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From Archaic to Classic

The sources connect a number of names with the transition to the early classic, but most are mere shadows today. Even Kalamis, though clearly an important figure (T 2, T 3), remains deeply problematic, for not only has no attribution gained general acceptance, but the sources clearly point to two sculptors called Kalamis, one active ca. 470 and the other after ca. 400 (e.g. T 61): see esp. Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 508-32, 857; Raubitschek 1949,, 505-08; Delivorrias 1978; Pollitt 1990, 46-48, 94, 222-23. We shall meet a similar situation with regard to Bryaxis in the fourth-third centuries (T 107, T 108).

As to the following selection, though it ostensibly covers all the major centers, in fact neither East Greek nor Peloponnesian sculptors can be adequately represented, simply because no ancient author cared about their work. Pythagoras of Samos and the Olympia master are no real substitute, for the former apparently migrated to the West when young, and (pace Pausanias, T 39) the latter remains an enigma: though his workshop perhaps included Parians, his own identity remains obscure.

Kritios and Nesiotes of Athens(?)



Since the Tyrannicides of Kritios and Nesiotes (cf. Naples G103-104; Stewart 1990, figs. 227-31) are usually taken to mark the official "birthday" of the Severe style, these two sculptors deserve first place in the series. Yet although no fewer than six Akropolis signatures of theirs survive, on dedications by wealthy Athenians or foreign residents, only their association with the Tyrannicides saved them from oblivion in antiquity. The crucial witnesses here are Pausanias (T 31) and the third-century Marmor Parium (FGH 239 A 54) which gives a date equivalent to 477/6. So prestigious a commission bespeaks a certain standing in their craft, and indeed Nesiotes' name was appended to a dedication of ca. 500 (but puzzlingly alone, without the verb "made [it]": Raubitschek 1949, no. 84), while two of their jointly-signed bases (Raubitschek 1949, nos. 122, 161) were found in the Persian debris, so should also pre-date 480. The others may extend to ca. 460, though none is as late as 448-445, the (surely tendentious) floruit given by Pliny: see commentary to T 1.

In T 1, Pliny links them to the shadowy Hegesias (or Hegias), singled out in T 3 and elsewhere as an early exponent of the new manner, and reportedly Pheidias' teacher. Lucian repeats the association, adding details that suggest a Hellenistic art critic as a source; since Antigonos of Karystos actually wrote on Kritios' pupils (Diogenes Laertius 9.49), he may be a good candidate.

“Then [the professor of rhetoric] will tell you to emulate those men of old, setting before you obsolete models of speeches, difficult to imitate, like the antiquated works of Hegesias, Kritios, and Nesiotes, compact, sinewy, hard, and precisely divided into parts by lines.

Lucian, Rhet. Praec. 9
The division of labor within the partnership remains obscure: Brunnsaaker 1971, 138-141 argues against a modeler/caster duo, while Mattusch 1980, 441 tries to reinstate the distinction; yet on the Foundry Cup (Munich 2650) the two master-sculptors — if such they are, and not clients — are not shown in this guise but preside as equals over the finishing touches.

Attributions range from the "Kritios" boy (Athens, Acropolis 698; cf. Hurwit 1989; Stewart 1990, figs. 219-20) to the Tivoli "Warrior" and even some of the "early" Parthenon metopes. All are based on style alone, and seem difficult to sustain in the face of our total ignorance of the styles of their (numerous) Athenian contemporaries and the variability of the copies: see e.g. Raeder 1983, 88, 220-222.

Pausanias (Paus. 6.4.5) and Pliny, N.H. 34.85 put together a "school" of Kritios, extending even beyond 400, but none of its members has left any obvious trace in the monuments.

