But the art of Phidias can be recognized in a complex of figured marbles; however, it should be noted that modern hypercritics have expressed doubts about their trustworthy character either in whole or in some parts. We mean the marbles of the Parthenon, or rather that part of the figurative decoration of the distinguished building saved from destruction and ruin, and which we unfortunately possess mutilated and corroded. They are the metopes (especially those with centauromachy), the plates of the frieze around the cell (the procession of Panathenaic feasts), the statues of the pediments (the birth of Athena in the east; the contest between Posidone and Athena for the possession of Attica in the western). These marbles almost reflect the development of the art of Fidelity in the period of early maturity, from the forms that are still a little hard, with the last remnants of archaism, of some metopes, to the expressive audacities of the powerful, accurate, but not meticulous anatomy, of the softness and suppleness of the drapery in the statues of the pediments. Everywhere shines the idealism of Phidias, for which the mortal is elevated almost in the celestial sphere; Sophoclean serenity is everywhere, so to speak, even when the passion is vivid and the movement very agitated: the fidiac genius appears also, and especially, in the vast and rhythmically contrived compositions, with full correspondence in the variety of parts, with perfect adherence to the subjects represented , with the sublimity of the accent as well as in the whole as in the individual details. The Greek sculpture with the Parthenon marbles rises to a sphere of pure beauty, in which the human and the divine blend together with a harmony perhaps in art that has never been achieved again.
Other works can be adduced alongside the Parthenon marbles: the relief of Eleusis with Demeter, Persephone, Triptolemus, from which a sense of mystical fervor exhales, and in which it is like a slight nuance, full of attraction, of archaism, especially in the figures of Demeter and Triptolemus; the reliefs of the so-called Thēseĩon with the metopes, which recall the metopes of the Parthenon, and the friezes of the struggle of Cyclops and the centauromachy, which, more than the frieze, recall the metopes of the Parthenon, and in which perhaps the hand of Alcamene is to be recognized, a pupil of Phidias. In addition, for the statues, the standing Anacreon Borghese, dignified and solemn, perhaps a copy of the Anacreon already in the Acropolis of Athens, the grandiose Athena Medici, in which he wanted to recognize the copy of Athena Prómachos, colossus bronze statue of Phidias placed.
After Phidias, his pupils: the best known are Alcamene and Agoracrito; Colote, who helped the great sculptor in the execution of the Olympian Zeus, is of secondary importance, sculptor and decorator at the same time. Pyrrhus also seems to have been a faithful pupil of Phidias, if the bronze Athena Hygieia is to be recognized as his, perhaps made on the occasion of the plague of 430 BC. C. and existing on the Acropolis of Athens, in the type of the Athena Farnese of Naples, with the ample drapery of the himátion and the motif, full of benevolence, of the head lowered to accommodate the prece of the mortal.
According to Rrrjewelry.com, a slavish follower of the master seems to have been Agoracrito, so that, as can be deduced from a Plinian report (Nat. Hist., XXXVI, 17), it seems that at times the works of the disciple could not be distinguished from those of the master. Famous of Agoracrito was the statue of Nemesis in Ramnunte, of which some fragments have survived, so that it has been assumed that a copy of it must be recognized in the “Cerere” of the Rotunda of the Vatican; the accentuation of Phidias’ style would be felt in the strong hollowing of the folds. Thus the original of a famous statue of Apollo Citaredo Barberini, perhaps of the same type as the Apollo of the Palatine, dates back to Agoracrito. The accents of Agoracrito’s art are noticeable in a series of votive reliefs, perhaps due to dramatic victories: the relief of the Peliades and Medea, that of Theseus and Piritous, the one, more distinguished for dramatic power, of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Alcamene is Phidias’ senior pupil; Lemnio or Athenian, was not much younger than the master, with whom he competed. Alcamene’s art has an imprint not of pronounced servility, but sometimes of originality with respect to Phidias. His most famous work was the Aphrodite “in the gardens”, of Athens; it is likely to be recognized in a statuary type known to us from many marble copies, among which the one in the Louvre museum excels; the goddess wears a transparent dress, so as to appear wet, which falls down leaving her chest partially naked; the beautiful forms of the goddess stand out, crowned by the bowed face, in a gentle act; one feels the precursor spirit of Praxiteles’ art. Perhaps an original of Alcamene is preserved in the marble group found in the Acropolis of Athens representing Procne and Iti (cf. Pausanias, I, 24, 3), full of delicate grace. We have documents of two other works by Alcamene on the acropolis: of the Hermes Propylaus, known through a herm of Pergamum, with the signature of Alcamene, and which is a valuable example of archaicizing art; of the Ecate Epipyrgídia (“standing on the rampart”), known through various Hekátaia of modernized style, with the central pillar, and around this three severe female figures, or later three graceful damsels in dance. The Ares of Alcamene, formerly in the temple of the god in Athens, is perhaps to be recognized in the Borghese “Mars”, in which the turbulent nature of the god emerges, and perhaps a memory of the Ephaestus by the same artist is in a beautiful herm of the Vatican. and around this three severe female figures, or later three graceful damsels in dance. The Ares of Alcamene, formerly in the temple of the god in Athens, is perhaps to be recognized in the Borghese “Mars”, in which the turbulent nature of the god emerges, and perhaps a memory of the Ephaestus by the same artist is in a beautiful herm of the Vatican. and around this three severe female figures, or later three graceful damsels in dance. The Ares of Alcamene, formerly in the temple of the god in Athens, is perhaps to be recognized in the Borghese “Mars”, in which the turbulent nature of the god emerges, and perhaps a memory of the Ephaestus by the same artist is in a beautiful herm of the Vatican.