Statuaria Ars; Sculptra
The origin of painting as an art in Greece is connected with definite historical personages; but that of sculpture is lost in the mists of legend. Its authentic history does not begin until about the year B.C. 600. It was regarded as an art imparted to men by the gods; for such is the thought expressed in the assertion that the earliest statues fell from heaven. Some early application of taste and skill to plastic art may be indicated in the mythical stories respecting the Idaei Dactyli (q.v.) and the Telchines of Rhodes (Ovid, Met.vii. 365), who were reported to have worked in iron and bronze. (See Telchines.) The first artist spoken of by name, Daedalus (q.v.), who is mentioned as early as Homer, is merely a personification of the most ancient variety of art, that which was employed solely in the construction of wooden images of the gods. (See Daedala; Dokana.) This is clearly proved by his name (=δαίδαλος, the cunning artificer). To him were attributed a series of inventions certainly separated far from each other in respect of time and place, and embracing important steps in the development of wood-carving and in the representation of the human form. Thus he is said to have invented the saw, the axe, the plummet, the gimlet, and glue (Pliny , Pliny H. N.vii. 198), to have been the first to open the eyes in the statues of the gods, to separate the legs, and to give freer motion to the arms, which before had hung close to the body ( Diod.iv. 76). After him the early school of sculptors at Athens, his reputed native [p. 1490]
city, is sometimes called the school of Daedalus (Pausan. v. 25, 13). During a long residence in Crete he is said to have instructed the Cretans in the art of making wooden images (ξόανα) of the gods (ib. viii. 53, 8).
The invention of modelling figures in clay, from which sculpture in bronze originated, is assigned [figure in text: Archaic Relief from Sparta. (Reber.)] to the Sicyonian potter Butades at Corinth (Pliny , Pliny H. N.xxxv. 151). The art of working in metals must have been known early in Greece, as appears from the Homeric poems (e. g. Il.xviii. 468-608). An important step in this direction was due to Glaucus of Chios, who, in the seventh century B.C., invented the soldering of iron (σιδήρου κόλλησις, Herod.i. 25; Pausan. x. 16, 1) and the softening and hardening of metal by fire and water ( De Def. Or. 47). The discovery of bronze-founding is attributed to Rhoecus and Theodorus of Samos about 580 (Pausan. viii. 14, 8). The high antiquity of Greek sculpture in stone may be inferred from a work of the very earliest period of Greek civilizationthe powerful relief of two upright lions over the gate of the castle at Mycenae. See Mycenae, p. 1068.
Sculpture in marble, as well as in gold and ivory, was much advanced by two famous pupils of Daedalus, Dipoenus and Scyllis of Crete, who were working in Argos and Sicyon about B.C. 550 (Pliny , Pliny H. N.xxxvi. 9Pliny H. N., 14; Pausan. ii. 15, 22), and founded an influential school of art in the Peloponnesus, which included Hegylus and Theocles, Dontas and Doryclidas, Clearchus of Rhegium, Tectaeus and Angelion. Among their works are recorded not only statues of gods, but also of heroes, often united in large groups. Some conception of the artistic productions of this period may be formed from scattered monuments still extant, originating in different parts of the Greek world: e. g. the rude and more primitive metopes of Selinus in Sicily; the statues of Apollo from the island of Thera and from Tenea, near Corinth; and the reliefs on the Harpy Monument (q.v.) from the acropolis of Xanthus in Lycia. These works, in spite of their archaic stiffness, show an effort after individual and natural expression, though the position of the foot in striding, with the sole completely touching the ground, and the unemotional and stony smile on the mask-like face, are common to all. Even after Greek sculpture had mastered the representation of the human body, not only at rest, but also in the most violent movement, it still continued unable to overcome the lifeless rigidity of facial expression. This is seen in the Trojan battle-scenes (about B.C. 480) on the Aeginetan pediments. Here the figures are represented in every variety of position in the fight, and depicted, not indeed with any ideality, but with perfect mastery, even to the smallest detail; whereas the faces are entirely destitute of any expression appropriate to their situation. The athletic forms in which the Aeginetan heroes are represented indicate another important extension of the sphere of artistic representation. From about B.C. 544 it had become usual to erect statues of the victors in the athletic contests, Olympia especially abounding in these (Pausan. vi. 18, 7); the statues there mentioned are of wood. By this innovation the art was freed from the narrow limits to which it had been confined by the traditions of religion, and led on to a truer imitation of nature. In this department the school of Aegina was specially active, attaining its highest perfection in the bronze statuary of Glaucias, Callon, and, above all, Onatas (B.C. 500-460). [figure in text: Metope Relief from the Acropolis at Selinus. (Athen, Perseus, Medusa, Pegasus.)] [p. 1491]
Sculpture in bronze flourished simultaneously in the Peloponnesus at Sicyon under Canachus (for a supposed copy of his Apollo, see Canachus) and his brother, Aristocles, the founder of a school which lasted long after, and at Argos under Ageladas, the teacher of Phidias, Myron, and Polyclitus. The transition to the period of the finest art is represented by Calamis of Athens, Pythagoras of Rhegium, and especially Myron, another Athenian, in whom the art attained the highest truth to nature, with perfect freedom in the representa[figure in text: Central Figures of the West Gable, Aegina.] tion of the human body, and was thus prepared for the development of ideal forms.