Select bibliography: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 452-69; Löwy 1885/1976, nos. 38-40; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 50-52; RE 9.2: 1915-16 (Lippold, 1922); ThB 21, 545-47 (Bieber, 1927); Picard 1935-1971 (vol. 2): (Picard/Manuel) 11-19; Raubitschek 1949, 513-17; Lacroix 1949, 238-43; Lippold 1950, 106-08; EAA 4, 410-15 (Fuchs, 1961); Boardman 1967, 280-81; Richter 1970a (Baiae cast); Richter 1970d, 154-56; Ridgway 1970, 79-83; Brunnsaaker 1971; M. Robertson 1975, 185-86; Mattusch 1980; Brommer 1982, 152; Weber 1983; Raeder 1983, 88; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 180, 197-98, 241, 269-70, 271; Boardman 1985a, 24-25; Landwehr 1985, 27-47, nos. 1-8 (Baiae casts); Mattusch 1988, 119-25; Hurwit 1989 (Kritios Boy); Pollitt 1990, 43; Stewart 1990, 28, 135-36, 237-38, 251-52, 324.

Onatas son of Mikon, of Aegina


Despite the fame of "Aeginetan bronze" (Pliny, N.H. 34.10), ancient critics virtually ignored Aeginetan sculpture as such; only Pausanias was interested in it, so that apart from a single Hellenistic epigram (Anth. Pal. 9.238) he is our sole witness to the achievements of the foremost Aeginetan sculptor, Onatas.

“The second mountain, Mt. Elaios, is about 30 stades from Phigaleia, and has a cave sacred to Demeter surnamed Black ... [Pausanias then tells the story of Poseidon's rape of Demeter and Persephone's abduction by Hades] ... As a result, the Phigalians say, they accounted the cave sacred to Demeter, and set up a wooden image in it. The image was made in the following fashion: it was seated on a rock, and was like a woman in all respects save the head. She had the head and hair of a horse, and serpents and other beasts grew out of her head. Her chiton reached right to her feet, and she held a dolphin in one hand, a dove in the other. Why they made the xoanon like this should be clear to any intelligent man who is versed in tradition. They say they named her Black because the goddess wore black clothing. However, they cannot remember who made this xoanon or how it caught fire; but when it was destroyed the Phigalians gave no new image to the goddess and largely neglected her festivals and sacrifices, until finally barrenness fell upon the land ... [They then consulted Delphi, and were told that good times would return only if they restored her former honors to her] ... So when they heard the oracle that was brought back, they held Demeter in even higher honor than before, and particularly they persuaded Onatas son of Mikon of Aegina to make them an image of Demeter at any price he asked. The Pergamenes have a bronze Apollo of his, which they marvel at both for its size and its art. This man, then, discovering a picture or copy of the ancient xoanon —but guided for the most part (as it is said) by a vision he saw in his dreams — made a bronze image for the Phigalians about a generation after the Persian invasion of Greece [480]. My evidence for the date is as follows: when Xerxes invaded Europe, Gelon son of Deinomenes was tyrant of Syracuse and the rest of Sicily. When Gelon died [478] the rule passed on to Hieron, his brother. But when Hieron died [467/66] before he could dedicate to Olympian Zeus the offerings which he had vowed for his victories in the horse-races, his son Deinomenes set them up on behalf of his father. These too are the works of Onatas, and there are inscriptions at Olympia, of which the one over the offering reads: “For his victories in your holy games, Olympian Zeus,
Once in the chariot-and-four, twice with the race-horse,
Hieron bestowed these gifts on you; but his son dedicated them,
Deinomenes, in memory of his Syracusan sire.
” The other inscription is: “Onatas, son of Mikon, fashioned me
Who has his home on Aegina's isle.
” Onatas was contemporary with Hegias of Athens and Hageladas of Argos.

It was mainly to see this Demeter that I came to Phigaleia.

... But the image made by Onatas no longer existed in my time, and most of the Phigalians were not aware that it had ever existed at all. The oldest of the inhabitants I met said that three generations before his time some rocks had fallen on it from the cave roof, crushing it and destroying it utterly. Indeed, I could still see clearly the place in the roof where the rocks had broken away.

