previous next

The Fourth-century Virtuosi

Praxiteles of Athens


Praxiteles' career is documented by over a hundred references in the literary sources, ranging in date from Hellenistic through Byzantine, and eight inscribed bases with his signature (some of them later renewals). Since the names Praxiteles and Kephisodotos alternated in this family after ca. 350, it is likely that he was the son of the Kephisodotos of T 92. The family's history has been succinctly charted by J.K. Davies 1971 (no. 8334): T 1 gives him a floruit of 364-361, but a base (IG 22 no. 4390) signed by his son Kephisodotos (II) permits a rather more precise chronology, since it mentions Asklepios' priest for 344/3.

Now Kephisodotos II floruit in 296-293 (T 1), so this must have been a very early work of his, suggesting that he was born around 365, and his father (for the Athenian males rarely married before the age of 25) by ca. 390 at the latest. Praxiteles may have died shortly before 326, since by then Kephisodotos (II) was paying heavy naval liturgies (IG 22 nos. 1628, lines 57, 68, 74, 11; 1629, line 674; 1633, line 100), perhaps as heir to the family fortune — evidently little diminished by his father's spectacular liaison with the courtesan Phryne (T 100, 102). Praxiteles' Mantinea group (no. 19, below), done "in the third generation after Alkamenes" (T 94: cf. T 72-75 for the latter's dates, ca. 440-400) must therefore have been a late work. The case of his various statues for Phryne's home town, Thespiae (almost desolate between 374/3 and 338) is more complicated, and will be addressed below. Finally, to return to his floruit with Euphranor in 364-361 (T 1), this may derive from the date either of his most famous work, the Knidia (compare Pheidias and Polykleitos here), or of Euphranor's, the Battle of Mantinea (fought in 362).

Including Praxiteles' grandson (but not his later descendants, for whom see J.K. Davies 1971, 288-90 and Stewart 1979, 157-76), the family's chronology thus becomes:

Praxiteles: born ca. 400/390, active ca. 380/70-ca. 330/25

Kephisodotos (II): born ca. 365, active ca. 345-290

Timarchos: born ca. 360, active ca. 340-290

Praxiteles (II): active ca. 290-280

Praxiteles' known works are almost equally distributed between bronzes and marbles despite his admirers' clear preference for the latter (Pliny, N.H. 34.69; T 95); just as clearly, too, he was both an agalmatopoios and an accomplished andriantopoios , a maker of gods and men, despite the Hellenistic practice of listing him only among the former (T 115).


      Aphrodite and her circle

    • Aphrodite Euploia in Parian marble, at Knidos (T 95-100, 128
    • Aphrodite at Kos (T 95
    • Aphrodite (and Phryne) in marble, at Thespiae (T 101
    • Aphrodite in the shrine of Adonis at Alexandria in Caria
    • Aphrodite in bronze, later at Rome but destroyed by fire ca. A.D. 45
    • Peitho and Paregoros, grouped with the Eros, Himeros, and Pothos of Skopas around the ancient image of Aphrodite Praxis, in her temple at Megara
    • Eros in Pentelic marble, at Thespiae, later in Rome but destroyed by fire in A.D. 80 (T 101-2
    • Eros in marble at Parion (by the Sea of Marmora)
    • Eros in bronze

      Dionysos and his circle

    • Dionysos, Methe (Drunkenness) and a `famed' satyr in bronze, later in Rome
    • Dionysos at Elis
    • Dionysos of bronze
    • Hermes and the infant Dionysos in marble, in the Heraion at Olympia (problematic) (T 93
    • Maenads, Thyiads, Karyatids and Silenoi in marble, later in Rome
    • Thespiadai in bronze, destroyed with (5)
    • Satyr in bronze, in the Street of the Tripods at Athens (T 102
    • Satyr of Parian marble, in the temple of Dionysos at Megara


    • Apollo, Leto and Artemis, in the temple of Apollo at Megara
    • Apollo, Leto, and Artemis, on a base with the Muses and Marsyas piping, in the Letoion at Mantinea (T 94
    • Apollo in marble, later in Asinius Pollio's collection at Rome (T 167
    • Apollo Sauroktonos of bronze
    • Artemis Brauronia, on the Akropolis
    • Colossal Artemis, in her temple at Antikyra in Phokis
    • Demeter, Persephone, and Iakchos, in the temple of Demeter at Athens
    • Demeter, Persephone ("Flora"/Kore?) and Triptolemos in marble, later in Rome
    • Eubouleus, later in Rome
    • Hera enthroned between Athena and Hebe, in her temple at Mantinea
    • Colossal Hera Teleia and Rhea of Pentelic marble, in the temple of Hera at Plataia
    • Leto, in her temple at Argos
    • Pan, Danae, and the Nymphs, of Pentelic marble
    • Persephone raped by Hades, in bronze
    • Poseidon in marble, later with (20)
    • Trophonoios, in his temple at Lebadeia
    • The Twelve Gods, in the temple of Artemis Soteira at Megara
    • Agathosdaimon and Agathe Tyche of marble, later in Rome
    • Tyche, in her temple at Megara
    Victor-statues, portraits, and funerary sculpture
    • Archippe in bronze, dedicated by her mother Archippe in the Athenian Agora
    • A basket-bearer (`canephora') in bronze, later in Rome
    • A charioteer in bronze, completing a chariot group by (the younger) Kalamis
    • A courtesan laughing (Phryne?) in bronze
    • A diadoumenos in bronze, on the Akropolis
    • Phryne in marble, grouped with (3) at Thespiae (T 101
    • Phryne, later in Rome (T 136
    • Phryne in gold, on a column at Delphi
    • A soldier and his horse, on a tomb in the Kerameikos
    • Thrasymachos, dedicated by Archaias and Wanaxareta at Leuktra
    • Tomb monuments in marble, in the Kerameikos
    • A woman spinning (`catagusa') in bronze
    • A woman crowning herself (`stephanusa') in bronze
    • A woman mourning, in bronze
    • A woman putting on an armlet (`pseliumene') in bronze
    Architectural sculpture in marble
    • Statues in the altar-court of Artemis at Ephesos
    • Labors of Herakles, in the pediments of the Herakleion at Thebes
    Uncertain subject-matter
    • A statue at Olbia on the Black Sea (signature only preserved)
    • A statue on Delos (ditto)
    • Two statues in bronze, later at Pergamon (ditto — a renewal)
    • A bronze statue later in Rome (ditto — a renewal)
    • Dedication of Kleokrateia and another to Demeter and Kore, in the Agora
    • `Opora' in bronze
    Disputed and Misattributed Works
    • Aphrodite and Eros in marble, now in the Louvre (Roman: signature forged)
    • Dioskouros on Monte Cavallo, Rome (Roman: the other signed `Pheidias')
    • Eros/Alkibiades in marble, later in Rome (also given to Skopas)
    • Eros in the collection of Heius at Messana in Sicily, duplicate of (7), appropriated by Verres in 71 (a copy?)
    • Bust of the poet Ibykos from Crest (France) (Roman: signature forged)
    • `Janus' in marble, taken by Augustus from Alexandria to Rome (also given to Skopas)
    • Leto in emerald, at Myra (fanciful)
    • South side of the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos (T 107: also given to Timotheos)
    • Niobids in marble, later in Rome (also given to Skopas)
    • Tyrannicides in bronze, in the Agora (actually by Antenor)
The length of this list — far greater than one man could produce in a lifetime — suggests either the activities of a sizable workshop and/or following, or a phenomenon equivalent to that of the proudly-displayed Raphael in every self-respecting Italian church, or both. The two definite survivors are the Hermes (no. 13) and the Mantinea base (Apollo, Skythian, and Marsayas: Athens, NM 215); three Muses (Athens, NM 216); three Muses (Athens, NM 217; no. 19), and modern scholarship has added four others, the "Eubouleus" (Athens, NM 181), the Marathon Boy (Athens, NM Br. 15118), the Aberdeen head (London 1600), and the Leconfield Aphrodite (Stewart 1990, figs. 492-97, 499-500).

Of these, (13) and (19) were seen by Pausanias:

“[Continuing the text of T 16], at a later time other statues were dedicated in the Heraion: a marble Hermes carrying the baby Dionysos, the work of Praxiteles, and a bronze Aphrodite made by Kleon of Sikyon. The master of this Kleon, called Antiphanes, was a pupil of Periklytos, who was taught by Polykleitos of Argos. A nude, gilded child is seated before the Aphrodite; Boethos of Kalchedon was its toreutes [metal-smith]. Also brought there were statues from the so-called Philippeion, of gold and ivory, Eurydike the wife of Philip [lacuna] . .

“The Mantineans have a two-part temple, divided right across the middle by a wall. In one section of the temple is an image of Asklepios, the work of Alkamenes, while the other is a sanctuary of Leto and her children; Praxiteles made the images in the third generation after Alkamenes. On their base are carved the Muses and Marsyas playing the flutes.

Yet even so, the Hermes is probably Hellenistic (see most recently, Pfrommer 1984, 176; Morrow 1985, 83-84; Stewart 1990, 177), while the base is clearly a workshop product, like the Marathon Boy (Athens, NM Br. 15118). The Leconfield and Aberdeen heads look authentically Praxitelean and late fourth-century, so could be by either the master himself or by his sons. As for the "Eubouleus", though a Roman inscription certifies Praxiteles' authorship of this minor Eleusinian underworld deity, and the bust was found with a dedication to Eubouleus in the Ploutonion there, the large number of copies (eight, including two on the Akropolis, of all places) is disturbing. Perhaps he merely reproduced his Triptolemos or Iakchos/Dionysos (24, 25), both of whom could easily prompt such a rendering, and generate the copies we have. The piece is evidently cut down from a complete statue: the tooling around the shoulders, the high polish on the face, and the deep drilling in the hair are all secondary, perhaps repairs after the Kostovokian sack of A.D. 170. It is surely not an Alexander: see Furtwängler 1895/1964, 330-33; Lippold 1950, 241; Bieber 1964, 26; Vierneisel-Schlörb 1979, 375-78; and Stewart 1993, Chapter 4.2 for a range of opinions.

The meager fragments so far recovered from (52) appear early Hellenistic, and none seems particularly Praxitelean: see ÖJh 50 (1972-75): Beiblatt 462-67 and Grabungen 50 fig. 44. Finally, the head from Chios attributed by Marshall 1909 (Boston 10.70; cf. Stewart 1990, fig. 606) is now also universally accepted as post-Praxitelean, while the recent suggestion that limb-fragments found near the Knidian Aphrodite sanctuary, and a head, B.M. 1314, found in the Demeter sanctuary — a mile away! — are all from (1) (Love 1972, 75-76, 401 n.1) are contradicted by T 128, locating her among the works burnt in the Lauseion at Constantinople in A.D. 476: see further, Haynes 1972, 731-37.

Pliny places Praxiteles next after Pheidias and his star pupils in his catalogue of the great marble-workers, with the words:

“(20) I have mentioned the date of Praxiteles among those sculptors who worked in bronze [T1]; yet in his fame as a marble-worker he surpassed even himself. There are works by him at Athens in the Ceramicus, but first and foremost not only of this, but indeed in the whole world, is the Venus that many have sailed to Cnidus to see. He made two statues and put them up for sale together: one was draped and for that reason was preferred by the people of Cos, who had an option on the sale, even though it was the same price as the other, for they judged this to be the sober and proper thing to do. The Cnidians bought the rejected one, whose fame became immensely greater.

