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*Feidi/as), or in Latin, PHI'DIAS.

1. Of Athens, the son of Charmides, was the greatest sculptor and statuary of Greece, and probably of the whole world.

I. His Life.

It is remarkable, in the case of many of the ancient artists, how great a contrast exists between what we know of their fame, and even sometimes what we see of their works, and what we can learn respecting the events of their lives. Thus, with respect to Pheidias, we possess but few details of his personal history, and even these are beset with doubts and difficulties. What is known with absolute certainty may be summed up in a few words. He executed most of his greatest works at Athens, during the administration of Pericles : he made for the Eleians the ivory and gold statue of Zeus, the most renowned work of Greek statuary : he worked for other Greek cities; and he died just before the commencement of the Peloponnesian War, in B. C. 432. The importance of the subject demands, however, a careful examination of the difficulties which surround it. The first of these difficulties relates to the cardinal point of the time when the artist flourished, and the approximate date of his birth.

First of all, the date of Pliny must be disposed of. It is well known how little reliance can be placed on the dates under which Pliny groups the names of several artists. Not only do such lists of names embrace naturally artists whose ages differed by several years, but it is important to observe the principle on which the dates are generally chosen by Pliny, namely, with reference to some important epoch of Greek history. Thus the 84th Olympiad (B. C. 444-440), at which he places Pheidias, is evidently chosen because the first year of that Olympiad was the date at which Pericles began to have the sole administration of Athens 1 (Clinton, Fast. Hell. s.a. 444). The date of Pliny determines, therefore, nothing as to the age of Pheidias at this time, nor as to the period over which his artistic life extended. Nevertheless, it seems to us that this coincidence of the period, during which the artist executed his greatest works, with the administration of Pericles, furnishes the best clue to the solution of the difficulty. It forbids us to carry up the artist's birth so high as to make him a very old man at this period of his life : not because old age would necessarily have diminished his powers, though even on this point those who quote the examples of Pindar, Sophocles, and other great writers, do not, perhaps, make sufficient allowance for the difference between the physical force required for the production of such a work as the Oedipus at Colonus and the execution, or even the superintendence, of such works as the sculptures of the Parthenon, and the colossal statues of Athena and Zeus :--but the real force of the argument is this; if Pheidias had been already highly distinguished as an artist nearly half a century earlier, it is incredible, first, that the notices of his earlier productions should be so scanty as they are, and next, that his fame should be so thoroughly identified as it is with the works which he executed at this period. Such an occasion as the restoration of the sacred monuments of Athens would, we may be sure, produce the artist whose genius guided the whole work, as we know that it did produce a new development of art itself; and it is hardly conceivable that the master spirit of this new era was a man of nearly seventy years old, whose early studies and works must have been of that stiff archaic style, from which even Calamis, who (on this hypothesis) was much his junior, had not entirely emancipated himself. This principle, we think, will be found to furnish the best guide through the conflicting testimonies and opinions respecting the age of Pheidias.

Several writers, the best exposition of whose views is given by Thiersch (Ueber die Epochen der bildenden Kunst unter den Grieclxeu, p. 113, &c.), place Pheidias almost at the beginning of the fifth century B. C., making him already a young artist of some distinction at the time of the battle of Marathon, B. C. 490; and that on the following grounds. Pausanias tells us (1.28.2) that the colossal bronze statue of Athena Promachus, in the Acropolis of Athens, was made by Pheidias, out of the tithe of the spoil taken from the Medes who disembarked at Marathon; and he elsewhere mentions other statues which Pheidias made out of the same spoils, namely, the group of statues which the Athenians dedicated at Delphi (10.10.1), and the acrolith of Athena, in her temple at Plataeae (9.4.1). It may be observed in passing, with respect to the two latter works, that if they had exhibited that striking difference of style, as compared with the great works of Pheidias at Athens, which must have marked them had they been made some half century earlier than these great works, Pausanias would either not have believed them to be the works of Pheidias, or he would have made some observation upon their archaic style, and have informed us how early Pheidias began to work. The question, however, chiefly turns upon the first of the above works, the statue of Athena Promachus, which is admitted on all hands to have been one of the most important productions of the art of Pheidias. The argument of Thiersch is, that, in the absence of any statement to the contrary, we must assume that the commission was given to the artist immediately after the victory which the statue was intended to commemorate. Now it is evident, at first sight, to what an extraordinary conclusion this assumption drives us. Pheidias must already have been of some reputation to be entrusted with such a work. We cannot suppose him to have been, at the least, under twenty-five years of age. This would place his birth in B. C. 515. Therefore, at the time when he finished his great statue of Athena in the Parthenon (B. C. 438), he must have been 77; and after reaching such an age he goes to Elis, and undertakes the colossal statue of Zeus, upon completing which (B. C. 433, probably), he had reached the 82nd year of his age ! Results like these are not to be explained away by the ingenious arguments by which Thiersch maintains that there is nothing incredible in supposing Pheidias. at the age of eighty, to have retained vigour enough to be the sculptor of the Olympian Zeus, and even the lover of Pantarces (on this point see below). The utmost that call be granted to such arguments is the establishment of a bare possibility, which cannot avail for the decision of so important a question, especially against the arguments on the other side, which we now proceed to notice.

The question of the age of Pheidias is inseparably connected with one still more important, the whole history of the artistic decoration of Athens during the middle of the fifth century B. C., and the consequent creation of the Athenian school of perfect sculpture; and both matters are intimately associated with the political history of the period. We feel it necessary, therefore, to discuss the subject somewhat fully, especially as all the recent English writers with whose works we are acquainted have been content to assume the conclusions of Miller, Sillig, and others, without explaining the grounds on which they rest; while even the reasons urged by those authorities themselves seem to admit of some correction as well as confirmation

The chief point at issue is this :--Did the great Athenian school of sculpture, of which Pheidias was the head, take its rise at the commencement of the Persian wars, or after the settlement of Greece subsequent to those wars ? To those who understand the influence of war upon the arts of peace, or who are intimately acquainted with that period of Grecian history, the mode of stating the question almost suggests its solution. But it is necessary to descend to details. We must first glance at the political history of the period, to see what opportunities were furnished for the cultivation of art, and then compare the probabilities thus suggested with the known history of the art of statuary and sculpture.

In the period immediately following the battle of Marathon, in B. C. 490, we may be sure that the attention of the Athenians was divided between the effects of the recent struggle and the preparation for its repetition; and there could have been but little leisure and but small resources for the cultivation of art. Though the argument of Miüller, that the spoils of Marathon must have been but small, is pretty successfully answered by Thiersch, the probability that the tithe of those spoils, which was dedicated to the gods, awaited its proper destination till more settled times, is not so easily disposed of: indeed we learn from Thucydides (2.13) that a portion of these spoils (σκὺλα Μηδικά) were reckoned among the treasures of Athens so late as the beginning of the Peloponnesian war. During the occupation of Athens by the Persians, such a work as the colossal statue of Athena Promachus would, of course, have been destroyed in the burning of the Acropolis, had it been already set up; which it surely would have been, in the space of ten years, if, as Thiersch supposes, it had been put in hand immediately after the battle of Marathon. To assume, on the other hand, as Thiersch does, that Pheidias, in the flight to Salamis, succeeded in carrying with him his unfinished statue, with his moulds and implements, and so went on with his work, seems to us a manifest absurdity. We are thus brought to the end of the Persian invasion, when the Athenians found their city in ruins, but obtained, at least in part, the means of restoring it in the spoils which were divided after the battle of Plataeae (B. C. 479). Of that part of the spoil which fell to the share of Athens, a tithe would naturally be set apart for sacred uses, and would be added to the tithe of the spoils of Marathon. Nor is it by any means improbable that this united sacred treasure may have been distinguished as the spoils of Marathon, in commemoration of that one of the great victories over the Persians which had been achieved by the Athenians alone. There is, indeed, a passage in Demosthenes (Parapresb. § 272, ed. Bekk., p. 428) in which this is all but directly stated, for he says that the statue was made out of the wealth given by the Greeks to the Athenians, and dedicated by the city as an ἀριστεῖον of the war against the barbarians. This can only refer to the division of the spoil at the close of the second Persian WXar, while his statement that the Athenians dedicated the state as an ἀριστεῖον, clearly implies that the Athenians were accustomed, through national pride, to speak of these spoils as if they had been gained in that battle, the glory of which was peculiarly their own, namely Marathon. This observation would apply also to the Plataeans' share of the spoil; and it seems to furnish a satisfactory reason for our hearing so much of the votive offerings dedicated by the Athenians out of the spoils of Marathon, and so little of any similar application of the undoubtedly greater wealth which fell to their share after the repulse of Xerxes. But in this case, as in the former, we must of necessity suppose a considerable delay. The first objects which engrossed the attention of the Athenians were the restoration of their dwellings and fortifications, the firm establishment of their political power, and the transference to themselves of the supremacy over the allied Greeks. In short, the administrations of Aristeides and Themistocles, and the early part of Cimon's, were fully engaged with sterner necessities than even the restoration of the sacred edifices and statues. At length even the appearance of danger from Persia entirely ceased; the Spartans were fully occupied at home; the Athenians had converted their nominal supremacy into the real empire of the Aegean; and the common treasury was transferred from Delos to Athens (B. C. 465); at home Cimon was in the height of his power and popularity, and Pericles was just coming forward into public life; while the most essential defences of the city were already completed. The period had undoubtedly come for the restoration of the sacred edifices and for the commencement of that brilliant era of art, which is inseparably connected with the name of Pheidias, and which found a still more complete opportunity for its development when, after the conclusion of the wars which occupied so much of the attention of Cimon and of Pericles during the following twenty years, the thirty years' truce was concluded with the Lacedaemonians, and the power of Pericles was finally established bv the ostracism of Thucydides (B. C. 445, 444); while the treasury of Athens was continually augmented by the contributions levied from the revolted allies. There is, indeed, no dispute as to the fact that the period from B. C. 444 to the breaking out of the Peloponnesian War, B. C. 431. was that during which the most important works of art were executed, under the administration of Pericles and under the superintendence of Pheidias. The question really in dispute regards only the commencenlent of the period.