This last step was taken at Athens, in the time of Pericles, by Phidias. In his creations, particularly in his statues of the gods, whether in bronze or in ivory and gold, he succeeded in combining perfect beauty of form with the most profound ideality, fixing forever the ideal type for Zeus and Athen, the two deities who were pre-eminently characterized by intellectual dignity. See Waldstein, The Art of Pheidias (1880); and the articles Athen; Parthenon; Phidias; Zeus.
Of the pupils of Phidias the two who worked most nearly in the same spirit were Agoracritus and Alcamenes, the author of the sculpture of the western pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, part of which still remains. The perfection of Attic art at this time can be realized when we consider that, with all their beauty of execution, the extant marble sculptures of the Parthenon, Theseum, Erechtheum, and the Temple of Nik Apteros must be regarded as mere productions of the ordinary workshop when compared with the lost masterpieces of Phidias. The school of Phidias had rivals in the naturalistic school which followed Myron, including his son, Lycius, and Cresilas of Cydonia. Independent of both schools stood Paeonius of Mend, whose Nik, as well as part of his sculptures on the eastern pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, is still extant (see Olympia), and Callimachus, the [p. 1492] [figure in text: Copy of the Athen Parthenos. (Marble statuette at Athens.)]
so-called inventor of the Corinthian order of architecture (Vitruv. iv. 1, 10) and of the application of the auger to working in marble (Pausan. i. 26, 6). Another school of sculpture in opposition to that of Athens was founded at Argos by Phidias's younger contemporary, Polyclitus, whose colossal gold and ivory statue of the Argive Her directly challenged comparison with the works of Phidias in its materials, its ideality, and its artistic form, and established the ideal type of that goddess. He mainly devoted himself, however, to work in bronze, the department in which Argos had long been pre-eminent; and made it his aim to exhibit the perfection of beauty in the youthful form. He also established a κανών or scheme of the normal proportions of the body. Of his pupils the chief was Naucydes of Argos. See Polyclitus.
As in the first period of Greek sculpture, represented by Myron, Phidias, and Polyclitus, the schools of Athens and Argos held the first rank beyond dispute, so it was also in the second period, which embraces the fourth century down to the death of Alexander the Great. Athens, moreover, during this period remained true to the traditions of Phidias, and still occupied itself mainly with the ideal forms of gods and heroes, though in a spirit essentially altered. The more powerful emotions, the more deeply stirred passions of the period after the Peloponnesian War, were not without their influence on art. The sculptors of the time abandoned the representation of the dignified divinities of the earlier school, and turned to the forms of those deities whose nature gave room for softer or more emotional expression, especially Aphrodit and Dionysus and the circle of gods and dmons who surrounded them. The highest aim of their art was to portray the profound pathos of the soul, to give expression to the play of the emotions. With this is connected the preference of this school for marble over bronze, as more suited for rendering the softer and finer shades of form or expression. The art of executing work in gold and ivory was almost lost, the resources of the States no longer sufficing, as a rule, for this purpose. The most eminent of the New Attic School were Scopas of Paros and Praxiteles of Athens. Scopas, also famous as an architect, was a master of the most elevated pathos. Praxiteles was no less masterly in regard to the softer graces in female or youthful forms, and in the representation of sweet moods of dreamy reverie. In his statues of Aphrodit at Cnidus and Eros at Thespiae he established ideal types for those divinities. The Hermes with the infant Dionysus, found at Olympia, remains as a memorial of his art. Of the productions of this school (in which the names of Bryaeus, Leochares, and Timotheus, who was joined with Scopas in his work on the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, ought also to be mentioned) an opinion may be formed from the spirited reliefs on the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates (q.v.) at Athens. We have also extant, in a copy, the Niobid group (see Niob), concerning the original of which it was much disputed, even in ancient times, whether the author were Scopas or Praxiteles (Pliny , Pliny H. N.xxxvi. 28). In contrast to the ideal aims of Attic art, the Sicyonian School still remained true to its early naturalistic tendencies and to the art of sculpture in bronze, of which Argos had so long been the home. At the head of the school stood one of the most influential and prolific artists of antiquity, Lysippus of Sicyon. His efforts were directed to represent beauty and powerful development in the human body. Hence Heracles, as the impersonation of human physical strength, was portrayed by him oftener, and with more success, than any other deity, and his type fully established. Lysippus was most prolific as a portrait sculptor, a branch of art which had been much advanced in the invention by his brother Lysistratus of the method of taking plaster casts of the features (Pliny , Pliny H. N.xxxv. 153).