(21) Later King Nicomedes [of Bithynia, reigned 90-74] wanted to buy it, promising that he would pay off the city's entire foreign debt, which was enormous. The Cnidians, however, preferred to suffer anything but this, and not without reason, for with this statue, Praxiteles had made Cnidus famous. The shrine she stands in is completely open, so that one can view the image of the goddess from all sides, an arrangement (so it is believed) that she herself favored. The statue is equally admirable from every angle. There is a story that a man was once overcome with love for it, hid inside during the night, and embraced it, leaving a stain to mark his lust.

(22) In Cnidus there are other marbles by famous artists, a Father Liber [Dionysos] by Bryaxis, another and a Minerva too by Scopas, but there is no greater witness to the quality of Praxiteles' Venus that among all these it alone receives attention.

There follows a brief list of Praxitelean works at Rome. The erotic anecdotes are typical of Greco-Roman writing on Praxiteles: since unlike the classical bronze workers the marble sculptors inspired no substantial critical tradition, such erotica, often worked up into verse by Hellenistic and later poets, constitute our major source for the reception of his work in antiquity. The classic case is of course the Knidia:

“You'll say, when you look on Kypris in rocky Knidos,
That she, of stone herself, may set a stone on fire;
But when you see the sweet Desire in Thespiae, you'll say
He'll not just fire up stone, but coldest adamant.
Such were the gods Praxiteles made, each in a different land,
Lest all be burnt up by a double fire.

Anth. Pal. 16.167

“Paris saw me naked, and Anchises, and Adonis too.
I know of only three — so how did Praxiteles contrive it?

Anth. Pal. 16.168

“When we had taken sufficient delight in the garden plants, we entered the temple. The goddess is placed in the middle — she's a most beautiful statue of Parian marble — smiling just a little haughty smile. Since she is swathed in no clothes all her naked beauty is revealed, except that she unobtrusively uses one hand to hide her modesty. So great was the power of the craftsman's art that the hard unyielding marble has done justice to every limb. . . . The temple has a door on both sides for those who wish to see the goddess directly from behind so that no part of her be left unadmired. It's easy, therefore, for people to enter by this other door and survey the beauty of her back.

Deciding, then, to see all of the goddess we went round to the rear. And as the door was opened by the woman responsible for keeping the keys, immediate amazement at her beauty seized us. The Athenian who had been an impassive observer shortly before . . . suddenly shouted, "Herakles! What a well-shaped back, what generous flanks, what an armful to embrace! How delicately moulded the flesh of her behind, neither too thin and close to the bone, nor yet revealing too great an expanse of fat! And as for those precious parts sealed in on either side by the hips, how inexpressibly sweetly they smile! How perfect the shape of the thighs and shins as they stretch down to the ankle!" [The story of the stain follows].

Ps.-Lucian, Amores 13-14
[T99]: see T 58

“At the festival of the Eleusinia and at the festival of Poseidon, Phryne took off her cloak in full view of all the Greeks, let down her hair, and stepped into the sea; and it was with her as a model that Apelles painted his Aphrodite Anadyomene [Rising from the Sea]. And Praxiteles the sculptor fell in love with her and modeled his Knidian Aphrodite on her . . . . [More about their love-affair follows, ending with the dedication of the gold statue, no. 44 above].

Athenaeus 13.590
At first sight the temple described in T 98 (written ca. A.D. 300) seems incompatible with that of T 95; clearly either the Doric rotunda found by Love (Love 1972; Stewart 1990, fig. 502) had been remodeled to limit access to the statue or she had been moved elsewhere. The rotunda itself seems third-century, though could be a reconstruction, since fragments of an earlier building were also recovered at the site. For the copies, many of which seem to be taken from a mid or late Hellenistic recension (Pfrommer 1985), see Stewart 1990, figs. 503-07: from Italy (Vatican 812); from Syria (Malibu 72.AA.93); from Tralleis (Louvre 3518).

Of the other types recognizable in copy, the early Arles Aphrodite (Louvre 439; Stewart 1990, fig. 501; condemned as neo-classical by Ridgway 1976) resembles one shown with a statuette of a woman on Thespian coins, so could copy (3); the checkered career of the Thespian Eros (7), on the other hand, suggests that we should probably not expect monumental replicas:

“Later on Lysippos made a bronze Eros for Thespiae, and even before him Praxiteles made one of Pentelic marble. The story of Phryne and the trick she played on Praxiteles, I have already related elsewhere. The first to remove the image of Eros, it is said, was Gaius [Caligula] the Roman emperor; Claudius sent it back to Thespiae but Nero carried it off a second time to Rome. There a fire finally destroyed it... The statue of Eros at Thespiae which exists now was made by the Athenian Menodoros, who copied the work of Praxiteles. Here too and by Praxiteles also are an Aphrodite and a portrait of Phryne, both of marble.

And for the trick:

“[The Street of the Tripods at Athens] also contains some really remarkable works of art. For there is a Satyr, of which Praxiteles is said to have been very proud. And once Phryne asked him for the most beautiful of all his works, and he agreed, lover-like, to give it to her, but refused to say which he thought was the most beautiful. So a slave of Phryne rushed in with the news that fire had broken out in Praxiteles' studio, and that most of his works were lost, though not all. Praxiteles immediately ran out through the doors and said that all his labor was wasted if indeed the flames had caught his Satyr and Eros. But Phryne told him to stay and cheer up, for he had suffered nothing grievous, but by a ruse she had trapped him into confessing which of all his works was the most beautiful. So Phryne chose the Eros.

No. 8 also only appears on coins, though Hermary 1986 has now reconnected the (sadly, headless) Palatine Eros type with (7). With the Pouring Satyr (Dresden type: Stewart 1990, fig. 408) and the Dresden Artemis (REF: cf. 10, 16-19, 22, 23 — but which?) it too looks early, ca. 380-370 (cf. Arnold 1969, 161 and 210 for the chronology). On the other hand, the Leaning Satyr (Rome, Museo Capitolino 739; Stewart 1990, fig. 510) and two youthful Dionysos types at present known only from herms are clearly later, one approaching the Olympia Hermes (Ashmole 1922a, 242-4; cf. Stewart 1977a, 139).

The Apollo Sauroktonos (21; Louvre 441; Stewart 1990, fig. 509) is securely identified from Pliny N.H. 34.70 and Martial 14.172. The Gabii Artemis (Louvre MA 441; Stewart 1990, fig. 508) may copy the Brauronia (22); Treheux 1964 shows how this statue cannot date to 346/5, as often stated, but must belong between 345/4 and 336/5. Finally, the Apollo Lykeios described in Lucian, Anacharsis 7 — but without naming the author — and recognized both on Athenian coins and on numerous replicas in the round, is regularly attributed to him [REF]. Other suggestions, coin-pictures of lost works, and supposed versions on reliefs and other media, are more problematic, and cannot be addressed here.

Because Praxiteles wrote no book on his art and inspired no proper critical tradition about it, sources for his style are pitifully few in number. While Quintilian (T 3) only contrasts his tact in naturalistic representation with Demetrios (cf. T 91), others are sometimes a little more explicit:

“Neither poet nor historian, nor indeed any craftsman of literature can in all respects satisfy all his readers. For ... not even Pheidias, admired above all for the fabrication of ivory statues, nor Praxiteles, who masterfully embodied the emotions of the soul in works of stone, nor Apelles nor Parrhasios ... attained such success in their work that they could display a product of their skill that was totally above censure.

Diodoros 26.1

“Praxiteles used to say about Nicias, when questioned as to which one of his marbles he preferred above all: those to which Nicias has set his hand — so much value did he put upon his ability to articulate with color. It is not quite clear whether this artist or a namesake is the one people assign to the 112th Olympiad [332-329].

Pliny, N.H. 35.133

“It is not agreed who was the inventor of painting in wax and doing pictures in encaustic. Some think Aristides discovered it and Praxiteles later perfected it, but there were encaustic paintings that were considerably older, such as those of Polygnotos.

Pliny, N.H. 35.122
Praxiteles is also regularly cited by writers on phantasia (T 54) and in the various disputes concerning the status of the artist, and by the Augustan period his popularity was prompting quite an industry in forgeries:

“Then there are those who in our own age
Find better prices for their new-made works
By signing marbles with "Praxiteles,"
Silverware with "Mys," and paintings, "Zeuxis."

Phaedrus, Fabulae 5, prologue

Select bibliography: (A) General: Furtwängler 1895/1964, 307-347; Rizzo 1932; ThB 27: 354-63 (Bieber, 1933); Picard 1935-1971 (vol. 3): (Picard/Manuel) 406-632, (vol. 4): 237-40; Lacroix 1949, 302-16; Lippold 1950, 234-43; RE 22: 1787-1809 (Lippold, 1954); EWA 11: 562-65 (Ashmole, 1958); Bieber 1961b, 15-23; EAA 6: 423-31 (Becatti, 1965); Boardman 1967, 436-39; Richter 1970d, 199-206; Carpenter 1971, 169-75; M. Robertson 385-96, 513-14; Ridgway 1990, 90-93; Stewart 1990, 175-80, 277-81, and index, s.v. 'Praxiteles'.

(B) Sources: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 1190-1300; Löwy 1885/1976 nos. 76, 76a, 154, 488-89, 502-04; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 151-64; Jex-Blake 1896, lxix; Marcadé 1957, 114-22; J.K. Davies 1971 no. 8334; Pollitt 1974, passim; Coarelli 1971-72: 99-106; Wilkinson 1979, 91-92, cf. 58-60 (Phryne); Lauter 1980; Harward 1982a; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 46, 62-63, 74, 207, 238-42; Corso 1988, 1990; Pollitt 1990, 84-89, 170, 223.

(C) The Hermes controversy: Blümel 1927, 37-48; Carpenter 1931; Blümel 1944; Carpenter 1954; Adam 1966, 124-28; R.M. Cook 1977 (and the Aberdeen head); Pfrommer 1984, 176 and Morrow 1985, 83-84 (sandals).

(D) Other works and attributions: Imhoof-Blumer 1887/1964, lx, lxv, lxx-lxxi, 6-8, 37-38, 73, 93-94, 111-12, 124-25, 140-42, 145, 154, 159-60; Marshall 1909 (Chios head); Ashmole 1922a, 242-44 (Dionysos); Blinkenberg 1933 (Knidia); Rodenwaldt 1943 (Knidia); Lacroix 1949, 318-20; Tréheux 1964; Künzl 1968, 16-20 (Sauroktonos, Hermes); Arnold 1969, 161, 210 (chronology); Love 1972 (Knidia); Haynes 1972, 731-37 (Knidia); Maxmin 1973a, Maxmin 1973b (Sauroktonos); Borbein 1973, 157, 159-64, 173-78, 188-94, 199-205; Ridgway 1976 (Arles Aphrodite); Comstock & Vermeuleno. 56 (Chios head); Stewart 1977c (Leconfield head); Vierneisel-Schlörb 1979 nos. 28, 31-32 (Artemis, Knidia, Satyr and others); Pfrommer 1980 (Eros); Haskell 1981, 151-53, 198-99, 209-10, 330-31 (Sauroktonos, Satyr, Gabii Artemis, Knidia) LIMC 2.1: 49-52, 63-64 (Delivorrias, 1984, Aphrodites), 193-94 no. 39 (Palagia, 1984, Lykeios), 378 no. 53 (Simon, 1984, Sauroktonos), 637 no. 137, 640 no. 190 (Kahil 1984, Artemis); Pfrommer 1985 (Knidia — Hellenistic variants and original); LIMC 3: 856 nos. 6-7, 862 no. 78 (Hermary 1986, Erotes).

