way (sensuousness and equiloibrium)
  • Weight rests on right leg, Polykleitos' trailing leg technique is used as weight bearing right foot is in front of left- knees are pressed together so swelling mass of thighs/ hips expand gracefully from narrow base
  • Drapery provides contrast- pattern found on swirly hydria/rigid and limp inert drapery contrasts with soft living body.
  • right sholder drops as Aphrodite attempts to cover crotch with right hand
  • She looks sharply to her left- her soft parted lips convey no embarassment- looks as if she is disturbed but dreamy expression invites viewer, can be viewed from all angles
29 of 34

Apoxyomenos 330BC

  • Use of bronze allows innovation in pose as the right arm is fully detached from figure and is penetrating the space in front of the sculpture. Daring transitions were not easy to reproduce in marble.The 4th century saw revival of interest in naturalism and exploration of spacial potentialities of sculpture
  • No ideal vantage point at front, the arm cutting up the torso forces viewer to walk around the figure
  • Movement is implied to be restlessly moving, weight is on the left leg almost in act of shifting to right
  • Proportions of Polykelitos are rejected to give a naturalistic and slender depiction of male nude
  • Like Myron's Discobolos, nudity is not gratuitous- Athletes in Ancient Greece would rub themselves down with oil before exercise and scape the oil and dirt off afterwards.
  • Emphasis on individual (high classical was generic), increased realism refining Polykleitos' proportions- tall and slender figure, proportionally small head, wiry leanness
  • No appreciation of the balanced forms is possible- bent left arm of statue foreshortened it. From the four cardinal viewpoints one arm always becomes foreshortened
  • Less successful than Polykleitian works  but is more interesting by Lysippos- no single point of view is entirely satisfactory
  • Innovations- realism in depiction of anatomy and limbs- freedom in the space
30 of 34

Hegeso Stele 400BC

  • Figures presented as alive in death- showed interaction with those they left behind to add emotion and personality to grave stele, unlike generic portrayals of kouroi (democracy cleitsthenes 507/506BC)
  • convention that the deceased was shown seated (Klismos) chair so that they could be identified
  • Use of composition - space was left between living and deceased representing the space the deceased would leave behind
  • Hegeso and her maid, who she would have trusted, are interacting through Hegeso choosing an ornament from the jewellry box held by the maid
  • Allows emotion and relationships to be conveyed in funerary piece- severe/dream like/absent
  • Interaction- curve created by Hegeso and the maids arms
  • Use of overlap- Hegeso overlaps her maid- 3D, central importance
  • Drapery adds pattern, contrast to skin and conceals body - catenary folds and modelling lines, fine transparent drapery
  • composition- fills the space but compromises realism as hegeso seated on the Klismos is at the same head level as maid, achitectural frame enhanced sense of massiveness
  • Dominated by repeated horizontals/ Verticles- stability and rest (quiet, serious mood)
  • New fashions in transparent drapery (Parthenon) combined with quiet dignity
31 of 34

Dexileos Stele 393BC

Found in the Kerameikos cemetery in Athens Three figures, Dexileos (on horseback), his victim and the horse itself. Only stele to give the date of birth of the deceased. Believed an attempt to distance Dexileos from the oligarchy of Thirty Tyrants that followed Athens’ defeat in the Peloponnesian War. (cavalry were closely associated with the coup) Fills the majority of the space available - a very effective composition (even if proportions are again inaccurate) Dramatic interaction between the figures Use of diagonal lines to emphasise movement and tension. Overlapping adds depth. Pattern is created by the drapery on Dexileos’ cloak (motion lines) and the horse’s mane Shapes created by the shield (curve) and limbs (triangles) which add variety and draw the eye Weighted towards bottom right Background space is filled by the cloak and horse’s mane

32 of 34

Ilisos Stele 393BC

  • Increased emotional intensity that rendered 4th century naturally affected funerary reliefs, emotion becomes more  outspoken
  • No effort at individualisation/ portraiture as inscriptions were sufficient enough
  • Dead presented in generic mode which raised them above concerns of everyday life and brought them closer to heroic realm of the dead
  • Yound man gazes dreamily out of the relief, clearly oblivious to figures surrounding him and silent grief
  • Old man stares intently at youth, servant boy weeps at feet and dog sniffs for masters sent- each manifests this sorrow in a different way
  • Tragedy of life cut short in prime is poiniant- wholly detached
  • impact is enhanced by fathers detachement from son in composition space
33 of 34

Specialisation 4th Century

  • In the early classical period character/ emotion was explored and virtually ceased during classical period (ie influence of Polykleitos), once he had died portrayals of character revived.
  • Specialisation began gaining ground in 4th century- Praxitiles presented gentle, lyrical moods whilst Skopas was master of passion
34 of 34

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Classical Civilization resources:

See all Classical Civilization resources »See all Free standing sculpture resources »