An important event of Cimon's administration affords a strong confirmation to the general conclusion suggested by the above view of thie history of the period : we refer to the transference of the bones of Theseus to Athens, in the year B. C. 468, an event which must be taken as marking the date of the commencement of the temple of Theseus, one of the great works of art of the period under discussion. In this case there was a special reason for the period chosen to undertake the work ; though the commencement of the general restoration of the sacred monuments would probably be postponed till the completion of the defences of the city, which may be fixed at B. 100.457-456, when 4he long walls were completed. Hence, assuming (what must he granted to Thiersch) that Pheidias ought to be placed as early as the circumstances of the case permit. it would seem probable that he flourished from about the end of the 79th Olympiad to the end of the 86th, B. C. 460-432.

This supposition agrees exactly with all that we know of the history of art at that period. It is quite clear that the transition from the archaic style of the earlier artists to the ideal style of Pheidias did not take place earlier than the close of the first quarter of the fifth century B. C. There are chronological difficulties in this part of the argument, but there is enough of what is certain. Perhaps the most important testimony is that of Cicero (Cic. Brut. 18), who speaks of the statues of Canachus as "rigidiora quam ut imitentur veritatem," and those of Calamis as "dura quidern, sed tamen oolliora quam Canachi," in contrast with the almost perfect works of Myron, and the perfect ones of Polycleitus. Quintilian (12.10) repeats the criticism with a slight variation, "Duriora et Ttsscanicis proxima Callon atque Egesias, jam minus rigida Calanmis, molliora adhuc supra dictis Myron fecit." Here we have the names of Canachus, Callon, and Hieesits, representing the thoroughly archaic school, and of Calamis as still archaic, though less decidedly so, and then there is at once a transition to Myron and Polvcleitus, the younger contemporaries of Pheidias. If we inquire more particularly into the dates of these artists, we find that Canachus anid Callon flourished probably between B. C. 520 and 480. Hegesias, or Hegias, is made by Pausanias a contemporary of Onatas, and of Ageladas (of whom we shall presently have to speak), and is expressly mentioned by Lucian, in connection with two other artists, Critios and Nesiotes, as τῆς παλαιᾶς ἐργασίας, while Pliny, in his loose way, makes him, and Alcamenes, and Critics and Nesiotes, all rivals of Pheidias in Ol. 84, B. C. 444 [HEGIAS]. Of the artists, whose names are thus added to those first mentioned, we know that Critios and Nesiotes executed works about B. C. 477 [CRITIOS]; and Onatas, who was contemporary with Polygnotus, was reckoned as a Daedaliani artist, and clearly belonged to the archaic school, wrought, with Calamis, in B. C. 467, and probably flourished as late as late as B. C. 460. Calamis, though contemporary with Onatas, seems to have been younger, and his name (as the above citations show) marks the introduction of a less rigid style of art [CALAMSIS 2]. Thus we have a series of artists of the archaic school, extending quite down to the middle of the fifth century, B. C.; and therefore the conclusion seems unavoidable that the establishment of the new school, of which Pheidias was the head, cannot be referred to a period much earlier.

But a more positive argument for our artist's date is supplied by this list of names. Besides Ageladas, whom most of the authorities mention as the teacher of Pheidias, Dio Chrysostom (Or. lv. p. 558) gives another name, which is printed in the editions Ἱππίου, but appears in the MSS. as ΙΠΠΟΓ, out of which ΗΓΙΟΓ may be made by a very slight alteration; and, if this conjecture be admitted, we have, as a teacher of Pheidias, Hegias or Hegesias, who, as we have seen, was contemlporary with Onatas. Without any conjecture, however, we know that Ageladas of Argos, the principal master of Pheidias, was contemporary with Onatas, and also that he was the teacher of Myron and Polycleitus. It is true that a new set of difficulties here arises respecting the date of Ageladas himself; and these difficulties have led Thiersch to adopt the conjecture that two artists of the same name have been confounded together. This easy device experience shows to be always suspicious; and in this case it seems peculiarly arbitrary, when the statement is that Ageladas, one of the most famous statuaries of Greece, was the teacher of three others of the most celebrated artists, Pheidias, Myron, and Polycleitus, to separate this Ageladas into two persons, making one the teacher of Pheidias, the other of Myron and Po!ycleitus. Certainly, if two artists of the name must be imagined, it would be better to make Pheidias, with Myron and Polycleitus, the disciple of the younyer.

The principal data for the time for Ageladas are these :--1. He executed one statue of the group of three Muses, of which Canachus and Aristocles made the other two; 2. he made statues of Olympic victors, who conquered in the 65th and 66th Olympiads, B. C. 520, 516, and of another whose victory was about the same period; 3. he was contemporary with Hegias and Onatas, who flourished about B. C. 467; 4. he made a statue of Zeus for the Messenians of Naupactus, which must have been after B. C. 455; 5. He was the teacher of Pheidias, Myron, and Polycleitus, who flourished in the middle of the fifth century, B. C.; 6. he made a statue of Heracles Alexicacos, at Melite, which was supposed to have been set up during the great plague of B. C. 430-429; and 7. he is placed by Pliny, with Polycleitus, Phradmon, and Myron, at Ol. 87, n. 100.432. Now of these data, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th can alone be relied on, and they are not irreconcileable with the Ist, for Ageladas may, as a young man, have worked with Canachus and Aristocles, and yet have flourished down to the middle of the fifth century : the 2nd is entirely inconclusive, for the statues of Olympic victors were often made long after their victories were gained; the 6th has been noticed already; and the 7th may be disposed of as another example of the loose way in which Pliny groups artists together. The conclusion will then be that Ageladas flourished during the first half and down to the middle of the fifth century B. C. The limits of this article do not allow us to pursue this important part of the subject further. For a fuller discussion of it the reader is referred to Müller, de Phidiae Vita, pp. 11, &c. Miller maintains the probability of Ageladas having visited Athens, both from his having been the teacher of Pheidias and Myron, and from the possession by the Attic pagus of Melite of his statue of Heracles (Schol. ad Aristoph. Ran. 504). He suggests also, that the time of this visit may have taken place after the alliance between Athens and Argos, about B. C. 461; but this is purely conjectural.

The above arguments respecting the date of Pheidias might be confirmed by the particular facts that are recorded of him; but these facts will be best stated in their proper places in the account of his life. As the general result of the inquiry, it is clearly impossible to fix the precise date of the birth of the artist; but the evidence preponderates, we think, in favour of the supposition that Pheidias began to work as a statuary about Ol. 79, B. C. 464; and, supposing him to have been about twenty-five years old at this period, his birth would fall about 489 or 490, that is to say, about the time of the battle of Marathon. We now return to what is known of his life.

