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Sculptors Active at Pergamon

The only list of such artists is given by Pliny:

“Several artists have represented the battles of Attalus and Eumenes against the Gauls: Isigonus, Pyromachus, Stratonicus, and Antigonus, who wrote books about his art.

Pliny, N.H. 34.84
For the possibility that the source was Antigonos himself see Gallet de Santerre 1983, 85-86 with T 145. At this point we move definitively into the "black hole" between the classical and neo-classical masters; for although T 1 dates Phyromachos to 296-293, there seems little doubt that he was really active considerably later (see below). To take each name in turn:

Epigonos son of Charios of Pergamon


Since Pliny's Isigonos is otherwise unknown, and he mentions Epigonos (known from inscriptions as the leading sculptor of late third-century Pergamon) a little later, the two are usually equated:

“Epigonus, who imitated almost all the subjects already mentioned [philosophers, orators, monarchs, athletes, divinities] excelled with his Trumpeter and Weeping Child pitifully caressing its murdered mother.

Pliny, N.H. 34.88
These are slim pickings, and only the lucky survival of a putative copy of the Trumpeter (Rome, Museo Capitolino 747; Stewart 1990, figs. 666-70) and the eight signed bases from the citadel allow the reconstruction of a strong personality who stands at the heart of Pergamene sculpture of the later third century; the mother-and-child group has yet to be identified (cf. Wenning 1984, 43 n. 277). On five of the bases only the signature is preserved, a sixth carried a portrait of a certain Leontes, and the remaining two bore victory dedications by the general Epigenes and the army, and by Attalos himself, for the Kaikos and other battles. Both were erected, it seems, shortly after 223, the date of the last victory mentioned.

“The Works of Epigonos

King Attalos [dedicated] these thank-offerings to Athena from his struggles in war:

(1): From the battle at the source of the Kaikos river against the Tolistoagian Galatians

(2): [From a battle against the Tolistoagians and Antiochos Hierax: hypothesis]

(3): From the battle at the Aphrodision against the Tolistoagian and Tektosagian Galatians and Antiochos (Hierax)

(4): From the battle in Hellespontine Phrygia

(5): From the battle at Koloe against Antiochos (Hierax)

(6): From the battle at [ ] in Karia against Antiochos (Hierax)

(7): [From a battle against E....... and the generals of Seleukos II Kallinikos: hypothesis]

(8): From the battle at [ ] against Lysias and the generals of Seleukos

Pergamon 8.1.21-8
The two extra victories are interpolated from other sources in order to make up the monument's full length. For possible replicas other than the Trumpeter see Wenning 1978, 1-16.

Select bibliography: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 1994, 2095; Löwy 1885/1976 nos. 154, 157-58; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 217-20; RE 6: 69-71 (Robert, 1909); ThB 10: 576-77 (Amelung, 1914); Lippold 1950, 341-42; Schober 1951, 53-68, 156-60; EAA 3: 368-9 (Cressedi, 1960); Bieber 1961b, 108-09; Künzl 1968, 118-27; 1971; Hansen 1971, 301-05; M. Robertson 1975, 533-34; Wenning 1978; Coarelli 1978; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 265-66; Ridgway 1984a, 103-04; H.-J. Schalles 1985, 68-104; Holscher 1985; Pollitt 1986, 84-90; Hebert 1989, nos. 343, 348; Pollitt 1990, 113; Ridgway 1990a, 284-90; Stewart 1990, 59, 62, 205-07, 210, 212, 216, 301-03, 325; R.R.R. Smith 1991, 99-104.

Phyromachos (and Nikeratos) of Athens



T 115 includes Phyromachos among the four great andriantopoioi of Greek sculpture — the only post-classical master thus honored. Since his date (T 1: 296-293) is fiercely controversial, it is best to begin by listing his works and those of his collaborator, Nikeratos son of Euktemon. Nikeratos was evidently the senior, since his name always comes first when the two sign together:

    • Asklepios and Hygieia in bronze, later taken to Rome
    • The Spartan king Demaratos and his mother sacrificing, in bronze
    • Glaukippe, later in Rome
    • Telesilla, later in Rome (T 136
    • Dedication of Sosikrates (several bronzes) in honor of Philetairos of Pergamon, on Delos (T 153
    • A statue (Nike or a portrait?) at Pergamon
    • Various portraits, athletes, philosophers in bronze
    Nikeratos and Phyromachos
    • Alkibiades in a chariot, in bronze
    • A bronze statue on Delos
    • A dedication to Athena at Pergamon
    • A statue at Kyzikos
    • Asklepios, in the Pergamene Asklepieion (T 154
    • Priapos dedicated by one Anaxagoras to the Graces
    • Antisthenes in bronze, later in Ostia (T 155
    • Celtic battle-groups (T 150
To take these in turn. Pliny's text for Nikeratos (2), N.H. 34.88, is problematic, but seems best resolved after the story in Hdt. 6.61-70; since Demaratos ended his days in Asia, the Demaratides of Pergamon possibly commissioned the piece. For Nikeratos (3) and (4), displayed among other famous (or notorious) women by Praxiteles, Silanion, Lysippos, Euthykrates, Kephisodotos, and others, see T 136, N.H. 7.34, and Coarelli 1971-72: 103. A revealing epigram is appended to Nikeratos (5):

