A History Of Greek Art
F. B. Tarbell

Part 2 out of 3

or ruined by neglect. There does not exist to-day a single
certified original work by any one of the six greatest sculptors
of Greece, except the Hermes of Praxiteles (see page 221). Copies
are more plentiful. As nowadays many museums and private houses
have on their walls copies of paintings by the "old masters," so,
and far more usually, the public and private buildings of imperial
Rome and of many of the cities under her sway were adorned with
copies of famous works by the sculptors of ancient Greece. Any
piece of sculpture might thus be multiplied indefinitely; and so
it happens that we often possess several copies, or even some
dozens of copies, of one and the same original. Most of the
masterpieces of Greek sculpture which are known to us at all are
known only in this way.

The question therefore arises, How far are these copies to be
trusted? It is impossible to answer in general terms. The
instances are very few where we possess at once the original and a
copy. The best case of the kind is afforded by Fig. 75, compared
with Fig. 132. Here the head, fore-arms, and feet of the copy are
modern and consequently do not enter into consideration. Limiting
one's attention to the antique parts of the figure, one sees that
it is a tolerably close, and yet a hard and lifeless, imitation of
the original. This gives us some measure of the degree of fidelity
we may expect in favorable cases. Generally speaking, we have to
form our estimate of the faithfulness of a copy by the quality of
its workmanship and by a comparison of it with other copies, where
such exist. Often we find two or more copies agreeing with one
another as closely as possible. This shows--and the conclusion is
confirmed by other evidence--that means existed in Roman times of
reproducing statues with the help of measurements mechanically
taken. At the same time, a comparison of copies makes it apparent
that copyists, even when aiming to be exact in the main, often
treated details and accessories with a good deal of freedom. Of
course, too, the skill and conscientiousness of the copyists
varied enormously. Finally, besides copies, we have to reckon with
variations and modernizations in every degree of earlier works.
Under these circumstances it will easily be seen that the task of
reconstructing a lost original from extant imitations is a very
delicate and perilous one. Who could adequately appreciate the
Sistine Madonna, if the inimitable touch of Raphael were known to
us only at second-hand?

Any history of Greek sculpture attempts to piece together the
several classes of evidence above described. It classifies the
actual remains, seeking to assign to each piece its place and date
of production and to infer from direct examination and comparison
the progress of artistic methods and ideas. And this it does with
constant reference to what literature and inscriptions have to
tell us. But in the fragmentary state of our materials, it is
evident that the whole subject must be beset with doubt. Great and
steady progress has indeed been made since Winckelmann, the
founder of the science of classical archaeology, produced the
first "History of Ancient Art" (published in 1763); but twilight
still reigns over many an important question. This general warning
should be borne in mind in reading this or any other hand-book of
the subject.

We may next take up the materials and the technical processes of
Greek sculpture. These may be classified as follows:

(1) Wood. Wood was often, if not exclusively, used for the
earliest Greek temple-images, those rude xoana, of which many
survived into the historical period, to be regarded with peculiar
veneration. We even hear of wooden statues made in the developed
period of Greek art. But this was certainly exceptional. Wood
plays no part worth mentioning in the fully developed sculpture of
Greece, except as it entered into the making of gold and ivory
statues or of the cheaper substitutes for these.

(2) Stone and marble. Various uncrystallized limestones were
frequently used in the archaic period and here and there even in
the fifth century. But white marble, in which Greece abounds, came
also early into use, and its immense superiority to limestone for
statuary purposes led to the abandonment of the latter. The
choicest varieties of marble were the Parian and Pentelic (cf.
page 77). Both of these were exported to every part of the Greek

A Greek marble statue or group is often not made of a single
piece. Thus the Aphrodite of Melos (page 249) was made of two
principal pieces, the junction coming just above the drapery,
while several smaller parts, including the left arm, were made
separately and attached. The Laocoon group (page 265), which Pliny
expressly alleges to have been made of a single block, is in
reality made of six. Often the head was made separately from the
body, sometimes of a finer quality of marble, and then inserted
into a socket prepared for it in the neck of the figure. And very
often, when the statue was mainly of a single block, small pieces
were attached, sometimes in considerable numbers. Of course the
joining was done with extreme nicety, and would have escaped
ordinary observation.

In the production of a modern piece of marble sculpture, the
artist first makes a clay model and then a mere workman produces
from this a marble copy. In the best period of Greek art, on the
other hand, there seems to have been no mechanical copying of
finished models. Preliminary drawings or even clay models, perhaps
small, there must often have been to guide the eye; but the
sculptor, instead of copying with the help of exact measurements,
struck out freely, as genius and training inspired him. If he made
a mistake, the result was not fatal, for he could repair his error
by attaching a fresh piece of marble. Yet even so, the ability to
work in this way implies marvelous precision of eye and hand. To
this ability and this method we may ascribe something of the
freedom, the vitality, and the impulsiveness of Greek marble
sculpture--qualities which the mechanical method of production
tends to destroy. Observe too that, while pediment-groups,
metopes, friezes, and reliefs upon pedestals would often be
executed by subordinates following the design of the principal
artist, any important single statue or group in marble was in all
probability chiseled by the very hand of the master.

Another fact of importance, a fact which few are able to keep
constantly enough in their thoughts, is that Greek marble
sculpture was always more or less painted. This is proved both by
statements in ancient authors and by the fuller and more explicit
evidence of numberless actual remains. (See especially pages 148,
247.) From these sources we learn that eyes, eyebrows, hair, and
perhaps lips were regularly painted, and that draperies and other
accessories were often painted in whole or in part. As regards the
treatment of flesh the evidence is conflicting. Some instances are
reported where the flesh of men was colored a reddish brown, as in
the sculpture of Egypt. But the evidence seems to me to warrant
the inference that this was unusual in marble sculpture. On the
"Alexander" sarcophagus the nude flesh has been by some process
toned down to an ivory tint, and this treatment may have been the
rule, although most sculptures which retain remains of color show
no trace of this. Observe that wherever color was applied, it was
laid on in "flat" tints, i.e., not graded or shaded.

This polychromatic character of Greek marble sculpture is at
variance with what we moderns have been accustomed to since the
Renaissance. By practice and theory we have been taught that
sculpture and painting are entirely distinct arts. And in the
austere renunciation by sculpture of all color there has even
been seen a special distinction, a claim to precedence in the
hierarchy of the arts. The Greeks had no such idea. The sculpture
of the older nations about them was polychromatic; their own early
sculpture in wood and coarse stone was almost necessarily so;
their architecture, with which sculpture was often associated, was
so likewise. The coloring of marble sculpture, then, was a natural
result of the influences by which that sculpture was molded. And,
of course, the Greek eye took pleasure in the combination of form
and color, and presumably would have found pure white figures like
ours dull and cold. We are better circumstanced for judging Greek
taste in this matter than in the matter of colored architecture,
for we possess Greek sculptures which have kept their coloring
almost intact. A sight of the "Alexander" sarcophagus, if it does
not revolutionize our own taste, will at least dispel any fear
that a Greek artist was capable of outraging beautiful form by a
vulgarizing addition.

(3) Bronze. This material (an alloy of copper with tin and
sometimes lead), always more expensive than marble, was the
favorite material of some of the most eminent sculptors (Myron,
Polyclitus, Lysippus) and for certain purposes was always
preferred. The art of casting small, solid bronze images goes far
back into the prehistoric period in Greece. At an early date, too
(we cannot say how early), large bronze statues could be made of a
number of separate pieces, shaped by the hammer and riveted
together. Such a work was seen at Sparta by the traveler
Pausanias, and was regarded by him as the most ancient existing
statue in bronze. A great impulse must have been given to bronze
sculpture by the introduction of the process of hollow-casting.
Pausanias repeatedly attributes the invention of this process to
Rhoecus and Theodorus, two Samian artists, who flourished
apparently early in the sixth century. This may be substantially
correct, but the process is much more likely to have been borrowed
from Egypt than invented independently.

In producing a bronze statue it is necessary first to make an
exact clay model. This done, the usual Greek practice seems to
have been to dismember the model and take a casting of each part
separately. The several bronze pieces were then carefully united
by rivets or solder, and small defects were repaired by the
insertion of quadrangular patches of bronze. The eye-sockets were
always left hollow in the casting, and eyeballs of glass, metal,
or other materials, imitating cornea and iris, were inserted.
[Footnote: Marble statues also sometimes had inserted eyes]
Finally, the whole was gone over with appropriate tools, the hair,
for example, being furrowed with a sharp graver and thus receiving
a peculiar, metallic definiteness of texture.

A hollow bronze statue being much lighter than one in marble and
much less brittle, a sculptor could be much bolder in posing a
figure of the former material than one of the latter. Hence when a
Greek bronze statue was copied in marble in Roman times, a
disfiguring support, not present in the original, had often to be
added (cf. Figs, 101, 104, etc.). The existence of such a support
in a marble work is, then, one reason among others for assuming a
bronze original. Other indications pointing the same way are
afforded by a peculiar sharpness of edge, e.g., of the eyelids and
the eyebrows, and by the metallic treatment of the hair. These
points are well illustrated by Fig. 76. Notice especially the
curls, which in the original would have been made of separate
strips of bronze, twisted and attached after the casting of the

Bronze reliefs were not cast, but produced by hammering. This is
what is called repousse work. These bronze reliefs were of small
size, and were used for ornamenting helmets, cuirasses, mirrors,
and so on.

(4) Gold and ivory. Chryselephantine statues, i.e., statues of
gold and ivory, must, from the costliness of the materials, have
been always comparatively rare. Most of them, though not all, were
temple-images, and the most famous ones were of colossal size. We
are very imperfectly informed as to how these figures were made.
The colossal ones contained a strong framework of timbers and
metal bars, over which was built a figure of wood. To this the
gold and ivory were attached, ivory being used for flesh and gold
for all other parts. The gold on the Athena of the Parthenon (cf.
page 186) weighed a good deal over a ton. But costly as these
works were, the admiration felt for them seems to have been
untainted by any thought of that fact.

(5) Terra-cotta. This was used at all periods for small figures, a
few inches high, immense numbers of which have been preserved to
us. But large terra-cotta figures, such as were common in Etruria,
were probably quite exceptional in Greece.

Greek sculpture may be classified, according to the purposes which
it served, under the following heads:

(1) Architectural sculpture. A temple could hardly be considered
complete unless it was adorned with more or less of sculpture. The
chief place for such sculpture was in the pediments and especially
in the principal or eastern pediment. Relief-sculpture might be
applied to Doric metopes or an Ionic frieze. And finally, single
statues or groups might be placed, as acroteria, upon the apex and
lower corners of a pediment. Other sacred buildings besides
temples might be similarly adorned. But we hear very little of
sculpture on secular buildings.

(2) Cult-images. As a rule, every temple or shrine contained at
least one statue of the divinity, or of each divinity, worshiped

(3) Votive sculptures. It was the habit of the Greeks to present
to their divinities all sorts of objects in recognition of past
favors or in hope of favors to come. Among these votive objects or
ANATHEMETA works of sculpture occupied a large and important
place. The subjects of such sculptures were various. Statues of
the god or goddess to whom the dedication was made were common;
but perhaps still commoner were figures representing human
persons, either the dedicators themselves or others in whom they
were nearly interested. Under this latter head fall most of the
many statues of victors in the athletic games. These were set up
in temple precincts, like that of Zeus at Olympia, that of Apollo
at Delphi, or that of Athena on the Acropolis of Athens, and were,
in theory at least, intended rather as thank-offerings than as
means of glorifying the victors themselves.

(4) Sepulchral sculpture. Sculptured grave monuments were common
in Greece at least as early as the sixth century. The most usual
monument was a slab of marble--the form varying according to place
and time--sculptured with an idealized representation in relief
of the deceased person, often with members of his family.

