1. An Athenian sculptor of the age of Pheidias, but of the more archaic school of Calamis, commenced the execution of the statues in the pediments of the great temple of Apollo at Delphi, but died while he was still engaged upon the work, which was completed by another Athenian artist, Androsthenes, the disciple of Eucadmus. (Paus. 10.19.3
. s. 4.)
The date of Praxias may be safely placed about Ol. 83, B. C. 448, and onwards. His master Calamis flourished about B. C. 467, and belonged to the last period of the archaic school, which immediately preceded Pheidias. [See PHEIDIAS, p. 245b.] Moreover, the indications which we have of the time when the temple at Delphi was decorated by a number of Athenian artists, point to the period between B. C. 448 and 430, and go to show that the works were executed at about the very time when the temples of Athena at Athens, and of Zeus at Olympia, were being adorned by Pheidias and his disciples. (Comp. PHEIDIAS, p. 248b.; POLYGNOTUS, p. 467b.; and Muller, Phid.
pp. 28, 29.)
The sculptures themselves are described by Pausanias (l.c.
) very briefly as consisting of Artemis and Leto, and Apollo and the Muses, and also the setting sun and Dionysus and the women called Thyiades.
In all probability, the first collection of statues, those connected with the genealogy of Apollo, occupied the front pediment, and the other pediment was filled with the remaining sculptures, namely those connected with the kindred divinity Dionysus, the inventor of the lyre and the patron of the dithyramb.
As the temple was one of the largest in Greece, it is likely that there were, in each pediment, other figures subordinate to those mentioned by Pausanias. (Welcker, die Vorstellungen der Giebelfelder und Metopen an dem Tempel zu Delphi,
in the Rheinisches Museum,
1842, pp. 1-28).