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Private Sculptural Commissions

Privately commissioned statues1 as well as those paid for by public funds could be placed in a temple as a representation of a god2. In the tradition of offering lovely crafted objects to divinites as commemorations of important personal experiences such as economic success or victories in athletic contests, people also placed sculptures of physically beautiful human beings in the sanctuaries of the gods as gifts of honor3. Wealthy families would commission statues of their deceased members4, especially if they had died young, to be placed above their graves as memorials of their virtue. In every case, private statues were meant to be seen by other people. In this sense, then, private sculpture in the Golden Age served a public function: it broadcast a message to an audience.

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