(5) Honorary statues. Statues representing distinguished men,
contemporary or otherwise, could be set up by state authority in
secular places or in sanctuaries. The earliest known case of this
kind is that of Harmodius and Aristogiton, shortly after 510 B.C.
(cf. pages 160-4). The practice gradually became common, reaching
an extravagant development in the period after Alexander.

(6) Sculpture used merely as ornament, and having no sacred or
public character. This class belongs mainly, if not wholly, to the
latest period of Greek art. It would be going beyond our evidence
to say that never, in the great age of Greek sculpture, was a
statue or a relief produced merely as an ornament for a private
house or the interior of a secular building. But certain it is
that the demand for such things before the time of Alexander, if
it existed at all, was inconsiderable. It may be neglected in a
broad survey of the conditions of artistic production in the great

The foregoing list, while not quite exhaustive, is sufficiently so
for present purposes. It will be seen how inspiring and elevating
was the role assigned to the sculptor in Greece. His work destined
to be seen by intelligent and sympathetic multitudes, appealed,
not to the coarser elements of their nature, but to the most
serious and exalted. Hence Greek sculpture of the best period is
always pure and noble. The grosser aspects of Greek life, which
flaunt themselves shamelessly in Attic comedy, as in some of the
designs upon Attic vases, do not invade the province of this art.

It may be proper here to say a word in explanation of that frank
and innocent nudity which is so characteristic a trait of the best
Greek art. The Greek admiration for the masculine body and the
willingness to display it were closely bound up with the
extraordinary importance in Greece of gymnastic exercises and
contests and with the habits which these engendered. As early as
the seventh century, if not earlier, the competitors in the foot-
race at Olympia dispensed with the loin-cloth, which had
previously been the sole covering worn. In other Olympic contests
the example thus set was not followed till some time later, but in
the gymnastic exercises of every-day life the same custom must
have early prevailed. Thus in contrast to primitive Greek feeling
and to the feeling of "barbarians" generally, the exhibition by
men among men of the naked body came to be regarded as something
altogether honorable. There could not be better evidence of this
than the fact that the archer-god, Apollo, the purest god in the
Greek pantheon, does not deign in Greek art to veil the glory of
his form.

Greek sculpture had a strongly idealizing bent. Gods and goddesses
were conceived in the likeness of human beings, but human beings
freed from eery blemish, made august and beautiful by the artistic
imagination. The subjects of architectural sculpture were mainly
mythological, historical scenes being very rare in purely Greek
work; and these legendary themes offered little temptation to a
literal copying of every-day life. But what is most noteworthy is
that even in the representation of actual human persons, e.g., in
athlete statues and upon grave monuments, Greek sculpture in the
best period seems not to have even aimed at exact portraiture. The
development of realistic portraiture belongs mainly to the age of
Alexander and his successors.

Mr. Ruskin goes so far as to say that a Greek "never expresses
personal character," and "never expresses momentary passion."
[Footnote: "Aratra Pentelici," Lecture VI, Section 191, 193.] These are
reckless verdicts, needing much qualification. For the art of the
fourth century they will not do at all, much less for the later
period. But they may be of use if they lead us to note the
preference for the typical and permanent with which Greek
sculpture begins, and the very gradual way in which it progresses
toward the expression of the individual and transient. However,
even in the best period the most that we have any right to speak
of is a prevailing tendency. Greek art was at all times very much
alive, and the student must be prepared to find exceptions to any
formula that can be laid down.



The date above suggested for the beginning of the period with
which we have first to deal must not be regarded as making any
pretense to exactitude. We have no means of assigning a definite
date to any of the most primitive-looking pieces of Greek
sculpture. All that can be said is that works which can be
confidently dated about the middle of the sixth century show such
a degree of advancement as implies more than half a century of
development since the first rude beginnings.

Tradition and the more copious evidence of actual remains teach us
that these early attempts at sculpture in stone or marble were not
confined to any one spot or narrow region. On the contrary, the
centers of artistic activity were numerous and widely diffused--
the islands of Crete, Paros, and Naxos; the Ionic cities of Asia
Minor and the adjacent islands of Chios and Samos; in Greece
proper, Boeotia, Attica, Argolis, Arcadia, Laconia; in Sicily, the
Greek colony Selinus; and doubtless many others. It is very
difficult to make out how far these different spots were
independent of one another; how far, in other words, we have a
right to speak of local "schools" of sculpture. Certainly there
was from the first a good deal of action and reaction between some
of these places, and one chief problem of the subject is to
discover the really originative centers of artistic impulse, and
to trace the spread of artistic types and styles and methods from
place to place. Instead of attempting here to discuss or decide
this difficult question, it will be better simply to pass in
review a few typical works of the early archaic period from
various sites.

The first place may be given to a marble image (Fig. 77) found in
1878 on the island of Delos, that ancient center of Apolline
worship for the Ionians. On the left side of the figure is
engraved in early Greek characters a metrical inscription,
recording that the statue was dedicated to Artemis by one Nicandra
of Naxos. Whether it was intended to represent the goddess Artemis
or the woman Nicandra, we cannot tell; nor is the question of much
importance to us. We have here an extremely rude attempt to
represent a draped female form. The figure stands stiffly erect,
the feet close together, the arms hanging straight down, the face
looking directly forward. The garment envelops the body like a
close-fitting sheath, without a suggestion of folds. The trunk of
the body is flat or nearly so at the back, while in front the
prominence of the breasts is suggested by the simple device of two
planes, an upper and a lower, meeting at an angle. The shapeless
arms were not detached from the sides, except just at the waist.
Below the girdle the body is bounded by parallel planes in front
and behind and is rounded off at the sides. A short projection at
the bottom, slightly rounded and partly divided, does duty for the
feet. The features of the face are too much battered to be
commented upon. The most of the hair falls in a rough mass upon
the back, but on either side a bunch, divided by grooves into four
locks, detaches itself and is brought forward upon the breast.
This primitive image is not an isolated specimen of its type.
Several similar figures or fragments of figures have been found on
the island of Delos, in Boeotia, and elsewhere. A small statuette
of this type, found at Olympia, but probably produced at Sparta,
has its ugly face tolerably preserved.

Another series of figures, much more numerously represented, gives
us the corresponding type of male figure. One of the earliest
examples of this series is shown in Fig. 78, a life-sized statue
of Naxian marble, found on the island of Thera in 1836. The figure
is completely nude. The attitude is like that of the female type
just described, except that the left foot is advanced. Other
statues, agreeing with this one in attitude, but showing various
stages of development, have been found in many places, from Samos
on the east to Actium on the west. Several features of this class
of figures have been thought to betray Egyptian influence.
[Footnote: See Wolters's edition of Friederichs's "Gipsabgusse
antiker Bildwerke," pages 11 12.] The rigid position might be
adopted independently by primitive sculpture anywhere. But the
fact that the left leg is invariably advanced, the narrowness of
the hips, and the too high position frequently given to the ears--
did this group of coincidences with the stereotyped Egyptian
standing figures come about without imitation? There is no
historical difficulty in the way of assuming Egyptian influence,
for as early as the seventh century Greeks certainly visited Egypt
and it was perhaps in this century that the Greek colony of
Naucratis was founded in the delta of the Nile. Here was a chance
for Greeks to see Egyptian statues; and besides, Egyptian
statuettes may have reached Greek shores in the way of commerce.
But be the truth about this question what it may, the early Greek
sculptors were as far as possible from slavishly imitating a fixed
prototype. They used their own eyes and strove, each in his own
way, to render what they saw. This is evident, when the different
examples of the class of figures now under discussion are passed
in review.

Our figure from Thera is hardly more than a first attempt. There
is very little of anatomical detail, and what there is is not
correct; especially the form and the muscles of the abdomen are
not understood. The head presents a number of characteristics
which were destined long to persist in Greek sculpture. Such are
the protuberant eyeballs, the prominent cheek-bones, the square,
protruding chin. Such, too, is the formation of the mouth, with
its slightly upturned corners--a feature almost, though not quite,
universal in Greek faces for more than a century. This is the
sculptor's childlike way of imparting a look of cheerfulness to
the countenance, and with it often goes an upward slant of the
eyes from the inner to the outer corners. In representing this
youth as wearing long hair, the sculptor followed the actual
fashion of the times, a fashion not abandoned till the fifth
century and in Sparta not till later. The appearance of the hair
over the forehead and temples should be noticed. It is arranged
symmetrically in flat spiral curls, five curls on each side.
Symmetry in the disposition of the front hair is constant in early
Greek sculpture, and some scheme or other of spiral curls is
extremely common.

It was at one time thought that these nude standing figures all
represented Apollo. It is now certain that Apollo was sometimes
intended, but equally certain that the same type was used for men.
Greek sculpture had not yet learned to differentiate divine from
human beings The so-called "Apollo" of Tenea (Fig. 79), probably
in reality a grave-statue representing the deceased, was found on
the site of the ancient Tenea, a village in the territory of
Corinth. It is unusually well preserved, there being nothing
missing except the middle portion of the right arm, which has been
restored. This figure shows great improvement over his fellow from
Thera. The rigid attitude, to be sure, is preserved unchanged,
save for a slight bending of the arms at the elbows; and we meet
again the prominent eyes, cheek-bones, and chin, and the smiling
mouth. But the arms are much more detached from the sides and the
modeling of the figure generally is much more detailed. There are
still faults in plenty, but some parts are rendered very well,
particularly the lower legs and feet, and the figure seems alive.
The position of the feet, flat upon the ground and parallel to one
another, shows us how to complete in imagination the "Apollo" of
Thera and other mutilated members of the series. Greek sculpture
even in its earliest period could not limit itself to single
standing figures. The desire to adorn the pediments of temples and
temple-like buildings gave use to more complex compositions. The
earliest pediment sculptures known were found on the Acropolis of
Athens in the excavations of 1885-90 (see page 147) The most
primitive of these is a low relief of soft poros (see page 78),
representing Heracles slaying the many-headed hydra. Somewhat
later, but still very rude, is the group shown in Fig. 80, which
once occupied the right-hand half of a pediment. The material here
is a harder sort of poros, and the figures are practically in the
round, though on account of the connection with the background the
work has to be classed as high relief. We see a triple monster, or
rather three monsters, with human heads and trunks and arms the
human bodies passing into long snaky bodies coiled together. A
single pair of wings was divided between the two outermost of the
three beings, while snakes' heads, growing out of the human
bodies, rendered the aspect of the group still more portentous.
The center of the pediment was probably occupied by a figure of
Zeus, hurling his thunderbolt at this strange enemy. We have
therefore here a scene from one of the favorite subjects of Greek
art at all periods--the gigantomachy, or battle of gods and
giants. Fig. 81 gives a better idea of the nearest of the three
heads. [Footnote: It is doubtful whether this head belongs where
it is placed in Fig 80, or in another pediment-group, of which
fragments have been found.] It was completely covered with a crust
of paint, still pretty well preserved. The flesh was red; the
hair, moustache, and beard, blue; the irises of the eyes, green;
the eyebrows, edges of the eyelids, and pupils, black. A
considerable quantity of early poros sculptures was found on the
Athenian Acropolis. These were all liberally painted. The poor
quality of the material was thus largely or wholly concealed.