After Alexander the Great the practice of the art, which had thus developed to perfect mastery of technique, began to deteriorate with the general decay of the countries of Greece proper, and to give place to the flourishing artistic schools of Asia Minor and the neighbouring islands. The characteristic of this period is the rise of a method of treatment which strives after effect. Instead of the simplicity of earlier times we get a certain deliberate calculation of a theatrical type, a tendency to make the exhibition of technical skill an end in itself. The most productive school was that of Rhodes, at the head of which stood a pupil of Lysippus, Chares of Lindus, who designed the famous Colossus of Rhodes, the largest statue of ancient times. Two well-known extant works in marble proceeded from this school, the group of Laocon (q.v.) and his sons, by Agesander, Athenodorus, and Polydorus, found at Rome in 1506, now one of the chief treasures of the Vatican Museum, and the Farnese Bull at Naples. This last group, by [p. 1493] Apollonius and Tauriscus of Tralles, represents the revenge of Zethus and Amphion on Dirc (see illustration, p. 86), and is the largest extant antique work which consists of a single block of marble. Both these are admirable in skill and technique, embodying with the greatest vividness the wild passions of a moment of horror; but the theatrical effect and the exhibition of technical skill are unduly exaggerated. To the Rhodian School is conjecturally assigned the fine group representing Menelas bearing the body of Patroclus, several [figure in text: Hermes of Praxiteles. (From the Heraeum at Olympia.)] imperfect copies of which are still extant. It is sometimes, however, regarded as one of the later products of the same school as the group of Niob, and assigned to the early part of the third century B.C.
The second in rank of the schools of this period was that at Pergamum, where the sculptors Isogonus, Phyromachus, Stratonicus, and Antigonus celebrated in a series of bronze statues the victories of the kings Eumenes I. (263-241) and Attalus I. (241-197) over the Gauls. There are still extant, at Venice, Rome, and Naples, single figures from a magnificent offering of Attalus, which stood on the Acropolis at Athens, and consisted of groups of figures illustrating the conflict between the gods and the Giants, the battle of the Athenians and Amazons, the fight at Marathon, and the destruction of the Gauls by Attalus. Other masterpieces of the school are the work popularly called the Dying Gladiator, now identified as a Gallic warrior, who has just stabbed himself after a defeat, and the group in the Villa Ludovisi, called Ptus and Arria, which really represents a Gaul killing his wife and himself. But the most brilliant proof of their powers is furnished by the reliefs of the battle of the Giants from the acropolis at Pergamum. [figure in text: Ancient Sculptor Modelling a Bust. (From a gem.)] This work, brought to light by Humann in 1878, and now at Berlin, is among the most important artistic products of antiquity. (See Pergamene Sculptures.) To this period may also be referred with certainty the original of the celebrated Belvedere Apollo, which probably had reference to the rescue of the Temple of Delphi from the Gallic army in B.C. 280, which was supposed to be the work of the god (see illustration, p. 99).
To Greek art in Egypt belong the types of Isis and Harpocrates, and the fine reclining figure of the river-god Nilus, with sixteen boys playing round him (see illustration, p. 1098).
The artistic activity of the kingdom of the Seleucidae in Syria is represented by Eutychides, a pupil of Lysippus, and his famous Tych, a work in bronze representing the presiding destiny of the city of Antioch on the Orontes (Pausan. vi. 2, 6).