It is not improbable that Pheidias belonged to a family of artists; for his brother or nephew Panaenus was a celebrated painter; and he himself is related to have occupied himself with painting, before he turned his attention to statuary. (Plm. H. N. 35.8. s. 34.) He was at first instructed in statuary by native artists (of whom Hegias alone is mentioned, or supposed to be mentioned, under the altered form of his name, Hippias, see above), and afterwards by Ageladas. The occaision for the development of his talents was furnished (as has been already argued at length) by the works undertaken, chiefly at Athens, after the Persian wars. Of these works, the group of statues dedicated at Delphi out of the tithe of the spoils would no doubt be among the first; and it has therefore been assumed that this was the first great work of Pheidias : it will be described presently. The statue of Athena Promachus would probably also, for the sane reason of discharging a religious duty, be among the first works undertaken for the ornament of the city, and we shall probably not be far wrong in assigning the execution of it to about the year B. C. 460. This work, from all we know of it, must have established his reputation; but it was surpassed by the splendid productions of his own hand, and of others working under his direction, during the administration of Pericles. That statesman not only chose Pheidias to execute the principal statues which were to be set up, but gave him the oversight of all the works of art which were to be erected. Plutarch, from whom we learn this fact, enumerates the following classes of artists and artificers, who all worked under the direction of Pheidias : τέκτονες, μαλακτῆρες καὶ ἐλέφαντος, ζωγράφοι, ποικιλταὶ, τορευταί. (Plut. Per. 12.) Of these works the chief were the Propylaea of the Acropolis, and, above all, that most perfect work of human art, the rememthe temple of Athena on the Acropolis, called the Parthenon or the Hecatompedon, on which, as the central point of the Athenian polity and religion, the highest efforts of the best of artists were employed. There can be no doubt that the sculptured ornaments of this temple, the remains of which form the glory of our national museum, were executed under the immediate superintendence of Pheidias; but the colossal statue of the divinity, which was enclosed within that magnificent shrine, was the work of the artist's own hand, and was for ages esteemed the greatest production of Greek statuary, with the exception of the similar, but even more splendid statue of Zeus, which Pheidias afterwards executed in his temple at Olympia. The materials chosen for this statue were ivory and gold; that is to say, the statue was formed of plates of ivory laid upon a core of wood or stone, for the flesh parts, and the drapery and other ornaments were of solid gold. It is said that the choice of these materials resulted from the determination of the Athenians to lavish the resources of wealth, as well as of art, on the chief statue of their tutelary deity ; for when Pheidias laid before the ecclesia his design for the statue, and proposed to make it either of ivory and gold, or of white marble, intimating however his own preference for the latter, the were the most costly should be employed. (V. Max. 1.1.7.) The statue was dedicated in the 3d year of the 85th Olympiad, B. C. 438, in the be described presently, with the other works of Pheidias; but there are certain stories respecting it, which require notice here, as bearing upon the life and death of the artist, and as connected with the date of his other great work, the colossal statue of Zeus at Olympia.

The scholiast on Aristophanes (Aristoph. Peace 605) has preserved the following story from the Atthis of Philochorus, who flourished about B. C. 300, and whose authority is considerable, inasmuch as he was a priest and soothsayer, and was therefore well acquainted with the legends and history of his country, especially those bearing upon religious matters. "Under the year of the archonship of Pythodorus (or, according to the correction of Palmerius, Theodorus), Philochorus says that `the golden statue of Athena was set up in the great temple, having forty-four talents' weight of gold, under the superintendence of Pericles, and the workmanship of Pheidias. And Pheidias, appearing to have misappropriated the ivory for the scales (of the dragons) was condemned. And, having gone as an exile to Elis, he is said to have made the statue of Zeus at Olympia; but having finished this, he was put to death by the Eleians in the archonship of Scythodorus (or, according to the correction of Palmerius, Pythodorus), who is the seventh from this one (i.e., Theodorus), &c.'" then, further down, "Pheidias, as Philochorus says in the archonship of Pythodorus (or Theodorus, as above), having made the statue of Athena, pilfered the gold from the dragons of the chryselepliantine Athena, for which he was found guilty and sentenced to banishment; but having come to Elis, and having made among the Eleians the statue of the Olympian Zeus, and having been found guilty by them of peculation, he was put to death." (Schol. in Arist. ed. Dindorf; Fragm. Histor. Graec. p. 400, ed. Müller.) It must be remembered that this is the statement of Philochorus, as quoted by two different scholiasts; but still the general ageement shows that the passage is tolerably genuine. Of the corrections of Palmerius, one is obviously right, namely the name of Pythodorus for Scythodorus; for the latter archon is not mentioned elsewhere. Pythodorus was archon in Ol. 87. 1, B. C. 432, and seven years before him was the archonship of Theodorus, Ol. 85. 3, B. C. 438. In the latter year, therefore, the statue was dedicated; and this date is confirmed by Diodorus (12.31), and by Eusebius, who places the making of the statue in the 2d year of the 85th Olympiad. 3 This is, therefore, the surest chronological fact in the whole life of Pheidias. 4

The other parts, however, of the account of Philochorus, are involved in much difficulty. On the very face of the statement, the story of Pheidias having been first banished by the Athenians, and afterwards put to death by the Eleians, on a charge precisely similar in both cases, may be almost certainly pronounced a confused repetition of the same event. Next, the idea that Pheidias went to Elis as an exile, is perfectly inadmissible. 5 This will be clearly seen, if we examine what is known of the visit of Pheidias to the Eleians.

There can be little doubt that the account of the people is true so far as this, that the statue at Olympia was made by Pheidias after his great works at Athens. Heyne, indeed, maintains the contrary, but the fallacy of his arguments will prearchonship appear. It is not at all probable that the Athenians, in their eagerness to honour their goddess by the originality as well as by the magnificence of her statue, should have been content with an imitation of a work so unsurpassable as the statue of Zeus at Olympia; but it is probable that the Eleians, as the keepers of the sanctuary of the supreme divinity, should have desired to eclipse the statue of Athena : and the fact, that of these two statues the preference was always given to that of Zeus, is no small proof that it was the last executed. Very probably, too, in this fact we may find one of the chief causes of the resentment of the Athenians against Pheidias, a resentment which is not likely to have been felt, much less manifested, at the moment when he had finished the works which placed Athens at the very summit of all that was beautiful and magnificent in Grecian art. It is necessary to bear in mind these arguments from the probabilities of the case, on account of the meagreness of the positive facts that are recorded. There is, however, one fact, which seems to fix, with tolerable certainty, the time when Pheidias was engaged on the statue at Olympia. Pausanias informs us (5.11.2) that, on one of the flat pieces which extended between the legs of the throne of the statue, among other figures representing the athletic contests, was one of a youth binding his head with a fillet (the symbol of victory), who was said to resemble Pantarces, an Eleian boy, who was beloved by Pheidias; and that Paltarces was victor in the boys' wrestling, in Ol. 86, B. C. 436. 6 If there he any truth in this account, it follows, first, that the statue could not have been completed before this date, and also that, in all probability; Pheidias was engaged upon it at the very time of the victory of Pantarces. That the relief was not added at a later period, is certain, for there is not the least reason for supposing that any one worked upon the statue after Pheidias, nor would any subsequent artist have the motive which Pheidias had to represent Pantarces at all. A more plausible objection is founded on the uncertainty of the tradition, which Pausanias only records in the vague terms ἐοικέναι τὸ εῖδος λέγουσι. But it must be remembered that the story was derived from a class of persons who were not only specially appointed to the charge of the statue, but were the very descendants of Pheidias, and who had, therefore, every motive to preserve every tradition respecting him. The very utmost that can be granted is, that the resemblance may have been a fancy, but that the tradition of the love of Pheidias for Pantarces was true; and this would be sufficient to fix, pretty nearly, the time of the residence of the artist among the Eleians. If we are to believe Clemens of Alexandria, and other late writers, Pheidias also inscribed the name of Pantarces on the finger of the statue (Cohort. p. 16; Arnob. ad v. Gent. 6.13).

Besides urging the objections just referred to against the story of Pantarces, Heyne endeavours to establish an earlier date for the statue from that of the temple; which was built out of the spoils taken in the war between the Eleians and Pisacans. The date of this war was Ol. 50, B. C. 580; but it is impossible to argue from the time when spoils were gained to the time when they were applied to their sacred uses : and the argument, if pressed at all, would obviously prove too much, and throw back the completion of the temple long before the time of Pheidias. On the whole, therefore, we may conclude that Pheidias was at work among the Eleians about B. C. 436, or two years later than the dedication of his Athena of the Parthenon.

