Greece Sculpture 11

Greece Sculpture Part 11

Following comparisons, other works could be ascribed to the first phase of parchment sculpture: the group of Menelaus and Patroclus, known from various copies, including the famous torso of Pasquino, the “Arrotino” of Florence, that is an intent Scythian to grind the knife to skin Marsyas, the figure of Marsyas hanging in its two separate editions. And, for the portrait, we can adduce the beautiful marble head of Attalus I of Pergamum.

What has been recovered from the great frieze of the altar of Pergamum erected by Eumenes II, perhaps between 183 and 174. And the frieze of the Gigantomachia, a composition of about 110 meters in length, with an inexhaustible variety of aspects, which the Olympians are fighting against the Giants, monstrous and savage sons of Gaea. In this frieze there is a theatricality of poses, an accentuation of folds in the drapery, of anatomy in the nude, of wavy hair; is the highest expression of the Baroque of Hellenistic sculpture, in which the muddled scopadea current rises to the maximum of passion, beyond which is the theatricality, and in which motifs and schemes of the sculpture of the century are taken up. V, and precisely trustworthy. The Pergamon frieze is a collective work: some signatures remain, more or less fragmented: Menecrate,

According to, the minor frieze of the altar of Pergamum is also of great importance, that is the frieze of Telephus, the first great example of narrative sculpture, since it is the succession of episodes in the life of Telephus, the mythical founder of Pergamum; this frieze assumes another importance from being a perspicuous example of pictorial relief with figures arranged in perspective, with landscape elements reproduced with meticulous accuracy.

Various works can be ascribed to this second phase of parchment sculpture: the dancing Silenus Borghese, the dancing Maenad in the two copies of Berlin and the Terme Museum, the torso of the Triton from the Gallery of statues at the Vatican, the ancient red Faun of the Capitoline.

Alongside Pergamum, other centers of Asia Minor are active with numerous monuments of various natures. Among the vast decorative compositions full of movement, we can mention the frieze fragments with a Gigantomachy from the temple of Athena in Priene, the Amazonomachy frieze from the temple of Artemis Leucofriene in Magnesia. Among the statues of passionate content is the so-called Borghese Gladiator, with a bold assault movement, meticulous treatment of the body, copy of Agasia of Ephesus from an original of the early century. II a. C. The veristic and humorous tendency is represented, for example, by the statuesque type of the drunken old woman, a work performed for Smyrna by a Theban Myron. For the idyllic genre we can mention: the group of the child fighting with the goose of Boetus of Chalcedon, the child with the duck of Ephesus, the group of Eros and Psyche, the reconstructed group of the invitation to dance of a satyr and a nymph, perhaps existing in Cyzicus, the type of the sleeping Hermaphrodite, the Barberini Faun or the sleeping Satyr. The picturesque relief must have been very widespread in Asia Minor: the funerary steles of Pergamum, Ephesus, Smyrna show us the importance in the relief of the landscape element, which is in votive reliefs (e.g. the relief of the visit of Dionysus to a dramatic poet) and in decorative reliefs (eg the relief of Tralle of the farmer crouched under a plane tree, in the act of pulling an animal by the rope).

The current of the century. IV relating to the type of the cloaked woman, for which the name of Praxiteles must also be mentioned, has a peculiar development in the micro-Asian environment with the expression of motifs and with the search for special effects in the very refined drapery. Two monuments can be used as models of cloaked female types: the base of the Muses of Halicarnassus and the relief of Homer’s apotheosis by Archelaus of Priene. Especially Pergamum and Magnesia on the Meander have provided several examples of female statues, in which the treatment of the dress has reached an exceptional virtuosity with effects of transparency, with emphasis of lights and shadows and with amplitude and plurality of folds. Add the statues recently found in Kos.

An offshoot of Asia Minor, even from an artistic point of view, Rhodes can be considered. In the second half of the century. III a. C. dates back to the activity of Philiscus of Rhodes, author of a renowned group, which represented the Apollonian divinities and the nine Muses. Memories of the figures of this group have been recognized in the aforementioned relief by Archelaus of Priene, and it actually seems that the originals of the group of the Muses and Apollo Musagete of the Vatican date back to Philiscus. But the Rhodes school of sculpture has its major explanation in the 2nd and 1st centuries. C., when in it the dramatic parchment current is taken up, pushing it to the point of rhetorical theatricality. Typical examples of this address are two famous monuments, the Farnese Bull and the Laocoon.

The Farnese Bull is a copy, weighed down by arbitrary additions, made in the century. II and III d. C., of a bronze group existing in Rhodes, the work of Apollonio and Taurisco di Tralle. The representation of the moment in which Dirce is tied to the bull for the horrible torture is of highly dramatic content, so as to shake the senses of the spectator. The picturesque element is expressed in this group of morbid passion, which is truly a dissonance in pure sculptural art. The Laocoon, the work of the rhodium artist Agesandro with his sons Polidoro and Atenodoro, and belonging to the mid 1st century BC. C., seems to descend in a direct line from the parchment sculpture, which we see explained in the frieze of the Gigantomachy of the altar. But the Laocoon represents the extreme limit of pathetic expression, indeed, what human nature can offer is surpassed in it. In the Laocoon it is now an accent of pompous, declamatory convention, which tries to impress through astonishment: it is the confirmation of the bombastic contemporary Asian oratory.

Greece Sculpture 11