Greece Sculpture 07

Greece Sculpture Part 7

Two Attic friezes can be adduced for the relief, that of the temple of Athena Níkē and that, the fragments of which are now distributed between Vienna and Berlin. The fidiac style is softening, almost foreshadowing or preparing the graces of the Praxitelean style; this is felt in the votive and funerary reliefs, in those many stele reliefs that become especially numerous in the second half of the century. V and IV, up to the edict issued by Demetrio Falereo (317-307), for which an end was placed on the luxury of the tombs.

Two prominent votive reliefs come from Falero: that of Basílē kidnapped by Échelos, and that dedicated to Cefiso. Among the funeral reliefs, those of the stelae of Salamis, of Hḗgēsos, of Dessileo are worthy of note: the latter (see fig. Sv cavalry) is dated from 394 BC. C., and in it the enthusiasm of the young man on horseback heralds, even in the fidiache forms, the art of the full century. IV. In Attica one can feel the influence exercised by the art of Polykleitos, during his brief stay in Athens; a mixture of tridiac and polycletee is indeed in the stele of Cheredemo and Licea di Salamina, in which policleteism softens in the elastic slenderness of the forms, in the truly Attic grace of the faces. A work in which the two currents, Attic and Argive, unite and merge with inexpressible attraction is the bronze “Idolino” of Florence: everything is grace, modesty, modesty in this masterpiece, where the forms are not yet mature, and have not reached the perfect harmony of the proportions of the developed body, with the torso a little slender, with the legs and arms a little

According to, Fidiac art also radiates outside Athens. The fragments of pediments and metopes of the new Heraīon of Argos show, in this temple, in which was the simulacrum performed by Polykleitos, the Attic influence, that influence that is noticeable in the frieze of the centauromachy and the amazonomachy of the temple of Apollo Epicurius in Basse, in which there is a powerful enthusiasm for representation, but also exaggerated tonality, heaviness and sometimes vulgarity of expression; add the Lycian sarcophagus of Sidon, where the purity of the Attic source is still preserved, especially in the two admirable figures of Sphinxes in relief on the sides of the ogival lid; finally add the vast complex of the relief decoration of the h ē rõon of Trisa (ǦölbaŞï) in Lycia, where polynotei echoes resound in addition to the fidiacs.

Another current of art is the Ionic one, which apparently includes the activity of Peonio di Mende (Thrace). We possess the marble Níkē of this artist, which the Naupazî and the Messenî dedicated in Olympia to Zeus with the booty taken from their enemies: the date of this work is discussed, to be assigned to 450 according to some, to 425 or 421 according to others.

In Peonio’s Níkē the effect of the descent through the air by means of the sweep of the wings is achieved in a magnificent way by the motif of the figure, which seems to be hovering in the air without support; in the treatment of the drapery, with adherence to the shape of the body and with the effect of deep and dark cavities in the fabric moved by the wind, there is a great virtuosity of execution. It is that virtuosity, which has in itself something conventional and unnatural, of the Níkai represented in relief in the balustrade (perhaps from 408 BC) of the temple of Athena Níkē on the Athenian acropolis, where one gets the impression, in the graceful virginal figures, that the fabric that covers their bodies is as if wet, so as to be discovered and not to cover the forms. At this address also the Nereids that adorned the intercolumns of the monument known as the Nereids in Xanto (Lycia) belong to the art; but the date of them, as of the whole monument, fluctuates between the end of the century. V and the middle of the IV.

The personality of an artist of the century is linked to the artistic current, represented by these works of sculpture in the round and in relief. IV, by Timothy Athenian, creator especially of feminine youthful forms, in which the effect of softness and sensuality is accentuated by the treatment of the thin dress, by the contrast between the soft naked flesh and the agitated and swollen edges of the fabrics. This is what Timothy appears to us in the mutile and scarce marbles, which adorned the Asclepieus of Epidaurus (380-375 BC), especially in the Amazon astride the western pediment, in the acroteris representing Nikai and Nereids on horseback, and in a group of sculptures attributed to him, including the Leda with the swan, known mainly from the copy of the Capitoline Museum. Timoteo, certainly in his old age, collaborated with Scopa.

Instead the pure faith current reappears, with accents however not of serene majesty, but of graceful sweetness, in the work known to us by another sculptor of the first half of the century. IV, Athenian Cefisodotus. Of these we know the group of Eirene with Pluto, executed in bronze, perhaps in 371 BC. C., for the Agora of Athens, especially through the marble copy of the Glyptothek of Munich. He is a matronly figure wearing the peplum, so as to appear as a direct derivation from fidiac simulacra; but the woman’s head bends in an act of maternal love towards Pluto, a small child who is on the right arm of the goddess. It is the beginning of the humanization of divinity, it is the familiar feeling, full of intense delicacy,

And here is the great triad of the 4th century, in chronological order: Scopa, Praxiteles, Lysippus; the periods of activity of these three sculptors added together include almost the years from 390 to 300 BC. C. In the artistic life of Scopa di Paro, son of Aristandro, a sculptor of the polycletean circle, three phases can be distinguished: the Peloponnesian, the Attic, the Asian. Among the first scopadee works is the decoration of the pediments of the temple of Athena Alea in Tegea, built in 395 BC. C. Of these two pediments (the eastern one with the hunt for the cignal of Calydon, the western one with the battle between Achilles and Telephus), there are few remains, however precious, because in them we can now perceive the artistic formula of Scopa, especially for what concerns the heads.

Greece Sculpture 07