Greece Sculpture 08

Greece Sculpture Part 8

A series of sculptural works can be mentioned, in which it seems that the imprint of Scopa’s art should be felt, if not direct, mediated: the Heracles already in the Lansdowne collection, in which, in the weighting and treatment of the nude, the polycleteus influence; the type of the so-called Meleager, especially known from the example of the Vatican Belvedere; the female head of the Acropolis of Athens; the herm of Heracles of Genzano; some Attic funerary steles, among which that of Aristonaute, leaping towards us armed from the back of the aedicule, and that of Ilisso, with the disconsolate weeping of the father for the young lost son. A copy of the famous Maenad of Broom, so magnified in antiquity, was intended to be recognized in a mutilated marble statuette of Dresden, in which it is now the complete torsion of the body, that is the introduction of the third dimension: therefore by some this marble is denied to Scopa and ascribed to Hellenism. But the strong folding of the body was noticeable in another scopadea work, that is in the Apollo Sminteo in Crise (Troad), which is known to us from coins: there the young god is folded forward with a slightly raised foot.

Apollo Sminteo belongs to the last phase of Scopa’s activity, to that phase in which the sculptures made for the mausoleum of Halicarnassus (built in the years around 353 BC) and for the Artemision of Ephesus (reconstructed after 356 BC). In the mausoleum it was Scopa’s turn to decorate the eastern side (statues and reliefs); it is very difficult to sort out what can be ascribed to Scopa in the plastic remains of it that have come down to us: but especially in the frieze of the Amazonomachy there is his impetuousness, his ardor; so the passion is scopadea in some heads. Scopa carried out the relief of one of the columnae caelatae of the Artemision of Ephesus; the reflection of his art is in the best preserved columna, perhaps with the representation of the myth of Alcestis.

According to, document of the current scopadea of ​​the last times of the century. IV a. C. could be considered the Niobid group, which we know especially through the marble copies of the Uffizî in Florence; it was a group that at the age of Pliny existed in the temple of Apollo Sosiano.

Another, very different temperament as an artist was Praxiteles from Athens. In the activity of this great sculptor various phases can be distinguished: the Peloponnesian, the Athenian, the Asian, the Attic-Peloponnesian. Art, this of Praxiteles, of youthful, graceful, delicate forms, and therefore intended to create serene, smiling figures of divinities: Aphrodite, Eros, Apollo or youth or ephebic, Hermes, the Muses, etc.

The group of Latona, Apollo and Artemis in Mantinea belonged to the Peloponnesian phase, from whose base there are three relief plates, where the Praxitelean imprint was mainly recognized: graceful figures of cloaked Muses are represented. Praxiteles’ work has been reconstructed through a group of works: the type of the Eros Farnese, which has been identified with the famous bronze Eros of Thespie, the Aphrodite of Arles, the Satyr pouring out a drink, the bronze ephebe of Marathon, the bearded Dionysus (so-called “Sardanapalo” of the Vatican), the resting Satyr preserved in many copies, the so-called Eubuleus of Eleusis, the Hermes of Andro, the Artemis of Gabii, perhaps to be identified with the Artemis Brauronia, the Apollo at rest with his right arm folded over his head, possibly descended from the Apollo Lyceum. Two of Praxiteles’ works have certainly come down to us in copies, and one, fortunately, in its original version. These are the Apollo Sauroctonus, a work of great daring, in which the god has become a tender young man in the cruel game of killing a lizard, and the Aphrodite of Cnidus, another work of audacity, in which the goddess of beauty introduces herself to us. completely naked in the act of putting down her clothes to go down to the bathroom. In these, as in other Praxitelean works, the lateral support becomes a necessary element of the composition: the result, especially in the Sauroctono, is a graceful abandonment of the body. The Hermes of Olympia is the original Praxitelean that has come down to us: here too a common motif, the joke of Hermes towards his little brother Dionysus, is applied to an Olympian, while maintaining the superhuman dignity and serenity of the deity, and here too it is the lateral support to a tree trunk. Full of sweetness are the Praxitelean faces, with the graceful oval, the elongated eyes, the dreamy gaze.

The last in age of the great triad is Lysippus sicionio, belonging to a center where athletic sculpture was traditional. It was a prodigious activity, since the number of his works, according to a Plinian anecdote (NatHist., XXXIV, 37), rose to 1500. He was the court sculptor of Alexander the Great, but he survived the great conqueror by working until the end of the century. IV, because he painted a portrait, preserved in a bronze copy of Herculaneum, of Seleucus who became king of Syria in 305 BC. C. The salient feature of Lysippean art is movement, nervous agitation among characters even at rest: the bodies are elongated, slender, the head small, nowadays only a few have followed the attribution to art, albeit juvenile, by Lysippus, of the Delphic statue of Agia, which has misled so much in the search for the personality of this sculptor. By now we have mostly returned to the Apoxyómenos of the Vatican as a touchstone to reconstruct the work of Lysippos,. Hist., XXXIV, 62). Around the Apoxyómenos, in which the body has not only lateral and upward movements, but also that from back to front, we have the type of the Eros who puts the string into the bow, the bronze wrestlers of Herculaneum, the type of Hermes tying a sandal, the resting Hermes of Herculaneum, the resting Ares Ludovisi, the Posidone del Laterano and the Posidone Chiaramonti, the type of Silenus with the child Dionysus and the figure of Heracles in the bronze statue of the resting hero of the Louvre, in the statue of the struggling hero, in the type of Heracles Epitrapézios. The latter, who was Alexander’s good luck charm, was less than a foot tall, but Lysippus had managed magnificently to deal with the theme in small measures, which he had already expressed, in gigantic proportions, in the Heracles of Taranto. Audacity and variety are in Lysippus: the Kairós or Genius of the occasion was famous, represented alipede, standing on a sphere. Another Lysippean character is the tendency towards realism, especially in the portraits, even in those of Alexander the Great. Among them, the most well-known was the one that represented the king leaning on the pole, with his face slightly raised, and who exercised an influence in the portraiture of the Diadochi and the Roman emperors.

Greece Sculpture 08