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The School of Lysippos

In T 1, Pliny gives Lysippos' pupils a floruit of 296-293, a date perhaps derived from Eutychides' commission for the Tyche of Antioch (T 140). 'Laippus', repeated in T 139, is evidently a misreading (by Varro) of Daippos (cf. Paus. 6.12.6, 16.5), i.e., ΛΑΙΠΠΟΣ for ΔΑΙΠΠΟΣ.

“Lysippus left behind three sons who were his pupils, the celebrated artists Laippus, Boedas, and above all Euthycrates, though he imitated his father's rigor rather than his elegance, preferring to find favor in the austere rather than the graceful style. His masterpieces are a Hercules at Delphi, an Alexander Hunting at Thespiae, a cavalry battle, a Trophonius at the god's own oracular shrine, several chariots-and-four, a horse with baskets [?], and a pack of hounds. His pupil was Tisicrates, another Sicyonian, but closer to the school of Lysippus; indeed, many of Tisicrates' statues can hardly be distinguished from his, like his Aged Theban, his king Demetrius, and his Peucestes, the man who saved Alexander the Great's life and so was worthy of such an honor.

Pliny N.H. 34.66-7
Pliny's account of Euthykrates' style seems rhetorically-based. In N.H. 34.41, 80, 83 he adds Chares of Lindos, Phanis, and Xenokrates of Athens to the list; like Teisikrates, Xenokrates was not a direct disciple of Lysippos (T 146), and Pausanias and surviving inscriptions extend the school into the later third century.

As with the Polykleitan school, a complete catalogue of their works is unnecessary: to those genres recorded in T 139 one should add numerous portraits (T 136: Euthykrates) and victor-statues (known mainly from Pausanias and scattered inscriptions). Daippos' perixyomenos or "All-round Scraper" (N.H. 34.87) evidently attempted to outdo the master himself (T 124). Survivors include the Ephesos athlete (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum I15372) and the Getty Bronze (Malibu 77.AB.30), and Teisikrates' Demetrios (T 139) has been recognized in a fine copy from the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum (Naples, Museo Nazionale 6149; Stewart 1990, figs. 617-22). Of all their bronzes, however, only two attracted more than passing notice: Eutychides' Tyche of Antioch (overlooked by Pliny) and Chares' colossal Helios for Rhodes.

Paus. 6.2.6 attributes the Tyche only in passing, but a Byzantine historian fortunately supplies the missing link to the copies (statuette of Tyche: Vatican, Galleria dei Candelabri IV.49; statuette of Tyche: Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts 4742; coin of Volusianus: Paris, Cabinet des Médailles; Stewart 1990, figs. 626-28):

“And he [Trajan, emperor 98-117] restored the theater at Antioch, which was unfinished, and set up in it . . . a gilded image of the Tyche of the city, seated above the river Orontes, and crowned by the kings Seleukos and Antiochos.

John Malalas, Chronographia 11 p. 276 Bonn
Personifications like the Orontes were a specialty of his: Pliny describes his River Eurotas as "wetter than water" (N.H. 34.78), evidently after an epigram such as this:

“The artist moulded Eurotas as if still wet and immersed
In his stream, though fresh from his bath of fire.
Liquid in all his limbs, he weaves to and fro,
Flowingly undulating from head to toe.
Art vied with the river; who was it that coaxed
The bronze to riot along more liquidly than water?

Anth. Pal. 9.709 (Philip, ca. A.D. 40)
As for the Colossus, Pliny gives its history, and Philo of Byzantium describes its extraordinary technique:

“But the work that surpassed all in admiration was the colossal statue of the Sun at Rhodes, made by Chares of Lindos, the pupil of the above-mentioned Lysippus. This statue was 70 cubits [105 ft.] high, and 66 years after its erection it was overthrown by an earthquake [228 or 226], but even lying on the ground it is a marvel. Few people can get their arms around its thumb, and the fingers are larger than most statues. Vast caves yawn within its fractured limbs, while inside one sees great masses of rock, which he used to stabilize it when he erected it. It is recorded that it took 12 years to complete and cost 300 talents, which they seized from the sale of the siege-engines left by king Demetrius when he gave up his protracted siege of Rhodes in disgust [305].

Pliny, N.H. 34.41

“The colossus at Rhodes . . . stood seventy cubits high, and took the form of a Helios; the image of the god was subsequently determined by it alone. The artist expended so much bronze upon it, that it nearly caused a dearth in the mines; for the casting of the image became the industry of the world . . . .

Having built a base of white marble, he first fixed upon it the feet of the Colossus up to the ankle-joints, bearing in mind the symmetria of a god intended to stand to a height of 70 cubits; for the sole of the foot was already longer than other statues are high. For this reason it was impossible to hoist up the remainder and place it upon the feet, but the ankles had to be cast upon them, and, as when a house is being built, the whole work had to rise upon itself.

And so, while other statues are first modelled, then dismembered for casting in parts, then finally recomposed and erected, in this case when the first part had been cast, the second was modelled upon it, and when this had been cast, the third was built upon it, and the next again was done according to the same technique. For the individual metal sections could not be moved. When a new section had been cast upon those already completed, the spacing of the horizontal tie-bars and the joints of the framework were taken care of, and the stability of the stone blocks placed inside it was ensured.

In order to keep the plan of operations on a firm footing throughout, he heaped up a huge mound of earth around the completed limbs, burying the finished work and carrying out the next section of casting on that level. So having thus ascended little by little to the summit of his hopes, and having expended five hundred talents [30,000 lbs.] of bronze and three hundred [18,000 lbs.] of iron upon it, he made a god to equal the god, and produced by his daring a mighty work; for he had given the world a second sun to match the first.

Philo, On the Seven Wonders of the World 4
A mutilated Rhodian relief (Clara Rhodos 5.2: no. 35) is our only evidence for its overall appearance, which resembled the Getty bronze (Malibu 77.AB.30; Stewart 1990, fig. 618), though Rhodian Helios coins perhaps reproduce its head.

Another passage concerning Chares, written in Rome around 70 B.C. but probably derived from a second-century Hellenistic rhetorician, has been taken by Preisshofen 1970-1 as a manifesto for eclectic neo-classicism:

“Do not these schoolmasters, teachers of rhetoric to all the world, see that they are making asses of themselves when they seek to borrow the very thing they offer to bestow on others? . . . Chares did not learn from Lysippus how to make statues by Lysippus showing him a head by Myron, arms by Praxiteles, a torso by Polycleitus, but observed the master making all right in front of him; he could study the works of others, if he wished, on his own initiative. But these writers believe that those who want to learn [rhetoric] can best be taught by the methods of others.

Auctor ad Herrenium 4.6.9
To this view, the public for such statues — a common feature of late Hellenistic-Roman decor — would recognize the quotations and savor the resulting combinations of styles. Yet as Hallett 1983 points out, text and interpretation do not match: the author ridicules the idea, and Roman connoisseurship was never that discriminating: cf. T 4. Indeed in both T 144 and the later T 99, the point is purely literary and rhetorical, with no indication of a reference to real sculptural practice. Such eclecticism is to be explained on other grounds, such as the associations of the Achillean physique for pseudo-heroic portraiture, or the evident allure of often androgynous beings such as the pseudo-Polykleitan lamp holders (Zanker 1974; Hallett 1983) in a decorative, intimate context.

To return to the third century. With the loss of all their major works, the School's main attraction for the historian must lie in the personality of Xenokrates, sometimes dubbed the father of art history. He is probably identical with the Xenokrates son of Ergophilos ("Work-lover") who signed statues at Elateia and Oropos, and whose father (Marcadé 1953, 32-33) worked at Delphi around 300. Pliny cites him in his source-list for book 34, but in the text allows him just one sentence:

“Sources: L. Piso, Antias, Verrius, M. Varro, Cornelius Nepos, Rufus Messala, the poet Marsus, Julius Bassus who wrote in Greek on medicine, Sextus Niger who did the same, Fubius Vestalis. Foreign sources: Democritus, Metrodorus of Scepsis, Menachmus who wrote on metal-embossing, (toreutike), Xenokrates ditto , Antigonus ditto , Duris ditto, Heliodorus who wrote on Athenian votive offerings, Pasiteles who wrote on marvelous works of art, Timaeus who wrote on mineral drugs, Nymphodorus, . . . [thirteen other names of obscure and now-lost writers follow].

Pliny N.H. 1.34

“Xenocrates, a pupil of Tisicrates or, as some say, Euthycrates, surpassed both in the number of his statues. He also wrote books about his art.

Pliny N.H. 34.83
From these meager gleanings and an analysis of Parrhasios' disegno attributed to "Xenokrates and Antigonos" in N.H. 35.67-8 scholars have resurrected a powerful if partisan thinker, whose personality has done much to color our picture of the classical masters. After the analyses of the (presumed) echoes of his book in the commentaries to T 40, 42, 43, 62, and 124, little remains to be said of his work, except that very contemporary lessons may still be learned from it. If the rigorously formalistic Xenokrates, incomparably closer to his material than we, was able to bungle the relative chronology of Polykleitos, Myron, and Pythagoras so badly, then a humbler attitude on our part might well be in order, and in particular latter-day formalists, whether inspired by Krahmer 1923-4, Carpenter 1971, or others, might ask themselves whether their own schemes do not risk equally unpleasing results.

Select bibliography: (A) General: RE 3: 594, 2130-31 (Robert, 1899); 4: 2014 (Robert, 1901); 6: 1507-08, 1532-33 (Robert, 1909); 19: 1776 (Lippold, 1938); 5A: 149-50 (Lippold, 1934); 6A: 306 (Lippold, 1936); 9A: 1530-31 (Rumpf, 1967); ThB 4: 187-88 (Amelung, 1910); 6: 389-90 (Amelung, 1912); 8: 286 (Amelung, 1913); 11: 91-92, 93-94 (Amelung, 1915); 26: 540 (v[on] L[ücken] 1932); 33: 45, 217 (Bieber, 1939); 36: 343 (Bieber, 1947); Lippold 1950, 294-99, 317, 339; EAA 2: 123, 534-55, 991 (Carettoni, Amorelli, Guerrini, 1959); 3: 548-49, 554-55 (Cressedi, 1960); 6: 113-14 (Cressedi, 1965); 7: 664-66, 832-33, 1234 (Moreno, 1966); Bieber 1961b, 39-42, 50-51; M. Robertson 1975, 470-480; Pollitt 1986, 55-58; Stewart 1990, 200-01, 297-300, and index, s.v. 'Eutychides', 'Euthykrates', Xenokrates', etc.

(B) Sources: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 1516-56; Löwy 1885/1976 nos. 120-122a, 135, 154, 478, 493; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 206-12; Münzer 1895, 502-19 (Xenokrates); Jex-Blake 1896, xvi-xxxvi (Xenokrates); Schweitzer 1932/1963 (Xenokrates); Marcadé 1957, 128-30; Pollitt 1972, passim; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 49-52, 70-74, 193-94, 236-38, 261; Hebert 1989, nos. 28-103 (Colossus), 231, 335-39, 341-42, 347, 350, 356, 370, 374, 401, 403, 409, 429, 498, 517; Pollitt 1990, 108-111.

(C) Individual works: Picard 1944 (Demetrios); Maryon 1956; Haynes 1957 (Colossus); Dohrn 1960 (Tyche); Mingazzini 1966 (Anzio girl — not by Phanis); Künzl 1968, 42-45 (Tyche); Coarelli 1971-72: 99-106 (portraits in Rome); S. Lattimore 1972b (Ephesos athlete); Moreno 1973-4 (Colossus); Perry 1975 ("Adorans" — Rhodian provenience); Stewart 1978a (Oilpourer, Ephesos athlete); LIMC 1: 840-51 (Balty, 1981, Tyche); Frel 1982 (Getty Bronze); Stewart (Anne) 1984 (Demetrios); R.R.R. Smith 1988, 64-65, 156 no. 4 (Demetrios); Ridgway 1990a, 57, 125-28, 227-30, 233-36 (Getty Bronze, Demetrios, Adorans, Anzio Girl, Tyche); R.R.R. Smith 1991, 22-23, 52-53, 76-77 (Demetrios, Athletes, Tyche).

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