Now, was he there at the invitation of the Eleians, who desired that their sanctuary of the supreme deity, the centre of the religious and social union of Greece, should be adorned by a work of art, surpassing, if possible, the statue which had just spread the fame of Athens and of Pheidias over Greece; or was he there as a dishonoured exile, banished for peculation ? All that is told us of his visit combines to show that he went attended by his principal disciples, transferring in fact his school of art for a time from Athens, where his chief work was ended, to Elis and Olympia, which he was now invited to adorn. Among the artists who accompanied him were COLOTES, who worked with him upon the statue of Zeus, as already upon that of Athena, and who executed other important works for the Eleians; PANAENUS, his relative, who executed the chief pictorial embellishments of the statue and temple; ALCAMENES, his most distinguished disciple, who made the statues in the hinder pediment of the temple; not to mention PAEONIUS of Mende, and CLEOETAS, whose connection with Pheidias, though not certain, is extremely probable. It is worthy of notice that, nearly at the time when the artists of the school of Pheidias were thus employed in a body at Olympia, those of the Athenian archaic school--such as Praxias. the disciple of Calamis, and Androsthenes, the disciple of Eucadmus, were similarly engaged on the temple at Delphi (see Müller, de Phid. Vit. p. 28, n. y.). The honour in which Pheidias lived among the Eleians is also shown by their assigning to him a studio in the neighbourhood of the Altis (Paus. 5.15.1), and by their permitting him to inscribe his name upon the footstool of the god, an honour which had been denied to him at Athens 7 (Paus. 5.10.2; Cic. Tusc. Quaest. 1.15). The inscription was as follows :--

Φειδίας Χαρμίδου υἱὸς Ἀθηναῖος μ᾽ ἐπόησεν.

Without raising a question whether he would thus solemnly have inscribed his name as an Athenian if he had been an exile, we may point to clearer proofs of his good feeling towards his native city in some of the figures with which he adorned his great work, such as that of Theseus (Paus. 5.10.2), and of Salamiis holding the aplustre, in a group with personified Greece, probably crowning her (Paus. 5.11.2). These subjects are also important ill another light. They seem to show that the work was executed at a time when the Eleians were on a good understanding with Athens, that is, before the breaking out of the Peloponnesian War.

From the above considerations, making allowance also for the tilln which so great a work would necessarily occupy, it may be inferred, with great probability, that Plieidias was engaged on the statue of Zeus and his other works among the Eleians, for about the four or five years from B. C. 437 to 434 or 433. It would seem that he then returned to Athens, and there fell a victim to the jealousy against his great patron, Pericles, which was then at its height. That he was the object of some fierce attack by the party opposed to Pericles, the general consent of the chief ancient authorities forbids us to doubt; and a careful attention to the internal politics of Athens will, perhaps, guide us through the conflicting statements which we have to deal with, to a tolerably safe conclusion.

The most important testimony on the subject, and one which is in fact enough to settle the question, is that of Aristophanes (Aristoph. Peace 605), where, speaking of the commencement of the war, says :--

Πρῶτα μὲν γὰρ ἦρξεν ἔτης Φειδίας πράξας κακῶς:
εἶτα Περικλέης Φοβηθεὶς μὴ μετάσχοι τῆς τύχης,
τὰς φύσεις ὑμῶν δεδοικὼς καὶ τὸν αὐτοδὰξ τρόπον,
πρὶν παθεῖν τι δεινὸν, αὐτὸς ἐξέφλεξε τὴν πόλιν,
ἐμβαλὼν σπινθῆρα μικρὸν μεγαρικοῦ ψηφίσματος,
κἀξεφύσησεν τοσοῦτον πόλεμον, κ.τ.λ.

From this passage we learn, not only that Pheidias suffered some extreme calamity at the hands of the Athenians, but that the attack upon him was of such a nature as to make Pericles tremble for his own safety, and to hurry the city into war by the passing of the decree against Megara, which decree was made not later than the beginning of B. C. 432.

It is clear that Pericles was at that period extremely unpopular with a large party in Athens, who, thinking him too powerful to be overthrown by a direct attack, aimed at him in the persons of his most cherished friends, Pheidias, Alaxagoras, and Aspasia. This explanation is precisely that given by Plutarch (Plut. Per. 31), who furnishes us with particulars of the accusation against Pheidias. At the instigation of the enemies of Pericles, a certain Menon, who had been employed under Pheidias, laid an information against him for peculation, a charge which was at once refuted, as, by the advice of Pericles, the gold had been affixed to the statue in such a manner that it could he removed and the weight of it examined (comp. Thuc. 2.13). The accusers then charged Pheidias with impiety, in having introduced into the battle of the Amazons, on the shield of the goddess, his own likeness and that of Pericles, the former as a bald old man 8, hurling a stone with both his hands, and the latter as a very handsome warrior, fighting with an Amazon, his face being partially concealed by the hand which held his uplifted spear, so that the likeness was only visible on a side view. On this latter charge Pheidias was thrown into prison, where he died from disease, or, as the less scrupulous partizans of Pericles maintained, from poison. The people voted to his accuser Menon, on the proposal of Glycon, exemption from taxes, and charged the generals to watch over his safety. Plutarch then proceeds (100.32) to narrate, as parts of the same train of events, and as occurring about the same time, the attacks upon Aspasia and Aniaxagoras, and concludes by distinctly affirming that the attack on Pheidias inspired Pericles with a fear, which induced him to blow into a flame the smouldering sparks of the coming war (Ὡς δὲ διὰ Φειδίου προσέπταισε τῷ δήμῳ, Φοβηθεὶς τὸ δικαστήριον, μέλλοντα τὸν πόλεμον καὶ ὑποτυφόμενον ἐξέκαυσεν, ἐλπίζων διασκεδάσειν τὰ ἐγκλήματα, καὶ ταπεινώσειν τὸν Φθόνον). To complete the evidence, Philochorus, though he (or the scholiasts who quote him) has made a confusion of the facts, may be relied on for the date, which he doubtless took from official records, namely the archonship of Pythodorus, or B. C. 432. The death of Pheidias happened about the time of the completion of the last of those great works which he superintended, namely, the Propylaea, which had been commenced about the time when he went to Elis, B. C. 437.

It will be useful to give a synopsis of the events of the life of Pheidias, according to their actual or probable dates.

B. C. Ol.  
490 72. 3 Battle of Marathon.
488 73. 1 Pheidias born about this time.
468 77. 4 Cimon commences the temple of Theseus.
464 79. 1 Pheidias studies under Ageladas, probably about this time, having previously been instructed by Hegias. Aet. 25.
460 80. 1 Pheidias begins to flourish about this time. Aet. 29.
457 80. 3 The general restoration of the temples destroyed by the Persians commenced about this time.
444 84. 1 Sole administration of Pericles.--Pheidias overseer of all the public works. Act. 44.
438 85. 3 The Parthenon, with the chryselephantine statue of Athena, finished and dedicated. Aet. 50.
437 85. 4 Pheidias goes to Elis.--The Propylaea commenced.
436 86. 1 Pantarces Olympic victor.
433 86. 4 The statue of Zeus at Olympia completed.
432 87. 1 Accusation and death of Pheidias.

The disciples of Pheidias were Agoracritus, Alcamenes, and Colotes (see the articles).

II. His Works.

The subjects of the art of Pheidias were for the most part sacred, and the following list will show how favourite a subject with him was the tutelary goddess of Athens. In describing them, it is of great importance to observe, not only the connection of their subjects, but, as far as possible, their chronological order. The classification according to materials, which is adopted by Sillig, besides being arbitrary, is rather a hindrance than a help to the historical study of the works of Pheidias.

1. The Athena at Pellene in Achaia, of ivory and gold, must be placed among his earliest works, if we accept the tradition preserved by Pausanias, that Pheidias made it before he made the statues of Athena in the Acropolis at Athens, and at Plataeae. (Paus. 7.27.1.) If this be true. we have an important indication of the early period at which he devoted his attention to chryselephtntine statuary. This is one of several instances in which we know that Pheidias worked for other states besides his native city and Elis, but unfortunately we have no safe grounds to determine the dates of such visits.

2. It cannot be doubted that those statues which were made, or believed to have been made, ou(t of the spoils of the Persian wars, were among his earliest works, and perhaps the very first of his great works (at least as to the time when it was undertaken, for it would necessarily take long to complete), was the group of statues in bronze, which the Athenians dedicated at Delphi, as a votive offering, out of the tithe of their share of the Persian spoils. The statues were thirteen in number, namely, Athena, Apollo, Miltiades, Erechtheus, Cecrops, Paldion, Celeus, Antiochus, Aegeus, Acamas, Codrus, Theseus, Phyleus. (Paus. 10.30.1.)

3. The colossal bronze statue of Athena Promachus, in the Acropolis, was also said to have been made out of the spoils of Marathon; but it is important to remember the sense in which this must probably be understood, as explained above. Bottiger supposes that it was placed in the temple of Athena Polias (Andeutungen, p. 84, Amalthea, vol. ii. p. 314); but there can be no doubt that it stood in the open air, between the Propvlaea and the Parthenon, as it is represented on the coin mentioned below. It was between fifty and sixty feet high. with the pedestal; and the point of the spear and the crest of the helmet were visible as far off as Sunium to ships approaching Athens. (Strab. vi. p.278; Paus. 1.28.2; comp. Hdt. 5.77.) It was still standing as late as A. D. 395, when it was seen by Alaric. (Zosiius, 5.6.) It represented the goddess holding up both her spear and shield, in the attitude of a combatant. (Ibid.) The entire completion of the ornamental work upon this statue was long delayed, if we are to believe the statement, that the shield was engraved by Mys, after the design of Parrhasius. (See IMs, PARRHASIUS: the matter is very doubtful, but, considering the vast number of great works of art on which Pheidias and his fellow-artists were engaged, the delay in the completion of the statue is not altogether improbable.) This statue is exhibited in a rude representation of the Acropolis, on an old Athenian coin which is engraved in Muller's Denkmäler, vol. i. pl. xx. fig. 104.

4. Those faithful allies of the Athenians, the Plataeans, in dedicating the tithe of their share of the Persian spoils, availed themselves of the skill of Pheidias, who made for them a statue of Athena Areia, of a size not much less than the statue in the Acropolis. The colossus at Plataeae was an acrolith, the body being of wood gilt, and the face, hands, and feet, of Pentelic marble. (Paus. 9.4.1.) The language of Pausanias, here and elsewhere, and the nature of the case, make it nearly certain that this statue was made about the same time as that in the Acropolis.

5. Besides the Athena Promachus, the Acropolis contained a bronze statue of Athena, of such surpassing beauty, that it was esteemed by many not only as the finest work of Pheidias, but as the standard ideal representation of the goddess. (See Paus. 1.28.2; Plin. Nat. 34.8. s. 19.1 ; and especially Lucian, Imag. 4, 6. vol. ii. pp. 462, 464, who remarks upon the outline of the face, the softness of the cheeks, and the symmetry of the nose.) It is possible that this was Pheidias's own model of the Athena of the Parthenon, executed in a more manageable material, and on a scale which permitted it to be better seen at one view, and therefore more beautiful. The statue was called Lemnia, from having been dedicated by the people of Lemnos. (Paus. l.c.

6. Another statue of Athena is mentioned by Pliny (l.c.) as having been dedicated at Rome, near the temple of Fortune, by Paulus Aellilius, but whether this also stood originally in the Acropolis is unknown.

7. Still more uncertainty attaches to the statue which Pliny calls Cliduchus (the key-bearer), and which he mentions in such a way as to imply, probably but not certainly, that it also was a statue of Athena. The key in the hand of this statue was probably the symbol of initiation into the mysteries.

8. We now come to the greatest of Pheidias's works at Athens, the ivory and gold statue of Atlena in the Parthenon, and the other sculptures which adorned that temple. It is true, indeed, that none of the ancient writers ascribe expressly to Pheidias the execution of any of these sculptures, except the statue of the goddess herself ; but neither do they mention any other artists as having executed them : so that from their silence, combined with the statement of Plutarch, that all the great works of art of the time of Pericles were entrusted to the care of Pheidias, and, above all, from the marks which the sculptures themselves bear of having been designed by one mind, and that a master mind, it may be inferred with certainty, that all the sculptures of the Parthenon are to be ascribed to Pheidias, as their designer and superintendent, though the actual execution of them must of necessity have been entrusted to artists working under his direction. These sculptures consisted of the colossal statue of the goddess herself; and the ornaments of the sanctuary in which she was enshrined, namely, the sculptures in the two pediments, the high-reliefs in the metopes of the frieze, and the continuous bash-reliefs which surrounded the cella, forming a sort of frieze beneath the ceiling of the peristyle.

The great statue of the goddess was of that kind of work which the Greeks called chryselephantine, and which Pheidias is said to have invented. Up to his time colossal statues, when not of bronze, were acroliths, that is, only the face, hands, and feet, were of marble, the body being of wood, which was concealed by real drapery. An example of such a statue by Pheidias himself has been mentioned just above. Pheidias, then, substituted for marble the costlier and more beautiful material, ivory, in those parts of the statue which were unclothed, and, instead of real drapery, he made the robes and other ornaments of solid gold. The mechanical process by which the plates of ivory were laid on to the wooden core of the statue is described, together with the other details of the art of chryselephantine statuary, in the elaborate work of Quatremere de Quincy, Le Jupiter Olympien, and more briefly in an excellent chapter of the work entitled the Menageries, vol. 2.100.13. In the Athena of the Parthenon the object of Pheidias was to embody the ideal of the virgin-goddess, armed, but victorious, as in his Athena Promachus he had represented the warrior-goddess, in the very attitude of battle. The statue stood in the foremost and larger chamber of the temple (prodonmus). It represented the goddess standing, clothed with a tunic reaching to the ankles, with her spear in her left hand and an image of Victory four cubits high in her right : she was girded with the aegis, and had a helmet on her head, and her shield rested on the ground by her side. The height of the statue was twenty-six cubits, or nearly forty feet, including the base. From the manner in which Plato speaks of the statue, it seems clear that the gold predominated over the ivory, the latter being used for the face, hands, and feet, and the former for the drapery and ornaments (tipp. Maj. p. 290). There is no doubt that the robe was of gold, beaten out with the hammer (σφυρήλατος). Its thickness was not above a line; and, as already stated, all the gold upon the statue was so affixed to it as to be removable at pleasure. (See Thuc. 2.13, and the commentators.) The eyes, according to Plato (l.c.), were of a kind of marble, nearly resembling ivory, perhaps painted to imitate the iris and pupil; there is no sufficient authority for the statement which is frequently made, that they were of precious stones. It is doubtful whether the core of the statue was of wood or of stone. The various portions of the statue were most elaborately ornamented. A sphinx formed the crest of her helmet, and on either side of it were gryphons, all, no doubt, of gold. The aegis was fringed with golden serpents, and in its centre was a golden head of Medusa, which, however, was stolen by Philorgus (Isocr. ad v. Callim. 22; Böckh, Corp. Inscr. vol. i. p. 242), and was replaced with one of ivory, which Pausanias saw. The lower end of the spear was supported by a dragon, supposed by Pausanias to represent Erichthonius, and the juncture between the shaft and head was formed of a sphinx in bronze. Even the edges of the sandals, which were four dactyli high, were seen, on close inspection, to be engraved with the battle of the Lapithae and Centaurs. The shield was ornamented on both sides with embossed work, representing, on the inner side, the battle of the giants against the gods, and on the outer, the battle of the Amazons against the Athenians. All these subjects were native Athenian legends. The base, which of itself is said to have been the work of several months, represented, in relief, the birth of Pandora, and her receiving gifts from the gods : it contained figures of twenty divinities. The weight of the gold upon the statue, which, as above stated, was removable at pleasure, is said by Thucydides to have been 40 talents (2.13), by Philochorus 44, and by other writers 50 : probably the statement of Philochorus is exact, the others being round numbers. (See Wesseling, ad Diod. Sic. 12.40.) Great attention was paid to the preservation of the statue : and it was frequently sprinkled with water, to preserve it from being injured by the dryness of the atmosphere. (Paus. 5.11.5.) The base was repaired by Aristocles the younger, about B. C. 397 (Böckh, Corp. Inscr. vol. i. p. 237 : Böckh suggests that, as Aristcles was the son of Cleoetas, who appears to have been an assistant of Pheidias in his great works, this artist's family may have been the guardians of the statue, as the descendants of Pheidias himself were of the Zeus at Olympia.) The statue was finally robbed of its gold by Lachares, in the time of Demetrius Poliorcetes, about B. C. 296. (Paus 1.25.7.) Pausanias, however, speaks of the statue as if the gold were still upon it; possibly the plundered gold may have been replaced by gilding. We possess numerous statues of Athena, most of which are no doubt imitated from that in the Parthenon, and from the two other statues in the Acropolis. Böttiger has endeavoured to distinguish the existing copies of these three great works (Andeutungen, pp. 90-92). That which is believed to be the nearest copy of the Athena of the Parthenon is a marble statue in the collection of Mr. Hope, which is engraved in the Specimens of Ancient Sculpture, vol. ii. pl. 9, and in Müller's Denkmäler, vol.ii. pl. xix. fig. 202. A less perfect, but precisely similar copy, stood in the Villa Albani. Copies also appear on the reverses of coins of the Antiochi, engraved in this work (vol. i. p. 199). These copies agree in every respect, except in the position of the left hand, and of the spear and shield. In Mr. Hope's statue the left hand is raised as high as the head, and holds the spear as a sceptre, the shield being altogether wanting : on the medals, the left hand rests upon the shield, which stands upon the ground, leaning against the left leg of the statue, while the spear leans slightly backwards, supported by the left arm. An attempt has been made at a restoration of the statue by Quatremère de Quincy in his Jupiter Olympien, and a more successful one by Mr. Lucas in his model of the Parthenon. (See also Flaxman's Lectures on Sculpture, pl. 19.) The statue is described at length by Pausanias (1.24), by Maximus Tyrius (Dissert. xiv.), and by Pliny (Plin. Nat. 34.8. s. 19.1, 36.5. s. 4.4). One of the best modern descriptions is that of Böttiger (Andeutungen, pp. 86-93). It is also well described in The Elgin and Phigaleian Marbles (vol. i. pp. 136, 137).

The other sculptures of the Parthenon belong less properly to our subject, since it is impossible to say which of them were executed by the hand of Pheidias, though it cannot be doubted that they were all made under his superintendence. It is, moreover, almost superfluous to describe them at any length, inasmuch as a large portion of them form, under the name of the "Elgin Marbles," the choicest treasure of our national Museum, where their study is now greatly facilitated by the admirable model of the Parthenon by Mr. Lucas. There are also ample descriptions of them, easily accessible; for example, the work entitled The Elgin and Phigaleian Marbles. 9 It is, therefore, sufficient to state briefly the following particulars. The outside of the wall of the cella was surrounded by a frieze, representing the Panathenaic procession in very low relief, a form admirably adapted to a position where the light was imperfect, and chiefly reflected, and where the angle of view was necessarily large. The metopes, or spaces between the triglyphs of the frieze of the peristyle, were filled with sculptures in very high relief, ninety-two in number, fourteen on each front, and thirty-two on each side; the subjects were taken from the legendary history of Athens. Those on the south side, of which we possess fifteen in the British Museum, represent the battle between the Athenians and Centaurs at the marriage feast of Peirithoüs. Some of them are strikingly archaic in their style; thus confirming our previous argument, that the archaic style continued quite down to the time of Pheidias, who may be supposed, on the evidence of these sculptures, to have employed some of the best of the artists of that school, to assist himself and his disciples. Others of the metopes display that pure and perfect art, which Pheidias himself introduced, and which has never been surpassed. The architrave of the temple was adorned with golden shields beneath the metopes, which were carried off, with the gold of the statue of the goddess, by Lachares. (Paus. l.c.) Between the shields were inscriptions. The tympana of the pediments of the temple were filled with most magnificent groups of sculpture, that in the front, or eastern face, representing the birth of Athena, and that in the western face the contest of Athena with Poseidon for the land of Attica. (Paus. 1.24.5.) The mode in which the legend is represented, and the identification of the figures, in each of these groups, has long been a very difficult problem. The most recent and most elaborate essay on the subject is that by Welcker, On the sculptured Groups in the Pediments of the Parthenon, in the Classical Museum, vol. ii. pp. 367, &c.

We pass on to the other works of Pheidias at Athens.

9. A bronze statue of Apollo Parnopius in the Acropolis. (Paus. 1.24.8.)

10. An Aphrodite Urania of Parian marble in her temple near the Cerameicus. (Paus. ibid.

11. A statue of the Mother of the Gods, sitting on a throne supported by lions, and holding a cymbal in her hand, in the Metroum, near the Cerameicus. The material is not stated. (Paus. 1.3.4; Arrian. Peripl. Pont. Eux. p. 9.)

12. The golden throne of the bronze statue of Athena Hygieia, in the Acropolis, is enumerated by Sillig as among the works of Pheidias; but we rather think that the words τῆς θεοῦ refer to the great statue in the Parthenon, and not to the apparent antecedent in the preceding sentence, which is, in fact, part of a digression

Of the statues which Pheidias made for other Greek states, by far the first place must be assigned to--

13. The colossal ivory and gold statue of Zeus in his great temple in the Altis or sacred grove at Olympia. The fullest description of the statue is that given by Pausanias (5.11).

The statue was placed in the prodomus or front chamber of the temple, directly facing the entrance, and with its back against the wall which separated the prodomus from the opisthodomus, so that it at once showed itself in all its grandeur to a spectator entering the temple. It was only visible, however, on great festivals, at other times it was concealed by a magnificent curtain; the one used in the time of Pausanias had been presented by king Antiochus. (Paus. 5.12.4.) The god was represented as seated on a throne of cedar wood, adorned with gold, ivory, ebony, stones, and colours, crowned with a wreath of olive, holding in his right hand an ivory and gold statue of Victory, with a fillet in her hand and a crown upon her head, and in his left hand supporting a sceptre, which was ornamented with all sorts of metals, and surmounted by an eagle. The robe, which covered the lower part of the figure, and the sandals of the god were golden, the former, as we learn from Strabo, of beaten gold (σφυρήλατος), and on the robe were represented (whether by painting or chasing Pausanias does not say, but the former is by far the more probable) various animals and flowers, especially lilies. The throne was brilliant both with gold and stones, and with ebony and ivory, and was ornamented with figures both painted and sculptured. There were four Victories in the attitude of dancing, against each leg of the throne, and two others at the foot of each leg. Each of the front legs was surmounted by a group representing a Theban youth seized by a Sphinx, and beneath each of these groups (that is, on the face of the bar which joined the top of the front legs to the back) Apollo and Artemis were represented shooting at the children of Niobe. The legs of the throne were united by four straight bars (κανόνες) sculptured with reliefs, the front one representing various athletic contests, and the other two (for the back one was not visible) the battle between the Amazons and the comrades of Hercules, among whom Theseus was represented. There were also pillars between the legs as additional supports. The throne was surrounded by barriers or walls (ἐρυμάτα τρόπον τοίχων πεποιημένα), which prevented all access to it. Of these the one in front was simply painted dark blue, the others were adorned with pictures by PANAENUS. The summit of the back of the throne, above the god's head, was surmounted on the one side by the three Graces, on the other by the three Hours, who were introduced here as being the daughters of Zeus, and the keepers of heaven. The footstool of the god was supported by four golden lions, and chased or painted with the battle of Theseus against the Amazons. The sides of the base, which supported the throne and the whole statue, and which must not be confounded with the walls already mentioned, 10 were ornamented with sculptures in gold, representing Helios mounting his chariot; Zeus and Hera; Charis by the side of Zeus; next to her Hermes; then Hestia; then Eros receiving Aphrodite as she rises from the sea, and Peitho crowning her. Here also were Apollo with Artemis, and Athena and Heracles, and at the extremity of the base Amphitrite and Poseidon, and Selene riding on a horse or a mule. Such is Pausanias's description of the figure, which will be found to be admirably illustrated in all its details by the drawing, in which M. Quatremère de Quincy has attempted its restoration. (Böttiger, who also gives an elaborate description of the statue, interprets some of the details differently. Andeutungen, pp. 93-107.) Flaxman also has given a restoration of it (Lectures on Sculpture, pl. xx.), in which he assigns far less importance to the throne than De Quincy does, and less, indeed, than the description of Pausanias seems to suggest. The dimensions of the statue Pausanias professes his inability to state; but we learn from Strabo that it almost reached to the roof, which was about sixty feet in height. We have no such statement, as we have in the case of the Athena, of the weight of the gold upon the statue, but some idea of the greatness of its quantity may be formed from the statement of Lucian, that each lock of the hair weighed six minae (Jup. Trag. 25). The completion of the statue is said by Pausanias to have been followed by a sign of the favour of Zeus. who, in answer to the prayer of Pheidias, struck the pavement in front of the statue with lightning, on a spot which was marked by a bronze urn. This pavement was of black marble (no doubt to set off the brilliancy of the ivory and gold and colours), surrounded by a raised edge of Parian marble, which served to retain the oil that was poured over the statue, to preserve the ivory from the injurious effects of the moisture exhaled from the marshy ground of the Altis, just as, on the contrary, water was used to protect the ivory of the Athena from the excessive dryness of the air of the Acropolis; while, in the case of another of Pheidias's chryselephantine statues, the Aesculapius at Epidaurus, neither oil nor water was used, the proper degree of moisture being preserved by a well, over which the statue stood. The office of cleaning and preserving the statue was assigned to the descendants of Pheidias, who were called, from this office, Phaedryntae (Φαιδρυνταί, fr. φαιδρύνω, fr. φαιδρός), and who, whenever they were about to perform their work, sacrificed to the goddess Athena Ergane. (Paus. 5.14.5.) As another honour to the memory of Pheidias, the building outside of the Altis, in which he made the parts of the statue, was preserved, and known by the name of Pheidias's workshop (ἐργαστήριον Φειδίου). His name, also, as already stated, was inscribed at the feet of the statue. (Paus. 5.10.2).

The idea which Pheidias essayed to embody in this, his greatest work. was that of the supreme deity of the Hellenic nation, no longer engaged in conflicts with the Titans and the Giants, but having laid aside his thunderbolt, and enthroned as a conqueror, in perfect majesty and repose, ruling with a nod the subject world, and more especially presiding, at the centre of Hellenic union, over those games which were the expression of that religious and political union, and giving his blessing to those victories which were the highest honour that a Greek could gain. It is related by Strabo (viii. p.534a; comp. V. Max. 3.7. ext. 4), that when Pheidias was asked by Panaenus what model he meant to follow in making his statue, he replied, that of Homer, as expressed in the following verses (Il. 1.528-530).

, καὶ κυανέῃσιν ἐπ᾽ ὀφρύσι νεῦσε Κρονίων:
Ἀμβρόσιαι δ᾽ ἄρα χαῖται ἐπερρώσαντο ἄνακτος,
Κρατός ἀπ᾽ ἀθανάτοιο: μέγαν δ᾽ ἐλέλιξεν Ὄλυμπον.

The imitation of which by Milton gives no small aid to the comprehension of the idea (Paradise Lost, 3.135-137) :

"Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fill'd
All heaven, and in the blessed spirits elect
Sense of new joy ineffable diffused."

Expression was given to this idea, not only by the whole proportions and configuration of the statue, but more especially by the shape and position of the head. The height and expansive arch of the forehead, the masses of hair gently falling forward, the largeness of the facial angle, which exceeded 90 degrees, the shape of the eyebrows, the perfect calmness and commanding majesty of the large and full-opened eyes, the expressive repose of all the features, and the slight forward inclination of the head, are the chief elements that go to make up that representation which, from the time of Pheidias downwards, has been regarded as the perfect ideal of supreme majesty and entire complacency of "the father of gods and men" impersonated in a human form.

It is needless to cite all the passages which show that this statue was regarded as the masterpiece, not only of Pheidias, but of the whole range of Grecian art; and was looked upon not so much as a statue, but rather as if it were the actual manifestation of the present deity. Such, according to Lucian (Imag. 14), was its effect on the beholders; such Livy (45.28; comp. Plb. 30.15) declares to have been the emotion it excited in Aemilius Paulus; while, according to Arrian (Diss. Epictet. 1.6), it was considered a calamity to die without having seen it. Pliny speaks of it as a work "quem nemo aemulatur." (H. N. 34.8. s. 19.1; comp. Quint. Inst. 12.10.9.) There is also a celebrated epigram of Philip of Thessalonica, in the Greek Anthology, to the effect that either the god must have descended from heaven to earth to display his likeness, or that Pheidias must have ascended to heaven, to behold the god. (Brunck, Anal. vol.ii. p. 225) :

θεὸς ἦλθ᾽ ἐπὶ γῆν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, εἴκονα δείξων,
Φειδία, σύ γ᾽ ἔβης τὸν θεὸν ὀψόμενος.

Respecting the later history of the statue, see Cedrenus (p. 254d.), Heyne (Prisc. Art. Opp. Constantinop. exst. in the Comment. Gotting. vol. xi. p. 9), and Fea (zu Winckelmann, Storia, vol. ii. pp. 416, 424).

It was removed by the emperor Theodosius I. to Constantinople, where it was destroyed by a fire in A. D. 475.

Respecting the existing works of art in which the Jupiter of Pheidias is supposed to be imitated, see Böttiger, Andeutungen, pp. 104-106. The nearest imitations are probably those on the old Eleian coins, with the inscription ΦΑΛΕΙΩΝ (See Müller Denkmäler, vol. i. pl. xx. fig. 103). Of existing statues and busts, the nearest likenesses are supposed to be the Jupiter Verospi, the colossal bust found at Otricoli, and preserved in the Museo Pio-Clementino, and another in the Florentine Gallery. (See Müller, Archäol. d. Kunst, § 349, and Denkmäler, vol. ii. pl. 1.)

14. At Elis there was also a chryselephantine statue of Athena,, which was said to be the work of Pheidias. It had a cock upon the helmet. (Paus. 6.26.2.)

15. At Elis also, he made a chryselephantine statue of Aphrodite Urania, resting one foot upon a tortoise. (Paus. 6.25.2; comp. Plut. Praecept. Conjug. p. 142d., Isid. et Osir. p. 381e.)

16. Of the statues which Pheidias made for other Greek states, one of the most famous appears to have been his chryselephantine statue of Aesculapius at Epidaurus. (Paus. 5.11.5; Athenag. Legat. pro Aristid. p. 61, ed. Dechair.)

17. At the entrance of the Ismenium, near Thebes, there stood two marble statues of Athena and Hermes, surnamed Πρόναοι ; the latter was the work of Pheidias; the former was ascribed to Scopas. (Paus. 9.10.2.)

18. In the Olympieium at Megara was an unfinished chryselephantine statue of Zeus, the head only being of ivory and gold, and the rest of the statue of mud and gypsum. It was undertaken by Theocosmus, assisted by Pheidias, and was interrupted by the breaking out of the Peloponnesian War. (Paus. 1.40.3.) Two interesting points are involved in this statement, if correct : the one, a confirmation respecting the age of Pheidias, who is seen still actively employed up to the very close of his life; the other, an indication of the materials which he employed, in this case, as the core of a chryselephantine statue.

19. Pliny (Plin. Nat. 34.8. s. 19), tells a story, which is rather suspicious, respecting a contest between various celebrated statuaries who, though of different ages, were all living together. The subject for the competition was an Amazon : the artists themselves were the judges, and the prize was awarded to that statue which each artist placed second to his own. The statue thus honoured was by Polycleitus; the second was by Pheidias; the third by Ctesilaus; the fourth by Cydon; and the fifth by Phradmon. If such a competition took place at all, it must have been toward the close of the life of Pheidias. (Comp. POLYCLEITUS.) The Amazon of Pheidias is highly praised by Lucian (Imay. 4, vol. ii. p. 462). The Amazon of the Vatican, preparing to leap forward, is supposed to be a copy of it. (Müller, Archäol. d. Kunst, § 121.)

20, 21, 22. Pliny (l.c.) mentions three bronze statues by Pheidias, which were at Rome in his time, but the original position of which is not known, and the subjects of which are not stated : "item duo sign, quae Catulus in eadem aede (sc. Fortunae) posuit palliata, et alterum colosicon nudum."

23. The same writer mentions a marble Venus, of surpassing beauty, by Pheidias, in the portico of Octavia at Rome. He also states that Pheidias put the finishing hand to the celebrated Venus of his disciple Alcamenes. (H. N. 36.5. s. 4.3.)

24. The well-known colossal statue of one of the Dioscuri, with a horse, on the Monte Cavallo at Rome, standing on a base, which is evidently much more recent than the statue, and which bears the inscription OPUS FIDIAE, is supposed, from the character of the workmanship, to be rightly ascribed to Pheidias; but antiquarians are by no means unanimous on this point. Possibly it may be the alterum colossicon nudum of which Pliny speaks. (See Platner and Bunsen, Beschreilmng Roems, vol. iii. pt. 2. p. 404; Wagner, Kunstblatt, 1824, Nos. 93, 94, 96-98; and the engraving in the plates to Meyer's Kuntsgeschichte, pl. 15.)

Among the statues falsely ascribed to Pheidias, were the Nemesis of Agoracritus, and the Time or Opportunity of Lysippus (Anson. Ep. 12; see the arts). At Patara in Lycia there were statues of Zeus and Apollo, respecting which it was doubted whether they were the works of Pheidias or of Bryaxis. (Clem. Alex. Protrep. p. 30c.; comp. Tzetz. Chil. 8.33; Cedren. p. 255d. ed. Venet.)

This list of the works of Pheidias clearly proves the absurdity of the statement which was put forth by the depreciators of the Elgin marbles, that he never worked in marble. Pliny also expressly states the fact :--"scalpsit et marmnora." (H. N. 36.5. s. 4.4.)

