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1. An Athenian statuary and sculptor, was one of the great artists of the later Athenian school, at the head of which were Scopas and Praxiteles. He is placed by Pliny (Plin. Nat. 34.8. s. 19) with Polycles I., Cephisodotus I., and Hypatodorus, at the 102d Olympiad (B. C. 372). We have several other indications of his time. From the end of the 106th Olympiad (B. C. 352) and onwards he was employed upon the tomb of Mausolus (Plin. Nat. 36.5. s. 4.9; Vitruv. vii. Praef. § 13: SATYRUS); and he was one of the artists employed by Philip to celebrate his victory at Chaeroneia, Ol. 110, 3, B. C. 338. The statement, that he made a statue of Autolycus, who conquered in the boys' pancration at the Panathenaea in Ol. 89 or 90, and whose victory was the occasion of the Symposion of Xenophon (Plin. Nat. 34.8. s. 19.17; comp. Schneider, Quaest. de Conviv. Xenoph.), seems at first sight to be inconsistent with the other dates; but the obvious explanation is, that the statue was not a dedicatory one in honour of the victory, but a subject chosen by the artist on account of the beauty of Autolycus, and of the same class as his Ganymede, in connection with which it is mentioned by Pliny; and that, therefore, it may have been made long after the victory of Autolycus. In one of the Pseudo-Platonic epistles (13, p. 361), the supposed date of which must be about Ol. 104, Leochares is mentioned as a young and excellent artist.

The masterpiece of Leochares seems to have been his statue of the rape of Ganymede, in which, according to the description of Pliny (l.c.), the eagle appeared to be sensible of what he was carrying, and to whom he was bearing the treasure, taking care not to hurt the boy through his dress with his talons. (Comp. Tatian, Orat. ad Graec. 56, p. 121, ed. Worth.) The original work was pretty certainly in bronze; but it was frequently copied both in marble and on gems. Of the extant copies in marble, the best is one, half the size of life, in the Museo Pio-Clementino. (Visconti, Mus. Pio-Clem. vol. iii. pl. 49; Abbildungen zu Winckelmann, No. 86; Müller, Denkmäler d. alten Kunst, vol. i. pl. 36.) Another, in the library of S. Mark at Venice, is larger and perhaps better executed, but in a much worse state of preservation. (Zanetti, Statue, vol. ii. tav. 7.) Another, in alto-relievo, among the ruins of Thessalonica, is figured in Stuart's Athens,vol. 3.c. 9, pl. 2 and 9. (Comp. Meyer, Kunstgeschichte, vol. ii. pp. 97, 98.) These copies, though evidently very imperfect, give some idea of the mingled dignity and grace, and refined sensuality, which were the characteristics of the later Athenian school. Winckelmann mentions a marble base found in the Villa Medici at Rome, and now in the gallery at Florence, which bears the inscription ΓΑΝΥΜΗΔΗΞ ΛΕΟΧΑΠΟΥΞ ΑΘΗΝΑΙΟΥ. (Gesch. d. Kunst. b. 9.3.12, note.) Though, as Winckelmann shows (comp. R. Rochette, Lettre à M. Schorn, p. 341, 2d edit.) this base is almost certainly of a much later date than the original statue, it is useful as proving the fact, that Leochares was an Athenian. His name also appears on an inscription recently discovered at Athens. (Schöll, Archäologische Mittheilungen aus Griechenland, nach C. O. Müller's hinterlassenen Papieren, pt. i. p. 127.)

Of his other mythological works, Pausanias mentions Zeus and a personification of the Athenian people (Ζεὺς καὶ Λῆμος) in the long portico at the Peiraeus, and another Zeus in the acropolis of Athens (1.24.4), as well as an Apollo in the Cerameicus, opposite to that of Calamis. Pliny (34.8. s. 19.17) speaks of his Jupiter tonans in the Capitol as "ante cuncta laudabilem," and of his Apollo with a diadem; and Vitruvius (2.8.11) refers to his colossal statue of Mars, in the acropolis of Halicarnassus, which some ascribed to Timotheus, and which was an ἀκρόλιθος. (See Dict. of Antiq. s. v.

Of his portrait-statues, the most celebrated were those of Philip, Alexander, Amyntas, Olympias, and Eurydice, which were made of ivory and gold, and were placed in the Philippeion, a circular building in the Altis at Olympia, erected by Philip of Macedon in celebration of his victory at Chaeroneia. (Paus. 5.20 § 5, or §§ 9-10.) A bronze statue of Isocrates, by Leochares, was dedicated by Timotheus, the son of Conon, at Eleusis. (Pseud.-Plut. Vit. X. Orat. p. 838d.; Phot. Bibl., Cod. 260, p. 488a, Bekker, who reads Κλεοχάρους ἔργον, instead of Λεοχάρους.) His statue of Autolycus has been already mentioned.

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372 BC (1)
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  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.20
    • Vitruvius, On Architecture, 2.8.11
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 34.8
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 36.5
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