note: This scholarly overview is offered to assist readers
on museum sojourns and as an introduction to further,
personal inquiry into this seminal period of the history of
sculpture owes its development and its excellence to the
strong traditions established by the early sculptors of the
Archaic period. Each generation added to the general growth
of knowledge, skills and techniques. Greek sculptors,
through their art and by teaching relatives and pupils,
would influence a larger group of artists.
styles and innovations changed, the traditions that were
established would continue from generation to generation.
Periodic revivals would occur, where artists would return to
the fountainhead of the 5th-4th Century.
Late Archaic Phase, 510-480 BC.
Early Classical Period, 480-450 BC.
High Classical Period, 450-400 BC.
High Classical Period, 450-400 BC.
Fourth Century, 370-330 BC.
Fourth Century, 353 BC.
of Sikyon —
Fourth Century, 370-305 BC.
School of Lysippos —
Early Hellenistic Phase, 296 BC.
School of Pergamon —
Middle Hellenistic Phase, 250-150 BC.
School of Rhodes —
Classicism and later Hellenistic, 175-31 BC.
Sculptors of the Late
Archaic Period —
no record of the quality of his work. It is known that he
did a variety of statues of Athletes and Gods. His fame
seems to rest largely in that he was the teacher of three
great sculptors of the Classical Period: Myron, Pheidias and
renowned for his discus thrower and his famous statue of a
heifer. His work moved toward realism but with strong
emphasis on composition and design. His work had a flow and
rhythm with a good deal of action.
Classical Period —
general supervisor of the Art Activities in Athens at the
time of Pericles. The Parthenon, with its cult statue in
gold and ivory of Athena, a colossus 42 feet in height, were
his main activities. Sometime later he was to create his
most famous statue of Zeus at
His work was supreme and majestic. Pheidias’s creations came
from his idealism and imagination (phantasia). His brother,
Panainos the painter, would aid him in various projects.
Pheidias also had three outstanding disciples who served him
well: Alkamenes, Agorakritos and Koletes. Kresilas (from
Crete), Pheidias’ contemporary, created the portrait of
also of the High Classical Period. His most noted works were
of young male Athletes. The Doryphoros (spear-bearer), a
statue of a virile youth, was perhaps the basis of his Canon
(treatise). This had to do with commensurate proportions,
all interrelated by measure to create the perfect male
figure. Polykeitos made many statues of victorious Athletes.
He also created a gold and ivory statue of Hera. In his
later works, the male youth became somewhat softer and more
slender. Polykleitos’s nephews, Naukydes, Daidalos, and
Polykleitos the younger, were distinguished sculptors.
Polykeitos also had many disciples.
the son of the sculptor Kephisodotos, who created the Eirene
and Ploutos. Praxiteles worked in bronze and marble. His
forms were very soft (Sfumato) and sensuous in treatment.
The marble of Aphrodite of Knidos was highly valued. Phryne,
his mistress, served as his model for this statue and a
number of other works. The Hermes carrying the infant
Dionysos, which is in Olympia, gives a good account of his
style. By Praxiteles’s own judgment, his Eros and Satyr were
his favorite works of art. Praxiteles moved closer to
realism with a more subjective point of view. He created
statues of many gods and goddesses. Praxiteles’s sons,
Kephisodotos II and Timarchos, are best known for their
portrait sculpture. He also had many disciples.
son of the sculptor Aristandros, who was a disciple of
Polykeitos. Skopas was both architect and major sculptor.
His fame rivaled that of Praxiteles. Skopas was one of the
five sculptors who worked on the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos;
the other sculptors were Bryaxis, Temotheos, Leochares and
Pythis. Their combined efforts were extraordinary, which
resulted in the Mausoleum being included as one of the Seven
Wonders of the World. Skopas made an Aphrodite, a Pothos (yearning), an Apollo,
and a seated Hestia. Skopas created a colossal seated Ares;
he also designed the
in Tegea with its pediment sculptures, a statue of Asklepios
and Hygieia carved in pentelic marbles.
the court sculptor of Philip II and Alexander the Great. As
a younger contemporary of Praxiteles and Skopas, he was one
of the creators of the Hellenistic period of Art.
believed that nature , not another artists’ work, was his
model. On one hand he was a naturist, and on the other, he
was devoted to the idea of a Canon of proportions by
Polykleitos. Lysippos gave his figures smaller heads and
more slender bodies, giving greater height and elegance to
his work, The head became 1\8 of the total height of the
figure, where it had been 1\7. The bodies were more tightly
knit. He observed the tradition of symmetria with great
care. Of his classical phase, the statue of the Apoxyomenos
(scraper) and his Eros are fine examples. Lysippos had a
strong sense of tradition, but he was also an innovator. He
manipulated scale for its effects and also brought back
colossal scale in sculpture. Two of his known sculptures
were Herakles and Zeus at Tarentum. Other works were
Herakles (Farnese type) and Herakles, Epitrapezios (table).