Pheidias, like most of the other great artists of Greece, was as much distinguished for accuracy in the minutest details, as for the majesty of his colossal figures; and, like Lysippus, he amused himself and gave proofs of his skill, by making images of minute objects, such as cicadas, bees, and flies (Julian, Epist. viii. p. 377a.). This statement, however, properly refers to his works in the department of τορευτική, or caelatura, that is, chasing, engraving, and embossing in metals; of which art we are informed by Pliny that he was the first great master (H. N. 34.8. s. 19.1; comp. Dict. of Antiq. art. Caelatura). Great parts of the gold on his chryselephantine statues we know to have been chased or embossed, though it is necessary to avoid confounding these ornaments with the polychromic decorations which were also lavished upon the statues. The shields of the statues of Zeus and Athena were covered with plates of gold, the reliefs in which belong to the department of caelatura, as does the hair of his Athena, and also the sceptre of his Zeus, which was of all sorts of metals. The shield of his Athena Promachus furnishes another example of the art, though the chasing on it was executed not by himself, but by Mys. Chased silver vessels, ascribed to him (whether rightly or not, may well be doubted), were in use in Rome in the time of Martial, who describes the perfectly natural representation of the fish upon such a vessel, by saying "ad de aquam, natabunt" (3.35; comp. Niceph. Greg. Hist. viii.).

It has been stated already that Pheidias was said to have been a painter before he became a statuary. Pliny states that the temple of the Olympian Zeus at Athens was painted by him (H. N. 35.8. s. 34).

III. The Art of Pheidias.

After the remarks, which have been made incidentally in the two preceding sections of this article, it is unnecessary to say much more upon the characteristics of the art of Pheidias. In one word, its distinguishing character was ideal beauty, and that of the sublimest order, especially in the representation of divinities, and of subjects connected with their worship. While on the one hand he set himself free from the stiff and unnatural forms which, by a sort of religious precedent, had fettered his predecessors of the archaic or hieratic school, he never, on the other hand, descended to the exact imitation of any human model, however beautiful; he never represented that distorted action, or expressed that vehement passion, which lie beyond the limits of repose ; nor did he ever approach to that almost meretricious grace, by which some of his greatest followers, if they did not corrupt the art themselves, gave the occasion for its corruption in the hands of their less gifted and spiritual imitators. The analogy between the works of Pheidias and Polycleitus, as compared with those of their successors, on the one hand, and the productions of Aeschylus and Sophocles as compared with those of Euripides, on the other, is too striking not to have been often noticed; and the difference is doubtless to be traced to the same causes in both instances, causes which were at work in the social life of Greece, and which left their impression upon art, as well as upon literature, though the process of corruption, as is natural, went on more rapidly in the latter than in the former. In both cases, the first step in the process might be, and has often been, mistaken for a step in advance. There is a refinement in that sort of grace and beauty, which appeals especially to sense and passion, a fuller expression of those emotions with which ordinary human nature sympathises. But this sort of perfection is the ripeness which indicates that decay is about to commence. The mind is pleased, but not elevated: the work is one to be admired but not to be imitated. Thus, while the works of Callimachus, Praxiteles, and Scopas, have sometimes been preferred by the general taste to those of Pheidias, the true artist and the aesthetic critic have always regarded the latter as the best specimens of ideal sculpture, and the best examples for the student which the whole world affords. On the latter point especially the judgment of modern artists, and of scholars who have made art their study, respecting the Elgin marbles, is singularly unanimous. It is superfluous to quote those testimonies, which will be found in the works already referred to, and in the other standard writings upon ancient art, and which may be summed up in the declaration of Welcker, that "the British Museum possesses in the works of Pheidias a treasure with which nothing can be compared in the whole range of ancient art" (Class. Mus. vol. ii. p. 368); but it is of importance to refer to Cicero's recognition of the ideal character of the works of Pheidias (Orat. 2) :--"Itaque et Phidiae simulacris, quibus nihil in illo genere perfectius videmus, et his picturis, quas nominavi, cogitare tamen possumus pulchriora. Nec vero ille artifex, quum faceret Jovis formam, aut Minervae, contemplabatur aliquem, e quo similitudinem duceret; sed ipsius in mente insidebat species pulchritudinis eximia quaedam, quam intuens in eaque defixus, ad illius similitudinem artem et manum dirigebat." It was the universal judgment of antiquity that no improvement could be made on his models of divinities. (Quint. Inst. 12.10.3.)

It is sometimes mentioned, as a proof of Pheidias's perfect knowledge of his art, that in his colossal statues he purposely altered the right proportions, making the upper parts unnaturally large, in order to compensate for their diminution in perspective. This notion, however, which is derived from a passage in Plato (Sophist. p. 235f.; comp. Tzetz. Chil. 11.381), does not seem to be sufficiently well founded; all that we know of the ancient colossal statues leads rather to the idea that the parts were all in due proportion, and that the breadth and boldness of the masses secured the proper impression on the eye of the spectator. As a proof of Pheidias's knowledge of the anatomical department of his art, it is affirmed by Lucian that from the claw of a lion he calculated the size of the whole animal. Hermotim. 54, vol. 1.795.)

Further Information

The chief modern authorities on the subject, in addition to the histories of art by Winckelmann, Meyer, Müller, Hirt, Kugler, &c., are the following :--Müller, de Phidiae Vita et Operibus Commentationes tres, Gotting. 1827; David, in the Biographie Universelle ; Völkel, Ueber den prossen Tempel und die Statue des Jupiter zu Olympia, Leipz. 1794; Siebenkees, Ueber den Tempel und die Bildsäule des Jupiter zu Olympia, Nürnb. 1795; Quatremère de Quincy, Jupiter Olympien, &c.; Schorn, Ueber die Studien der Griechischen Künstler ; Preller, in Ersch and Gruber's Encyklopädie.

1 * The vagueness of pliny's dates is further shown by his appending the words "rciter CCC. nostrae Urbis anno," which give a date ten years higher, B. C. 454. This, however, cannot be very far from the date at which pheidias began to work.

2 * It is, however, far from certain that the statue of Apollo Alexicacos by Calamis, at Athens, furnishes a sufficient ground for bringing down his date to the great plague at Athens, in B. C. 430, 429. Pausanias merely assigns this as a fraditionaal reason for the surname of the god, whereas we know it to have been an epithet very anciently applied to various divinites, and analogy would lead us to suppose its origin to be mythical rather than historical. The matter is the more important, inasmuch as Ageladas also (on whose date the present question very much turns) is placed by some as late as this same plague on the strength of his statue of Heracles Alexicacos. (Comp. Müller, de Phidiae Vita, pp. 13,14.)

3 * It is rnot, however, absolutely necessary to adopt the other correction of Palmerius, Θεοδώρου for Πυθοδώρου, since Philochorus may naturally have placed the whole account of the trial, flight, and death of Pheidias under the year of his death ; or the scholiasts, in quoting the account of his death, given by Philochorus under the year of Pythodorus, may have mixed up with it the begoneginning of the story, which Philochorus had put in its proper place, under the year of Theodorus. The correction, however, makes the whole matter clearer, and the words ἀπὸ τούτου rather favour it.

4 It is remarked by Müller, with equal ingeseventh and probability, that the dedication of the statue may be supposed to have taken place at the Great Panathenaea, which were celebrated in the third year of every Olympiad, towards the end of the first month of the Attic year, Hecatombaeon. that is, about the middle of July.

5 The form in which Seneca puts this part of the story. namely, that the Eleians borrowed the statue of the Athenians, in order to his making the Olympian Jupiter. is a mere fiction, supported by no other writer. (Senec. Rhet. 2.8.)

6 * The important bearing of this tradition on the question of the age of Pheidias is obvious.

7 He had, however been honoured by the inscription of his name on a column as the maker of the throne of the goddess. (Plut. Per. 13.)

8 * This is another piece of circumstantial evidence respecting the age of Pheidias; and Thiersch regards it as the hinge on which the whole question turns ! But very little can he inferred from it. It mav even be doubted whether Pheidias really was bald, or whether the baldness of the figure was not an intentional disguise, like the uplifted hand and spear of Pericles. But, suppose the fact to be taken literally, can it alone decide whether he was fifty or seventy ?

9 * Among the numerous other copies of these works, we may mention the authorised publication of the Marbles of the British Museum, the engravings in Müller's Denkmäler der Alten Kunst, and in the plates to Meyer's Kunstgeschichte. The miniature restorations in plaster by Mr. Hennings also deserve attention.

10 * This confusion was inadvertently made in the article PANAENUS.

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hide References (36 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (35):
    • Aristophanes, Peace, 605
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 12.31
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.77
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.528
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.30.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.24
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.24.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.24.8
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.28.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.3.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.40.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.10.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.11
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.11.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.11.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.12.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.15.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 6.25.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.27.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.10.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.4.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.14.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 6.26.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.13
    • Homer, Iliad, 1.530
    • Polybius, Histories, 30.15
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 34.8
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 45, 28
    • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, Book 12, 10.3
    • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, Book 12, 10.9
    • Plutarch, Pericles, 31
    • Plutarch, Pericles, 12
    • Cicero, Brutus, 18
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 1.1.7
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 3.7
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Plutarch, Pericles, 13
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