After the subjugation of Greece by the Romans in the middle of the second century, Rome became the headquarters of Greek artists, whose work, though without novelty in invention, had many excellences, especially in perfect mastery of technique. Of the artists of the first century B.C. and the early imperial times the following are worthy of mention: Apollonius of Athens (Belvedere torso of Hercules at Rome), Glycon (Farnese Hercules at Naples [see illustration, p. 793]), and Cleomenes (the Venus de' Medici at Florence [see p. 367]), though the works of all these are more or less free reproductions of the creations of earlier masters; also Agasias of Ephesus, sculptor of the so-called Borghese Gladiator (really an athlete) in the Louvre at Paris, a very fine work in the spirit of the Pergamene School. (See illustration, p. 734.)
In the same period Pasiteles, an Italian Greek of great versatility, attempted a regeneration of art on the basis of careful study of nature and of earlier productions. This movement in favour of an academic eclecticism was continued by Pasiteles' pupil, Stephanus, who has left us a youthful figure (in the Villa Albani), and Stephanus's pupil, Menelas, the artist of the fine group called Orestes and Electra. There was a revival of Greek art in the first half of the second century A.D. under Hadrian, when a new ideal type of youthful beauty was created in the numerous representations of the imperial favourite Antinos.
The artistic work of the Romans before the introduction of Greek culture was under Etruscan influence. The art of that people was chiefly displayed in pottery and the closely connected craft [p. 1494] [figure in text: Antinous. (Bust in the British Museum.)]
of bronze-founding, which they developed with great technical skill and for which they had a special predilection. They not only filled their towns with quantities of bronze statues, Volsinii alone containing about 2000 at the time of its conquest by the Romans in B.C. 265 (Pliny , Pliny H. N.xxxiv. 34), but provided Rome also for a long time with works of the kind. Judging from the extant monuments, such as the Mars of Todi in the Vatican, the Boy with a Goose under his Arm at Leyden, and the Robed Statue of Aulus Metellus at Florence, the character of their art seems wanting in freedom of treatment and in genuine inspiration. After the conquest of Greece, Greek art took the place of Etruscan at Rome; and, thanks to the continually increasing love of magnificence among the Romans, which was not content with the adornment of public buildings and squares, but sought artistic decoration for private dwellings, a great activity in art was developed, whereof numberless extant works give evidence. Besides the Greek influence, to which we owe many copies of the masterpieces of Greek art gradually accumulated in Rome, a peculiarly Roman art arose. This was especially active in portrait sculpture.
Portrait statues were divided, according as they were in civil or military costume, into togatae and loricatae or thoracatae (lorica=θώραξ, a coat of mail). To these were added in later times the socalled Achilleae, idealized in costume and pose (Pliny , Pliny H. N.xxxiv. 8Pliny H. N., 118). It was customary to depict emperors in the form of Iupiter or other gods, and their wives with the attributes of Iuno or Venus. Of the innumerable monuments of this description special mention is due to the statue of Augustus in the Vatican (see illustration, p. 170); the marble equestrian statues of Balbus and his son at Naples, found at Herculaneum; the bronze equestrian statue of M. Aurelius on the square of the Capitol at Rome; the seated statues of Agrippina the Elder in the Capitoline Museum, and the younger Agrippina at Naples.
Hand in hand with portrait sculpture went the art of historical reliefs. In accordance with the realistic spirit of Rome, as opposed to the Greek custom of idealizing persons and events, this department strove to secure the greatest possible accuracy and truth. The most important works of the kind are the reliefs on the Arch of Titus; those on the Arch of Constantine, taken from the Arch of Trajan (see Arcus Triumphalis); and those on the columns of Trajan and M. Aurelius. [figure in text: Marble Equestrian Statue of the Younger Balbus. (Naples Museum.)] [p. 1495] (See illustration under Architectura.) Roman historical sculpture is seen already on its decline in the reliefs of the Arch of Septimius Severus (A.D. 203), and the decline is complete in those of the Arch of Constantine. A subordinate branch of relief sculpture was employed on the sarcophagi common from the second century A.D. The subjects of these reliefs are rarely taken from events in the man's actual life; they are most usually scenes from legends of Greek gods or heroes, often after compositions of an earlier period, and accordingly showing a Greek character in their treatment.
