Greece Sculpture 03

Greece Sculpture Part 3

The simulacrum of Zeus, which was in Itome, was well known from Agelada. The bronze simulacrum of Apollo Filesio was famous by Canaco for the sanctuary of Didime near Miletus. A memory of this work by Canaco is in a relief from Miletus, where the god has a bow and a deer in his hands, and the echoes can be collected in two well-known bronzes, in the Apollo of Piombino in the Louvre and in a British Museum bronze: width of shoulders and chest, muscularity of braecia and legs; the Apollo of Canaco seems almost to conclude the series of ko ũ roi and inaugurate the athletic art, which will reach its climax with Polykleitos argivo.

According to, Callone, Onata, Glaucia, Anaxagora are the main artists of Aegina, essentially bronze workers; Onata is the most famous. But the art of Aegina we know above all through the marble statues that adorned the two tympanums of the temple of Aphaia, composing scenes of fighting between Greeks and Trojans; in the middle of each pediment the figure of Athena stood out. These marbles belong to the decade between 490 and 480 BC. C .: there is a wealth of patterns and motifs, since they are fighting or wounded figures. They are figures with a lean body, not large, full of agility and vigor; still today, and precisely in the faces of the statues of the western pediment, more linked to archaism, the stereotypical archaic smile hovers. Here too, as in the latest archaic Athenian productions, with which the Aegina marbles are so connected,

In the thirty years between 480 and 450 we have an art of transition; from archaism to full emancipation from conventionalism. In this age of transition, also known as mature archaism, there is an imposing, solemn character; in the faces the smile which in the last days of the preceding period has been completely erased has become affected and mannered, and is replaced by a serious, sad or disdainful expression; there is in the sculpture, at times, a note of unscrupulous realism.

The Ionic address, refined and gentle, with the delightful play of the transparency of the clothes, can be recognized in the “Ludovisi Throne” with the reliefs representing the birth of Aphrodite, a chaste cloaked bride, a lascivious naked ether. The attic address can be recognized in the vigorous torso of the Leonidas of Sparta, all vibrating in the tension of the muscles. Instead, the continuity of the Aeginetic school was recognized in a magnificent bronze, much debated, for which various names were made, and especially that of Pythagoras of Reggio, that is, in the famous Auriga of Delphi, remnant of a Syracusan donary, in which the treatment, so to speak tectonic, of the dress with long flutes, and the rigidly irregular characters of the beard, strong face, contrast with the naturalism of the feet and the nervous right arm.

The attic address seems to have been preserved in Egia, an Athenian sculptor who was Phidias’ teacher: but the reconstruction, on the monuments we have received, of the artistic personality of this sculptor is hypothetical, since the attribution of the original of the type of the Apollo Citaredo bronze of Pompeii and of the Apollo of Mantua. A Egia was also thought of for the Apollo of the Tiber, a handsome and powerful figure, in which, however, the disdainful severity already fades into a benign serenity in the face; but the other hypothesis that recognizes in the Apollo del Tevere, now at the end of this artistic phase, a work by Phidias should not be overlooked.

There are three pre-eminent artists in this thirty years from 480 to 450 BC. C.: Pythagoras of Samos, but said of Reggio, Calamide perhaps of Athens, Mirone of Eleutere (Boeotia). Evanescent figure is Pythagoras, a sculptor, apparently from the news of the ancients, mainly of athletes; in the identification of his limping Philoctetes the research of scholars was carried out, but with an uncertain outcome. Also for Calamide there is uncertainty but something probable has been proposed. Thus the Hermes of Tanagra recognized himself in the type of the so-called Phocion of the Vatican, and the Aphrodite Sosandra in the type of cloaked goddess, the so-called Aspasia of the Berlin Museum; thus it was believed that the Apollo of the omfalósof the museum of Athens represents the Apollo Alexíkakos of Calamide, while the Estia Giustiniani is attributed to this same artist, with the mass of the dress fluted like a column; then the attribution to the sculptor himself of the magnificent bronze of the chief Artemisius, representing a naked, bearded deity, in the act of vibrating a weapon with ample, imposing momentum is recent. Kindness and gravity mixed together seem to be the characteristics of this essentially aristocratic art of Calamide.

More well known is Mirone, a major artist. A bronze sculptor, Mirone was bold in representing figures in fleeting postures. So was the Lada, an athlete who died shortly after the victory in the Olympia race. And in fleeting attitudes are also the two works that have certainly come down to us in copies: the Discobolus and the group of Athena and Marsyas.

Greece Sculpture 03