), an Athenian sculptor, a contemporary of Phidias and Polycletus. Pliny (Plin. Nat. 34.19
), in narrating a competition of five most distinguished artists, and among them Phidias and Polycletus, as to who should make the best Amazon for the temple at Ephesus, mentions Cresilas as the one who obtained the third prize.
But as this is an uncommon name, it has been changed by modern editors into Ctesilas
or Ctesilaus ;
and in the same chapter (§ 15) an artist, "Desilaus," whose wounded Amazon was a celebrated statue, has also had his name changed into Ctesilaus, and consequently the beautiful statues of a wounded Amazon in the Capitol and the Louvre are considered as an imitation of the work at Ephesus. Now this is quite as unfounded a supposition as the one already rejected by Winckelmann, by which the dying gladiator of the Capitol was considered to represent another celebrated statue of Ctesilaus, who wrought "vulneratum deficientem, in quo possit intelligi, quantum restet animae ;" and it is the more improbable, because Pliny enumerates the sculptors in an alphabetic order, and begins the letter D by Desilaus.
But there are no good reasons for the insertion of the name of Ctesilaus.
At some of the late excavations at Athens, there was discovered in the wall of a cistern, before the western frontside of the Parthenon, the following inscription, which is doubtless the identical basement of the expiring warrior :--
By this we learn, that the rival of Phidias was called Cresilas, as two manuscripts of Pliny exhibit, and that the statue praised by Pliny is the same as that which Pausanias (1.23.2
) describes at great length.
It was an excellent work of bronze, placed in the eastern portico within the Propylaea, and dedicated by Hermolycus to the memory of his father, Diitrephes, who fell pierced with arrows, B. C. 413, at the head of a body of Thracians, near Mycalessos in Boeotia. (Thuc. 7.29
.) Besides these two celebrated works, Cresilas executed a statue of Pericles the Olympian, from which, perhaps, the bust in the Vatican is a copy. (Ross, Kunstblatt,
1840, No. 12 and 38.)