White marble was the material chiefly employed in statuary: in the earlier times of Greek art, the local kinds, in Attica particularly the Pentelic, which is fine in grain and of a pure white. From the fourth century on that of Paros was preferred. This is a very beautiful marble, though of a strongly crystalline grain; it is slightly translucent. It was used in Roman times in preference to the similar marble of Luna (Carrara), a marble of many qualities, from the purest white and a fine sparkling grain, like loaf-sugar, to the coarser sorts disfigured with bluish-gray streaks. It was sometimes used for columns in Rome. The marble of Hymettus appears to have been the first foreign marble introduced into Rome. It resembles the inferior kind of Luna marble, being rather coarse in grain and frequently stained with gray striations. Coloured marble first became popular under the emperors e. g. black for Egyptian subjects (statues of Isis), red for Dionysus, Satyrs, and others in his train. To the same period belongs the use of striped and spotted kinds of marble, coloured alabaster, porphyry, and granite. Different colours of stone were also combinede. g. the drapery of black marble or porphyry.
A noteworthy peculiarity of ancient sculpture, as also of architecture, is the habit of embellishing all kinds of marble work by the application of colours (Polychromy), which is known from references in ancient writers. Plato ( Rep.420C) speaks of painting statues. Plutarch (De Gloria Athen. 348 F) mentions dyers of statues side by side with gilders and encaustic painters. Lastly, Pliny ( Pliny H. N.xxxv. 133) states that Praxiteles owned he was much indebted to the circumlitio, or touchingup, of his works by the painter Nicias. It is also attested by traces still present on many works. Thus the statues at Pompeii, especially those of late date, are in many cases coloured, especially certain parts of the drapery. A painting found at Pompeii introduces us into the studio of a female artist engaged in embellishing with paint a terminal statue of Hermes. The original sketch in colours lies on the ground, and she is pausing to examine her work, which is also watched with interest by two bystanders. Wood and pottery were always painted. Even sculptures intended for the adornment of buildingse. g. metopes and friezesnot only had painted backgrounds (generally blue or red), but were themselves richly adorned with colouring. It is also held that originally even the bare parts of stone figures were painted; afterwards a coating of wax was thought enough (Vitruv. vii. 9). In particular statues, many artists coloured only the characteristic parts, fringes of garments, sandals, armour, weapons, snoods or head wrappings, and of the parts of the body, the lips, eyes, hair, beard, and nipples. Probably the cheeks, too, received a light reddish tinge; but all was done with discretion. The colours chiefly used were red, blue, and yellow, or gilding. The employment of different materials for the extremities and for the drapery also produced the effect of colouring. Similarly metal[figure in text: Relief from Column of Trajan.] sculpture secured variety of colour by the application of gold, silver, and copper to the bronze. The sparkle of the eyes was often represented by inlaid precious stones or enamel. Particular parts in marble statues, such as attributes, weapons, implements, were also made of metal. There are examples of this in the pediments of Aegina and in the frieze of the Parthenon. Under the Empire metal was sometimes used for the drapery. Thus the Braschi Antinos in the Vatican was formerly draped in bronze. On ancient stone-cutting, see Gemma; on terra-cottas, see Fictil; on working in metal, see Caelatura.
Bibliography.See, for the general history of ancient sculpture, Lbke, History of Sculpture, Eng. trans. vol. i. (London, 1872); Upcott, An Introduction to Greek Sculpture (Oxford, 1887); Perry, Greek and Roman Sculpture (London, 1882); Mitchell, A History of Ancient Sculpture (New York, 1883); Overbeck, Geschichte der griechischen Plastik (Leipzig, 1882); Murray, History of Greek Sculpture (London, 1884); Brunn, Geschichte der griechischen Knstler (2d ed. Stuttgart, 1889); Collignon, Greek Archaeology (Eng. trans. 1886); Paris, La Sculpture Antique (Paris, 1888; Eng. trans. London, 1890); Loewy, Inschriften griechischen Bildhauer (Leipzig, 1885); Detlefsen, De Arte Romana Antiquissima (Glckst. 1888); St. Lami, Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs de l'Antiquit (Paris, 1884); Tren, Sollen Wir unsre Statuen bemalen? (Berlin, 1884); Bckel, Die Polychromie in d. Antiken Sculptur (1882); and Gardner, Handbook of Greek Sculpture (New York, 1896).
The technical part of sculpture is described in Blmner's Technologie und Terminologie der Gewerbe und Knste bei Griechen und Rmern, 4 vols. (Leipzig, 1875-87). Beautiful reproductions of ancient [p. 1496]
plastic works are given in Furtwngler's Masterpieces of Greek Sculpture (N. Y. 1895); and in Brunn's Denkmler griechischer und rmischer Sculptur, published in parts. For the ancient sources of our information regarding Greek sculpture, etc., see Overbeck's Schriftquellen zur Geschichte der bildenden Knste (Leipzig, 1868); and H. S. Jones, Ancient Writers on Greek Sculpture (London, 1895).