Pausanias' dating roughly coincides with the archaeological evidence: a signed base from the Akropolis may belong to the Persian debris and predate 480, and his Achaean monument in Olympia lies below the temple fill and so should be earlier than ca. 460. Unfortunately, however, landscaping done after the temple's completion ca. 457 cannot be ruled out entirely.

Onatas worked exclusively in bronze:

  • Chariot of Hieron I of Syracuse at Olympia (T 36
  • Group of 9 heroes and Nestor, drawing lots to determine who should fight Hektor, dedicated by the Achaeans at Olympia (T 37
  • Hermes with a ram (kriophoros), dedicated by the Pheneans at Olympia
  • Colossal Herakles dedicated by the Thasians at Olympia (T 38
  • Dedication of Kephalos of Byzantion at Olympia
  • Cavalry and infantry standing by Taras and Phalanthos bestriding the slain native king Opis, dedicated by the Tarentines at Delphi
  • Dedication of Timarchos on the Akropolis
  • Apollo, later at Pergamon (T 36
A mutilated signature from Pergamon, Pergamon 8.1, no. 48, may come from the base of no. 9. Parts of the base of no. 3 also survive, and fit Pausanias' description:

“There are also offerings dedicated by the whole Achaean race in common: they represent those who, when Hektor challenged any Greek to meet him in single combat, dared to await the outcome of the lot. They stand near the great temple armed with spears and shields. Right opposite, Nestor stands on another base, casting the lot of each into the helmet. Those who are drawing lots to meet Hektor are now only eight in number — for the ninth, the statue of Odysseus, was carried off to Rome, they say, by Nero — and of the eight remaining only Agamemnon's has his name inscribed below: the inscription runs, moreover, from right to left. The figure with the cock emblazoned on his shield is Idomeneus the descendant of Minos: they say that Idomeneus was descended from Helios the father of Pasiphae, and that the cock is sacred to Helios and announces when he is about to rise. An inscription is written on the pedestal: “These images were dedicated to Zeus by the Achaeans,
Descendants of Pelops, the godlike Tantalid.
” This is written on the pedestal, but the sculptor's signature is written on Idomeneus's shield: “This is one of the many works of clever Onatas,
Whom Mikon begat in Aegina.

In this epigram Onatas calls himself sophos, "clever", in the tradition of Phaidimos and other archaic sculptors (cf. Stewart 1990, 68); yet this self-assertiveness did not prevent him from collaborating with others on at least three of the monuments listed above: with Kalamis on no. 2 (Paus. 6.12.1; cf. T 2-3), Kalliteles on no. 4, and Kalynthos(?) on no. 7. Our only information concerning his style comes once again from Pausanias:

“The Thasians ... dedicated a Herakles at Olympia, the base as well as the image being of bronze. The image is ten cubits [15 feet] high, and has a club in his right hand and a bow in his left... On this dedication by the Thasians at Olympia is an elegiac couplet: “Onatas, son of Mikon, fashioned me
He who has his home on Aegina.
” This Onatas, though his sculptural style is Aeginetan, I shall place second to none of the pupils of Daidalos and the Attic school.

Yet this essentially unhelpful remark has not inhibited attributions, which fall into five more-or-less mutually exclusive groups, as follows: (a) the Artemision Zeus (Athens, NM Br. 15161), "Omphalos" Apollo (Athens, NM 45; Munich GL 265), Aegina sphinx, "Aspasia"/Europa, and Corinth/Mocenigo goddess (London 209) (cf. Stewart 1990, figs. 285-88); (b) an Athena head from Aegina in the Louvre and the Delphi charioteer (Delphi 3520; cf. Stewart 1990, figs. 301-02); (c) Aegina East Pediment 2 (cf. Stewart 1990, fig. 245-53) and a bronze head from the Akropolis (Athens, NM 6446, cf. Stewart 1990, fig. 249); (d) a Herakles in Cherchel, a small bronze Hermes kriophoros in Paris, a bearded head on the Akropolis, and three warriors in Mariemont and Rome — all copies; and (e) the Riace bronzes (Stewart 1990, figs. 292-96). Others give (a) to Kalamis, (c) to Kalon, and (e) to Pheidias, which suggests that though some connection with Aegina is apparent in each case, to choose between them is hopelessly arbitrary.