He made portrait sculpture more personalized without
sacrificing character. Just a few examples are the portraits
of Alexander the Great, Aristotle, and Socrates. Lysippos
had a fondness for allegory, symbolism and personification,
as shown in his Kairos (opportunity). This sculpture of
Kairos expresses Lysippos’s personal credo: His art dealt
with temporal and ephemeral (things as they appear) whereas
his predecessors dealt with timeless essence (things as they
Lysippos’s brother, Lysistratos, was the first to take a
body cast from man. Lysippos’s sons, Euthykrates, Boedos,
and Daippos, were his pupils. He has a strong following of
disciples including Teisikrates and Phonin. Xenocrates, the
writer, was a student of his son Euthykrates. Eutychides
created the statue of Tyche (fortune). Chares of Lindos made
of Rhodes. Diodalsas of Bithymia made a crouching Aphrodite.
Hellenistic Period —
was the ruler who commissioned three major groups of
sculpture to commemorate the defeat of the invading Gauls.
The first group was of a dying Gaul and his wife. The second
group represented Persians, Amazons and Gauls. The last was
of a dying trumpeter. The sculptors were Stratonikos,
Phyromachos, Epigonos and Antigons, who wrote volumes about
his work. Epigonos, was the most celebrated; he has been
credited with sculpting the dying trumpeter (dying Gaul).
During the rule of Eumenos II (197-159 BC), the Great Altar
of Zeus was created by about forty sculptors. Fifteen who
worked on this remarkable project have been identified. The
most significant sculptors were Therrhetos, Menekrates,
Nikeratos, and Pythokritos. Phythokritos also created the
famous Nike of Samothace.
School of Rhodes
groups of statues, the Laocöön and the Sperlonga Shipwreck,
were made by Hagesandros, Athenodoros and Polydoros. Another
group, the “Farnese Bull” depicting Zethon, Amphion, and
Dirke, was made by the brothers, Apollonios and Tauriskos of
Tralles. Another sculptor of this period was Boethos, who
made children well; one of his better known works is the boy
strangling a goose.
Rise of Classicism and
the late Hellenistic Period —
of Messene made a cult group (the original still exists in
fragments) of statues for the sanctuary of Despoina at
Lykosoura; this sculptor is also credited for repairs made
on the famous gold and ivory cult statue of Zeus by Pheidias.
Pasiteles from southern
a writer, silversmith and sculptor. He was part of the Neo
Attic group of sculptors. The going rage among Roman
collectors of art was seeking the old masters, Pheidias and
Polkleitos. Workshops in
created new works in the old style of the 5th Century.
Eukleides created a colossal head of Zeus. Aigeira,
Polykles, Timokles, Timarchides and Dionysos were sculptors
related to each other: father, sons and grandson.
- softened hard, early forms
- perfected the male form
- represents the supreme achievement of Greek Art
- mastered realism
- mastered realism
- known for stylistic devices — Hellenitstic baroque
- blamed for carrying realism too far. Founder of a style
based on similitude rather than beauty.
Praxiteles and Skopas were
sculptors of Gods
Lysippos, and Poly Kleitos were
sculptors of Men
activities of Praxiteles, Skopas and Euphranor would end by the 330 BC. Leochares was mid-life, but
Lysippos, still a young man, was the last great master of
the 4th century.
through his follower, Hagesandros Athenodoros and Polydoros
(who created the Laocöön) and Apollonios of Athens (creator
of the Belvedere torso) directly influenced Michealangelo,
as he acknowledged in his own writing.
EvAngelos is one of America’s significant
sculptors. Two of his best known works are “The Signer,”
Independence Hall, Philadelphia, and “The Minuteman,”
National Guard Building, Washington D.C.
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