The Mausoleum Sculptors

The only detailed descriptions of the Mausoleum are by Vitruvius and Pliny:

“Satyrus and Pytheus wrote a book on the Mausoleum. On these men good fortune conferred the greatest and highest tribute. For their works of art are judged to possess merits renowned for all time and unfading for eternity, and from their deliberations were produced works of high distinction. For example, individual artists undertook one side each, competing against each other in embellishing and scrutinizing the work: Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas, and Praxiteles, while some add Timotheus. The outstanding quality of their art caused the fame of the building to be included among the Seven Wonders of the World.

Vitruvius 7. Praef. 12-13

“The rivals and contemporaries of Scopas were Bryaxis, Timotheus, and Leochares, whom we must discuss together because they all worked on the carvings for the Mausoleum. This was the tomb built by Artemisia for her husband Mausolus, the satrap of Caria, who died in the 2nd year of the 107th Olympiad [351; he actually died in 353]. These artists were chiefly responsible for the work's inclusion among the Seven Wonders of the World. On the North and South sides it extends for 63 feet [actually 120 feet] but the length of the facades is less, giving a total circumference of 440 feet. It rises to a height of 25 cubits [probably the colonnade alone] and is enclosed by 36 columns . . . Scopas carved the east side, Bryaxis the north, Timotheus the south, and Leochares the west, but before they had finished, the queen died [351]. However, they refused to stop working until it was complete, since they had decided that it would be a monument both to their own glory and to that of their art, and even today their rivalry persists. A fifth artist also joined them. For above the colonnade is a pyramid that equals the building's podium in height, tapering in 24 steps to its peak; at the top is a marble chariot-and-four that Pythis made. With this added, the building's total height comes to 140 feet.

Pliny, N.H. 36.30-1
The information given in these passages has been endlessly disputed, though recent excavation has resolved some problems; for a conjectural restoration of the building and a selection of the sculpture see Stewart 1990, figs. 524-38: head of Apollo (London 1058), bearded male (London 1054), Persian rider (London 1045), panther (London 1095), Amazon frieze (London 1014), Amazon frieze (London 1020), Carian lady and nobleman (London 1000) (London 1001), lion (London 1075), horse from the chariot group (London 1002); for earlier attempts, see the sketches in Pollitt 1990, 197 fig. 7.

As to personalities, Pytheos of Priene (a noted theorist of the Ionic order) was clearly the building's architect and carved the great four-horsed chariot that crowned its summit; according to Vitruvius 1.12 and 7 Praef. 12, he later went on to design the temple of Athena Polias at Priene, which was still under construction when Alexander passed through in 334.

Select bibliography: RE 24: 372-459 (Riemann, 1963); Waywell 1978, 79-84; Carter 1990.

Satyros, who co-authored the book on the building (T 107), was surely the Satyros son of Isotimos of Paros who made statues of Maussolos's successors, Ada and Idrieus, at Delphi around 345 (Marcadé 1953, 93); he may have been Maussolos's court sculptor. Timotheos has received attention above (T 88-90). This leaves Bryaxis, Leochares, and Skopas.

Bryaxis (I) of Athens


After Fraser's work on the Sarapis cult (Fraser 1972, 246-76) it now seems quite clear that two sculptors named Bryaxis were active between 370 and 270; this is supported by T 149, which distinguishes an Athenian Bryaxis — presumably the sculptor of T 107-08, active ca. 353-351 — from the maker of the Sarapis, installed in the Alexandrian Serapeion around 286-278. This later Bryaxis was probably the one responsible for the Apollo at Daphne around 300-281 (T 147-8, below), and perhaps the portrait of Seleukos mentioned along with an Asklepios by Pliny, N.H. 34.73. Not to separate the two in this way entails that the Bryaxis born ca. 390 (for the Mausoleum was begun in the 360s) would be almost a centenarian when hired by the Seleukids and Ptolemies.

This leaves precious little for Bryaxis I. For not only is it not clear which of the other attested works (five colossal bronze divinities in Rhodes, a Zeus, Apollo and lions at Patara in Lykia, a marble Dionysos at Knidos (T 95), an Asklepios at Megara, and a Pasiphae later in Rome) belong to which sculptor, but the finds from the North side of the Mausoleum are too heterogeneous to provide a firm base for attributions. Only a tripod-base from Athens with three horsemen in relief, signed by Bryaxis in a mid fourth-century script, can be securely attributed to him; its powerfully-built horses have (predictably) been seized upon by those anxious to discover him in he extant slabs of the Amazon frieze: most favored is B.M. 1019. Finally, a base from Rome, now lost, bore the words "the work of Bryaxis" in Latin, clearly a renewal.

Select bibliography (excluding works attributable to Bryaxis II): Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 1316-27; Löwy 1885/1976 no. 492; Imhoof-Blumer 1887/1964, 5-6; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 175-76; RE 3: 916-20 (Robert, 1899); ThB 5: 164-66 (Amelung, 1911); Lacroix 1949, 318-20; Lippold 1950, 257-60; Picard 1935-1971 (vol. 4): (Picard/Manuel) 1-108; EAA 2: 196-99 (Vlad Borelli 1959); Picard 1963, 854-915; Boardman 1967, 442-43; Pharaklas 1969 (tripod-base); Richter 1970d, 217-19; Coarelli 1971-72: 99-106; M. Robertson 1975, 457-59; Waywell 1978, 79-84; Hornblower 1982, 240-44; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 39, 82, 245; Jeppesen 1986; Pollitt 1990, 91-92, 196-98; Ridgway 1990a, 95-97; Stewart 1990, 180-182, 282.

Leochares of Athens


Also an Athenian, Leochares is the best documented of this entire group except for Skopas. Even though Pliny includes him not within his informative `Xenokratic' chapters but — like Bryaxis and Demetrios — in a dry alphabetical catalogue of uncertain origin (N.H. 34.79: cf. T 110), others remark upon his work, and no fewer than 10 signed bases survive. His attested output is as follows:

    • Zeus Brontaios in bronze, later in Rome (T 110
    • Zeus Polieus on the Akropolis
    • Zeus and Demos in Piraeus
    • Apollo outside the temple of Apollo Patroos in the Agora (T 118
    • Apollo with a diadem, in bronze (T 110
    • The eagle of Zeus abducting Ganymede, in bronze (T 110
    • Alexander and family in the Philippeion at Olympia, in chryselephantine (T 93, 111)
    • Alexander and Krateros hunting lions in the royal Persian park at Sidon, at Delphi, in bronze (with Lysippos; T 123, 124)
    • The pankratiast Autolykos in bronze, in the Prytaneion at Athens (T 110
    • Isokrates, dedicated at Eleusis by the Athenian general Timotheos
    • Lysippe, Pandaites, Myron, Pasikles, Timostrate, and Aristomache in bronze, dedicated on the Akropolis by Pandaites and Pasikles of Potamos (with Sthennis)
    • The priest Charmides, later in Rome
    Uncertain subjects
    • Dedication by a son of Amphilochos to Asklepios, in the Athenian Asklepieion
    • Dedication by Archeneos and 9 others, in the Agora
    • Dedication by a priest (?) in the Agora
    • Dedication by Hippiskos son of Aischylos, on the Akropolis
    • Dedication by a man from Oion, on the Akropolis
    • Dedication on the Akropolis
    • Dedication by Thrasylochos son of Kephisodoros, at Oropos
    Architectural sculpture
    • West side of the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos (T 107-8
    Disputed and problematic works
    • Two Apollos, allegedly bought by Plato for Dionysios II of Syracuse (T 109
    • Ares at Halikarnassos, an akrolith (given by some to Timotheos)
    • The slave 'Lango' in bronze, probably by Lykiskos
Though with the partial exception of (20) none of these works survives in the original, several of them can be dated and furnish unusually full information as to Leochares' career. The first date is given by Pliny (T 1), who places his floruit very early, in 372-369; some try to connect this with (1), arguing on circumstantial grounds that it was perhaps made for Megalopolis, founded after the Spartan defeat at Leuktra in 371. A remark in a letter purportedly sent by Plato to Dionysios II of Syracuse in 365/4 also stresses his youth, in connection with (21):

“About the things you wrote asking me to send you, I bought the Apollo and Leptines is bringing it; it is by a fine young artist named Leochares. There was another work there by him that I thought very elegant, so I bought it to give to your wife.

Yet philosophers dispute this letter's authenticity, and indeed the transaction is hardly conceivable before the Hellenistic period. More securely, (10) must predate Timotheos' exile in 356/5, while (20) belongs around 368-350. The mention of Asklepios' priest Teisias puts (13) in 338/7, overlapping (7), begun just after the battle of Chaironeia in 338 and still unfinished at Philip's murder in 336 (T 111); (11) can hardly pre-date ca. 330, for Pandaites was born ca. 351 (cf. J.K. Davies 1971 no. 643); and finally, though the hunt commemorated by (8) occurred either in 333 or when Alexander was campaigning in central Asia in 331-327, its inscription (T 123) records that Krateros died before its dedication. Since he was killed in 320, and Plutarch, Alexander 40 records that Lysippos made some of the figures, it is arguable that Leochares also died at around this time, and Lysippos was hired to complete the work.

When one scans his oeuvre, Leochares emerges as something of a complementary figure to Praxiteles, albeit at a rather lesser level of achievement. For while selecting the same genres (divinities and portraits) as Praxiteles, he now concentrated upon male gods, specialized in bronze, and worked mainly in Attica. There are hints of a distinctive political strategy too, for while from ca. 340 Praxiteles' sons were busy sustaining Athens' navy and working for the patriot Lykourgos and his circle (cf. T 134-36, below), he cultivated the Macedonians and their partisans (7, 8, perhaps 13) — sympathies perhaps prefigured in the commission for the panhellenist and eventually pro-Macedonian Isokrates (12).

If only his sculpture had survived in like measure to the testimonia. Nothing significant was found in situ on the West side of the Mausoleum (Waywell 1978, 11-12), and repeated attempts at speculative attribution have never gained universal support, even though Pliny's account seems unusually full (caution: no. 22 and T 4):

“Leochares made an eagle which is aware of just what it is abducting in Ganymede and for whom it is carrying him, and therefore refrains from injuring the boy with its claws, even through his clothing; [he also made] the pancratiast victor Autolycus, in whose honor Xenophon wrote his Symposium , a Jove the Thunderer now on the Capitol, praised above all others, a diademed Apollo, Lyciscus, Lango, a boy with the crafty cringing look of a household slave.

Pliny N.H. 34.79
The description of the Ganymede (6), probably based on a Hellenistic epigram (cf. Anth. Pal. 12.221: Hadrianic) has led many to see this in a heavily restored Vatican statuette, The Zeus (1) is pictured on Roman coins (most recently, Zanker 1988, 108, fig. 89a), and has been recognized in a series of fine Roman bronze statuettes (most recently, Kozloff-Mitten 1988, no. 30, correcting the attribution to Lysippos favored in Stewart 1990, 190-91, fig. 568). Unfortunately the Autolykos (often gratuitously given to Lykios son of Myron: but see Gallet de Santerre 1983, 257) and the diademed Apollo (cf. Paus. 1.8.4) seem lost forever.