Select bibliography: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 421-28, 524; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 41-48; ThB 26: 17-18 (Bieber, 1932); RE 18.1: 408-11 (Lippold, 1939); Raubitschek 1949, 520-22; Lipppold 1950, 98, 101-02; EAA: 5, 691-92 (de Marinis, 1963); Boardman 1967, 276-80; Eckstein 1969, 27-32; Ridgway 1970, 61-65, 72-73, 88-89; Schefold 1973; M. Robertson 1975, 184, 197, 271; Dörig 1977; Vierneisel-Schlorb 1979, 10-12; Beschi 1982, 232-8; E.B. Harrison 1985, 47-54; Landwehr 1985, 47-60, nos. 9-28 (Baiae casts); Pollitt 1990, 36-39, 227; Stewart 1990, 44, 63, 94, 147-48, 169, 214, 252-53.

The Olympia Master

Pausanias' attribution of the Olympia pediments to Paionios (E) and Alkamenes (W) is probably a misreading of his own notes. In his Nike inscription (T 81) Paionios tells us that he made the (east?) akroteria for the temple, and Lippold 1950, 205 (cf. Jeffery 1980a, 1234-35) has plausibly suggested that Alkamenes made the other set. Modern suggestions for the pediments and metopes, often less happy still, are summarized in EAA 5: 656-7 (Becatti, 1963). The identity of the Olympia Master remains a mystery.

“The temple and image were made for Zeus from spoils, when the Eleans crushed Pisa and her allies in war [ca. 470] .... The temple is Doric in style, and the outside is colonnaded. It is built of local limestone. Its height up to the pediment is 68 feet, its breadth 95 feet, its length 230 feet. The architect was Libon, a local man .... A gilded cauldron stands on each corner of the roof, and a Nike, also gilded, stands right above the middle of the pediment. Beneath the Nike is a golden shield, with Medusa the Gorgon in relief...[Pausanias then cites the shield's Spartan dedication commemorating their defeat of the Athenians at Tanagra in 457]...

Turning to the pediments, the one in front represents the contest, not yet begun, between Pelops and Oinomaos in chariot-racing, with both sides involved in preparations for the actual race. An image of Zeus stands right in the center of the pediment; and on the right of Zeus is Oinomaos with a helmet on his head, flanked by his wife Sterope, one of the daughters of Atlas. Myrtilos, who drove the chariot of Oinomaos, sits in front of the horses, which are four in number. After him there are two men: they have no names, but must have been ordered by Oinomaos to attend to the horses. On the very end reclines Kladeos, the river which in other ways also is most honored by the Eleans after the Alpheios. On the left from Zeus are Pelops, Hippodameia, the charioteer of Pelops, horses, and two men, who are apparently grooms for Pelops too. Then the pediment narrows again, and in this corner Alpheios is represented. The name of the man who is Pelops' charioteer in the Troezenian version of the story is Sphairos, but the guide at Olympia alleges that it is Killas. The figures in the front pediment are by Paionios of Mende in Thrace, and those in the back are by Alkamenes, a contemporary of Pheidias and second only to him in cleverness as a sculptor. What he carved in the pediment is the fight between the Lapiths and Centaurs at the wedding of Peirithoos. In the center of the pediment is Peirithoos. On one side of him is Eurytion who has seized the woman who is Peirithoos' wife, and Kaineus protecting Peirithoos, and on the other is Theseus defending himself against the Centaurs with an axe. One Centaur has seized a maiden, the other a handsome boy. Alkamenes carved this scene, I think, because he had learned from Homer's poems that Peirithoos was a descendant of Zeus and Theseus a great-grandson of Pelops.

Most of the Labors of Herakles are also represented at Olympia. Above the temple doors is the hunt of the Arcadian boar, his exploit against Diomedes the Thracian, and that against Geryon at Erytheia; he is also about to receive the burden from Atlas, and he is cleansing the land of dung for the Eleans. Above the doors of the rear chamber he is taking the girdle from the Amazon, and also represented there are the exploits against the deer, the bull at Knossos, the Stymphalian birds, the Hydra, and the Argive lion.

Pythagoras of Samos


Pliny places Pythagoras fourth in his selection of five bronze-casters, after Pheidias, Polykleitos, and Myron, and before Lysippos. This position, repeated in Pliny's chronology (T 1), clearly derives from "Xenokratic" art criticism (cf. T 43, T 62, T 124) and is complemented by Pausanias' considered praise for his work:

“Pythagoras of Rhegium in Italy surpassed Myron with his pancratiast which stands at Delphi, and Leontiscus too. He also made the runner Astylus, which is on show at Olympia, a Libyan [and a] boy holding a tablet there too, a nude figure holding apples, a lame man at Syracuse which makes people who look at it actually feel the pain of its sore, an Apollo shooting the Python with his arrows, and a cithara-player called dikaios ("honest") because when Alexander took Thebes [336] a sum of gold hidden in its drapery folds by a fugitive remained undisturbed. He was the first to represent sinews and veins, and was more exact in modeling hair. There was also another Pythagoras, a Samian, who began as a painter, whose seven nudes and an old man in the temple of Today's Fortune are praised. He is recorded to have resembled the other Pythagoras so closely that even their features were indistinguishable, and we are told that Sostratus was a son of this Pythagoras' sister but a pupil of Pythagoras of Rhegium.

Pliny, N.H. 34.59

“[At Olympia] there is a statue of Leontiskos, a wrestler in the men's category and a Sicilian from Messene on the Strait. He was crowned, they say, by the Amphiktyons and twice by the Eleans, and his wrestling style was that of Sostratos of Sikyon in the pankration: for they say that he did not know how to throw his opponents, but won by bending their fingers. The statue was made by Pythagoras of Rhegion — a good sculptor if ever there was one. They say he studied under Klearchos, who was also a native of Rhegion, and a pupil of Eucheir.

Now for the problems. First, Pliny, Pausanias, and Diogenes Laertius (T 42) all give his home as Rhegion, on the toe of Italy; yet when he signed the statue of Euthynos at Olympia (victor in 472), he called himself a Samian. Pliny and Diogenes compound the confusion by introducing a look-alike relative, Pythagoras of Samos, formerly a painter.

The solution to all this was suggested [almost] a century ago (cf. Münzer 1895, 520-21; Pollitt 1974, 91-92); namely, that Pythagoras migrated from Samos to Italy, perhaps in 494, but kept his original ethnic. Xenokrates either did not know of his Samian ancestry or preferred to cite his real (if adopted) home instead, but Antigonos of Karystos read his signature(s), recognized the problem, and conjured up the solution repeated in T 40 and 42. Pliny's omission of the Euthymos from his list of the Rhegian's works, even though he knew of the statue (N.H. 7.152), points in the same direction.

The second problem is chronological, and also traceable to Xenokrates. T 1 dates Polykleitos, Myron, and Pythagoras to 420-417, yet Pythagoras' statues of victors in the games of 480 through 452 clearly contradict this; one may be earlier (488 or 484), another later (464 or possibly 432: Moretti 1957, nos. 194, 257), but a floruit as late as 420 remains impossible, particularly if he studied with Klearchos [T 17].

Rather, Xenokrates' relative chronology (rendered absolute by Pliny's source for T 1) was perhaps based not upon historical evidence but upon purely formal considerations, namely the supposed development of Greek bronze work toward even greater naturalism (aletheia/veritas: cf. Pollitt 1974, 125-38 and commentary to T 3, 124) whereby Pythagoras' surface realism, experiments with violent motion (his Perseus: Dio Chrysostom 37.10), and suchlike would seem more "advanced" and thus closer to Lysippos' than the comparatively conservative and "stereotyped" (T 62) Polykleitan statues or even those of Myron.

Assembling all the evidence, his recorded works, all bronzes, are as follows:

    Victor statues
    • The wrestler Leontiskos of Messana, at Olympia (T 41, misunderstood by Pliny, T 40
    • The runner Astylos of Kroton, at Olympia (cf. T 40
    • The boxer Euthynos of Italian Locri, at Olympia
    • The pankratiast Dromeus of Mantinea, at Olympia
    • The hoplite runner Mnaseas of Kyrene, nicknamed Libys, at Olympia (cf. T 40
    • The charioteer Kratisthenes of Kyrene, his chariot, and Nike, at Olympia
    • The boy-boxer Protolaos of Mantinea, at Olympia
    • A pankratiast, at Delphi (T 40
    • The kithara-player Kleon, at Thebes (T 40
    Gods and heroes
    • Apollo shooting the dragon, perhaps at Kroton (T 40
    • A wounded man (Philoktetes?), at Syracuse (T 40
    • Seven nudes and an old man (the Seven against Thebes and Teiresias?), later at Rome (T 40) — cf.:
    • Eteokles and Polyneikes
    • Perseus
    • Europa on the Bull, at Taras
As to his style, the sources praise his accuracy of rendering (akribeia: no. 11, cf. T 40), his ability to evoke character through manipulating the schemata of his figures (no. 13), and his command of motion (no. 14); also:

“Some say there was another Pythagoras, a sculptor from Rhegion who seems to have been the first to aim at compositional rhythmos and commensurability of parts (symmetria); and another too, a Samian.

Diogenes Laertius 8.47
Though ostensibly "Xenokratic" in character and in the same biographical tradition as T 40, this passage now implicitly corrects the sequence of T 1 and T 40, and is more in accord with the "facts" as known today; though Diogenes cites no source, he used Antigonos' work extensively (cf. 9.49, etc.), suggesting that this is more than simply a rhetorical put-down of Pythagoras' three supposed "predecessors", once again lifted from Xenokrates.

A Philoktetes on some later gems has been connected with (11) and Krotonian coin-images with (10), but the most far-reaching study, Hofkes-Brukker 1964, is not based on these but upon some versions of an early classical Perseus (cf. 14, but attributed by others to Myron after T 43 and Paus. 1.23.7), concluding that he sought an "unbounded" rhythmos in place of the closure preferred by Polykleitos and Myron. Though pure conjecture, this does have the merit of explaining why the Xenokratic tradition saw him as a transitional figure between Myron and Lysippos.

Despite his fame, Pythagoras' only pupil seems to have been his nephew Sostratos (T 40).

Select bibliography: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 489-507; Löwy 1885/1976, nos. 23-4; Münzer 1895, 520-21, 525-26, 533-34; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 55-59; Jex-Blake 1896, xvi-xxii, lii-iii; Langlotz 1927,, 147-52; Schweitzer 1932/1963; ThB 27: 481-84 (Bieber, 1933); Picard 1935-1971, (vol. 2): (Picard/Manuel) 111-24; Lacroix 1949, 249-51; Lippold 1950, 124-26; RE 24: 305-08 (Rumpf, 1963); Hofkes-Brukker 1964; EAA 4: 573-75 (Orlandini, 1965); Lagona 1967; Richter 1970d, 156-58; Ridgway 1970, 83-48; Horster 1970; Hansen 1971, 402-03; Pollitt 1974, 21, 75, 91-92, 107-08, 125, 226-27, 351, 356; Holloway 1975; M. Robertson 1975, 184, 190, 197, 212; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 48-52, 58, 62, 71-72, 201, 226-29; Rolley 1983/1986, 157-59; Boardman 1985a, 79; E.B. Harrison 1985, 41; Mattusch 1988, 186-88; Pollitt 1990, 43-46; Stewart 1990, 21, 34, 82, 118, 132, 138-39, 160, 237-38, 254-56.

Myron of Eleutherai


Eleutherai was just inside Attica on the Boeotian border, which is why Pausanias (6.8.4, etc.) calls him an Athenian. Once again the only synoptic account of his oeuvre is Pliny's:

“Myron was born at Eleutherae and was a pupil of Hageladas. He was particularly famous for his statue of a heifer, celebrated in well-known epigrams — for most people owe their reputations more to someone else's talent than their own. He also made a dog, a discobolus, a Perseus and the sea-monsters (?), a satyr marveling at the flutes and a Minerva, pentathletes at Delphi, pancratiasts, and a Hercules now in the shrine dedicated by Pompey the Great at the Circus Maximus. Erinna also mentions in her poems that he made a cicada and a locust. He also made an Apollo which Antony the triumvir took from the Ephesians, but the deified Augustus restored it again after being warned in a dream. He seems to have been the first to extend the representation of natural truth, being more rhythmical in his art than Polykleitos and more careful over proportion (symmetria); yet though he was very attentive to the bodies of his figures he does not seem to have expressed the feelings of the mind, and also did not treat the hair and the pubes any more correctly than did the rude art of old.

Pliny, N.H. 34.57-8
Pliny places him third in the "Xenokratic" sequence of bronze-workers, between Polykleitos (T 62) and Pythagoras (T 40), and consequently the late Hellenistic source for T 1 gave him a floruit of 420-417; for an explanation as to why, see the commentary to T 40, above. Contradicted by (a) his supposed apprenticeship to Hageladas (T 25); (b) the "histories" of Cicero and Quintilian (T 2, T 3); (c) his Aeginetan commission (no. 1), presumably pre-dating the Athenian conquest of 457/6; and (d) the activities of his son Lykios in the 440s and 430s (Jeffery 1980b), this erroneous chronology also suggests that his allegedly greater attentiveness to symmetria than — of all people! — Polykleitos (T 43) could simply be a rationalization introduced by Xenokrates or Varro (cf. T 62) to save this evolutionary scheme, rigidly formalistic as it apparently was.

The full list of his works, all bronzes except possibly no. 1 (a xoanon , Paus. 2.30.2) is as follows:

    Divinities and mythological groups
    • Hekate (single-bodied) in Aegina
    • Colossal Zeus, Athena, and Herakles in the Heraion at Samos; removed by Mark Antony; the Athena and Herakles returned by Augustus
    • Apollo at Ephesos, removed by Antony but returned by Augustus (T 43
    • Apollo at Akragas, stolen by Verres in 73-70
    • Dionysos at Orchomenos, later RE-dedicated on Mt. Helikon by Sulla
    • Nike killing a bull
    • Athena and Marsyas (?T 43
    • Erechtheus at Athens
    • Herakles at Messana, stolen by Verres
    • Herakles, later in Rome (T 43
    • Perseus, on the Akropolis
    Victor statues
    • The runner Ladas, perhaps at Argos (T 45
    • A diskobolos (T 43, 44)
    • The horse breeder Lykinos of Sparta, at Olympia (twice)
    • The pankratiast Timanthes of Kleonai, at Olympia
    • The boy-boxer Philippos of Pellana, at Olympia
    • The hoplite-runner Chionis of Sparta, at Olympia
    • Pentathletes and pankratiasts, at Delphi (T 43
    • A dog (T 43
    • A cow, on the Akropolis (T 43), later taken to Rome
    • Four oxen, later in Rome
    • A sea-monster (?T 43: with no. 11?)
    • Embossed vessels in silver
The Diskobolos (no. 13; Rome, Terme 126371; Stewart 1990, fig. 300) is the only work identified beyond doubt in the copies, owing to a rare detailed description of one allegedly displayed with the Tyrannicides, Polykleitos's Diadoumenos, and Demetrios' Pellichos (Stewart 1990, figs. 227-31; 383-85; T 91, with commentary) in a house in Athens:

“"When you came in the hall," he said, "didn't you notice a totally gorgeous statue up there, by Demetrios the portraitist?" "Surely you don't mean the discus-thrower," said I, "the one bent over into the throwing-position, with his head turned back to the hand that holds the discus, and the opposite knee slightly flexed, like one who will spring up again after the throw?" "Not that one, he said, that's one of Myron's works, that Diskobolos you speak of..."

Lucian, Philopseudes 18
On the Athena and Marsyas, often identified as a group after Paus. 1.24.1, see Stewart 1990, 147, figs. 290-91, and the copy Louvre 2208; as for the others, optimists have recognized nos. 2, 8, 10, and 11 in Roman copies (though the Perseus is just as regularly given to Pythagoras), while Mingazzini 1972-3 and others attribute nos. 12 and 16 to namesakes of the Hellenistic period (contra e.g. Moretti 1957, nos. 260, 319, 529, 535). These individuals are shadowy figures at best: one, the Myron "of Thebes" whose signatures graced a dedication at Pergamon (along with Praxiteles' and Xenokrates': Pergamon, 8.1, nos. 135-140) and another found in Rome may well be a Hellenistic fiction perpetuated by locals charged with furnishing new bases for war-booty, for Eleutherai was disputed between Athens and Boeotia. Certainly, the epigrams describing the Ladas are by no means incompatible with early classical experimentation:

“Just as you were in life, Ladas, flying before wind-footed
Thymos, touching the ground with the tips of your toes,
So did Myron cast you in bronze, on all of your body
Stamping your expectation of an Olympian crown.

Anthologia Palatina 16.54
On the other hand, Pliny's attribution of a marble "Drunken old Woman" at Smyrna (N.H. 36.32) has been universally rejected, not least because its most unclassical theme recurs in a copy of a work of advanced Hellenistic date, in Rome (Munich 437; Bieber 1961b, 81; Laubscher 1982, 118-21; Stewart 1990, figs. 753-54). To connect this with the Myron of Athens who worked on Delos ca. 140 (Marcadé 1957, 57) is tempting but purely arbitrary.

Many have pondered over Myron's signal contribution to Greek sculpture; yet one must remember that in antiquity, though his statues of men were justly renowned (T 115), his most famous work was not the Diskobolos but his cow (no. 20), whose realism inspired countless epigrams (T 43; Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 550-591, etc.), mostly vacuous in the extreme. His son Lykios carried on his work, also gaining major commissions at Olympia and Athens.

Select bibliography:

(A) General: Furtwängler 1895/1964, 165-220; ThB 25: 310-14 (Bieber, 1931); RE, 16.1: 1124-30 (Lippold, 1933); Picard 1935-1971, (vol. 2): (Picard/Manuel) 223-57; P.E. Arias 1940; Lacroix 1949, 251-54; Lippold 1950, 136-41; EWA, 10: 445-8 (Willemsen, 1958); EAA 5: 110-115 (Arias, 1963); Boardman 1967, 363-66; Richter 1970d, 160-65; Ridgway 1970, 84-86; M. Robertson 1975, 338-44; Boardman 1985a, 80; Mattusch 1988, 144-50; Stewart 1990, 28, 48, 69, 81-82, 113, 147-49, 237-38, 255-56.

(B) Sources: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 533-610; Löwy 1885/1976, nos. 126, 154; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 64-70; Schweitzer 1932/1963; Pollitt 1974, passim; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 49-51, 60-61, 71, 201, 223-26; Pollitt 1990, 48-52.

(C) Special studies: Boardman 1956 (Marsyas); Brommer 1967, 75-76 (Parthenon); Berger 1969, Berger 1970a (Samos group); Ashmole 1972, 104 (Parthenon); Mingazzini 1972-3 (Ladas); Schauenburg 1973 (Athena); Borbein 1973, 62-63, 147-50 (Samos group, Diskobolos); Vierneisel-Schlorb 1979, 121-24 (Samos group); Weis 1979 (Marsyas); Daltrop 1980 (Marsyas); Haskell 1981, 199-202 (Diskobolos).

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