Fig. 82 shows another Athenian work, found on the Acropolis in
1864-65. It is of marble and is obviously of later date than the
poros sculptures. In 1887 the pedestal of this statue was found,
with a part of the right foot. An inscription on the pedestal
shows that the statue was dedicated to some divinity, doubtless
Athena, whose precinct the Acropolis was. The figure then probably
represents the dedicator, bringing a calf for sacrifice. The
position of the body and legs is here the same as in the "Apollo"
figures, but the subject has compelled the sculptor to vary the
position of the arms. Another difference from the "Apollo" figures
lies in the fact that this statue is not wholly naked. The
garment, however, is hard to make out, for it clings closely to
the person of the wearer and betrays its existence only along the
edges. The sculptor had not yet learned to represent the folds of

The British Museum possesses a series of ten seated figures of
Parian marble, which were once ranged along the approach to an
important temple of Apollo near Miletus. Fig. 83 shows three of
these. They are placed in their assumed chronological order, the
earliest furthest off. Only the first two belong in the period now
under review. The figures are heavy and lumpish, and are
enveloped, men and women alike, in draperies, which leave only the
heads, the fore-arms, and the toes exposed. It is interesting to
see the successive sculptors attacking the problem of rendering
the folds of loose garments. Not until we reach the latest of the
three statues do we find any depth given to the folds, and that
figure belongs distinctly in the latter half of the archaic

Transporting ourselves now from the eastern to the western
confines of Greek civilization, we may take a look at a sculptured
metope from Selinus in Sicily (Fig. 84). That city was founded,
according to our best ancient authority, about the year 629 B.C.,
and the temple from which our metope is taken is certainly one of
the oldest, if not the oldest, of the many temples of the place.
The material of the metope, as of the whole temple, is a local
poros, and the work is executed in high relief. The subject is
Perseus cutting off the head of Medusa. The Gorgon is trying to
run away--the position given to her legs is used in early Greek
sculpture and vase-painting to signify rapid motion--but is
overtaken by her pursuer. From the blood of Medusa sprang,
according to the legend, the winged horse, Pegasus; and the
artist, wishing to tell as much of the story as possible, has
introduced Pegasus into his composition, but has been forced to
reduce him to miniature size. The goddess Athena, the protectress
of Perseus, occupies what remains of the field. There is no need
of dwelling in words on the ugliness of this relief, an ugliness
only in part accounted for by the subject. The student should note
that the body of each of the three figures is seen from the front,
while the legs are in profile. The same distortion occurs in a
second metope of this same temple, representing Heracles carrying
off two prankish dwarfs who had tried to annoy him, and is in fact
common in early Greek work. We have met something similar in
Egyptian reliefs and paintings (cf. page 33), but this method of
representing the human form is so natural to primitive art that we
need not here assume Egyptian influence. The garments of Perseus
and Athena show so much progress in the representation of folds
that one scruples to put this temple back into the seventh
century, as some would have us do. Like the poros sculptures of
Attica, these Selinus metopes seem to have been covered with

Fig. 85 takes us back again to the island of Delos, where the
statue came to light in 1877. It is of Parian marble, and is
considerably less than life-sized. A female figure is here
represented, the body unnaturally twisted at the hips, as in the
Selinus metopes, the legs bent in the attitude of rapid motion. At
the back there were wings, of which only the stumps now remain. A
comparison of this statue with similar figures from the Athenian
Acropolis has shown that the feet did not touch the pedestal, the
drapery serving as a support. The intention of the artist, then,
was to represent a flying figure, probably a Victory. The goddess
is dressed in a chiton (shift), which shows no trace of folds
above the girdle, while below the girdle, between the legs, there
is a series of flat, shallow ridges. The face shows the usual
archaic features--the prominent eyeballs, cheeks, and chin, and
the smiling mouth. The hair is represented as fastened by a sort
of hoop, into which metallic ornaments, now lost, were inserted.
As usual, the main mass of the hair falls straight behind, and
several locks, the same number on each side, are brought forward
upon the breast. As usual, too, the front hair is disposed
symmetrically; in this case, a smaller and a larger flat curl on
each side of the middle of the forehead are succeeded by a
continuous tress of hair arranged in five scallops.

If, as has been generally thought, this statue belongs on an
inscribed pedestal which was found near it, then we have before us
the work of one Archermus of Chios, known to us from literary
tradition as the first sculptor to represent Victory with wings.
At all events, this, if a Victory, is the earliest that we know.
She awakens our interest, less for what she is in herself than
because she is the forerunner of the magnificent Victories of
developed Greek art.

Thus far we have not met a single work to which it is possible to
assign a precise date. We have now the satisfaction of finding a
chronological landmark in our path. This is afforded by some
fragments of sculpture belonging to the old Temple of Artemis at
Ephesus. The date of this temple is approximately fixed by the
statement of Herodotus (I, 92) that most of its columns were
picsented by Croesus, king of Lydia, whose reign lasted from 560
to 546 B. C. In the course of the excavations carried on for the
British Museum upon the site of Ephesus there were brought to
light, in 1872 and 1874, a few fragments of this sixth century
edifice. Even some letters of Croesus's dedicatory inscription
have been found on the bases of the Ionic columns, affording a
welcome confirmation to the testimony of Herodotus. It appears
that the columns, or some of them, were treated in a very
exceptional fashion, the lowest drums being adorned with relief-
sculpture. The British Museum authorities have partially restored
one such drum (Fig. 86), though without guaranteeing that the
pieces of sculpture here combined actually belong to the same
column. The male figure is not very pre-possessing, but that is
partly due to the battered condition of the face. Much more
attractive is the female head, of which unfortunately only the
back is seen in our illustration. It bears a strong family
likeness to the head of the Victory of Delos, but shows marked
improvement over that. Some bits of a sculptured cornice
belonging to the same temple are also refined in style. In this
group of reliefs, fragmentary though they are, we have an
indication of the development attained by Ionic sculptors about
the middle of the sixth century. For, of course, though Croesus
paid for the columns, the work was executed by Greek artists upon
the spot, and presumably by the best artists that could be
secured. We may therefore use these sculptures as a standard by
which to date other works, whose date is not fixed for us by
external evidence.



Greek sculpture now enters upon a stage of development which
possesses for the modern student a singular and potent charm True,
many traces still remain of the sculptor's imperfect mastery. He
cannot pose his figures in perfectly easy attitudes not even in
reliefs, where the problem is easier than in sculpture in the
round. His knowledge of human anatomy--that is to say, of the
outward appearance of the human body, which is all the artistic
anatomy that any one attempted to know during the rise and the
great age of Greek sculpture--is still defective, and his means of
expression are still imperfect. For example, in the nude male
figure the hips continue to be too narrow for the shoulders, and
the abdomen too flat. The facial peculiarities mentioned in the
preceding chapter--prominent eyeballs, cheeks, and chin, and
smiling mouth--are only very gradually modified. As from the
first, the upper eyelid does not overlap the lower eyelid at the
outer corner, as truth, or rather appearance, requires, and in
relief sculpture the eye of a face in profile is rendered as in
front view. The texture and arrangement of hair are expressed in
various ways but always with a marked love of symmetry and
formalism. In the difficult art of representing drapery there is
much experimentation and great progress. It seems to have been
among the eastern Ionians perhaps at Chios, that the deep cutting
of folds was first practiced, and from Ionia this method of
treatment spread to Athens and elsewhere. When drapery is used,
there is a manifest desire on the sculptor's part to reveal what
he can, more, in fact, than in reality could appear, of the form
underneath. The garments fall in formal folds, sometimes of great
elaboration. They look as if they were intended to represent
garments of irregular cut, carefully starched and ironed. But one
must be cautious about drawing inferences from an imperfect
artistic manner as to the actual fashions of the day.

But whatever shortcomings in technical perfection may be laid to
their charge, the works of this period are full of the indefinable
fascination of promise. They are marked, moreover, by a simplicity
and sincerity of purpose, an absence of all ostentation, a
conscientious and loving devotion on the part of those who made
them. And in many of them we are touched by great refinement and
tenderness of feeling, and a peculiarly Greek grace of line.

To illustrate these remarks we may turn first to Lycia, in
southwestern Asia Minor. The so called "Harpy" tomb was a huge,
four sided pillar of stone, in the upper part of which a square
burial-chamber was hollowed out. Marble bas-reliefs adorned the
exterior of this chamber The best of the four slabs is seen in Fig
87 [Footnote: Our illustration is not quite complete on the right]
At the right is a seated female figure, divinity or deceased
woman, who holds in her right hand a pomegranate flower and in her
left a pomegranate fruit To her approach three women, the first
raising the lower part of her chiton with her right hand and
drawing forward her outer garment with her left, the second
bringing a fruit and a flower the third holding an egg in her
right hand and raising her chiton with her left. Then comes the
opening into the burial-chamber, surmounted by a diminutive cow
suckling her calf. At the left is another seated female figure,
holding a bowl for libation. The exact significance of this scene
is unknown, and we may limit our attention to its artistic
qualities. We have here our first opportunity of observing the
principle of isocephaly in Greek relief-sculpture; i.e., the
convention whereby the heads of figures in an extended composition
are ranged on nearly the same level, no matter whether the figures
are seated, standing, mounted on horseback, or placed in any other
position. The main purpose of this convention doubtless was to
avoid the unpleasing blank spaces which would result if the
figures were all of the same proportions. In the present instance
there may be the further desire to suggest by the greater size of
the seated figures their greater dignity as goddesses or divinized
human beings. Note, again, how, in the case of each standing
woman, the garments adhere to the body behind. The sculptor here
sacrifices truth for the sake of showing the outline of the
figure. Finally, remark the daintiness with which the hands are
used, particularly in the case of the seated figure on the right.
The date of this work may be put not much later than the middle of
the sixth century, and the style is that of the Ionian school.

Under the tyrant Pisistratus and his sons Athens attained to an
importance in the world of art which it had not enjoyed before. A
fine Attic work, which we may probably attribute to the time of
Pisistratus, is the grave-monument of Aristion (Fig. 88). The
material is Pentelic marble. The form of the monument, a tall,
narrow, slightly tapering slab or stele, is the usual one in
Attica in this period. The man represented in low relief is, of
course, Aristion himself. He had probably fallen in battle, and so
is put before us armed. Over a short chiton he wears a leather
cuirass with a double row of flaps below, on his head is a small
helmet, which leaves his face entirely exposed, on his legs are
greaves; and in his left hand he holds a spear There is some
constraint in the position of the left arm and hand, due to the
limitations of space In general, the anatomy, so far as exhibited
is creditable, though fault might be found with the shape of the
thighs The hair, much shorter than is usual in the archaic period,
is arranged in careful curls The beard, trimmed to a point in
front, is rendered by parallel grooves The chiton, where it shows
from under the cuirass, is arranged in symmetrical plaits There
are considerable traces of color on the relief, as well as on the
background Some of these may be seen in our illustration on the

Our knowledge of early Attic sculpture has been immensely
increased by the thorough exploration of the summit of the
Athenian Acropolis in 1885-90 In regard to these important
excavations it must be remembered that in 480 and again in 479 the
Acropolis was occupied by Persians belonging to Xerxes' invading
army, who reduced the buildings and sculptures on that site to a
heap of fire-blackened ruins This debris was used by the Athenians
in the generation immediately following toward raising the general
level of the summit of the Acropolis. All this material, after
having been buried for some twenty three and a half centuries, has
now been recovered. In the light of the newly found remains, which
include numerous inscribed pedestals, it is seen that under the
rule of Pisistratus and his sons Athens attracted to itself
talented sculptors from other Greek communities, notably from
Chios and Ionia generally. It is to Ionian sculptors and to
Athenian sculptors brought under Ionian influences that we must
attribute almost all those standing female figures which form the
chief part of the new treasures of the Acropolis Museum.