Of the others, (4) — cf. T 118 — is regularly identified with the Belvedere Apollo (Vatican 1015; Stewart 1990, fig. 573). Two points are at issue here: the status of the Belvedere copy, and the attribution itself. As to the first, a statuette in Arezzo certifies the motif (Bocci Pacini, P., and Nocentini Sbolci, S., Museo Nazionale di Arezzo. Catalogo di Sculture Romane [Rome 1983]: no. 17: contra, Deubner 1979, 225 n. 6), while plaster fragments from Baiae (Landwehr 1985, 104-111 nos. 64-76) establish its classical pedigree. Concerning the attribution, Hedrick 1984 conclusively identifies Leochares' statue (T 118) as an Apollo Pythios, which helps to support the traditional view, since the Baiae casts prove that the type was indeed prepubescent, and the epithet derives from his boyhood battle against the Pythoness at Delphi, when "the lord Apollo, the far-shooter / shot a strong arrow at her / and she lay there, torn with terrible pain" (Homeric Hymn to Pythian Apollo 356-59). Though the Versailles Artemis type is often attributed to the same hand, Pfrommer 1984 has shown that her sandals are late Hellenistic, and argues strongly for a date ca. 100.

As to the portraits, (7) is described by Pausanias:

“[The Philippeion at Olympia] was built by Philip after the fall of Greece at Chaironeia [338]. Here are displayed statues of Philip and Alexander, and with them is Philip's father Amyntas. These works too are by Leochares, and are of ivory and gold, like the portraits of Olympias and Eurydike.

Cf. T 93; though hard evidence is lacking, the so-called 'Alkibiades'/Philip and Akropolis-Erbach Alexander (Athens, Acropolis 1331; Stewart 1990, fig. 560; Stewart 1993, figs. 4-5) are often considered replicas of this group, though opinion is divided upon whether the Akropolis head is fourth century (but recut), late Hellenistic, or even Roman. I incline to a fourth-century date. (8) is apparently reflected in a relief from Elis, now in Paris, while the Isokrates preserved in a single poor copy in the Villa Albani could equally reproduce (10) or the statue set up after his death in 338 (Paus. 1.18.8; Plut. Mor. 839B; cf. Richter 1965, 208-10). Finally, of the numerous attempts to resurrect Leochares from the debris of the Mausoleum (20), perhaps the most attractive is still Ashmole's (Ashmole 1951a), who establishes a relatively tight association between B.M. slabs London 1013, London 1014, London 1015, London 1037 (now stripped of its lower part: Cook 1976, 53-4), the Akropolis Alexander (Athens, Acropolis 1331), and the Demeter of Knidos, London 1300 (Stewart 1990, figs. 529-31, 560, 572). None of these seems incompatible with the Belvedere Apollo, discussed above.

If all this is not fantasy, then it reveals a sculptor who is compositionally daring yet in other respects costively conservative: an unorthodox but strangely appealing address that first surprises then reassures the spectator. Whether attributable to Leochares or not, the combination can hardly have failed to be a winner.

Select bibliography: (A) General: RE 12: 1992-98 (Lippold, 1925); ThB 23: 66-8 (Bieber, 1929); Lippold 1950, 268-72; Picard 1954, 1-108; EAA 4: 565-6 (Arias, 1961); Bieber 1961b, 62-3; Picard 1935-1971 (vol. 4): (Picard/Manuel) 754-854; Richter 1970d, 220-22; M. Robertson 1975, 460-63); Ridgway 1990a, 93-95; Stewart 1990, 179, 180-82, 189, 191, 237, 282-84.

(B) Sources: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 1301-1315; Löwy 1885/1976 nos. 77-83, 505; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 172-75; Jex-Blake 1896, lxx, lxxii; Donnay 1959; J.K. Davies 1971 no. 643; Peppa-Delmouzou 1980, 430-33; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 256-58; Jeppesen 1986; Pollitt 1990, 90-91, 196-98.

(C) Individual works: Imhoof-Blumer 1887/1964, 137-38; Rodenwaldt 1943 (Apollo); Ashmole 1951a (Mausoleum, Demeter, Alexander); Bieber 1964, 24-25 (Alexander); Richter 1965, 105-07, 208-10, 255 (`Alkibiades'/Philip, Isokrates, Alexander); Künzl 1968, 27-31 (Ganymede); Arnold 1969, 210 (chronology); Borbein 1973, 91-97, 143-45, 150-53 (Krateros, Apollo); Graeve 1974 (Alexander); Moreno 1974, 14-15, 33-37, 86-105 (Krateros); Waywell 1978, 79-84 (Mausoleum); Vierneisel-Schlorb 1979, 343 n. 41-42, 373, 378 n. 29 (Demeter and Kore, Alexander); Deubner 1979 (Apollo); Haskell 1981, 148-51 (Apollo); Hornblower 1982, 243-44 (Mausoleum); Daltrop 1983 (Apollo); Hedrick 1984 (Apollo); LIMC 2.1: 198 no. 79, 381 no. 57 (Palagia, Simon 1984, Apollo); Pfrommer 1984 (Artemis); Landwehr 1985, 104-11 nos. 64-76 (Apollo); Kozloff-Mitten 1988, no. 30 (Zeus); Ridgway 1990a, 135 (Alexander); Stewart 1993, Chapters 4.2, 9.3 (Alexander and 'Alkibiades'; Krateros group).

Skopas of Paros


First-century Delian inscriptions record restoration work by Aristandros of Paros, son of Skopas; if the sequence holds, the Aristandros of Paros active around 400 (T 86) thus becomes the great Skopas' father. Skopas' recorded works, all marbles but for no. 1, are:

    • Aphrodite Pandemos riding a goat, at Elis
    • Aphrodite and Pothos, in Samothrace (T 112
    • Aphrodite, later in Rome (T 112
    • Apollo Kitharoidos at Rhamnous, taken to Rome by Augustus
    • Apollo Smintheus and a mouse, at Chryse in the Troad
    • Ares, seated and colossal, later in Rome (T 112
    • Artemis Eukleia at Thebes
    • Asklepios and Hygieia at Gortys in Arkadia
    • Asklepios and Hygieia at Tegea (T 113
    • Athena at Knidos (T 95
    • Athena Pronaos at Thebes
    • Dionysos at Knidos (T 95
    • Hekate at Argos
    • Hermes (a herm)
    • Hestia, later in Rome (T 112
    • Leto and Ortygia with the babies Apollo and Artemis, at Ephesos
    • Two Erinyes (Furies) flanking another by Kalamis, at Athens
    • Eros, Himeros and Pothos, grouped with the Peitho and Paregoros of Praxiteles around the ancient Aphrodite Praxis at Megara
    • Herakles at Sikyon
    • Basket-bearer ('kanephoros') and two pillars, later in Rome (T 112
    • A Maenad (T 114
    Architectural sculpture
    • Poseidon, Thetis, Achilles, and their train, later in the Circus Flaminius at Rome (T 112
    • Reliefs on one of the columns of the temple of Artemis at Ephesos
    • East side of the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos (T 107-8
    • Temple of Alea Athena at Tegea (architect: T 113
    Uncertain or spurious
    • The dying children of Niobe, later in Rome (also given to Praxiteles)
    • 'Janus' taken by Augustus from Alexandria to Rome (ditto)
    • Eros/Alkibiades with a thunderbolt, later in Rome (ditto)
    • Artemis, supposedly in an Athenian private collection ca. A.D. 150
The Mausoleum apart (24), none of these is exactly datable, and the floruit of T 1 is clearly wrong. What other information we have tends to cluster in the 340s and 330s. The old temple at Tegea (25) was burnt in 395 (T 113), but it now seems that Skopas's replacement postdates the Mausoleum (Norman 1986), with which it shares the same foot-module. A relief with Ada, Idrieus, and Zeus Stratios found at the site and dated to 345 was presumably dedicated by a worker he brought back with him from Halikarnassos. The Temenos at Samothrace, probably the location of (2) and provided with coffer reliefs in the style of the Tegea heads (25) was built in the 330s. (7) and (11), on the other hand, must predate the destruction of Thebes in 335. Finally, (23) was also begun around 340, to replace the temple burnt in 356.

Skopas' career is thus only documented from ca. 360 to ca. 335, though most studies assume that it began in the 370s, and make him an exact contemporary of Praxiteles (T 112). In fact, Praxiteles apparently collaborated on (18) and was a rival candidate for (26)-(28); elsewhere, the two are often paired by Greek and Roman writers, Pliny included:

“Scopas rivals these [Praxiteles and his sons] in merit. He made the Venus and Pothos which are worshipped with the most solemn ritual in Samothrace, also the Palatine Apollo, the seated and much-praised Vesta in the Gardens of Servilius, two turning-posts beside her (duplicated in Asinius [Pollio's] collection, where his Basket-bearer is also to be found). But most highly esteemed are those works in the shrine of Cn. Domitius in the Circus Flaminius: Neptune himself, Thetis, Achilles, Nereids seated on dolphins, sea-dragons, or sea-horses, Tritons, the chorus of Phorcys, swordfish and many other sea-creatures, all carved by the same hand, a magnificent achievement, even if it had taken his whole life. As it is, apart from the works just mentioned and those unknown to us, there is furthermore the colossal seated Mars by the same artist in the temple of Brutus Callaecus, also in the Circus, and especially a nude Venus, that surpasses the one by Praxiteles and would have brought fame to anywhere else but Rome.

Pliny N.H. 36.25-6
Given the limitations of ancient connoisseurship (T 4), some caution is necessary, but such a consistent pattern of association may shed unexpected light on Skopas' style, at least in those genres where their work overlapped: see Stewart 1977a, 2-3, 104, and further below.

Of the 25 secure works, fragments of only (25) and perhaps (9) and (22) can be recognized in the original, thanks to unusually detailed accounts in the literature (cf. T 112):

“(45) [The old temple at Tegea] was completely destroyed by a sudden fire when Diophantos was archon at Athens, in the 2nd year of the 96th Olympiad, when Eupolemos of Elis won the foot-race [395]. The present temple is far superior to all other temples in the Peloponnese on many grounds, but particularly as regards its embellishment and size. The first colonnade is Doric, and the one after that is Corinthian; also [in]side the temple stand Ionic columns. I learnt that its architect was Skopas of Paros, who made the images in many places in ancient Greece, and some besides in Ionia and Caria.

Concerning the pedimental sculptures, on the front is the Hunt of the Kalydonian Boar. The boar stands right in the center, and on one side are Atalante, Meleager, Theseus, Telamon and Peleus, Polydeukes, and Iolaos — Herakles' companion in most of his Labors — and the sons of Thestios and brothers of Althaia, Prothoos and Kometes. On the other side of the boar comes [. . . lacuna? . . .], Epochos supporting Ankaios who is now wounded and has dropped his axe, then Kastor, Amphiaraos son of Oikles, then Hippothous son of Kerkyon, son of Agamedes, son of Stymphalos. The last figure is Peirithous. On the rear pediment is the battle between Telephos and Achilles on the plain of Kaikos.

(46) The ancient image of Alea Athena was carried off by the Roman emperor Augustus, together with the tusks of the Kalydonian boar, after he defeated Antony and his allies [31], among whom were all the Arcadians except the Mantineans . . . . It is in the Forum of Augustus, right in the entrance, . . . made throughout of ivory, the work of Endoios.

(47) The present image at Tegea was brought from the deme of Manthyrenses, and was surnamed by them "Hippia" . . . On one side of it stands Asklepios, on the other Hygieia, works of Skopas of Paros in Pentelic marble. Of the votives in the temple the following are the most notable....