“O blest Philetairos, our lord who for godlike poets
And skilful modellers shows equal care;
These proclaim your great power, the first with hymns,
The others with display of the skill of their hands.
Since once you brought swift Ares against the Celts, unlucky in war,
And drove them far beyond your land's frontiers,
These choice works of Nikeratos did Sosikrates
Set up for you, in sea-girt Delos,
As a memorial, famous in song; and not even Hephaistos himself,
Beholding their art would censure it.

IG 11.4.1105
Since Philetairos is called makarios , "blessed", the group (portraits or a battle-scene?) commemorates his death in 262, though may postdate it by no long interval: the Celtic victories of his successors (from ca. 237: T 152) are not mentioned, and the letter-forms closely resemble a Delian dedication datable on historical grounds to 277-239 (Marcadé 1957, 83). The phrase "choice works" suggests a well-established reputation. Despite e.g. Bieber 1961b, 107 and M. Robertson 1975, 533, the fallen Celt from the Agora of the Italians (N.B.) does not belong to this monument: Athens, NM 247; cf. Stewart 1990, fig. 838, with Marcadé 1969, 115.

As for the joint commissions, (1) combines Pliny, N.H. 34.80 and 88 (cf. Marcadé 1957, 102 verso ; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 260) and presumably relates to Alkibiades' exile in Asia (cf. Nikeratos no. 2), while (2)-(4) are inscribed bases, untitled. Before leaving Nikeratos, however, it is worth remarking that a Mikion son of Nikeratos was working at Delphi before 215 (Paus. 6.12.4, Paus. 15.6; SEG 17.196); though he signs as a Syracusan, he could easily have emigrated West and received citizenship there.

Finally, Phyromachos. The Asklepios (1) was plundered in 156 by the Bithynian king Prusias, but returned almost immediately at Rome's insistence:

“King Prusias of Bithynia, having failed in his design on Attalos, destroyed the sanctuary outside the walls, known as the Nikephorion, and plundered the temple. He also carried off the statues, the images of the gods, and the famous cult-image of Asklepios, supposed to be the work of Phyromachos, a piece of extraordinary workmanship, and plundered all the shrines.

Diodoros 31.35
For coin-pictures see Stewart 1990, fig. 679; Andreae 1990 has recently shown that a superb marble head in Syracuse is a copy. His attempt to connect it with a seated statue in Cherchel, however, is less convincing, for among other discrepancies the coins show that the Asklepios was standing. The only full-length marble copy seems to be a statue in Herakleion: Kranz 1989, pl. 47, 4.

Even though the ancient authors ignored it, the Antisthenes (3) has fared rather better, for the signed base, a renewal, was discovered at Ostia in 1969,

“Plato, poet of the Old Comedy. Lysikles made it.
Antisthenes the philosopher. Phyromachos made it.
Charite, prophetess in Delphi. Phradmon of Argos made it.

AJA 75 (1971): 434, pl. 95
This discovery led immediately to the association of Antisthenes' (hitherto) unattributed but clearly Hellenistic portrait type, known in a dozen marble replicas (Vatican, Sala delle Muse 288; Stewart 1990, fig. 678), with the great andriantopoios . These two works establish Phyromachos as a leading sculptor of the "baroque" style in Pergamon, perhaps even (given his stellar reputation, T 115), its instigator. This brings us, in turn, to the thorny question of his chronology.

Andreae 1980 and Andreae 1990 uses the similarity of the Asklepios and the Antisthenes to the head of the Naples giant from the "Small" dedication (Naples, Museo Nazionale 6014; Stewart 1990, fig. 688) to down-date Phyromachos to the mid second century. Yet since the original monument was probably set up at Athens in 200, then copied in Pergamon somewhat later (perhaps after Eumenes II's suppression of the great Celtic revolt in 166), these figures may well be copies of copies, and the comparanda belong around 200 rather than 160. Indeed, if Phyromachos really were active as late as this, as Andreae argues, one is entitled to ask why Pliny's source placed his floruitin 296-293, when "the art ceased", not in 156-153, when it "revived again" (T 1). This low chronology also conflicts with the evidence of T 153 that Nikeratos was active around or shortly after 250, and with the terminal date of ca. 200 established for the citation in T 150 if Antigonos (see below) were really its source. More compelling is Pliny's note in N.H. 35.135 that Phyromachos's pupil Herakleides of Macedon (a painter: N.H. 35.146) moved to Athens in 168; though we have no idea of his age at the time, this and T 153 locate Phyromachos's activity between the later 3rd century and ca. 170. This in turn explains his supposed floruit in 296-293 (T 1): though he fell in the "black hole" between the two dates, he was too famous to be ignored (T 115), and so Pliny's source naturally put him with his peers in the late classical period, not with his "inferiors" of the mid second century.