The figures of this type stand with the left foot, as a rule, a
little advanced, the body and head facing directly forward with
primitive stiffness. But the arms no longer hang straight at the
sides, one of them, regularly the right, being extended from the
elbow, while the other holds up the voluminous drapery. Many of
the statues retain copious traces of color on hair, eyebrows,
eyes, draperies, and ornaments; in no case does the flesh give any
evidence of having been painted (cf. page 119). Fig. 89 is taken
from an illustration which gives the color as it was when the
statue was first found, before it had suffered from exposure. Fig.
90 is not in itself one of the most pleasing of the series, but it
has a special interest, not merely on account of its exceptionally
large size--it is over six and a half feet high--but because we
probably know the name and something more of its sculptor. If, as
seems altogether likely, the statue belongs upon the inscribed
pedestal upon which it is placed in the illustration, then we have
before us an original work of that Antenor who was commissioned by
the Athenian people, soon after the expulsion of the tyrant
Hippias and his family in 510, to make a group in bronze of
Harmodius and Aristogiton (cf. pages 160-4) This statue might, of
course, be one of his earlier productions.

At first sight these figures strike many untrained observers as
simply grotesque. Some of them are indeed odd; Fig. 91 reproduces
one which is especially so. But they soon become absorbingly
interesting and then delightful. The strange-looking, puzzling
garments, [Footnote: Fig 91 wears only one garment the Ionic
chiton, a long; linen shift, girded at the waist and pulled up so
as to fall over conceal the girdle. Figs 89, 90, 92 93 wear over
this a second garment which goes over the right shoulder and under
the left This over-garment reaches to the feet, so as to conceal
the lower portion of the chiton At the top it is folded over, or
perhaps rather another piece of cloth is sewed on. This over-fold,
if it may be so called, appears as if cut with two or more long
points below] which cling to the figure behind and fall in formal
folds in front, the elaborately, often impossibly, arranged hair,
the gracious countenances, a certain quaintness and refinement and
unconsciousness of self--these things exercise over us an endless

Who are these mysterious beings? We do not know. There are those
who would see in them, or in some of them, representations of
Athena, who was not only a martial goddess, but also patroness of
spinning and weaving and all cunning handiwork. To others,
including the writer, they seem, in their manifold variety, to be
daughters of Athens. But, if so, what especial claim these women
had to be set up in effigy upon Athena's holy hill is an unsolved

Before parting from their company we must not fail to look at two
fragmentary figures (Figs. 94, 95), the most advanced in style of
the whole series and doubtless executed shortly before 480. In the
former, presumably the earlier of the two, the marvelous
arrangement of the hair over the forehead survives and the
eyeballs still protrude unpleasantly. But the mouth has lost the
conventional smile and the modeling of the face is of great
beauty. In the other, alone of the series, the hair presents a
fairly natural appearance, the eyeballs lie at their proper depth,
and the beautiful curve of the neck is not masked by the locks
that fall upon the breasts. In this head, too, the mouth actually
droops at the corners, giving a perhaps unintended look of
seriousness to the face. The ear, though set rather high, is
exquisitely shaped.

Still more lovely than this lady is the youth's head shown in Fig.
96. Fate has robbed us of the body to which it belonged, but the
head itself is in an excellent state of preservation. The face is
one of singular purity and sweetness. The hair, once of a golden
tint, is long behind and is gathered into two braids, which start
from just behind the ears, cross one another, and are fastened
together in front; the short front hair is combed forward and
conceals the ends of the braids; and there is a mysterious puff in
front of each ear. In the whole work, so far at least as appears
in a profile view, there is nothing to mar our pleasure. The
sculptor's hand has responded cunningly to his beautiful thought.

It is a pity not to be able to illustrate another group of Attic
sculptures of the late archaic period, the most recent addition to
our store. The metopes of the Treasury of the Athenians at Delphi,
discovered during the excavations now in progress, are of
extraordinary interest and importance; but only two or three of
them have yet been published, and these in a form not suited for
reproduction. The same is the case with another of the recent
finds at Delphi, the sculptured frieze of the Treasury of the
Cnidians, already famous among professional students and destined
to be known and admired by a wider public. Here, however, it is
possible to submit a single fragment, which was found years ago
(Fig. 97). It represents a four-horse chariot approaching an
altar. The newly found pieces of this frieze have abundant remains
of color. The work probably belongs in the last quarter of the
sixth century.

The pediment-figures from Aegina, the chief treasure of the Munich
collection of ancient sculpture, were found in 1811 by a party of
scientific explorers and were restored in Italy under the
superintendence of the Danish sculptor, Thorwaldsen. Until lately
these AEginetan figures were our only important group of late
archaic Greek sculptures; and, though that is no longer the case,
they still retain, and will always retain, an especial interest
and significance. They once filled the pediments of a Doric temple
of Aphaia, of which considerable remains are still standing. There
is no trustworthy external clue to the date of the building, and
we are therefore obliged to depend for that on the style of the
architecture and sculpture, especially the latter. In the dearth
of accurately dated monuments which might serve as standards of
comparison, great difference of opinion on this point has
prevailed. But we are now somewhat better off, thanks to recent
discoveries at Athens and Delphi, and we shall probably not go far
wrong in assigning the temple with its sculptures to about 480
B.C. Fig. 52 illustrates, though somewhat incorrectly, the
composition of the western pediment. The subject was a combat, in
the presence of Athena, between Greeks and Asiatics, probably on
the plain of Troy. A close parallelism existed between the two
halves of the pediment, each figure, except the goddess and the
fallen warrior at her feet, corresponding to a similar figure on
the opposite side. Athena, protectress of the Greeks, stands in
the center (Fig. 98). She wears two garments, of which the outer
one (the only one seen in the illustration) is a marvel of
formalism. Her aegis covers her breasts and hangs far down behind;
the points of its scalloped edge once bristled with serpents'
heads, and there was a Gorgon's head in the middle of the front.
She has upon her head a helmet with lofty crest, and carries
shield and lance. The men, with the exception of the two archers,
are naked, and their helmets, which are of a form intended to
cover the face, are pushed back. Of course, men did not actually
go into battle in this fashion; but the sculptor did not care for
realism, and he did care for the exhibition of the body. He
belonged to a school which had made an especially careful study of
anatomy, and his work shows a great improvement in this respect
over anything we have yet had the opportunity to consider. Still,
the men are decidedly lean in appearance and their angular
attitudes are a little suggestive of prepared skeletons. They have
oblique and prominent eyes, and, whether fighting or dying, they
wear upon their faces the same conventional smile.

The group in the eastern pediment corresponds closely in subject
and composition to that in the western, but is of a distinctly
more advanced style. Only five figures of this group were
sufficiently preserved to be restored. Of these perhaps the most
admirable is the dying warrior from the southern corner of the
pediment (Fig. 99), in which the only considerable modern part is
the right leg, from the middle of the thigh. The superiority of
this and its companion figures to those of the western pediment
lies, as the Munich catalogue points out, in the juster
proportions of body, arms, and legs, the greater fulness of the
muscles, the more careful attention to the veins and to the
qualities of the skin, the more natural position of eyes and
mouth. This dying man does not smile meaninglessly. His lips are
parted, and there is a suggestion of death-agony on his
countenance. In both pediments the figures are carefully finished
all round; there is no neglect, or none worth mentioning, of those
parts which were destined to be invisible so long as the figures
were in position.

The Strangford "Apollo" (Fig. 100) is of uncertain provenience,
but is nearly related in style to the marbles of Aegina. This
statue, by the position of body, legs, and head, belongs to the
series of "Apollo" figures discussed above (pages 129-32); but the
arms were no longer attached to the sides, and were probably bent
at the elbows. The most obvious traces of a lingering archaism,
besides the rigidity of the attitude, are the narrowness of the
hips and the formal arrangement of the hair, with its double row
of snail-shell curls. The statue has been spoken of by a high
authority [Footnote: Newton, "Essays on Art and Archaeology" page
81.] as showing only "a meager and painful rendering of nature."
That is one way of looking at it. But there is another way, which
has been finely expressed by Pater, in an essay on "The Marbles of
Aegina": "As art which has passed its prime has sometimes the
charm of an absolute refinement in taste and workmanship, so
immature art also, as we now see, has its own attractiveness in
the naivete, the freshness of spirit, which finds power and
interest in simple motives of feeling, and in the freshness of
hand, which has a sense of enjoyment in mechanical processes still
performed unmechanically, in the spending of care and intelligence
on every touch. ... The workman is at work in dry earnestness,
with a sort of hard strength of detail, a scrupulousness verging
on stiffness, like that of an early Flemish painter; he
communicates to us his still youthful sense of pleasure in the
experience of the first rudimentary difficulties of his art
overcome." [Footnote: Pater, "Greek Studies" page 285]



The term "Transitional period" is rather meaningless in itself,
but has acquired considerable currency as denoting that stage in
the history of Greek art in which the last steps were taken toward
perfect freedom of style. It is convenient to reckon this period
as extending from the year of the Persian invasion of Greece under
Xerxes to the middle of the century. In the artistic as in the
political history of this generation Athens held a position of
commanding importance, while Sparta, the political rival of
Athens, was as barren of art as of literature. The other principal
artistic center was Argos, whose school of sculpture had been and
was destined long to be widely influential. As for other local
schools, the question of their centers and mutual relations is too
perplexing and uncertain to be here discussed.

In the two preceding chapters we studied only original works, but
from this time on we shall have to pay a good deal of attention to
copies (cf. pages 114-16). We begin with two statues in Naples
(Fig. 101). The story of this group--for the two statues were
designed as a group--is interesting. The two friends, Harmodius
and Aristogiton, who in 514 had formed a conspiracy to rid Athens
of her tyrants, but who had succeeded only in killing one of them,
came to be regarded after the expulsion of the remaining tyrant
and his family in 510 as the liberators of the city. Their statues
in bronze, the work of Antenor, were set up on a terrace above the
market-place (cf. pages 124, 149). In 480 this group was carried
off to Persia by Xerxes and there it remained for a hundred and
fifty years or more when it was restored to Athens by Alexander
the Great or one of his successors. Athens however had as promptly
as possible repaired her loss. Critius and Nesiotes, two sculptors
who worked habitually in partnership, were commissioned to make a
second group, and this was set up in 477-6 on the same terrace
where the first had been After the restoration of Antenor's
statues toward the end of the fourth century the two groups stood
side by side.

It was argued by a German archaeologist more than a generation ago
that the two marble statues shown in Fig. 101 are copied from one
of these bronze groups, and this identification has been all but
universally accepted. The proof may be stated briefly, as follows.
First several Athenian objects of various dates, from the fifth
century B.C. onward, bear a design to which the Naples statues
clearly correspond One of these is a relief on a marble throne
formerly in Athens. Our illustration of this (Fig. 102) is taken
from a "squeeze," or wet paper impression. This must then, have
been an important group in Athens. Secondly, the style of the
Naples statues points to a bronze original of the early fifth
century. Thirdly, the attitudes of the figures are suitable for
Harmodius and Aristogiton, and we do not know of any other group
of that period for which they are suitable. This proof, though not
quite as complete as we should like, is as good as we generally
get in these matters. The only question that remains in serious
doubt is whether our copies go back to the work of Antenor or to
that of Critius and Nesiotes. Opinions have been much divided on
this point but the prevailing tendency now is to connect them with
the later artists. That is the view here adopted

In studying the two statues it is important to recognize the work
of the modern "restorer." The figure of Aristogiton (the one on
your left as you face the group) having been found in a headless
condition, the restorer provided it with a head, which is antique,
to be sure, but which is outrageously out of keeping, being of the
style of a century later. The chief modern portions are the left
hand of Aristogiton and the arms, right leg, and lower part of the
left leg of Harmodius. As may be learned from the small copies,
Aristogiton should be bearded, and the right arm of Harmodius
should be in the act of being raised to bring down a stroke of the
sword upon his antagonist. We have, then, to correct in
imagination the restorer's misdoings, and also to omit the tree-
trunk supports, which the bronze originals did not need. Further,
the two figures should probably be advancing in the same
direction, instead of in converging lines.