On the Tegea sculptures see Stewart 1977a and Stewart 1990, figs. 540-45: head of Telephos (Tegea Museum 60), head of a warrior from the west pediment (Athens, NM 180), head supposedly from Tegea (Malibu 79.AA.1); the Getty head (Stewart 1982b; Hafner 1984) is a fake. The Grimani Triton in Berlin is a likely survivor from (22), whose base is often thought to be the so-called 'Ahenobarbus Ara' (marriage of Poseidon and Amphitrite (Munich 239), census, with Mars looking on (Louvre MA 975; Stewart 1990, figs. 843-46), though the arguments deployed in support are both tortuous and ultimately unconvincing. P.W. Lehmann 1973 and P.W. Lehmann1982 adds the Samothracian coffer reliefs (cf. no. 2), together with the architecture of the propylon to the Temenos itself.

As to copies, replicas of (2) or (18), (4) — cf. T 90 (Timotheos no. 2) — (19), and (21) have been identified with varying degrees of certainty, and the Lansdowne-type Herakles (Malibu 70.AA.109) and Meleager (Vatican 490) added to the list (Stewart 1990, figs. 546-49). Most secure among these is the Maenad (21), thanks once again to an extended description:

“Skopas, as if moved by some inspiration, imparted to the making of his statue the divine frenzy that possessed him. Why should I not describe to you from the beginning the inspiration of this work of art?

The statue of a Maenad, wrought from Parian marble, has been transformed into a real Maenad. For the stone, while retaining its own nature, yet seemed to depart from the law which governs stone; what one saw was really an image, but art carried imitation over into actual reality. You would have seen that, hard as it was, it became soft to resemble the feminine, though its vigor corrected the femininity, and that, though it lacked the power to move, it knew how to dance in Bacchic frenzy, responding to the god as he entered within.

When we saw her face we stood speechless, so clear upon it was the evidence of sense perception, though perception was not present; so clear was the intimation of Bacchic divine possession stirring Bacchic frenzy, though no such possession aroused it; and as many signs of passion that a soul goaded by divine madness displays, these blazed out from it, fashioned by art in fashion indescribable. The hair fell free to be tossed by the wind, and was divided to show the glory of each strand; this most of all transcended reason, since, stone though the material was, it obeyed the lightness of hair and yielded to imitation of its tresses, and though void of life's vitality it was vital withal.

Indeed you might say that art has harnessed the impulses of growth, so unbelievable is what you see, so visible is what you do not believe. It actually even showed hands in motion — for it was not waving the Bacchic thyrsos, but carried a victim as if crying "Euoi"! — sign of a more poignant madness. And the figure of the kid was livid in color, and the stone took on the appearance of dead flesh; and though the material was one and the same, it severally imitated life and death . . . .

Kallistratos, Descriptions 2.1-4 (selections)
Finally, as well as (19), (1) and perhaps (5) are pictured on coins.

Now Hellenistic critics recognized Skopas' forte to be statues of the gods (agalmata), a genre unfortunately very poorly represented among the surviving monuments:

“Sculptors of gods (agalmatopoioi ): Pheidias, Praxiteles, Skopas.
Sculptors of men (andriantopoioi ): Myron, Lysippos, Polykleitos, Phryomachos.

Laterculi Alexandrini 7.3-9
Yet it is here if anywhere that the heroic manner of the extant marbles would be most muted and his rivalry with Praxiteles would be most intense. Together, T 112 and the copies of the Pothos might confirm this if only we could be sure that his work in this most Praxitelean of subjects was typical. His major concerns — and with them, his relationship to the great Athenian — still remain tantalizingly beyond our grasp.

Select bibliography: (A) General: RE 3.A: 569-79 (Lippold, 1927); ThB 31: 115-19 (Bieber, 1937); Picard 1935-1971 (vol. 3): (Picard/Manuel) 633-780, (vol. 4) 1-236; Lippold 1950, 249-54; EWA 13: 57-62 (Ashmole, 1958); Bieber 1961b, 23-9; EAA 7: 364-69 (Arias, 1966); Boardman 1967, 439-42; Richter 1970d, 207-13; M. Robertson 1975, 452-57; Stewart 1977a; Ridgway 1990a, 82-90; Stewart 1990, 182-85, 284-86, and index, s.v. 'Skopas'.

(B) Sources: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 1149-89; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 166-72; Stewart 1977a, 126-35, 151; Jeppesen 1986; Pollitt 1990, 94-98, 182, 196-98.

(C) Individual works: Imhoof-Blumer 1887/1964, 30, 72-73; Lacroix 1949, 316-18; Hanfmann 1964 (Meleager); Lattimore 1973 (Meleager); Delivorrias 1973 (Tegea); P.W. Lehmann 1973 (Samothrace); S. Lattimore 1976 (Thiasos); P.W. Lehmann 1978 (archaistic); Waywell 1978, 79-84 (Mausoleum); Haskell 1981, 263-65 (Meleager); Stewart 1982b (Tegea, heroes); P.W. Lehmann 1982 (Samothrace); Knigge 1982 (Pandemos) - but see E.B. Harrison 1984, 383 n. 21; Delivorrias 1983 (Tegea); Raeder 1983, 53 no. 34, 226-28 (Lansdowne Herakles); Hafner 1984 (Tegea); Palagia 1984b (Hope Herakles); Marcadé 1986 (Tegea); Norman 1986 (Tegea); Zanker 1988, 240-41, fig. 186 (Apollo).

Two Independents: Euphranor and Silanion



Contemporaries competing for the same Attic market, these two adopted radically different strategies to secure their commissions. Euphranor the sculptor-painter became a true all-rounder in both technique and subject matter, while Silanion concentrated exclusively upon andriantopoia in bronze.


Euphranor is variously reported as being an 'Isthmian' and an Athenian; yet whether an immigrant or not his major paintings were certainly done for Athens. His chronology is also confused, for though Pliny twice dates him to 364-361 (T 1 and N.H. 35.128), he places him after the flower-painter Pausias, who taught Apelles (floruit 332-329: N.H. 35.79): T 116, below. Indeed, in N.H. 35.111 he lowers the chronology still further, by apprenticing him to Apelles' contemporary the Theban painter Aristeides (cf. N.H. 35.98). Something has to give, and since (1) his own floruit in T 1 coincides with the Battle of Mantinea (362), the occasion for his acknowledged masterpiece (see below), and (2) T 1 also gives his son Sostratos a floruit in 328-325, the most likely explanation is that Pliny has made one Aristeides out of two: the earlier, active ca. 400 (N.H. 35.75) and grandfather of the later (N.H. 35.108-10), would then be Euphranor's master: cf. Palagia 1980, 8, 86. Euphranor's work on the Apollo Patroos and for the Macedonian kings (1, 10, below) extends his career at least to ca. 330.

His known works of sculpture are as follows:

    Divinities and personifications
    • Apollo Patroos in marble, in his temple in the Agora (T 118
    • Athena in bronze, later in Rome (T 116
    • Dionysos, later in Rome
    • Hephaistos, later in Rome
    • Herakles
    • Leto with Apollo and Artemis in bronze, later in Rome (T 116
    • Agathos Daimon, in bronze (T 116
    • Arete and Hellas (colossal), in bronze (T 116
    Mythological figures, portraits, etc.
    • Paris in bronze (T 116
    • Alexander and Philip in their chariots, in bronze (T 116
    • Key-bearer (`kleidouchos') in bronze — a priest or priestess (T 116
    • Woman praying, in bronze (T 116
    • Two- and four-horse chariots in bronze (T 116
    • Typoi (reliefs or models) in clay (T 117
His paintings included the Battle of Mantinea, a Theseus with Demokrateia and Demos, and the Twelve Gods, all in the Stoa of Zeus at Athens; and the feigned madness of Odysseus, at Ephesos.

Euphranor excited far less attention than Praxiteles or even Skopas, and his bronzes are only listed by Pliny in his alphabetical catalogue of second-rank masters:

“The Alexander Paris is by Euphranor, and is praised because in it all aspects of his personality can be discerned at once: the judge of the goddesses, the lover of Helen, and yet the slayer of Achilles. His too is the Minerva at Rome called the Catuliana, dedicated below the Capitol by Q. Lutatius Catulus [consul, 78]; the Bonus Adventus holding a dish in his right hand and an ear of corn and some poppies in his left; the Leto after childbirth in the temple of Concord, holding the babes Apollo and Diana in her arms. He also made two- and four-horse chariots, and an exceptionally lovely Key-Bearer, a Virtue and Greece, both colossal, a woman wondering and worshipping, and an Alexander and Philip in four-horse chariots.

Pliny N.H. 34.77-8
Fortunately, however, Pliny elsewhere quotes two 'professional' evaluations of his work, one culled from his own writings, the other (more critical) from the 'Xenokratic' tradition; these occur in his book on painting, for which he explicitly acknowledges treatises by Euphranor, Xenokrates, and Antigonos as sources (N.H. 1.35).

“After Pausias Euphranor of the Isthmus was by far the most distinguished painter, flourishing in the 104th Olympiad [364-361], whom we have also included among the sculptors. He made colossal statues, works in marble, and typoi , and was studious and industrious above all others, excelling in every field and never falling below his own standards. He seems to have been the first to express the dignity of the heroes and to have made habitual use of symmetria [in painting], though his bodies were too slight throughout, and his heads and limbs too large. He wrote treatises on symmetria and color.

Pliny N.H. 35.128-9
For the praise of his versatility see also Quintilian 12.10.6 and 12 (a rhetorical comparison with Cicero). The remarks concerning his dignified heroes and mastery of symmetria may well derive from Euphranor himself, though it is not clear precisely how he rendered the former — whether by colors (so Palagia 1980, 9; cf. Val. Max. 8.115), by sheer size (so Coulson 1972, 325; cf. 'colossi' in T 116), or by strengthening their physique (so Pollitt 1974, 368-69, after the comment concerning Theseus in N.H. 35.129). This last suggestion would find support from his alleged mastery of symmetria were it not for a revealing comment that follows (T 117).

Here, Pliny criticizes him exactly as he did Zeuxis (N.H. 35.64), and Coulson 1972, 325-26 has shown that just as symmetria in painting was perhaps derivative of symmetria in sculpture (it was only introduced around 400, by Parrhasios), so this remark should derive from a sculptor's critique of a system that sought to slim down the 'foursquare' Polykleitan canon (T 62) but failed to achieve the fully gracile proportions of Xenokrates' own master, Lysippos (T 124). For despite Palagia 1980, 11 n. 45 one may safely assume that Euphranor applied his principles to both arts. Indeed, the sources often couple him with Polykleitos, though to identify his master Aristeides with Polykleitos' pupil of the same name (T 1 and N.H. 34.72) is perhaps wishful thinking.

Attributions usually begin with the colossal marble Apollo found in the Metroon in 1907, next door to the temple of Apollo Patroos (1: Athens, Agora S 2154; Stewart 1990, fig. 512):

“These pictures [of the Battle of Mantinea and others, in the Royal Stoa] were painted for the Athenians by Euphranor, who also made the Apollo Patroos in the temple next door; in front of the temple is an Apollo by Leochares and another by Kalamis, called Alexikakos [Averter of Evil], so-called, they say, because by an oracle from Delphi he stayed the plague that struck during the Peloponnesian War [430-427].