Pliny's mention of another painter taught by Phyromachos in N.H. 35.146 is powerful evidence that he was a painter himself, like some of the great sculptors of the classic period: an all-round virtuoso indeed.

Yet while Nikeratos and Phyromachos remain only vaguely dated, Stratonikos of Kyzikos (a well-known toreutes and maker of philosopher-portraits, N.H. 34.85, 90, etc.) appears on a Delian inscription of 235/4, where a certain kind of metal vessel is called "Stratonikean" (Inscriptions de Delos 313 line 33). Unfortunately, no further work of his is known.

Antigonos of Karystos


Following Wilamowitz' brilliant monograph of 1881(Wilamowitz-Moellendorf 1881), many scholars now accept that the Antigonus whom Pliny explicitly acknowledges as a source in T 145 and N.H. 35.67-8 is indeed the Antigonos of Karystos who wrote on painting and sculpture (T 78, cf. commentary to T 19, 35, and 41-2), and who also produced a Lives of the Philosophers. In his study of toreutike he used Xenokrates' book as a framework for material drawn both from his own research and from others', chiefly Douris of Samos (cf. T 124), enriching Xenokrates' rather dry analyses with appropriate biographical and anecdotal material. His work on marble sculpture (T 78, cf. commentary to T 19) was evidently published as a separate book. Learned in both iconography and texts, and attentive to epigraphy, he emerges as the true prototype of the modern art historian; predictably, his impact upon ancient writing about art was enormous, thanks to Varro's liberal use of his books.

Wilamowitz reconstructs his life as follows: a pupil of the philosopher Menedemos of Eretria (ca. 339-265), he spent his mature years traveling in the Aegean area, presumably both working as a sculptor and collecting material for his books. The later third century found him based at Pergamon, where he continued to practice his craft and (in his old age) wrote the Lives , the last of whose subjects died in 205. He himself cannot have lived much longer. His own sculpture is lost, and attempts to attribute the so-called Pasquino group (head of "Menelaos" from a copy of the group Vatican, Sala dei Busti 311) to him (Stewart 1990, figs. 745-47) are pure conjecture. If his Celtic groups were in the up-to-date Pergamene manner, as Attalid tastes presumably would have dictated, then his own private sympathies were apparently very different, leaning to the classical (cf. N.H. 35.67-8): a peculiarly Hellenistic dilemma. In this, as in so much else, he seems very much a man of his times.

Select bibliography: (A) General: Wilamowitz-Moellendorf 1881 (Antigonos); RE 1: 2421-42 (Robert, 1894); 17: 314-16; 20: 1033 (Lippold 1936, 1941); 4A: 327-28 (Lippold, 1931); ThB 1: 557 (Amelung, 1907); 25: 474-75 (Bieber, 1931); 26: 560 (v[on] L[ücken] 1932); 32: 161-62 (Bieber, 1938); Lippold 1950, 320-21; Schober 1951, 70-72; EAA 1: 416 (Ferri, 1958); 5: 475 (Conticello, 1963); 7: 516 (Moreno, 1966); Bieber 1961b, 107-08; Marcadé 1969, 55, 64, 70, 73-75, 77, 119, 262, 363 (Delos monuments); Coarelli 1971-2: 99-106 (portraits in Rome); Hansen 1971, 299-302, 314, 397-403; M. Robertson 1975, 531-33; Wenning 1978, 42-46; Stewart 1979, 6-25; Andreae 1980; H.-J. Schalles 1985, 39 n. 263, 48 n. 310, 101 n. 620, 108 n. 651; Hölscher 1985; Pollitt 1986, 84-85; Kranz 1989 (Phyromachos); Andreae 1990 (Phyromachos); Ridgway 1990a, 290-96, 301; Stewart 1990, 21, 23, 27-28, 37, 62, 64, 69, 207-09, 238, 244, 251, 255, 269-70, 286, 301-03, 324; R.R.R. Smith 1991, 36, 99-104.

(B) Sources: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 1998-2005; Jex-Blake 1896, xxxvi-xlv (Antigonos); Münzer 1895, 519-37 (Antigonos); Gallet de Santerre 1983, 265-67; Hebert 1989, nos. 188, 258, 265, 330, 332, 336, 340-41, 343-44, 349, 351, 484, 366, 517; Andreae 1990, 61-72 (Phyromachos); Pollitt 1990, 113-14.

After this, the texts fall silent, and though inscriptions tell of many other artists in Pergamon, all are mere names apart from the authors of the plunder rededicated to Athena Polias Nikephoros: these included Boupalos of Chios (T 18), Onatas of Aegina (T 36-38), Myron (T 43-45), Demetrios of Alopeke (T 91), Praxiteles (T 93-106), Silanion (T 119-20), and Xenokrates (T 145-46): Löwy 1885/1976 no. 154; Pergamon 8.1 nos. 46-50, 135-42.

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