When these changes are made, the group cannot fail to command our
admiration. It would be a mistake to fix our attention exclusively
on the head of Harmodius. Seen in front view, the face, with its
low forehead and heavy chin, looks dull, if not ignoble. But the
bodies! In complete disregard of historic truth, the two men are
represented in a state of ideal nudity, like the Aeginetan
figures. The anatomy is carefully studied, the attitudes lifelike
and vigorous. Finally, the composition is fairly successful. This
is the earliest example preserved to us of a group of sculpture
other than a pediment-group. The interlocking of the figures is
not yet so close as it was destined to be in many a more advanced
piece of Greek statuary. But already the figures are not merely
juxtaposed; they share in a common action, and each is needed to
complete the other.

Of about the same date, it would seem, or not much later, must
have been a lost bronze statue, whose fame is attested by the
existence of several marble copies. The best of these was found in
1862, in the course of excavating the great theater on the
southern slope of the Athenian Acropolis (Fig. 103). The naming of
this figure is doubtful. It has been commonly taken for Apollo,
while another view sees in it a pugilist. Recently the suggestion
has been thrown out that it is Heracles. Be that as it may, the
figure is a fine example of youthful strength and beauty. In pose
it shows a decided advance upon the Strangford "Apollo" (Fig.
100). The left leg is still slightly advanced, and both feet were
planted flat on the ground; but more than half the weight of the
body is thrown upon the right leg, with the result of giving a
slight curve to the trunk, and the head is turned to one side. The
upper part of the body is very powerful, the shoulders broad and
held well back, the chest prominently developed. The face, in
spite of its injuries, is one of singular refinement and
sweetness. The long hair is arranged in two braids, as in Fig. 96,
the only difference being that here the braids pass over instead
of under the fringe of front hair. The rendering of the hair is in
a freer style than in the case just cited, but of this difference
a part may be chargeable to the copyist. Altogether we see here
the stamp of an artistic manner very different from that of
Critius and Nesiotes. Possibly, as some have conjectured, it is
the manner of Calamis, an Attic sculptor of this period, whose
eminence at any rate entitles him to a passing mention. But even
the Attic origin of this statue is in dispute.

We now reach a name of commanding importance, and one with which
we are fortunately able to associate some definite ideas. It is
the name of Myron of Athens, who ranks among the six most
illustrious sculptors of Greece. It is worth remarking, as an
illustration of the scantiness of our knowledge regarding the
lives of Greek artists, that Myron's name is not so much as
mentioned in extant literature before the third century B.C.
Except for a precise, but certainly false, notice in Pliny, who
represents him as flourishing in 420-416, our literary sources
yield only vague indications as to his date. These indications,
such as they are, point to the "Transitional period." This
inference is strengthened by the recent discovery on the Athenian
Acropolis of a pair of pedestals inscribed with the name of
Myron's son and probably datable about 446. Finally, the argument
is clinched by the style of Myron's most certainly identifiable

Pliny makes Myron the pupil of an influential Argive master,
Ageladas, who belongs in the late archaic period. Whether or not
such a relation actually existed, the statement is useful as a
reminder of the probability that Argos and Athens were
artistically in touch with one another. Beyond this, we get no
direct testimony as to the circumstances of Myron's life. We can
only infer that his genius was widely recognized in his lifetime,
seeing that commissions came to him, not from Athens only, but
also from other cities of Greece proper, as well as from distant
Samos and Ephesus. His chief material was bronze, and colossal
figures of gold and ivory are also ascribed to him. So far as we
know, he did not work in marble at all. His range of subjects
included divinities, heroes, men, and animals. Of no work of his
do we hear so often or in terms of such high praise as of a
certain figure of a cow, which stood on or near the Athenian
Acropolis. A large number of athlete statues from his hand were to
be seen at Olympia, Delphi, and perhaps elsewhere, and this side
of his activity was certainly an important one. Perhaps it is a
mere accident that we hear less of his statues of divinities and

The starting point in any study of Myron must be his Discobolus
(Discus-thrower). Fig. 104 reproduces the best copy. This statue
was found in Rome in 1781, and is in an unusually good state of
preservation. The head has never been broken from the body; the
right arm has been broken off, but is substantially antique; and
the only considerable restoration is the right leg from the knee
to the ankle. The two other most important copies were found
together in 1791 on the site of Hadrian's villa at Tibur (Tivoli).
One of these is now in the British Museum, the other in the
Vatican; neither has its original head. A fourth copy of the body,
a good deal disguised by "restoration," exists in the Museum of
the Capitol in Rome. There are also other copies of the head
besides the one on the Lancellotti statue.

The proof that these statues and parts of statues were copied from
Myron's Discobolus depends principally upon a passage in Lucian
(about 160 A. D.). [Footnote: Philopseudes, Section 18.] He gives a
circumstantial description of the attitude of that work, or rather
of a copy of it, and his description agrees point for point with
the statues in question. This agreement is the more decisive
because the attitude is a very remarkable one, no other known
figure showing anything in the least resembling it. Moreover, the
style of the Lancellotti statue points to a bronze original of the
"Transitional period," to which on historical grounds Myron is

Myron's statue represented a young Greek who had been victorious
in the pentathlon, or group of five contests (running, leaping,
wrestling, throwing the spear, and hurling the discus), but we
have no clue as to where in the Greek world it was set up. The
attitude of the figure seems a strange one at first sight, but
other ancient representations, as well as modern experiments,
leave little room for doubt that the sculptor has truthfully
caught one of the rapidly changing positions which the exercise
involved. Having passed the discus from his left hand to his
right, the athlete has swung the missile as far back as possible.
In the next instant he will hurl it forward, at the same time, of
course, advancing his left foot and recovering his erect position.
Thus Myron has preferred to the comparatively easy task of
representing the athlete at rest, bearing some symbol of victory,
the far more difficult problem of exhibiting him in action. It
would seem that he delighted in the expression of movement. So his
Ladas, known to us only from two epigrams in the Anthology,
represented a runner panting toward the goal; and others of his
athlete statues may have been similarly conceived. His temple-
images, on the other hand, must have been as composed in attitude
as the Discobolus is energetic.

The face of the Discobolus is rather typical than individual. If
this is not immediately obvious to the reader, the comparison of a
closely allied head may make it clear. Of the numerous works which
have been brought into relation with Myron by reason of their
likeness to the Discobolus, none is so unmistakable as a fine bust
in Florence (Fig. 105). The general form of the head, the
rendering of the hair, the anatomy of the forehead, the form of
the nose and the angle it makes with the forehead--these and other
features noted by Professor Furtwangler are alike in the
Discobolus and the Riccardi head. These detailed resemblances
cannot be verified without the help of casts or at least of good
photographs taken from different points of view; but the general
impression of likeness will be felt convincing, even without
analysis. Now these two works represent different persons, the
Riccardi head being probably copied from the statue of some ideal
hero. And the point to be especially illustrated is that in the
Discobolus we have not a realistic portrait, but a generalized
type. This is not the same as to say that the face bore no
recognizable resemblance to the young man whom the statue
commemorated. Portraiture admits of many degrees, from literal
fidelity to an idealization in which the identity of the subject
is all but lost. All that is meant is that the Discobolus belongs
somewhere near the latter end of the scale. In this absence of
individualization we have a trait, not of Myron alone, but of
Greek sculpture generally in its rise and in the earlier stages of
its perfection (cf. page 126).

Another work of Myron has been plausibly recognized in a statue of
a satyr in the Lateran Museum (Fig. 106). The evidence for this is
too complex to be stated here. If the identification is correct,
the Lateran statue is copied from the figure of Marsyas in a
bronze group of Athena and Marsyas which stood on the Athenian
Acropolis The goddess was represented s having just flung down in
disdain a pair of flutes; the satyr, advancing on tiptoe,
hesitates between cupidity and the fear of Athena's displeasure.
Marsyas has a lean and sinewy figure, coarse stiff hair and beard,
a wrinkled forehead, a broad flat nose which makes a marked angle
with the forehead, pointed ears (modern, but guaranteed by another
copy of the head), and a short tail sprouting from the small of
the back The arms, which were missing, have been incorrectly
restored with castanets. The right should be held up, the left
down, in a gesture of astonishment. In this work we see again
Myron's skill in suggesting movement. We get a lively impression
of an advance suddenly checked and changed to a recoil.

Thus far in this chapter we have been dealing with copies Our
stock of original works of this period, however, is not small; it
consists, as usual, largely of architectural sculpture. Fig. 107
shows four metopes from a temple at Selinus. They represent
(beginning at the left) Heracles in combat with an Amazon, Hera
unveiling herself before Zeus, Actaeon torn by his dogs in the
presence of Artemis, and Athena overcoming the giant Enceladus.
These reliefs would repay the most careful study, but the
sculptures of another temple have still stronger claims to

Olympia was one of the two most important religious centers of the
Greek world, the other being Delphi. Olympia was sacred to Zeus,
and the great Doric temple of Zeus was thus the chief among the
group of religious buildings there assembled. The erection of this
temple probably falls in the years just preceding and following
460 B.C. A slight exploration carried on by the French in 1829 and
the thorough excavation of the site by the Germans in 1875-81
brought to light extensive remains of its sculptured decoration.
This consisted of two pediment groups and twelve sculptured
metopes, besides the acroteria. In the eastern pediment the
subject is the preparation for the chariot-race of Pelops and
Oenomaus. The legend ran that Oenomaus, king of Pisa in Elis,
refused the hand of his daughter save to one who should beat him
in a chariot-race. Suitor after suitor tried and failed, till at
last Pelops, a young prince from over sea, succeeded In the
pediment group Zeus, as arbiter of the impending contest, occupies
the center. On one side of him stand Pelops and his destined
bride, on the other Oenomaus and his wife, Sterope (Fig. 108). The
chariots, with attendants and other more or less interested
persons follow (Fig. 109). The moment chosen by the sculptor is
one of expectancy rather than action, and the various figures are
in consequence simply juxtaposed, not interlocked. Far different
is the scene presented by the western pediment. The subject here
is the combat between Lapiths and Centaurs, one of the favorite
themes of Greek sculpture, as of Greek painting. The Centaurs,
brutal creatures, partly human, partly equine, were fabled to have
lived in Thessaly. There too was the home of the Lapiths, who were
Greeks. At the wedding of Pirithous, king of the Lapiths, the
Centaurs, who had been bidden as guests, became inflamed with wine
and began to lay hands on the women. Hence a general metee, in
which the Greeks were victorious. The sculptor has placed the god
Apollo in the center (Fig. 110), undisturbed amid the wild tumult;
his presence alone assures us what the issue is to he. The
struggling groups (Figs. 111, 112) extend nearly to the corners,
which are occupied each by two reclining female figures,
spectators of the scene. In each pediment the composition is
symmetrical, every figure having its corresponding figure on the
opposite side. Yet the law of symmetry is interpreted much more
freely than in the Aegina pediments of a generation earlier; the
corresponding figures often differ from one another a good deal in
attitude, and in one instance even in sex.

Our illustrations, which give a few representative specimens of
these sculptures, suggest some comments. To begin with, the
workmanship here displayed is rapid and far from faultless. Unlike
the Aeginetan pediment-figures and those of the Parthenon, these
figures are left rough at the back. Moreover, even in the visible
portions there are surprising evidences of carelessness, as in the
portentously long left thigh of the Lapith in Fig. 112. It is,
again, evidence of rapid, though not exactly of faulty, execution,
that the hair is in a good many cases only blocked out, the form
of the mass being given, but its texture not indicated (e.g., Fig.
111). In the pose of the standing figures (e.g., Fig. 108), with
the weight borne about equally by both legs, we see a modified
survival of the usual archaic attitude. A lingering archaism may
be seen in other features too; very plainly, for example, in the
arrangement of Apollo's hair (Fig 110). The garments represent a
thick woolen stuff, whose folds show very little pliancy. The
drapery of Sterope (Fig. 108) should be especially noted, as it is
a characteristic example for this period of a type which has a
long history She wears the Doric chiton, a sleeveless woolen
garment girded and pulled over the girdle and doubled over from
the top. The formal, starched-looking folds of the archaic period
have disappeared. The cloth lies pretty flat over the chest and
waist; there is a rather arbitrary little fold at the neck. Below
the girdle the drapery is divided vertically into two parts; on
the one side it falls in straight folds to the ankle, on the other
it is drawn smooth over the bent knee.

Another interesting fact about these sculptures is a certain
tendency toward realism. The figures and faces and attitudes of
the Greeks, not to speak of the Centaurs, are not all entirely
beautiful and noble. This is illustrated by Fig. 109, a bald-
headed man, rather fat. Here is realism of a very mild type, to be
sure, in comparison with what we are accustomed to nowadays; but
the old men of the Parthenon frieze bear no disfiguring marks of
age. Again, in the face of the young Lapith whose arm is being
bitten by a Centaur (Fig. 112), there is a marked attempt to
express physical pain; the features are more distorted than in any
other fifth century sculpture, except representations of Centaurs
or other inferior creatures. In the other heads of imperiled men
and women in this pediment, e.g., in that of the bride (Fig. 111),
the ideal calm of the features is overspread with only a faint
shadow of distress.

Lest what has been said should suggest that the sculptors of the
Olympia pediment-figures were indifferent to beauty, attention may
be drawn again to the superb head of the Lapith bride. Apollo, too
(Fig. 110), though not that radiant god whom a later age conceived
and bodied forth, has an austere beauty which only a dull eye can
fail to appreciate.

The twelve sculptured metopes of the temple do not belong to the
exterior frieze, whose metopes were plain, but to a second frieze,
placed above the columns and antae of pronaos and opisthodomos.
Their subjects are the twelve labors of Heracles, beginning with
the slaying of the Nemean lion and ending with the cleansing of
the Augean stables. The one selected for illustration is one of
the two or three best preserved members of the series (Fig. 113).
Its subject is the winning of the golden apples which grew in the
garden of the Hesperides, near the spot where Atlas stood,
evermore supporting on his shoulders the weight of the heavens.
Heracles prevailed upon Atlas to go and fetch the coveted
treasure, himself meanwhile assuming the burden. The moment chosen
by the sculptor is that of the return of Atlas with the apples. In
the middle stands Heracles, with a cushion, folded double, upon
his shoulders, the sphere of the heavens being barely suggested at
the top of the relief. Behind him is his companion and
protectress, Athena, once recognizable by a lance in her right
hand. [Footnote: Such at least seems to be the view adopted in the
latest official publication on the subject "Olympia; Die Bildwerke
in Stein und Thon," Pl. LXV.] With her left hand she seeks to ease
a little the hero's heavy load. Before him stands Atlas, holding
out the apples in both hands. The main lines of the composition
are somewhat monotonous, but this is a consequence of the subject,
not of any incapacity of the artist, as the other metopes testify.
The figure of Athena should be compared with that of Sterope in
the eastern pediment. There is a substantial resemblance in the
drapery, even to the arbitrary little fold in the neck; but the
garment here is entirely open on the right side, after the fashion
followed by Spartan maidens, whereas there it is sewed together
from the waist down; there is here no girdle; and the broad, flat
expanse of cloth in front observable there is here narrowed by two
folds falling from the breasts.

Fig. 114 is added as a last example of the severe beauty to be
found in these sculptures. It will be observed that the hair of
this head is not worked out in detail, except at the front. This
summary treatment of the hair is, in fact, more general in the
metopes than in the pediment-figures. The upper eyelid does not
yet overlap the under eyelid at the outer corner (cf. Fig. 110).

The two pediment-groups and the metopes of this temple show such
close resemblances of style among themselves that they must all be
regarded as products of a single school of sculpture, if not as
designed by a single man. Pausanias says nothing of the authorship
of the metopes; but he tells us that the sculptures of the eastern
pediment were the work of Paeonius of Mende, an indisputable
statue by whom is known (cf. page 213), and those of the western
by Alcamenes, who appears elsewhere in literary tradition as a
pupil of Phidias. On various grounds it seems almost certain that
Pausanias was misinformed on this point. Thus we are left without
trustworthy testimony as to the affiliations of the artist or
artists to whom the sculptured decoration of this temple was

The so-called Hestia (Vesta) which formerly belonged to the
Giustiniani family (Fig. 115), has of late years been inaccessible
even to professional students. It must be one of the very best
preserved of ancient statues in marble, as it is not reported to
have anything modern about it except the index finger of the left
hand. This hand originally held a scepter. The statue represents
some goddess, it is uncertain what one. In view of the likeness in
the drapery to some of the Olympia figures, no one can doubt that
this is a product of the same period.

In regard to the bronze statue shown in Fig. 116 there is more
room for doubt, but the weight of opinion is in favor of placing
it here. It is confidently claimed by a high authority that this
is an original Greek bronze. There exist also fragmentary copies
of the same in marble and free imitations in marble and in bronze.
The statue represents a boy of perhaps twelve, absorbed in pulling
a thorn from his foot. We do not know the original purpose of the
work; perhaps it commemorated a victory won in a foot-race of boys
The left leg of the figure is held in a position which gives a
somewhat ungraceful outline; Praxiteles would not have placed it
so. But how delightful is the picture of childish innocence and
self-forgetfulness! This statue might be regarded as an epitome of
the artistic spirit and capacity of the age--its simplicity and
purity and freshness of feeling, its not quite complete
emancipation from the formalism of an earlier day.



The Age of Pericles, which, if we reckon from the first entrance
of Pericles, into politics, extended from about 466 to 429, has
become proverbial as a period of extraordinary artistic and
literary splendor. The real ascendancy of Pericles began in 447,
and the achievements most properly associated with his name belong
to the succeeding fifteen years. Athens at this time possessed
ample material resources, derived in great measure from the
tribute of subject allies, and wealth was freely spent upon noble
monuments of art. The city was fled with artists of high and low
degree. Above them all in genius towered Phidias, and to him, if
we may believe the testimony of Plutarch, [Footnote: Life of
Pericles Section 13] a general superintendence of all the artistic
undertakings of the state was intrusted by Pericles.

Great as was the fame of Phidias in after ages, we are left in
almost complete ignorance as to the circumstances of his life. If
he was really the author of certain works ascribed to him, he must
have been born about 500 B.C. This would make him as old, perhaps,
as Myron. Another view would put his birth between 490 and 485,
still another, as late as 480. The one undisputed date in his life
is the year 438, when the gold and ivory statue of Athena in the
Parthenon was completed. Touching the time and circumstances of
his death we have two inconsistent traditions. According to the
one, he was brought to trial in Athens immediately after the
completion of the Athena on the charge of misappropriating some of
the ivory with which he had been intrusted but made his escape to
Elis, where, after executing the gold and ivory Zeus for the
temple of that god at Olympia he was put to death for some
unspecified reason by the Eleans in 432-1. According to the other
tradition he was accused in Athens, apparently not before 432, of
stealing some of the gold destined for the Athena and, when this
charge broke down, of having sacrilegiously introduced his own and
Pericles's portraits into the relief on Athena's shield, being
cast into prison he died there of disease, or, as some said, of

The most famous works of Phidias were the two chryselephantine
statues to which reference has just been made, and two or three
other statues of the same materials were ascribed to him. He
worked also in bronze and in marble. From a reference in
Aristotle's "Ethics" it might seem as if he were best known as a
sculptor in marble, but only three statues by him are expressly
recorded to have been of marble, against a larger number of bronze
His subjects were chiefly divinities, we hear of only one or two
figures of human beings from his hands.

Of the colossal Zeus at Olympia, the most august creation of Greek
artistic imagination, we can form only an indistinct idea. The god
was seated upon a throne, holding a figure of Victory upon one
hand and a scepter in the other. The figure is represented on
three Elean coins of the time of Hadrian (117-138 A.D.) but on too
small a scale to help us much. Another coin of the same period
gives a fine head of Zeus in profile (Fig. 117),[Footnote: A more
truthful representation of this coin may be found in Gardner's
"Types of Greek Coins," PI XV 19] which is plausibly supposed to
preserve some likeness to the head of Phidias's statue.

In regard to the Athena of the Parthenon we are considerably
better off, for we possess a number of marble statues which, with
the aid of Pausanias's description and by comparison with one
another, can be proved to be copies of that work. But a warning is
necessary here. The Athena, like the Zeus, was of colossal size.
Its height, with the pedestal, was about thirty-eight feet. Now it
is not likely that a really exact copy on a small scale could
possibly have been made from such a statue, nor, if one had been
made, would it have given the effect of the original. With this
warning laid well to heart the reader may venture to examine that
one among our copies which makes the greatest attempt at
exactitude (Fig. 118). It is a statuette, not quite 3 1/2 feet
high with the basis, found in Athens in 1880. The goddess stands
with her left leg bent a little and pushed to one side. She is
dressed in a heavy Doric chiton, open at the side. The girdle,
whose ends take the form of snakes' heads, is worn outside the
doubled-over portion of the garment. Above it the folds are
carefully adjusted, drawn in symmetrically from both sides toward
the middle; in the lower part of the figure there is the common
vertical division into two parts, owing to the bending of one leg.
Over the chiton is the aegis, much less long behind than in
earlier art (cf. Fig. 98), fringed with snakes' heads and having a
Gorgon's mask in front. The helmet is an elaborate affair with
three crests, the central one supported by a sphinx, the others by
winged horses; the hinged cheek-pieces are turned up. At the left
of the goddess is her shield, within which coils a serpent. On her
extended right hand stands a Victory. The face of Athena is the
most disappointing part of it all, but it is just there that the
copyist must have failed most completely. Only the eye of faith,
or better, the eye trained by much study of allied works, can
divine in this poor little figure the majesty which awed the
beholder of Phidias's work.

Speculation has been busy in attempting to connect other statues
that have been preserved to us with the name of Phidias. The most
probable case that has yet been made out concerns two closely
similar marble figures in Dresden, one of which is shown in Fig.
119. The head of this statue is missing, but its place has been
supplied by a cast of a head in Bologna (Fig. 120), which has been
proved to be another copy from the same original. This proof,
about which there seems to be no room for question, is due to
Professor Furtwangler, [Footnote: "Masterpieces of Greek
Sculpture" pages 4 ff.] who argues further that the statue as thus
restored is a faithful copy of the Lemnian Athena of Phidias, a
bronze work which stood on the Athenian Acropolis. The proof of
this depends upon (1) the resemblance in the standing position and
in the drapery of this figure to the Athena of the Parthenon, and
(2) the fact that Phidias is known to have made a statue of Athena
(thought to be the Lemnian Athena) without a helmet on the head--
an exceptional, though not wholly unique, representation in
sculpture in the round.