Yet though despite this inconvenient change of location the attribution "has never been contested in print" (Palagia 1980, 14), few bother to note that pieces of a second Apollo Kitharoidos were found there too (H.A. Thompson 1953/4: 37-38, 43 n. 2). So although the colossus cannot be the Pythios of Leochares (cf. T 109-111, above, with Hedrick 1984) or the Alexikakos of Kalamis, for both were evidently fighters, a small question-mark still hangs over its creator. Palagia 1980, 21-25 groups a number of other works with this, including the bronze Athena from Piraeus (Piraeus Athena; Stewart 1990, fig. 511), while Dontas 1982 vigorously repudiates the attribution and substitutes the Piraeus Artemis (Piraeus Small ArtemisStewart 1990, figs. 569-70). True, the Athena's sentimental air and uneven quality seem to belie Pliny's praise of his consistently high standards (T 117), but the Artemis is hardly as close to the Apollo as she.

As for the rest, a possible candidate for (9) is the Lansdowne-type Paris, rejected by Palagia 1980, 34 on the dubious grounds that Euphranor's slimmer cannon was not applied to his sculpture. More to the point, it is difficult to see in it the complex characterization recorded by Pliny in T 116. Yet like T 110 this should derive from a Hellenistic epigram, so may be more freely imaginative than accurate. Finally, the Rondanini Alexander in Munich has long been connected with (10), though the arms are lowered too much to be holding reins; the statue may portray the king as a New Achilles arming himself for battle, or simply resting his forearms on his thighs (discussion, Stewart 1993, Chapter 4.3); Schwarzenberg 1975b opts for Achilles himself and a late Hellenistic date. In addition, the Alsdorf relief in Chicago (Palagia 1980 fig. 66; Andronikos 1980 no. 40; Stewart 1993, fig. 15) shows a very similar figure (Alexander?) in a tableau with two youths, Herakles, and a nymph, with a horse (Boukephalos?) to right. The relief is Attic, carved in the early third century A.D., and the composition is quite acceptable for the late fourth century B.C. The question remains open.

Select bibliography: (A) General: RE 6: 1191-94 (Robert, 1909); ThB 11: 78-81 (Amelung, 1915); Picard 1935-1971 (vol. 3): (Picard/Manuel) 853-78; Lippold 1950, 260-61; EAA 3: 531-33 (Bandinelli, Squarciapino, 1960); M. Robertson 1975, 386, 410, 433-36; Palagia 1980; Stewart 1990, 21, 35, 64, 69, , 93, 179, 186, , 237, 276, 277, 286-88.

(B) Sources: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 1786-1810; Löwy 1885/1976 nos. 495, 501, cf. 105-06; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 183-86; Jex-Blake 1896, xxiv, lxix, lxxii; Coulson 1972; Pollitt 1974, 23, 24.62, 76, 320, 323, 349-51, 358-59, 368-69, 379, 391-92; Palagia 1980, 1-12; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 46, 83, 207, 252-3; Pollitt 1990, 93-94, 167-68, 233.

(C) The Apollo Patroos and attributions: Imhoof-Blumer 1887/1964, lv-vi; H.A. Thompson 1953/4; Dacos 1961 (Paris); Jantzen 1964 (Paris); Bieber 1964, 25-26 (Alexander); Zanker 1974, 110-12 (Paris); Vierneisel-Schlörb 1979 nos. 23, 26, 33 (Paris, Apollo Centocelle, Alexander Rondanini, and others); Palagia 1980; Dontas 1982 (Artemis and others); Raeder 1983, 42 no. 16, 97, 98, 228-29 (Paris); Hedrick 1984 (Apollo); LIMC 2.1: 204 no. 145, 376 no. 48 (Palagia, 1984, Apollo); Ridgway 1990a, 113-15 (Alexander); Stewart 1993, Chapter 4.3 (Alexanders).

Silanion of Athens


Pliny (T 1) places the allegedly self-taught Silanion in the years 328-325, but mentions only three pieces in his alphabetical catalogue of lesser masters (T 119); fortunately, others show more interest, increasing his known works (all probably bronzes) to eleven, plus three signed bases:

  • Achilles (T 119
  • Theseus, in Athens
  • Jokasta dying
  • Sappho in Syracuse, taken to Rome by Verres (T 136
  • Korinna, later in Rome (T 136
  • Plato, dedicated to the Muses in the Academy by the Persian Mithradates (T 120
  • Apollodoros the sculptor (T 119
  • The boxer Satyros of Elis, at Olympia
  • The boy-boxer Telestas of Messene, at Olympia
  • The boy-boxer Damaretos of Messene, at Olympia
  • A trainer of athletes (T 119
  • A bronze later taken to Pergamon (signature only preserved)
  • A statue at Ephesos (ditto)
  • A statue at Miletos (ditto)
Silanion was thus exclusively an andriantopoios, and one of the few Athenians to challenge the Argive-Sikyonian school on its own territory (8)-(10). Indeed, and perhaps not entirely by coincidence, he was also apparently the first portraitist to follow Polykleitos and Euphranor (T 62, 117) and to write on symmetria (Vitruvius 7, Praef. 12); unfortunately, Pliny ignored his book entirely. Yet his virtuosity inspired some far-fetched anecdotes about his work, including the (surely fictitious) assertion that silver was mixed in with the bronze to catch the pallor on the face of (3) (Plutarch, Moralia 674A), and:

“Silanion cast a portrait of Apollodoros, himself a sculptor, but among all artists the most meticulous in his art and a harsh critic of his own work, frequently smashing his finished statues, since his zeal for his art always left him unsatisfied; consequently they nicknamed him "the Madman". This quality Silanion expressed in his portrait, and so represented in bronze not a man, but anger personified. He also made a famous Achilles, and a trainer of athletes.

Pliny, N.H. 34.81-2
None of these has been identified in copy, and his other works have fared almost as badly: Lattimore's identification of (1) with the Ludovisi `Ares' is purely hypothetical (S. Lattimore1979), Brommer 1982 rejects the Ince `Theseus' for (2), the Getty 'Sappho' head (cf. no. 4) is a fake, and the miserable little Korinna from Compiègne (cf. no. 5) has no exact correlates at full size. Only the Plato (6) and the 'Satyros' (8; Athens, NM Br. 6439) begin to be convincing as attributions (Stewart 1990, figs. 513-14). The former is noted (but not described) by Diogenes Laertius:

“In the first book of the Memorabilia of Favorinus it is stated that Mithradates the Persian set up a statue of Plato in the Academy and inscribed on it: "Mithradates the Persian, son of Orontobates, dedicated to the Muses this portrait of Plato, made by Silanion."

Diogenes Laertius 3.25
The Satyros is given similar treatment by Pausanias (6.4.5), and Moretti 1957 no. 462 has established probable dates of 332 and 328 for his victories; the dates of (9) and (10) are unknown.

Select bibliography: (A) General: RE 3. A: 2-6 (Lippold, 1927); ThB 31: 19-21 (Bieber, 1937); Picard 1935-1971 (vol. 3): (Picard/Manuel) 781-852; Lippold 1950, 272-74; Bieber 1961b, 42-44; EAA 7: 288-92 (Moreno, 1966); Boardman 1967, 443-44; M. Robertson 1975, 507-10, 517; Stewart 1990, 179-80, 288-89, and index, s.v. 'Silanion'.

(B) Sources: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 1350-63; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 180-82; Moretti 1957 nos. 448, 453, 462, 466 (athletes); Coarelli 1971-72: 99-106; Pollitt 1974, 352, 362, 417, 420; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 84, 209, 262; Pollitt 1990, 92-93, 223.

(C) Attributions: Boehringer 1935 (Plato); Richter 1965, 70-72 (Sappho), 144 (Korinna), 164-70 (Plato); Richter 1972, 5 (Sappho - fake); Bol 1978, 40-43, no. 159 ('Satyros'); S. Lattimore 1979 ('Ares'); Vierneisel-Schlörb 1979 no. 37 (Sappho and others); Brommer 1982 ('Theseus').

Lysippos and Lysistratos, Sons of Lys[ippos?] of Sikyon



Lysippos is among the most richly documented of all Greek sculptors; for besides the guide-book writers and rhetoricians, Pliny preserves a precious testimonial apparently from his own follower, Xenokrates (T 124), the Alexander historians studied his portrait bronzes (T 121, 131-32), and both poets and prose writers chose several of his acknowledged masterpieces for extended essays in description (T 127, 129-30); in addition, numerous inscriptions both confirm and supplement the texts.

According to T 1 Lysippos "flourished" in 328-325, but his career certainly began about four decades before this date (nos. 32, made after 372/368, and 22, datable ca. 363/62), and continued at least until 316, when Kassander commissioned him to design a distinctive amphora-shape for newly-founded Kassandreia (Athenaeus 11.784); he was thus born around 390, and as T 124 relates, began work as a common bronze-smith. His recorded works, all bronzes, are:

    • Sixty-foot high Zeus at Taranto (T 126
    • Zeus at Sikyon
    • Zeus Nemeios at Argos, taken from Nemea?
    • Zeus and the Muses, Megara
    • Poseidon at Corinth
    • Dionysos on Mt. Helikon
    • Helios in his chariot at Rhodes, later taken to Rome (T 124
    • Eros in Thespiae
    • Kairos at Sikyon, later in the Lauseion at Constantinople (cf. no. 47; T 127-8
    • Seated Herakles at Taranto, later taken to Rome, then to Constantinople (T 129
    • Herakles at Sikyon
    • Herakles conquered by Eros
    • Herakles Epitrapezios, later in Rome (T 130)
    • Herakles' Labors, at Alyzia (N.W. Greece), later in Rome
    • Aesop and the Seven Sages
    • Alexander portraits 'from boyhood' (T 124
    • Alexander(s) with the lance (T 131-32
    • Alexander on horseback, later in Rome (converted to Caesar)
    • Alexander and the companions fallen by the Granikos, at Dion in Macedonia, later in Rome (T 121, 124)
    • Alexander and Krateros hunting lions, dedicated by Krateros at Delphi (with Leochares) (T 123, 124)
    • Hephaisteion (T 124
    • Pelopidas, dedicated by the Thessalians at Delphi
    • Praxilla, later in Rome (T 136
    • Pythes of Abdera, at Olympia
    • Seleukos, later in Rome
    • Sokrates, in the Pompeion at Athens
    • The boxer Agias, at Pharsalos
    • The boxer Cheilon of Patras, at Olympia (T 122
    • The boy-boxer Kallikrates of Magnesia, at Olympia
    • The boy pankratiast Korveidas of Thebes, at Thebes
    • The pankratiast Poulydamas of Skotoussa, at Olympia
    • The charioteer Troilos of Elis, at Olympia
    • The pankratiast Philandridas of Stratos, at Olympia
    • An Apoxyomenos, later in Rome (T 124
    • A dedication (nude male) at Corinth
    • Another dedication at Corinth
    • A dedication at Lindos
    • A statue dedicated by Theramenes at Megara
    • A statue at Thermon, later converted to one of Paidias of Herakleia
    • A drunken flute girl (T 124
    • A satyr at Athens (T 124
    • A fallen lion at Lampsakos, later in Rome
    • A high-stepping horse
    • Chariot groups (T 124
    Dubious and misattributed works
    • Timoxenos son of Timoxenos, in the Asklepieion at Kos. By Lysippos II?
    • An ox, later at Rome. Also given to Pheidias
    • The Samian Hera, later in the Lauseion at Constantinople with (9). Supposedly in collaboration with Boupalos of Chios (T 18!) but more likely the attribution refers to an Eros from Myndos there (T 128
    • Myrrilini (Myrrhina?), later in Rome. Dubious
    • A copy of the Farnese Herakles in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence. Forged signature
    • A statue with a dolphin (Aphrodite or Poseidon?) discovered at Siena between 1334 and 1348, and reburied in 1357. Fanciful attribution by Ghiberti after a Lorenzetti drawing
After the two early statues (32, 22) at Delphi and Olympia, dated works are not to be had till the 340s. (27) must pre-date the marble version set up at Delphi in 336-332 (Delphi 369; Stewart 1990, figs. 551-53), and (30), displayed with a statue by Polykleitos (II) was almost certainly restored after Kassander refounded Thebes in 316, so should pre-date the sack of 335: since the first boys' pankration at the Pythian games, in 346, was won by another, Korveidas triumphed in either 342 or 338. The association with Alexander (16)-(20), who was born in 356, must have begun by 340 (T 124), though of all his Macedonian commissions only the Granikos group (19), erected after 334, is exactly dated, thanks to the historians:

“Metellus Macedonicus . . . brought from Macedonia the group of equestrian statues which stand facing the temples [in the Porticus Octaviae] and which today are the chief ornament of the place. As to the origin of the group, they say that Alexander the Great prevailed upon Lysippus, a sculptor unequaled for works of this sort, to make realistic portraits of his cavalry Companions who had fallen at the river Granicus [334], and to place his own likeness among them.

Velleius Paterculus 1.11.3-4
As to his last years, two epigrams offer some clues. The first, for Cheilon (28) is discussed by Pausanias:

“Cheilon, an Achaean from Patras, won two victories for men wrestlers at Olympia, one at Delphi, four at the Isthmos, and three at Nemea. He was buried at public expense by the Achaeans, and it was his fate to lose his life in battle. My statement is corroborated by the inscription at Olympia: “In wrestling I alone conquered twice at Olympia and Pytho,
Thrice at Nemea, and four times at the Isthmos near the sea;
Cheilon son of Cheilon of Patras, whom the Achaean race
Buried for my valor when I fell in war.

This much the inscription reveals. But the date of Lysippos, who made the statue, leads me to infer about the war in which Cheilon fell, that he either marched to Chaironeia with all the Achaeans [338], or else his personal valor and daring led him, alone of the Achaeans, to fight against the Macedonians under Antipater at the battle of Lamia in Thessaly [323-322].

Today, most prefer the later date. As for the second, the Krateros group (20) has already been mentioned in connection with Leochares (T 109-111, above), and with Plutarch, Alexander 40 the inscribed epigram reveals that it was finished after the Macedonian's death in 320.

“Alexander's son, Krateros, offered these to Apollo,
A man exalted, honored, and far-famed.
But he who placed them here was Krateros his orphaned child,
Fulfilling every promise for his sire,
To bring him glory, sweet and everlasting, O stranger,
As hunter of that bull-devouring lion.
Along with Alexander, Asia's much-praised monarch,
Companion to his king in victory,
He destroyed it as it rushed upon them, killed it thus
At sheep-rearing Syria's furthest bounds.

Fouilles de Delphes 3.4.2 no. 137
Moreno 1974, 33-41 attempts to lower this work to ca. 305, and thus to prolong Lysippos' career to the century's end; but though Anth. Pal 16.336 indeed declares (16) to have been a product of his old age, it seems more likely that the inscription for (45), cut around 300 but now damaged at the critical point, read "Lysippos neos " (junior) rather than "geron " (old man). There is still no evidence that he worked much, if at all, beyond 316, when he would have been around 75 years old.

So much for chronology: clearly, to attempt to distinguish an "Asian period" (with Alexander) or a "Tarentine period" (1, 10) is futile without further evidence. More likely, his career was far more complicated, a mixture of crisscrossing travels and work made to order at Sikyon. Preserved originals and attributed copies help little here: in the former category, the Delphi Agias (Delphi Museum 369; Stewart 1990, figs. 551-53; cf. 27) allows us only a second-hand glimpse of his mature style, and the Poulydamas base (31; Moreno 1987, figs. 8-10) is too badly damaged to do more than suggest a date in the century's second half. The Getty bronze (Malibu 77.AB.30; Stewart 1990, figs. 618, 620), the so-called 'Philandridas' head (of marble!) from Olympia (cf. 33) and the San Marco horses (cf. 7) are all post-Lysippic, the last perhaps by six hundred years.

Replica hunters have universally begun with Pliny. Culled almost equally from Douris' biographies and the connoisseurship of Lysippos' own follower Xenokrates (cf. T 145; both were active ca. 300), his synthesis was probably the work of Antigonos of Karystos late in the third century; Varro then paraphrased it into Latin, leaving Pliny himself to spice it with a liberal admixture of contemporary anecdotes:

“(61) Duris says that Lysippus of Sicyon was nobody's pupil; originally a bronze-smith, he joined the discipline after hearing a response from the painter Eupompus. When asked which of his predecessors he followed, Eupompus pointed to a crowd of people and said that it was Nature herself, not another artist, whom one should imitate.

(62) He was a most prolific artist, and made more statues than any other sculptor, among them a Man Scraping Himself with a Strigil, which M. Agrippa dedicated in front of his baths, and which the emperor Tiberius was astonishingly fond of. Although at the beginning of his principate he kept control of himself, he was unable to do so in this case, and had the statue removed to his bedroom, substituting another in its place. But the Roman people became so indignant at this that they raised an outcry at the theater, shouting, "Give us back our Apoxyomenos!" So despite his admiration for it, the emperor returned it.

(63) Lysippus is famed for his drunken flute-girl, his hounds and huntsmen, and particularly for his chariot of the Sun at Rhodes. He also made many studies of Alexander the Great, beginning with one in his boyhood which so entranced the emperor Nero that he ordered it to be gilded, but this addition to its monetary value so diminished its artistic appeal that the gold was later removed, and in that condition it was considered more valuable even though it retained the scars from the work done on it and the incisions for fastening the gold.

(64) He also made an Hephaestion, Alexander's friend, which some ascribe to Polyclitus, though he lived a century earlier, an Alexander's Hunt dedicated at Delphi, a satyr now at Athens, and Alexander's Squadron, in which he rendered the portraits of his friends with the highest degree of likeness possible in every case; Metellus removed this to Rome after the conquest of Macedonia [148]. He also made chariot groups of various kinds.

(65) Lysippus is said to have contributed much to the art of sculpture, by rendering the hair in more detail, by making the heads of his figures smaller than the old sculptors used to do, and the bodies slenderer and leaner, to give his statues the appearance of greater height. Latin has no word for the symmetria which he most scrupulously preserved by a new and hitherto untried system that modified the foursquare figures of the ancients; and he used to say publicly that while they had made men as they were, he made them as they appeared to be. A distinguishing characteristic of his is seen to be the scrupulous attention to detail maintained in even the smallest particulars.

Eupompos was a contemporary of Zeuxis (N.H. 35.64, 75), who floruit ca. 400 (N.H. 35.61), but though the dates fit, the anecdote may be a fiction to cover Douris' ignorance of Lysippos' true teacher, engineered to fit the supposed realism of his style (T 3, and further below).

By-passing the attributions for the moment, the manifold problems of the final, Xenokratic section have provoked considerable discussion. Here the art that allegedly began with Pheidias in N.H. 34.54 and continued through Polykleitos, Myron, and Pythagoras (T 62, 43, 40), now climaxes with Lysippos himself. Xenokrates clearly included the remark that "he made men as they appeared to be" to distance his master from this supposedly increasing trend towards realism, culminating in Pythagoras (T 40). In fact, Lysippos may have meant it more generally: compare T 3 and the strikingly similar passage from Plato's Sophist of ca. 460:

Those who model or paint certain large-scale works of art do not [attempt exact mimesis]. For if they rendered the actual commensurable proportioning [symmetria] of beautiful forms, you would think that the upper parts were smaller than necessary and the lower were larger, because the former are seen far away, the latter at close-hand.


So artists simply wave good-bye to Truth, and now render not real commensurate proportions but only those which appear to be beautiful.

From this point of view, Polykleitos' severely objective attempt to uncover the true median proportions of the human body (T 68) would indeed bring his "foursquare" canon (T 62, cf. T 124), no matter how ideal it appears to us, within the scope of Lysippos' criticism.

As to the works themselves, the most convenient and best-illustrated compendium is Moreno 1987, though not all his attributions have been accepted (or are acceptable). For the most complete (presumed) copy of the Apoxyomenos (34) see Stewart 1990, fig. 554, with Schauenburg 1963b, 78-9, pls. 60-62; Lauter 1967; and Moreno 1987, figs. 69-79 (more copies); the rest are perhaps best discussed in the order of the complete list above.

Pliny describes (1) as follows:

“In the case of the colossus of Tarentum by Lysippus, which is 40 cubits [60 feet] high, the astonishing thing is that though it can be moved by hand (so they say), its system of weight-distribution is such that no storm can dislodge it. The artist himself is said to have provided against this by erecting a column a short distance from it on the side where it was most necessary to break the force of the wind. Accordingly, because of its size and the difficulty of moving it, Fabius Verrucosus left it alone when he transferred the Hercules from there to the Capitol [209].

Pliny N.H. 34.40
Moreno 1971 has identified it, complete with column, on a terracotta mold from nearby Policoro (Herakleia); cf. Moreno 1987, figs. 142-43; (2)-(4) are regularly recognized on coins of their respective cities, with which several fine series of bronze statuettes are often associated: see Volk 1984, though the type she studies is more likely to reproduce Leochares' Zeus Brontaios (T 110). (5) may be the 'Lateran' Poseidon type, perhaps originally displayed at the Corinthian port of Kenchreai (cf. Paus. 2.2.3; Walde 1978; Moreno 1987, figs. 94-95). Dörig 1973 sees (6) in a head in Venice related to the Apoxyomenos, while (7) appears on Rhodian amphora-stamps (Moreno 1987, fig. 61) and was perhaps imitated on the Pergamon altar. Attempts to connect the (surely Roman) horses taken from Constantinople to the Piazza San Marco with it or a presumed duplicate at Delphi are now generally discounted. An influential Eros type shown stringing or unstringing his bow has long been associated with (8): cf. T 101, with Dohl 1968; Moreno figs. 14-23), and several reliefs (Relief of Kairos by Lysippos, Turin Museum D317; Moreno 1987, figs. 66-68; Stewart 1990, fig. 555) and gems evidently reproduce (9), which caught the imagination of poets and rhetoricians from the Alexandrian age to the Byzantine:

“Questioner: Who and whence your sculptor? Statue: From Sikyon. Q: And his name? S: Lysippos. Q: And who are you? S: Kairos that subdues all. Q: Why do you go on tiptoe? S: I'm always running. Q: And why a pair of wings on your feet? S: I fly with the wind. Q: And why do you hold a razor in your right hand? S: As a sign to men, that I am sharper than the sharpest edge. Q: Your hair, why is it over your eyes? S: For anyone I meet to take me by the forelock. Q: And Heavens, why are you bald behind? S: Because once I've raced by someone with winged feet, he'll never grab me from behind no matter how strong his desire. Q: Why did the artist fashion you? S: For your sake, stranger, and set me up on the porch as a lesson.