If this demonstration be thought insufficient, there cannot, at
all events, be much doubt that we have here the copy of an
original of about the middle of the fifth century. The style is
severely simple, as we ought to expect of a religious work of that
period. The virginal face, conceived and wrought with ineffable
refinement, is as far removed from sensual charm as from the
ecstasy of a Madonna. The goddess does not reveal herself as one
who can be "touched with a feeling of our infirmities"; but by the
power of her pure, passionless beauty she sways our minds and

The supreme architectural achievement of the Periclean age was the
Parthenon, which crowned the Athenian Acropolis. It appears to
have been begun in 447, and was roofed over and perhaps
substantially finished by 438. Its sculptures were more extensive
than those of any other Greek temple, comprising two pediment-
groups, the whole set of metopes of the exterior frieze, ninety-
two in number, and a continuous frieze of bas-relief, 522 feet 10
inches in total length, surrounding the cella and its vestibules
(cf. Fig. 56). After serving its original purpose for nearly a
thousand years, the building was converted into a Christian church
and then, in the fifteenth century, into a Mohammedan mosque. In
1687 Athens was besieged by the forces of Venice. The Parthenon
was used by the Turks as a powder-magazine, and was consequently
made the target for the enemy's shells. The result was an
explosion, which converted the building into a ruin. Of the
sculptures which escaped from this catastrophe, many small pieces
were carried off at the time or subsequently, while other pieces
were used as building stone or thrown into the lime-kiln. Most of
those which remained down to the beginning of this century were
acquired by Lord Elgin, acting under a permission from the Turkish
government (1801-3), and in 1816 were bought for the British
Museum. The rest are in Athens, either in their original positions
on the building, or in the Acropolis Museum.

The best preserved metopes of the Parthenon belong to the south
side and represent scenes from the contest between Lapiths and
Centaurs (cf. page 174). These metopes differ markedly in style
from one another, and must have been not only executed, but
designed, by different hands. One or two of them are spiritless
and uninteresting. Others, while fine in their way, show little
vehemence of action. Fig. 121 gives one of this class. Fig. 122 is
very different. In this "the Lapith presses forward, advancing his
left hand to seize the rearing Centaur by the throat, and forcing
him on his haunches; the right arm of the Lapith is drawn back, as
if to strike; his right hand, now wanting, probably held a sword.
.... The Centaur, rearing up, against his antagonist, tries in
vain to pull away the left hand of the Lapith, which, in Carrey's
drawing [made in 1674] he grasps." [Footnote: A. H. Smith,
"Catalogue of Sculpture in the British Museum," page 136.] Observe
how skilfully the design is adapted to the square field, so as to
leave no unpleasant blank spaces, how flowing and free from
monotony are the lines of the composition, how effective (in
contrast with Fig. 121) is the management of the drapery, and,
above all, what vigor is displayed in the attitudes. Fig. 123 is
of kindred character. These two metopes and two others, one
representing a victorious Centaur prancing in savage glee over the
body of his prostrate foe, the other showing a Lapith about to
strike a Centaur already wounded in the back, are among the very
best works of Greek sculpture preserved to us.

The Parthenon frieze presents an idealized picture of the
procession which wound its way upward from the market-place to the
Acropolis on the occasion of Athena's chief festival. Fully to
illustrate this extensive and varied composition is out of the
question here. All that is possible is to give three or four
representative pieces and a few comments. Fig. 124 shows the best
preserved piece of the entire frieze. It belongs to a company of
divinities, seated to right and left of the central group of the
east front, and conceived as spectators of the scene. The figure
at the left of the illustration is almost certainly Posidon, and
the others are perhaps Apollo and Artemis. In Fig. 125 three
youths advance with measured step, carrying jars filled with wine,
while a fourth youth stoops to lift his jar; at the extreme right
may be seen part of a flute-player, whose figure was completed on
the next slab. The attitudes and draperies of the three advancing
youths, though similar, are subtly varied. So everywhere monotony
is absent from the frieze. Fig. 126 is taken from the most
animated and crowded part of the design. Here Athenian youths, in
a great variety of dress and undress, dash forward on small,
mettlesome horses. Owing to the principle of isocephaly (cf. page
145), the mounted men are of smaller dimensions than those on
foot, but the difference does not offend the eye. In Fig. 127 we
have, on a somewhat larger scale, the heads of four chariot-horses
instinct with fiery life. Fig. 132 may also be consulted. An
endless variety in attitude and spirit, from the calm of the ever-
blessed gods to the most impetuous movement; grace and harmony of
line; an almost faultless execution--such are some of the
qualities which make the Parthenon frieze the source of
inexhaustible delight.

The composition of the group in the western pediment is fairly
well known, thanks to a French artist, Jacques Carrey, who made a
drawing of it in 1674, when it was still in tolerable
preservation. The subject was, in the words of Pausanias, "the
strife of Posidon with Athena for the land" of Attica. In the
eastern pediment the subject was the birth of Athena. The central
figures, eleven in number, had disappeared long before Carrey's
time, having probably been removed when the temple was converted
into a church. On the other hand, the figures near the angles have
been better preserved than any of those from the western pediment,
with one exception. The names of these eastern figures have been
the subject of endless guess-work. All that is really certain is
that at the southern corner Helios (the Sun-god) was emerging from
the sea in a chariot drawn by four horses, and at the northern
corner Selene (the Moon-goddess) or perhaps Nyx (Night) was
descending in a similar chariot. Fig. 128 is the figure that was
placed next to the horses of Helios. The young god or hero
reclines in an easy attitude on a rock; under him are spread his
mantle and the skin of a panther or some such animal. In Fig. 129
we have, beginning on the right, the head of one of Selene's
horses and the torso of the goddess herself, then a group of three
closely connected female figures, known as the "Three Fates,"
seated or reclining on uneven, rocky ground, and last the body and
thighs of a winged goddess, Victory or Iris, perhaps belonging in
the western pediment. Fig. 130, from the northern corner of the
western pediment, is commonly taken for a river-god.

We possess but the broken remnants of these two pediment-groups,
and the key to the interpretation of much that we do possess is
lost. We cannot then fully appreciate the intention of the great
artist who conceived these works. Yet even in their ruin and their
isolation the pediment-figures of the Parthenon are the sublimest
creations of Greek art that have escaped annihilation.

We have no ancient testimony as to the authorship of the Parthenon
sculptures, beyond the statement of Plutarch, quoted above, that
Phidias was the general superintendent of all artistic works
undertaken during Pericles's administration. If this statement be
true, it still leaves open a wide range of conjecture as to the
nature and extent of his responsibility in this particular case.
Appealing to the sculptures themselves for information, we find
among the metopes such differences of style as exclude the notion
of single authorship. With the frieze and the pediment-groups,
however, the case is different. Each of these three compositions
must, of course, have been designed by one master-artist and
executed by or with the help of subordinate artists or workmen.
Now the pediment-groups, so far as preserved, strongly suggest a
single presiding genius for both, and there is no difficulty in
ascribing the design of the frieze to the same artist. Was it
Phidias? The question has been much agitated of late years, but
the evidence at our disposal does not admit of a decisive answer.
The great argument for Phidias lies in the incomparable merit of
these works; and with the probability that his genius is here in
some degree revealed to us we must needs be content. After all, it
is of much less consequence to be assured of the master's name
than to know and enjoy the masterpieces themselves.

The great statesman under whose administration these immortal
sculptures were produced was commemorated by a portrait statue or
head, set up during his lifetime on the Athenian Acropolis; it was
from the hand of Cresilas, of Cydonia in Crete. It is perhaps this
portrait of which copies have come down to us. The best of these
is given in Fig 131. The features are, we may believe, the
authentic features of Pericles, somewhat idealized, according to
the custom of portraiture in this age. The helmet characterizes
the wearer as general.

The artistic activity in Athens did not cease with the outbreak of
the Peloponnesian War in 431. The city was full of sculptors, many
of whom had come directly under the influence of Phidias, and they
were not left idle. The demand from private individuals for votive
sculptures and funeral reliefs must indeed have been abated, but
was not extinguished; and in the intervals of the protracted war
the state undertook important enterprises with an undaunted
spirit. It is to this period that the Erechtheum probably belongs
(420?-408), though all that we certainly know is that the building
was nearly finished some time before 409 and that the work was
resumed in that year. The temple had a sculptured frieze of which
fragments are extant, but these are far surpassed in interest by
the Caryatides of the southern porch (Fig. 67). The name
Caryatides, by the way, meets us first in the pages of Vitruvius,
a Roman architect of the time of Augustus; a contemporary Athenian
inscription, to which we are indebted for many details concerning
the building, calls them simply "maidens." As you face the front
of the porch, the three maidens on your right support themselves
chiefly on the left leg, the three on your left on the right leg
(Fig. 132), so that the leg in action is the one nearer to the end
of the porch. The arms hung straight at the sides, one of them
grasping a corner of the small mantle. The pose and drapery show
what Attic sculpture had made of the old Peloponnesian type of
standing female figure in the Doric chiton (cf. page 177). The
fall of the garment preserves the same general features, but the
stuff has become much more pliable. It is interesting to note
that, in spite of a close general similarity, no two maidens are
exactly alike, as they would have been if they had been reproduced
mechanically from a finished model. These subtle variations are
among the secrets of the beauty of this porch, as they are of the
Parthenon frieze. One may be permitted to object altogether to the
use of human figures as architectural supports, but if the thing
was to be done at all, it could not have been better done. The
weight that the maidens bear is comparatively small, and their
figures are as strong as they are graceful.

To the period of the Peloponnesian War may also be assigned a
sculptured balustrade which inclosed and protected the precinct of
the little Temple of Wingless Victory on the Acropolis (Fig. 70).
One slab of this balustrade is shown in Fig. 133. It represents a
winged Victory stooping to tie (or, as some will have it, to
untie) her sandal. The soft Ionic chiton, clinging to the form,
reminds one of the drapery of the reclining goddess from the
eastern pediment of the Parthenon (Fig. 129), but it finds its
closest analogy, among datable sculptures, in a fragment of relief
recently found at Rhamnus in Attica. This belonged to the pedestal
of a statue by Agoracritus, one of the most famous pupils of

The Attic grave-relief given in Fig. 134 seems to belong
somewhere near the end of the fifth century. The subject is a
common one on this class of monuments, but is nowhere else so
exquisitely treated. There is no allusion to the fact of death.
Hegeso, the deceased lady, is seated and is holding up a necklace
or some such object (originally, it may be supposed, indicated by
color), which she has just taken from the jewel-box held out by
the standing slave-woman. Another fine grave-relief (Fig. 135) may
be introduced here, though it perhaps belongs to the beginning of
the fourth century rather than to the end of the fifth. It must
commemorate some young Athenian cavalryman. It is characteristic
that the relief ignores his death and represents him in a moment
of victory. Observe that on both these monuments there is no
attempt at realistic portraiture and that on both we may trace the
influence of the style of the Parthenon frieze.

Among the other bas-reliefs which show that influence there is no
difficulty in choosing one of exceptional beauty, the so-called
Orpheus relief (Fig. 136). This is known to us in three copies,
unless indeed the Naples example be the original. The story here
set forth is one of the most touching in Greek mythology. Orpheus,
the Thracian singer, has descended into Hades in quest of his dead
wife, Eurydice, and has so charmed by his music the stern
Persephone that she has suffered him to lead back his wife to the
upper air, provided only he will not look upon her on the way. But
love has overcome him. He has turned and looked, and the doom of
an irrevocable parting is sealed. In no unseemly paroxysm of
grief, but tenderly, sadly, they look their last at one another,
while Hermes, guide of departed spirits, makes gentle signal for
the wife's return. In the chastened pathos of this scene we have
the quintessence of the temper of Greek art in dealing with the
fact of death.

Turning now from Athens to Argos, which, though politically weak,
was artistically the rival of Athens in importance, we find
Polyclitus the dominant master there, as Phidias was in the other
city. Polyclitus survived Phidias and may have been the younger of
the two. The only certain thing is that he was in the plenitude of
his powers as late as 420, for his gold and ivory statue of Hera
was made for a temple built to replace an earlier temple destroyed
by fire in 423. His principal material was bronze. As regards
subjects, his great specialty was the representation of youthful
athletes. His reputation in his own day and afterwards was of the
highest; there were those who ranked him above Phidias. Thus
Xenophon represents [Footnote: Memorabilia I., 4, 3 (written about
390 B. C).] an Athenian as assigning to Polyclitus a preeminence
in sculpture like that of Homer in epic poetry and that of
Sophocles in tragedy; and Strabo[Footnote: VIII., page 372
(written about 18 A. D.).] pronounced his gold and ivory statues
in the Temple of Hera near Argos the finest in artistic merit
among all such works, though inferior to those of Phidias in size
and costliness. But probably the more usual verdict was that
reported by Quintilian, [Footnote: De Institutione Oratoria XII,
10, 7 (written about 90 A. D.).] which, applauding as unrivaled
his rendering of the human form, found his divinities lacking in

In view of the exalted rank assigned to Polyclitus by Greek and
Roman judgment, his identifiable works are a little disappointing.
His Doryphorus, a bronze figure of a young athlete holding a spear
such as was used in the pentathlon (cf. page 168), exists in
numerous copies. The Naples copy (Fig. 137), found in Pompeii in
1797, is the best preserved, being substantially antique
throughout, but is of indifferent workmanship. The young man, of
massive build, stands supporting his weight on the right leg; the
left is bent backward from the knee, the foot touching the ground
only in front. Thus the body is a good deal curved. This attitude
is an advance upon any standing motive attained in the
"Transitional period" (cf. page 165). It was much used by
Polyclitus, and is one of the marks by which statues of his may be
recognized. The head of the Doryphorus, as seen from the side, is
more nearly rectangular than the usual Attic heads of the period,
e.g., in the Parthenon frieze. For the characteristic face our
best guide is a bronze copy of the head from Herculaneum (Fig.
138), to which our illustration does less than justice.

A strong likeness to the Doryphorus exists in a whole series of
youthful athletes, which are therefore with probability traced to
Polyclitus as their author or inspirer. Such is a statue of a boy
in Dresden, of which the head is shown in Fig. 139. One of these
obviously allied works can be identified with a statue by
Polyclitus known to us from our literary sources. It is the so-
called Diadumenos, a youth binding the fillet of victory about his
head. This exists in several copies, the best of which has been
recently found on the island of Delos and is not yet published.

An interesting statue of a different order, very often attributed
to Polyclitus, may with less of confidence be accepted as his. Our
illustration (Fig. 140) is taken from the Berlin copy of this
statue, in which the arms, pillar, nose, and feet are modern, but
are guaranteed by other existing copies. It is the figure of an
Amazon, who has been wounded in the right breast. She leans upon a
support at her left side and raises her right hand to her head in
an attitude perhaps intended to suggest exhaustion, yet hardly
suitable to the position of the wound. The attitude of the figure,
especially the legs, is very like that of the Doryphorus, and the
face is thought by many to show a family likeness to his. There
are three other types of Amazon which seem to be connected with
this one, but the mutual relations of the four types are too
perplexing to be here discussed.

It is a welcome change to turn from copies to originals. The
American School of Classical Studies at Athens has carried on
excavations (1890-95) on the site of the famous sanctuary of Hera
near Argos, and has uncovered the foundations both of the earlier
temple, burned in 423, and of the later temple, in which stood the
gold and ivory image by Polyclitus, as well as of adjacent
buildings. Besides many other objects of interest, there have been
brought to light several fragments of the metopes of the second
temple, which, together with a few fragments from the same source
found earlier, form a precious collection of materials for the
study of the Argive school of sculpture of about 420. Still more
interesting, at least to such as are not specialists, is a head
which was found on the same site (Fig. 141), and which, to judge
by its style, must date from the same period. It is a good
illustration of the uncertainty which besets the attempt to
classify extant Greek sculptures into local schools that this head
has been claimed with equal confidence as Argive [Footnote: So by
Professor Charles Waldstein, who directed the excavations.] and as
Attic in style. In truth, Argive and Attic art had so acted and
reacted upon one another that it is small wonder if their
productions are in some cases indistinguishable by us.

The last remark applies also to the bronze statue shown in Fig.
142, which is believed by high authorities to be an original Greek
work and which has been claimed both for Athens and for Argos. The
standing position, while not identical with that of the
Doryphorus, the Diadumenos, and the wounded Amazon, is strikingly
similar, as is also the form of the head. At all events, the
statue is a fine example of apparently unstudied ease, of that
consummate art which conceals itself.

The only sculptor of the fifth century who is at once known to us
from literary tradition and represented by an authenticated and
original work is Paeonius of Mende in Thrace. He was an artist of
secondary rank, if we may judge from the fact that his name occurs
only in Pausanias; but in the brilliant period of Greek history
even secondary artists were capable of work which less fortunate
ages could not rival. Pausanias mentions a Victory by Paeonius at
Olympia, a votive offering of the Messenians for successes gained
in war. Portions of the pedestal of this statue with the
dedicatory inscription and the artist's signature were found on
December 20, 1875, at the beginning of the German excavations, and
the mutilated statue itself on the following day (Fig. 143). A
restoration of the figure by a German sculptor (Fig. 144) may be
trusted for nearly everything but the face. The goddess is
represented in descending flight. Poised upon a triangular
pedestal about thirty feet high, she seems all but independent of
support. Her draperies, blown by the wind, form a background for
her figure. An eagle at her feet suggests the element through
which she moves. Never was a more audacious design executed in
marble. Yet it does not impress us chiefly as a tour de force. The
beholder forgets the triumph over material difficulties in the
sense of buoyancy, speed, and grace which the figure inspires.
Pausanias records that the Messenians of his day believed the
statue to commemorate an event which happened in 425, while he
himself preferred to connect it with an event of 453. The
inscription on the pedestal is indecisive on this point. It runs
in these terms: "The Messenians and Naupactians dedicated [this
statue] to the Olympian Zeus, as a tithe [of the spoils] from
their enemies. Paeonius of Mende made it; and he was victorious
[over his competitors] in making the acroteria for the temple."
The later of the two dates mentioned by Pausanias has been
generally accepted, though not without recent protest. This would
give about the year 423 for the completion and erection of this



In the fourth century art became even more cosmopolitan than
before. The distinctions between local schools were nearly effaced
and the question of an artist's birthplace or residence ceases to
have much importance Athens, however, maintained her artistic
preeminence through the first half or more of the century. Several
of the most eminent sculptors of the period were certainly or
probably Athenians, and others appear to have made Athens their
home for a longer or shorter time. It is therefore common to speak
of a "younger Attic school," whose members would include most of
the notable sculptors of this period. What the tendencies of the
times were will best be seen by studying the most eminent
representatives of this group or school.

The first great name to meet us is that of Scopas of Paros. His
artistic career seems to have begun early in the fourth century,
for he was the architect of a temple of Athena at Tegea in Arcadia
which was built to replace one destroyed by fire in 395-4. He as
active as late as the middle of the century, being one of four
sculptors engaged on the reliefs of the Mausoleum or funeral
monument of Maussollus, satrap of Caria, who died in 351-0, or
perhaps two years earlier. That is about all we know of his life,
for it is hardly more than a conjecture that he took up his abode
in Athens for a term of years. The works of his hands were widely
distributed in Greece proper and on the coast of Asia Minor.

Until lately nothing very definite was known of the style of
Scopas. While numerous statues by him, all representing divinities
or other imaginary beings, are mentioned in our literary sources,
only one of these is described in such a way as to give any notion
of its artistic character. This was a Maenad, or female attendant
of the god Bacchus, who was represented in a frenzy of religious
excitement. The theme suggests a strong tendency on the part of
Scopas toward emotional expression, but this inference does not
carry us very far. The study of Scopas has entered upon a new
stage since some fragments of sculpture belonging to the Temple of
Athena at Tegea have become known. The presumption is that, as
Scopas was the architect of the building, he also designed, if he
did not execute, the pediment-sculptures. If this be true, then
we have at last authentic, though scanty, evidence of his style.
The fragments thus far discovered consist of little more than two
human heads and a boar's head. One of the human heads is here
reproduced (Fig. 145). Sadly mutilated as it is, is has become
possible by its help and that of its fellow to recognize with
great probability the authorship of Scopas in a whole group of
allied works. Not to dwell on anatomical details, which need casts
for their proper illustration, the obvious characteristic mark of
Scopadean heads is a tragic intensity of expression unknown to
earlier Greek art. It is this which makes the Tegea heads so
impressive in spite of the "rude wasting of old Time."

The magnificent head of Meleager in the garden of the Villa Medici
in Rome (Fig. 146) shows this same quality. A fiery eagerness of
temper animates the marble, and a certain pathos, as if born of a
consciousness of approaching doom. So masterly is the workmanship
here, so utterly removed from the mechanical, uninspired manner of
Roman copyists, that this head has been claimed as an original
from the hand of Scopas, and so it may well be. Something of the
same character belongs to a head of a goddess in Athens, shown in
Fig. 147.

Fig. 148 introduces us to another tendency of fourth century art.
The group represents Eirene and Plutus (Peace and Plenty). It is
in all probability a copy of a bronze work by Cephisodotus, which
stood in Athens and was set up, it is conjectured, soon after 375,
the year in which the worship of Eirene was officially established
in Athens. The head of the child is antique, but does not belong
to the figure; copies of the child with the true head exist in
Athens and Dresden. The principal modern parts are: the right arm
of the goddess (which should hold a scepter), her left hand with
the vase, and both arms of the child; in place of the vase there
should be a small horn of plenty, resting on the child's left arm.
The sentiment of this group is such as we have not met before. The
tenderness expressed by Eirene's posture is as characteristic of
the new era as the intensity of look in the head from Tegea.

Cephisodotus was probably a near relative of a much greater
sculptor, Praxiteles, perhaps his father. Praxiteles is better
known to us than any other Greek artist. For we have, to begin
with, one authenticated original statue from his hand, besides
three fourths of a bas-relief probably executed under his
direction. In the second place, we can gather from our literary
sources a catalogue of toward fifty of his works, a larger list
than can be made out for any other sculptor. Moreover, of several
pieces we get really enlightening descriptions, and there are in
addition one or two valuable general comments on his style.
Finally two of his statues that are mentioned in literature can be
identified with sufficient certainty in copies. The basis of
judgment is thus wide enough to warrant us in bringing numerous
other works into relation with him.

About his life, however, we know, as in other cases, next to
nothing. He was an Athenian and must have been somewhere near the
age of Scopas, though seemingly rather younger. Pliny gives the
hundred and fourth Olympiad (370-66) as the date at which he
flourished, but this was probably about the beginning of his
artistic career. Only one anecdote is told of him which is worth
repeating here. When asked what ones among his marble statues he
rated highest he answered that those which Nicias had tinted were
the best. Nicias was an eminent painter of the period (see page
282, foot note).

The place of honor in any treatment of Praxiteles must be given to
the Hermes with the infant Dionysus on his arm (Figs. 149, 150).
This statue was found on May 8, 1877, in the Temple of Hera at
Olympia, lying in front of its pedestal. Here it had stood when
Pausanias saw it and recorded that it was the work of Praxiteles.
The legs of Hermes below the knees have been restored in plaster
(only the right foot being antique), and so have the arms of
Dionysus. Except for the loss of the right arm and the lower legs,
the figure of Hermes is in admirable preservation, the surface
being uninjured. Some notion of the luminosity of the Parian
marble may be gained from Fig. 150.

Hermes is taking the new-born Dionysus to the Nymphs to be reared
by them. Pausing on his way, he has thrown his mantle over a
convenient tree-trunk and leans upon it with the arm that holds
the child. In his closed left hand he doubtless carried his
herald's wand; the lost right hand must have held up some object--
bunch of grapes or what-not--for the entertainment of the little
god. The latter is not truthfully proportioned; in common with
almost all sculptors before the time of Alexander, Praxiteles


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