Anth. Pal. 16.275 (Poseidippos)
Save for Kallistratos, Descriptions 6, who remarks tellingly that Kairos was "the only creator of beauty", later writers add little to this; for an interpretation of the statue as a critique of Polykleitos see Stewart 1978a. Reinterpreted in later antiquity as Time and set on a globe (so, already, Kallistratos), it was taken to Constantinople only to perish with other famous masterpieces in the catastrophic Lauseion fire of A.D. 476:

“[In the Lauseion] there stood the image of Lindian Athena, four cubits [6 feet] high and made of smaragdos , a work of the sculptors Skyllis and Dipoinos, which Seostris, ruler of Egypt, once sent as a gift to Kleoboulos tyrant of Lindos; the Knidian Aphrodite of white marble, nude, covering only her private parts with her hand, the work of Praxiteles of Knidos; the Samian Hera, a work of Lysippos and Boupalos of Chios; the winged Eros with a bow, coming from Myndos; the ivory Zeus of Pheidias, which Perikles dedicated in the temple at Olympia; and the statue representing Time, the work of Lysippos, bald behind and long-haired in front.

Kedrenos, Historiarum Compendium 322
Yet it was for statues of men that Lysippos was most renowned (T 115). His studies of Herakles, for instance, apparently outdid even Praxiteles (T 103) in exploring violent oscillations of mood (pathe):

“The mighty Herakles, conceived over three nights, sat mightily cast down, upon a basket whereon his lionskin is strewn. There he sat with no quiver hung about him, carrying no bow in his hand, brandishing no club, but extending his right leg and hand as far as he could, bending his left leg at the knee to support the elbow of his left arm, stretching up the forearm and gently resting his head, full of despondency, upon his opened palm. His chest was broad, his shoulders wide, his hair thick, his buttocks ample, his arms brawny, and his height such (I think) that Lysimachos [sic ] might have thought the original Herakles to reach when he cast this in the bronze, the choicest jewel of his art, first and last, so big that a string fastened around its thumb would serve as a man's belt, and the shin of its leg was as tall as a man.

Niketas Choniates, De Signis Constantinopolitanis 5 (ed. Bekker)
These and other accounts have enabled (10) and (13) to be securely identified in replica, the first in a series of bronze statuettes (Moreno 1987, figs. 144-56), the second in a host of replicas ranging from tiny to colossal (Visscher 1962; Moreno 1987, figs. 30-34) — though its alleged pedigree is surely fictitious. Indeed, was Vindex' statuette the original or a (contemporary?) version of a big bronze, like the colossus from Alba Fucens published by de Visscher? For the latter showed Herakles correctly at the table — i.e. feasting in Olympos — while the statuette punned upon the epi (literally "at" or "on") of his cult-title to make him a table ornament. As for the others, many associate the 'Farnese'-type Herakles (Louvre Br 652; Moreno 1987, figs. 96-113; Stewart 1990, fig. 566) with (11), while (14) may be reflected in a powerful marble in the Capitoline Museum, a small bronze group in Palermo, and on Roman sarcophagi: see most recently, Moreno 1987, figs. 124-41. Finally, the Boston-Copenhagen Herakles type is often attributed to him too, on general stylistic grounds.

His portraits were evidently equally varied. For the Alexanders one must turn from Pliny (T 124) to Plutarch:

“When Lysippos had finished his first Alexander with his face looking up towards the heavens (just as Alexander himself was accustomed to look, slightly inclining his neck to one side), someone not inappropriately inscribed the following epigram: “This statue seems to look at Zeus and say:
Take thou Olympos; me let earth obey!

For this Alexander ordered that Lysippos alone should make his portraits. For only he, it seemed, brought out his real character in the bronze and gave form to his essential excellence (arete). The others, in their eagerness to imitate his crooked neck and melting, limpid eyes, failed to preserve his virile and leonine demeanor.

Plutarch, Moralia 335A-B
The decree is a Hellenistic fiction, and the Plutarch also seems to conflate the earlier and later Alexander types ("Fouquet" Alexander: Louvre 370, "Nelidow" Alexander: Harvard 1956.20; Stewart 1990, figs. 564-65); elsewhere, though, he again stresses the heroic character of Lysippos's Alexanders as against the quasi-divine iconography favored by Apelles:

“Lysippos the sculptor did well to find fault with Apelles the painter for painting Alexander with a thunderbolt in his hand; he himself represented Alexander with a spear, an attribute true and proper to him, which time would never rob of its glory.

Plutarch, Moralia 360D
For possible copies of (17), perhaps produced in multiple versions, see ; Moreno 1987, figs. 44-45; Stewart 1990, figs. 561-62, 564-65: "Schwarzenberg" Alexander; "Azara" Alexander (Louvre MA 436); "Fouquet" Alexander (Louvre 370); "Nelidow" Alexander (Harvard 1956.20). A statuette in Naples has been connected with the Alexander of (19): Calcani 1989 investigates this and many more possible echoes, some more plausible than others. A Messenian relief in Paris probably echoes (20): cf. Moreno 1987, fig. 55; Stewart 1993. Of the other portraits, see Stewart 1990, fig. 557-58 for (26): head of Sokrates (Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano (Terme) 1236); statuette of Sokrates (London 1925). As for the victor-statues, (27), (31), and (34) were discussed above, and Schauenburg 1963b proposes to add several anonymous copies to the list; cf. Moreno 1987, figs. 4, 11-12. Finally, a series of headless marbles have regularly been connected with (40); an attractive bronze statuette in Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara Museum of Art 1981.64.4; Stewart 1990, fig. 556) now gives the complete composition.

As for dates, most of these seem to fall in the second half of the century. Arnold 1969, 210 and 236-37 proposes the following sequence, based largely upon an increasing freedom of movement and space-enclosing poise of the arms: Copenhagen Herakles, ca. 350; Eros, ca. 340; Kairos, 330s; Herakles and the Hind, ca. 330; Apoxyomenos, ca. 320; Farnese Herakles, ca. 315.

Lysippos's versatility places him in the forefront of the fourth-century virtuosi; his achievement was, as Pliny tells us in T 124, to perfect a phenomenal idealism that adapted the legacy of the past (such as the ancient principle of symmetria ) to the demands of subject and setting. Nowhere is this clearer than in his portraiture, where his aim was to create idealized images whose meticulous attention to detail nevertheless made them absolutely compelling as likenesses (T 131).

In this he may have been helped by his brother Lysistratos, who floruit with him in 328-325 (T 1), and whose known work in portraiture (Tatian, Contra Graecos 54.117) is complemented by a precious description of his method:

“The first man to mould a likeness in plaster from the face itself, and to institute the method of making corrections upon a casting produced by pouring wax into this plaster mould was Lysistratus of Sicyon, brother of Lysippus, of whom we have already spoken. He introduced the practice of making likenesses, for before him they used to try to make portraits as beautiful as possible. He also invented the technique of taking casts from statues, and this practice increased to such an extent that no figures or statues were made without using clay.

Pliny, N.H. 35.153
This method is completely congruent with Lysippos's work as described in T 124 and 131, and seems to have been highly congenial to Roman neo-classic taste, which also valued "likeness" or similitudo highly (T 121), but wanted it tempered with more than a dash of idealization (T 3; cf. Pollitt 1974, 430-44). Yet even despite their admiration for Lysippos, neo-classic critics like Quintilian evidently found no difficulty at all in assessing his standing vis-a-vis the giants of the fifth century: for (T 3) since Pheidian agalmatopoia had already penetrated the essence of the gods (T 53 and 61), and Polykleitan andriantopoia that of men (cf. T 65 and 70), their successors could only turn to representing external appearance (cf. Pollitt 1974, 131-38 on the meaning of veritas in T 3). And of those engaged in this lesser enterprise, Praxiteles and Lysippos struck the best balance between Truth and Beauty, while the vulgar realism of Demetrios (cf. T 91) banished him irrevocably below the salt.

Select bibliography: (A) General: F.P. Johnson 1927; RE 14: 46-63, 66-67 (Lippold, 1928); ThB 23: 496-99, 500 (Bieber, 1929); Lippold 1950, 276-86; EWA 9: 357-62 (Sjquist, 1958); EAA 4: 654-60 (Giuliano, Ferri, 1961); Bieber 1961b, 30-39, 44-50; Picard 1935-1971 (vol. 4): (Picard/Manuel) 423-753; Boardman 1967, 444-50; Arnold 1969, 210, 234-45; Richter 1970d, 224-31; Moreno 1974, 1-41; M. Robertson 1975, 463-76, 513; Pollitt 1986, 20-22, 38, 41-43, 47-54; Moreno 1987; Ridgway 1990a, 73-82; Stewart 1990, 186-91, 289-94, and index, s.v. 'Lysippos'.

(B) Sources: Overbeck 1868/1959, nos. 1443-1515; Löwy 1885/1976 nos. 93-94, 476-77, 487, 506, 534; Stuart-Jones 1895/1966, 193-206; Jex-Blake 1896, xvi-xix, xxvi-vii, xlvii-viii, lxii-iii; Schweitzer 1932/1963; Marcadé 1953, 66-76; Pollitt 1974, passim; Coarelli 1971-2: 99-106; Moreno 1973, 1974; Gallet de Santerre 1983, 49-54, 56-57, 60, 72-73, 230-36; Pollitt 1990, 98-104, 223.

(C) Individual works:

(i) Alexanders: Bieber 1964, 32-38, 45-46; Richter 1965, 255; Schwarzenberg 1967; Hölscher 1971; Schwarzenberg 1975a; Stewart 1982b, 61-63; Pollitt 1986, 20-22, 38, 41-43; Calcani 1989 (Granikos); Ridgway 1990a, 115-16, 119-21, 123; Stewart 1993.

(ii) Alyzia group: Salis 1956; S. Lattimore 1972a; Moreno 1984.

(iii) Apoxyomenos and athletes: Schauenburg 1963b; Lauter 1967; Dohrn 1968 (Daochos group: cf. FD 2.10: 67-80 for the setting); Borbein 1973, 147; Stewart 1978a; Frel 1982; Ridgway 1990a, 74-75, 76-79.

(iv) Dionysos: Dörig 1973.

(v) Eros: Döhl 1968; LIMC 3: 880 no. 352 (Hermary, 1986); Ridgway 1990a, 75-76.

(vi) Herakles types: Visscher 1962; C.C. Vermeule 1975; Haskell 1981, 229-32; Stewart 1982b, 57-61; Moreno 1982.

(vii) Kairos: Stewart 1978a.

(viii) Krateros: Borbein 1973, 91-97; Stewart 1993, Chapter 9.3

(ix) Poseidon: Walde 1978.

(x) Sokrates: Richter 1965, 109-19; Gauer 1968a, 124-28; Vierneisel-Schlörb 1979 no. 30; Ridgway 1990a, 79-80.

(xi) Zeus: Moreno 1971; Volk 1984.

(xii) Various: Arnold 1969, 210, 234-45; Carpenter 1971, 162-65, 168-69; 232-36; Moreno 1974, 1-41; Lauter 1977.

(xiii) Coins: Imhoof-Blumer 1887/1964, 5, 29-30, 36; Lacroix 1949, 322-24; S. Lattimore 1972a.

hide References (16 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (16):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.18.8
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.20.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.3.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.8.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.2.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.17.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.20.9
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 6.4.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.45
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.9.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.27.3
    • Plato, Letters, 13.361a
    • Plato, Sophist, 235e
    • Vitruvius, On Architecture, 7.preface.12
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 36.4
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 34.61
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: