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´╗┐Title: A History of Greek Art
 - With an Introductory Chapter on Art in Egypt and Mesopotamia
Author: Tarbell, F. B. (Frank Bigelow)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of Greek Art
 - With an Introductory Chapter on Art in Egypt and Mesopotamia" ***

A History of Greek Art

With an Introductory Chapter on Art in Egypt and Mesopotamia




The art of any artistically gifted people may be studied with
various purposes and in various ways. One man, being himself an
artist, may seek inspiration or guidance for his own practice;
another, being a student of the history of civilization, may
strive to comprehend the products of art as one manifestation of a
people's spiritual life; another may be interested chiefly in
tracing the development of artistic processes, forms, and
subjects; and so on. But this book has been written in the
conviction that the greatest of all motives for studying art, the
motive which is and ought to be strongest in most people, is the
desire to become acquainted with beautiful and noble things, the
things that "soothe the cares and lift the thoughts of man." The
historical method of treatment has been adopted as a matter of
course, but the emphasis is not laid upon the historical aspects
of the subject. The chief aim has been to present characteristic
specimens of the finest Greek work that has been preserved to us,
and to suggest how they may be intelligently enjoyed. Fortunate
they who can carry their studies farther, with the help of less
elementary handbooks, of photographs, of casts, or, best of all,
of the original monuments.

Most of the illustrations in this book have been made from
photographs, of which all but a few belong to the collection of
Greek photographs owned by the University of Chicago. A number of
other illustrations have been derived from books or serial
publications, as may be seen from the accompanying legends. In
several cases where cuts were actually taken from secondary
sources, such as Baumeister's "Denkmaler des klassischen
Altertums," they have been credited to their original sources. A
few architectural drawings were made expressly for this work,
being adapted from trustworthy authorities, viz.: Figs. 6, 51, 61,
and 64. There remain two or three additional illustrations, which
have so long formed a part of the ordinary stock-in trade of
handbooks that it seemed unnecessary to assign their origin.

The introductory chapter has been kindly looked over by Dr. J. H.
Breasted, who has relieved it of a number of errors, without in
any way making himself responsible for it. The remaining chapters
have unfortunately not had the benefit of any such revision.

In the present reissue of this book a number of slight changes and
corrections have been introduced.

Chicago, January, 1905.






The history of Egypt, from the time of the earliest extant
monuments to the absorption of the country in the Roman Empire,
covers a space of some thousands of years. This long period was
not one of stagnation. It is only in proportion to our ignorance
that life in ancient Egypt seems to have been on one dull, dead
level. Dynasties rose and fell. Foreign invaders occupied the land
and were expelled again. Customs, costumes, beliefs, institutions,
underwent changes. Of course, then, art did not remain stationary.
On the contrary, it had marked vicissitudes, now displaying great
freshness and vigor, now uninspired and monotonous, now seemingly
dead, and now reviving to new activity. In Babylonia we deal with
perhaps even remoter periods of time, but the artistic remains at
present known from that quarter are comparatively scanty. From
Assyria, however, the daughter of Babylonia, materials abound, and
the history of that country can be written in detail for a period
of several centuries. Naturally, then, even a mere sketch of
Egyptian, Babylonian, and Assyrian art would require much more
space than is here at disposal. All that can be attempted is to
present a few examples and suggest a few general notions. The main
purpose will be to make clearer by comparison and contrast  the
essential qualities of Greek art, to which this volume is devoted.

I begin with Egypt, and offer at the outset a table of the most
important periods of Egyptian history. The dates are taken from
the sketch prefixed to the catalogue of Egyptian antiquities in
the Berlin Museum. In using them the reader must bear in mind that
the earlier Egyptian chronology is highly uncertain. Thus the date
here suggested for the Old Empire, while it cannot be too early,
may be a thousand years too late. As we come down, the margin of
possible error grows less and less. The figures assigned to the
New Empire are regarded as trustworthy within a century or two.
But only when we reach the Saite dynasty do we get a really
precise chronology.

Chief Periods of Egyptian History:

OLD EMPIRE, with capital at Memphis; Dynasties 4-5 (2800-2500 B.
C. or earlier) and Dynasty 6.

MIDDLE EMPIRE, with capital at Thebes; Dynasties 11-13 (2200-1800
B. C. or earlier).

NEW EMPIRE, with capital at Thebes; Dynasties 17-20 (ca. 1600-1100
B. C.).

SAITE PERIOD; Dynasty 26 (663-525 B. C.).

One of the earliest Egyptian sculptures now existing, though
certainly not earlier than the Fourth Dynasty, is the great Sphinx
of Gizeh (Fig. 1). The creature crouches in the desert, a few
miles to the north of the ancient Memphis, just across the Nile
from the modern city of Cairo. With the body of a lion and the
head of a man, it represented a solar deity and was an object of
worship. It is hewn from the living rock and is of colossal size,
the height from the base to the top of the head being about 70
feet and the length of the body about 150 feet. The paws and
breast were originally covered with a limestone facing. The
present dilapidated condition of the monument is due partly to the
tooth of time, but still more to wanton mutilation at the hands of
fanatical Mohammedans. The body is now almost shapeless. The nose,
the beard, and the lower part of the head dress are gone. The face
is seamed with scars. Yet the strange monster still preserves a
mysterious dignity, as though it were guardian of all the secrets
of ancient Egypt, but disdained to betray them

"The art which conceived and carved this prodigious statue," says
Professor Maspero [Footnote: Manual of  Egyptian Archaeology second
edition 1895 page 208] "was a finished art, an art which had
attained self mastery, and was sure of its effects. How many
centuries had it taken to arrive at this degree of maturity and
perfection?" It is impossible to  guess. The long process of self-
schooling in artistic methods which must have preceded this work
is hidden from us. We cannot trace the progress of Egyptian  art
from its timid, awkward beginnings to the days of its conscious
power, as we shall find ourselves able to do in the case of Greek
art. The evidence is annihilated,  or is hidden beneath the sand
of the desert, perhaps to  be one day revealed. Should that day
come, a new first chapter in the history of Egyptian art will have
to be written.

There are several groups of pyramids, large and small at Gizeh and
elsewhere, almost all of which  belong to the Old Empire. The
three great pyramids of Gizeh are among the earliest. They were
built by three kings of the Fourth Dynisty, Cheops (Chufu),
Chephren (Chafre), and Mycerinus (Menkere) They are  gigantic
sepulchral monuments in which the mummies of the kings who built
them were deposited. The pyramid of Cheops (Fig. 1, at the right),
the largest of all, was originally 481 feet 4 inches in height,
and was thus doubtless the loftiest structure ever reared in pre-
Christian times. The side of the square base measured 755 feet 8
inches. The pyramidal mass consists in the main of blocks of
limestone, and the exterior was  originally cased with fine
limestone, so that the surfaces were perfectly smooth. At present
the casing is gone, and instead of a sharp point at the top there
is a platform about thirty feet square. In the heart of the mass
was the granite chamber where the king's mummy was laid. It was
reached by an ingenious system of passages, strongly barricaded.
Yet all these precautions were  ineffectual to save King Cheops
from the hand of the spoiler. Chephren's pyramid (Fig. 1, at the
left) is not much smaller than that of Cheops, its present height
being about 450 feet, while the height of the third of this group,
that of Mycerinus, is about 210 feet. No wonder that the pyramids
came to be reckoned among the seven wonders of the world.

While kings erected pyramids to serve as their tombs, officials of
high rank were buried in, or rather under, structures of a
different type, now commonly known under the Arabic name of
mastabas. The mastaba may be described as a block of masonry of
limestone or sun-dried brick, oblong in plan, with the sides
built "battering," i.e., sloping inward, and with a flat top. It
had no architectural merits to speak of, and therefore need not
detain us. It is worth remarking, however, that some of these
mastabas contain genuine arches, formed of unbaked bricks. The
knowledge and use of the arch in Egypt go back then to at least
the period of the Old Empire. But the chief interest of the
mastabas lies in the fact that they have preserved to us most of
what we possess of early Egyptian sculpture. For in a small,
inaccessible chamber (serdab) reserved in the mass of masonry were
placed one or more portrait statues of the owner, and often of his
wife and other members of his household, while the walls of
another and larger chamber, which served as a chapel for the
celebration of funeral rites, were often covered with painted bas-
reliefs, representing scenes from the owner's life or whatever in
the way of funeral offering and human activity could minister to
his happiness.

One of the best of the portrait statues of this period is the
famous "Sheikh-el-Beled" (Chief of the Village), attributed  to
the Fourth or Fifth Dynasty (Fig. 2). The name was given by the
Arab workmen, who, when the figure was first brought to light in
the cemetery of Sakkarah, thought they saw in it the likeness of
their own sheikh. The man's real name, if he was the owner of the
mastaba from whose serdab he was taken, was Ra-em-ka. The figure
is less than life-sized, being a little over three and one half
feet in height. It is of wood, a common material for sculpture in
Egypt. The arms were made separately (the left of two pieces) and
attached at the shoulders. The feet, which had decayed, have been
restored. Originally the figure was covered with a coating of
linen, and this with stucco, painted. "The eyeballs are of opaque
white quartz, set in a bronze sheath, which forms the eyelids; in
the center of each there is a bit of rock-crystal, and behind this
a shining nail" [Footnote: Musee de Gizeh: Notice Sommaire
(1892).]--a contrivance which produces a marvelously  realistic
effect. The same thing, or something like it, is to be seen in
other statues of the period. The attitude of Ra-em-ka is the usual
one of Egyptian standing figures of all periods: the left leg is
advanced; both feet are planted flat on the ground; body and head
face squarely forward. The only deviation from the most usual type
is in the left arm, which is bent at the elbow, that the hand may
grasp the staff of office. More often the arms both hang at the
sides, the hands clenched, as in the admirable limestone figure of
the priest, Ra-nofer (Fig. 3).

The cross-legged scribe of the Louvre (Fig. 4) illustrates another
and less stereotyped attitude. This figure was found in the tomb
of one Sekhem-ka, along with two statues of the owner and a group
of the owner, his wife, and son. The scribe was presumably in the
employ of Sekhem-ka. The figure is of limestone, the commonest
material for these sepulchral statues, and, according to the
unvarying practice, was completely covered with color, still in
good preservation. The flesh is of a reddish brown, the regular
color for men. The eyes are similar to those of the Sheikh-el-
Beled. The man is seated with his legs crossed under him; a strip
of papyrus, held by his left hand, rests upon his lap; his right
hand held a pen.

The head shown in Fig. 5 belongs to a group, if we may give that
name to two figures carved from separate blocks of limestone and
seated stiffly side by side. Egyptian sculpture in the round never
created a genuine, integral group, in which two or more figures
are so combined that no one is intelligible without the rest; that
achievement was reserved for the Greeks. The lady in this case was
a princess; her husband, by whom she sits, a high priest of
Heliopolis. She is dressed in a long, white smock, in which there
is no indication of folds. On her head is a wig, from under which,
in front, her own hair shows. Her flesh is yellow, the
conventional tint for women, as brownish red was for men. Her eyes
are made of glass.

The specimens given have been selected with the purpose of showing
the sculpture of the Old Empire at its best. The all-important
fact to notice is the realism of these portraits. We shall see
that Greek sculpture throughout its great period tends toward the
typical and the ideal in the human face and figure. Not so in
Egypt. Here the task of the artist was to make a counterfeit
presentment of his subject and he has achieved his task at times
with marvelous skill. Especially the heads of the best statues
have an individuality and lifelikeness which have hardly been
surpassed in any age. But let not our admiration blind us to the
limitations of Egyptian art. The sculptor never attains to freedom
in the posing of his figures. Whether the subject sits, stands,
kneels, or squats, the body and head always face directly forward.
And we look in vain for any appreciation on the sculptor's part of
the beauty of the athletic body or of the artistic possibilities
of drapery.

There is more variety of pose in the painted bas-reliefs with
which the walls of the mastaba chapels are covered. Here are
scenes of agriculture, cattle-tending, fishing, bread-making, and
so on, represented with admirable vivacity, though with certain
fixed conventionalities of style. There are endless entertainment
and instruction for us in these pictures of old Egyptian life. Yet
no more here than in the portrait statues do we find a feeling for
beauty of form or a poetic, idealizing touch.

As from the Old Empire, so from the Middle Empire, almost the only
works of man surviving to us are tombs and their contents. These
tombs have no longer the simple mastaba form, but are either built
up of sun-dried brick in the form of a block capped by a pyramid
or are excavated in the rock. The former class offers little
interest from the architectural point of view. But some of the
rock-cut tombs of Beni-hasan, belonging to the Twelfth Dynasty,
exhibit a feature which calls for mention. These tombs have been
so made as to leave pillars of the living rock standing, both at
the entrance and in the chapel. The simplest of these pillars are
square in plan and somewhat tapering. Others, by the chamfering
off of their edges, have been made eight-sided. A repetition of
the process gave sixteen-sided pillars. The sixteen sides were
then hollowed out (channeled). The result is illustrated by Fig.
6. It will be observed that the pillar has a low, round base, with
beveled edge; also, at the top, a square abacus, which is simply a
piece of the original four-sided pillar, left untouched. Such
polygonal pillars as these are commonly called proto-Doric
columns. The name was given in the belief that these were the
models from which the Greeks derived their Doric columns, and this
belief is still held by many authorities.

With the New Empire we begin to have numerous and extensive
remains of temples, while those of an earlier date have mostly
disappeared. Fig. 7 may afford some notion of what an Egyptian
temple was like. This one is at Luxor, on the site of ancient
Thebes in Upper Egypt. It is one of the largest of all, being over
800 feet in length. Like many others, it was not originally
planned on its present scale, but represents two or three
successive periods of construction, Ramses II., of the Nineteenth
Dynasty, having given it its final form by adding to an already
finished building all that now stands before the second pair of
towers. As so extended, the building has three pylons, as they are
called, pylon being the name for the pair of sloping-sided towers
with gateway between. Behind the first pylon comes an open court
surrounded by a cloister with double rows of columns. The second
and third pylons are connected with one another by a covered
passage--an exceptional feature. Then comes a second open court;
then a hypostyle hall, i.e., a hall with flat roof supported by
columns; and finally, embedded in the midst of various chambers,
the relatively small sanctuary, inaccessible to all save the king
and the priests. Notice the double line of sphinxes flanking the
avenue of approach, the two granite obelisks at the entrance, and
the four colossal seated figures in granite representing Ramses
II.--all characteristic features.

Fig. 8 is taken from a neighboring and still more gigantic temple,
that of Karnak. Imagine an immense hall, 170 feet deep by 329 feet
broad. Down the middle run two rows of six columns each (the
nearest ones in the picture have been restored), nearly seventy
feet high. They have campaniform (bell-shaped) capitals. On either
side are seven rows of shorter columns, somewhat more than forty
feet high. These, as may be indistinctly seen at the right of our
picture, have capitals of a different type, called, from their
origin rather than from their actual appearance, lotiform or
lotus-bud capitals. There was a clerestory over the four central
rows of columns, with windows in its walls. The general plan,
therefore, of this hypostyle hall has some resemblance to that of
a Christian basilica, but the columns are much more numerous and
closely set. Walls and columns were covered with hieroglyphic
texts and sculptured and painted scenes. The total effect of this
colossal piece of architecture, even in its ruin, is one of
overwhelming majesty. No other work of human hands strikes the
beholder with such a sense of awe.

Fig. 9 is a restoration of one of the central columns of this
hall. Except for one fault, say Messrs. Perrot and
Chipiez,[Footnote: "Histoire de l'Art Egypte," page 576. The
translation given above differs from that in the English edition
of Perrot and Chipiez, "Art in Ancient Egypt," Vol. II., page
123.] "this column would be one of the most admirable creations of
art; it would hardly be inferior to the most perfect columns of
Greece." The one fault--a grave one to a critical eye--is the
meaningless and inappropriate block inserted between the capital
and the horizontal beam which it is the function of the column to
support. The type of column used in the side aisles of the hall at
Karnak is illustrated by Fig. 10, taken from another temple. It is
much less admirable, the contraction of the capital toward the top
producing an unpleasant effect.

Other specimens of these two types of column vary widely from
those of Karnak, for Egyptian architects did not feel obliged,
like Greek architects, to conform, with but slight liberty of
deviation, to established canons of form and proportion. Nor are
these two by any means the only forms of support used in the
temple architecture of the New Empire. The "proto-Doric" column
continued in favor under the New Empire, though apparently not
later; we find it, for example, in some of the outlying buildings
at Karnak. Then there was the column whose capital was adorned
with four heads in relief of the goddess Hathor, not to speak of
other varieties. Whatever the precise form of the support, it was
always used to carry a horizontal beam. Although the Egyptians
were familiar from very early times with the principle of the
arch, and although examples of its use occur often enough under
the New Empire, we do not find columns or piers used, as in Gothic
architecture, to carry a vaulting. In fact, the genuine vault is
absent from Egyptian temple architecture, although in the Temple
of Abydos false or corbelled vaults (cf. page 49) do occur.

Egyptian architects were not gifted with a fine feeling for
structural propriety or unity. A few of their small temples are
simple and coherent in plan and fairly tasteful in details. But it
is significant that a temple could always be enlarged by the
addition of parts not contemplated in the original design. The
result in such a case was a vast, rambling edifice, whose merits
consisted in the imposing character of individual parts, rather
than in an organic and symmetrical relation of parts to whole.

Statues of the New Empire are far more numerous than those of any
other period, but few of them will compare in excellence with the
best of those of the Old Empire. Colossal figures of kings abound,
chiseled with infinite patience from granite and other obdurate
rocks. All these and others may be passed over in order to make
room for a statue in the Louvre (Fig. 11), which is chosen, not
because of its artistic merits, but because of its material and
its subject. It is of bronze, somewhat over three feet in height,
thus being the largest Egyptian bronze statue known. It was cast
in a single piece, except for the arms, which were cast separately
and attached. The date of it is in dispute, one authority
assigning it to the Eighteenth Dynasty and another bringing it
down as late as the seventh century B.C. Be that as it may, the
art of casting hollow bronze figures is of high antiquity in
Egypt. The figure represents a hawk-headed god, Horus, who once
held up some object, probably a vase for libations. Egyptian
divinities are often represented with the heads of animals--
Anubis with the head of a jackal, Hathor with that of a cow, Sebek
with that of a crocodile, and so on. This in itself shows a lack
of nobility in the popular theology. Moreover it is clear that the
best talents of sculptors were engaged upon portraits of kings and
queens and other human beings, not upon figures of the gods. The
latter exist by the thousand, to be sure, but they are generally
small statuettes, a few inches high, in bronze, wood, or faience.
And even if sculptors had been encouraged to do their best in
bodying forth the forms of gods, they would hardly have achieved
high success. The exalted imagination was lacking.

Among the innumerable painted bas-reliefs covering the walls of
tombs and temples, those of the great Temple of Abydos in Upper
Egypt hold a high place. One enthusiastic art critic has gone so
far as to pronounce them "the most perfect, the most noble bas-
reliefs ever chiseled." A specimen of this work, now, alas! more
defaced than is here shown, is given in Fig. 12. King Seti I. of
the Nineteenth Dynasty stands in an attitude of homage before a
seated divinity, of whom almost nothing appears in the
illustration. On the palm of his right hand he holds a figure of
Maat, goddess of truth. In front of him is a libation-standard, on
which rests a bunch of lotus flowers, buds, and leaves. The first
remark to be made about this work is that it is genuine relief.
The forms are everywhere modeled, whereas in much of what is
commonly called bas-relief in Egypt, the figures are only outlined
and the spaces within the outlines are left flat. As regards the
treatment of the human figure, we have here the stereotyped
Egyptian conventions. The head, except the eye, is in profile, the
shoulders in front view, the abdomen in three-quarters view, the
legs again in profile. As a result of the distortion of the body,
the arms are badly attached at the shoulders. Furthermore the
hands, besides being very badly drawn, have in this instance the
appearance of being mismated with the arms, while both feet look
like right feet. The dress consists of the usual loin-cloth and of
a thin, transparent over-garment, indicated only by a line in
front and below. Now surely no one will maintain that these
methods and others of like sort which there is no opportunity here
to illustrate are the most artistic ever devised. Nevertheless
serious technical faults and shortcomings may coexist with great
merits of composition and expression. So it is in this relief of
Seti. The design is stamped with unusual refinement and grace. The
theme is hackneyed enough, but its treatment here raises it above
the level of commonplace.

Egyptian bas-reliefs were always completely covered with paint,
laid on in uniform tints. Paintings on a flat surface differ in no
essential respect from these painted bas-reliefs. The conventional
and untruthful methods of representing the human form, as well as
other objects--buildings, landscapes, etc.--are the same in the
former as in the latter. The coloring, too, is of the same sort,
there being no attempt to render gradations of color due to the
play of light and shade. Fig. 13, a lute-player from a royal tomb
of the Eighteenth Dynasty, illustrates some of these points. The
reader who would form an idea of the composition of extensive
scenes must consult works more especially devoted to Egyptian art.
He will be rewarded with many a vivid picture of ancient Egyptian

Art was at a low ebb in Egypt during the centuries of Libyan and
Ethiopian domination which succeeded the New Empire. There was a
revival under the Saite monarchy in the seventh and sixth
centuries B.C. To this period is assigned a superb head of dark
green stone (Fig. 14), recently acquired by the Berlin Museum. It
has been broken from a standing or kneeling statue. The form of
the closely-shaven skull and the features of the strong face,
wrinkled by age, have been reproduced by the sculptor with
unsurpassable fidelity. The number of works emanating from the
same school as this is very small, but in quality they represent
the highest development of Egyptian sculpture. It is fit that we
should take our leave of Egyptian art with such a work as this
before us, a work which gives us the quintessence of the artistic
genius of the race.

Babylonia was the seat of a civilization perhaps more hoary than
that of Egypt. The known remains of Babylonian art, however, are
at present far fewer than those of Egypt and will probably always
be so. There being practically no stone in the country and wood
being very scarce, buildings were constructed entirely of bricks,
some of them merely sun-dried, others kiln-baked. The natural
wells of bitumen supplied a tenacious mortar. [Footnote: Compare
Genesis XI 3: "And they had brick for stone and slime had they for
mortar."] The ruins that have been explored at Tello, Nippur, and
elsewhere, belong to city walls, houses, and temples. The most
peculiar and conspicuous feature of the temple was a lofty
rectangular tower of several stages, each stage smaller than the
one below it. The arch was known and used in Babylonia from time
immemorial. As for the ornamental details of buildings, we know
very little about them except that large use was made of enameled

The only early Babylonian sculptures of any consequence that we
possess are a collection of broken reliefs and a dozen sculptures
in the round, found in a group of mounds called Tello and now in
the Louvre. The reliefs are extremely rude. The statues are much
better and are therefore probably of later date, they are commonly
assigned by students of Babylonian antiquities to about 3000 B.C.
Fig. 15 reproduces one of them. The material, as of the other
statues found at the same place, is a dark and excessively hard
igneous rock (dolerite). The person represented is one Gudea, the
ruler of a small semi-independent principality. On his lap he has
a tablet on which is engraved the plan of a fortress, very
interesting  to the student of military antiquities. The forms of
the body are surprisingly well given, even the knuckles of the
fingers being indicated. As regards the drapery, it is noteworthy
that an attempt has been made to render folds on the right breast
and the left arm. The skirt of the dress is covered with an
inscription in cuneiform characters.

Fig. 16 belongs to the same group of sculptures as the seated
figure just discussed. Although this head gives no such impression
of lifelikeness as the best Egyptian portraits, it yet shows
careful study. Cheeks, chin, and mouth are well rendered. The
eyelids, though too wide open, are still good; notice the inner
corners. The eyebrows are less successful. Their general form is
that of the half of a figure 8 bisected vertically, and the hairs
are indicated by slanting lines arranged in herring-bone fashion.
Altogether, the reader will probably feel more respect than
enthusiasm for this early Babylonian art and will have no keen
regret that the specimens of it are so few.

The Assyrians were by origin one people with the Chaldeans and
were therefore a branch of the great Semitic family. It is not
until the ninth century B.C. that the great period of Assyrian
history begins. Then for two and a half centuries Assyria was the
great conquering power of the world. Near the end of the seventh
century it was completely annihilated by a coalition of Babylonia
and Media.

With an insignificant exception or two the remains of Assyrian
buildings and sculptures all belong to the period of Assyrian
greatness. The principal sites where explorations have been
carried on are Koyunjik (Nineveh), Nimroud, and Khorsabad, and the
ruins uncovered are chiefly those of royal palaces. These
buildings were of enormous extent. The palace of Sennacherib at
Nineveh, for example, covered more than twenty acres. Although the
country possessed building stone in plenty, stone was not used
except for superficial ornamentation, baked and unbaked bricks
being the architect's sole reliance. This was a mere blind
following of the example of Babylonia, from which Assyria derived
all its culture. The palaces were probably only one story in
height. Their principal splendor was in their interior decoration
of painted stucco, enameled bricks, and, above all, painted
reliefs in limestone or alabaster.

The great Assyrian bas-reliefs covered the lower portions of the
walls of important rooms. Designed to enrich the royal palaces,
they drew their principal themes from the occupations of the
kings. We see the monarch offering sacrifice before a divinity,
or, more often, engaged in his favorite pursuits of war and
hunting. These extensive compositions cannot be adequately
illustrated by two or three small pictures. The most that can be
done is to show the sculptor's method of treating single figures.
Fig. 17 is a slab from the earliest series we possess, that
belonging to the palace of Asshur-nazir-pal (884-860 B.C.) at
Nimroud. It represents the king facing to right, with a bowl for
libation in his right hand and his bow in his left, while a eunuch
stands fronting him. The artistic style exhibited here remains
with no essential change throughout the whole history of Assyrian
art. The figures are in profile, except that the king's further
shoulder is thrown forward in much the fashion which we have found
the rule in Egypt, and the eyes appear as in front view. Both king
and attendant are enveloped in long robes, in which there is no
indication of folds, though fringes and tassels are elaborately
rendered. The faces are of a strongly marked Semitic cast, but
without any attempt at portraiture. The hair of the head ends in
several rows of snail-shell curls, and the king's beard has rows
of these curls alternating with more natural-looking portions.
Little is displayed of the body except the fore-arms, whose
anatomy, though intelligible, is coarse and false. As for minor
matters, such as the too high position of the ears, and the
unnatural shape of the king's right hand, it is needless to dwell
upon them. A cuneiform inscription runs right across the relief,
interrupted only by the fringes of the robes.

Fig. 18 shows more distinctly the characteristic Assyrian method
of representing the human head. Here are the same Semitic
features, the eye in front view, and the strangely curled hair and
beard. The only novelty is the incised line which marks the iris
of the eye. This peculiarity is first observed in work of Sargon's
time (722-705 B. C.).

A constant and striking feature of the Assyrian palaces was
afforded by the great, winged, human-headed bulls, which flanked
the principal doorways. The one herewith given (Fig. 19) is from
Sargon's palace at Khorsabad. The peculiar methods of Assyrian
sculpture are not ill suited to this fantastic creature, an
embodiment of force and intelligence. One special peculiarity will
not escape the attentive observer. Like all his kind, except in
Sennacherib's palace, this bull has five legs. He was designed to
be looked at from directly in front or from the side, not from an
intermediate point of view.

Assyrian art was not wholly without capacity for improvement.
Under Asshur-bam-pal (668-626), the Sardanapalus of the Greeks, it
reached a distinctly higher level than ever before. It is from his
palace at Nineveh that the slab partially shown in Fig. 20 was
obtained. Two demons, with human bodies, arms, and legs, but with
lions' heads, asses' ears, and eagles' talons, confront one
another angrily, brandishing daggers in their right hands.
Mesopotamian art was fond of such creatures, but we do not know
precisely what meaning was attached to the present scene. We need
therefore consider only stylistic qualities. As the two demons
wear only short skirts reaching from the waist to the knees, their
bodies are more exposed than those of men usually are. We note the
inaccurate anatomy of breast, abdomen, and back, in dealing with
which the sculptor had little experience to guide him. A marked
difference is made between the outer and the inner view of the
leg, the former being treated in the same style as the arms in
Fig. 17. The arms are here better, because less exaggerated. The
junction of human shoulders and animal necks is managed with no
sort of verisimilitude. But the heads, conventionalized though
they are, are full of vigor. One can almost hear the angry snarl
and see the lightning flash from the eyes.

It is, in fact, in the rendering of animals that Assyrian art
attains to its highest level. In Asshur-bam-pal's palace extensive
hunting scenes give occasion for introducing horses, dogs, wild
asses, lions, and lionesses, and these are portrayed with a keen
eye for characteristic forms and movements. One of the most famous
of these animal figures is the lioness shown in Fig. 21. The
creature has been shot through with three great arrows. Blood
gushes from her wounds. Her hind legs are paralyzed and drag
helplessly behind her. Yet she still moves forward on her fore-
feet and howls with rage and agony. Praise of this admirable
figure can hardly be too strong. This and others, of equal merit
redeem Assyrian art.

As has been already intimated, these bas-reliefs were always
colored, though, it would seem, only partially, whereas Egyptian
bas-reliefs were completely covered with color.

Of Assyrian stone sculpture in the round nothing has yet been
said. A few pieces exist, but their style is so essentially like
that of the bas-reliefs that they call for no separate discussion.
More interesting is the Assyrian work in bronze. The most
important specimens of this are some hammered reliefs, now in the
British Museum, which originally adorned a pair of wooden doors in
the palace of Shalmaneser III. at Balawat. The art of casting
statuettes and statues in bronze was also known and practiced, as
it had been much earlier in Babylonia, but the examples preserved
to us are few. For the decorative  use which the Assyrians made of
color, our principal witnesses are then enameled bricks. These are
ornamented with various designs--men, genii, animals, and floral
patterns--in a few rich colors, chiefly blue and yellow. Of
painting, except in the sense of mural decoration, there is no

Egypt and Mesopotamia are, of all the countries around the
Mediterranean the only seats of an important, indigenous art,
antedating that of Greece. Other countries of Western Asia--Syria,
Phrygia, Phenicia, Persia, and so on--seem to have been rather
recipients and transmitters than originators of artistic
influences. For Egypt, Assyria, and the regions just named did not
remain isolated from one another. On the contrary, intercourse
both friendly and hostile was active, and artistic products, at
least of the small and portable kind, were exchanged. The paths of
communication were many, but there is reason for thinking that the
Phenicians, the great trading nation of early times, were
especially instrumental in disseminating artistic ideas. To these
influences Greece was exposed before she had any great art of her
own. Among the remains of prehistoric Greece we find, besides some
objects of foreign manufacture, others, which, though presumably
of native origin, are yet more or less directly inspired by
Egyptian or oriental models. But when the true history of Greek
art begins, say about 600 B. C., the influences from Egypt and
Asia sink into insignificance. It may be that the impulse to
represent gods and men in wood or stone was awakened in Greece by
the example of older communities. It may be that one or two types
of figures were suggested by foreign models. It may be that a hint
was taken from Egypt for the form of the Doric column and that the
Ionic capital derives from an Assyrian prototype. It is almost
certain that the art of casting hollow bronze statues was borrowed
from Egypt. And it is indisputable that some ornamental patterns
used in architecture and on pottery were rather appropriated than
invented by Greece. There is no occasion for disguising or
underrating this indebtedness of Greece to her elder neighbors.
But, on the other hand, it is important not to exaggerate the
debt. Greek art is essentially self-originated, the product of a
unique, incommunicable genius. As well might one say that Greek
literature is of Asiatic origin, because, forsooth, the Greek
alphabet came from Phenicia, as call Greek art the offspring of
Egyptian or oriental art because of the impulses received in the
days of its beginning. [Footnote: This comparison is perhaps not
original with the present writer.]



Thirty years ago it would have been impossible to write with any
considerable knowledge of prehistoric art in Greece. The Iliad and
Odyssey, to be sure, tell of numerous artistic objects, but no
definite pictures of these were called up by the poet's words. Of
actual remains only a few were known. Some implements of stone,
the mighty walls of Tiryns, Mycenae, and many another ancient
citadel, four "treasuries," as they were often called, at Mycenae
and one at the Boeotian Orchomenus--these made up pretty nearly
the total of the visible relics of that early time. To-day the
case is far different. Thanks to the faith, the liberality, and
the energy of Heinrich Schliemann, an immense impetus has been
given to the study of prehistoric Greek archaeology. His
excavations at Troy, Mycenae, Tiryns, and elsewhere aroused the
world. He labored, and other men, better trained than he, have
entered into his labors. The material for study is constantly
accumulating, and constant progress is being made in classifying
and interpreting this material. A civilization antedating the
Homeric poems stands now dimly revealed to us. Mycenae, the city
"rich in gold," the residence of Agamemnon, whence he ruled over
"many islands and all Argos," [Footnote: Iliad II, 108] is seen to
have had no merely legendary preeminence. So conspicuous, in fact,
does Mycenae appear in the light as well of archaeology as of
epic, that it has become common, somewhat misleading though it is,
to call a whole epoch and a whole civilization "Mycenaean." This
"Mycenaean" civilization was widely extended over the Greek
islands and the eastern portions of continental Greece in the
second millennium before our era. Exact dates are very risky, but
it is reasonably safe to say that this civilization was in full
development as early as the fifteenth century B.C., and that it
was not wholly superseded till considerably later than 1000 B.C.

It is our present business to gain some acquaintance with this
epoch on its artistic side. It will be readily understood that our
knowledge of the long period in question is still very
fragmentary, and that, in the absence of written records, our
interpretation of the facts is hardly better than a groping in the
dark. Fortunately we can afford, so far as the purposes of this
book are concerned, to be content with a slight review. For it
seems clear that the "Mycenaean" civilization developed little
which can be called artistic in the highest sense of that term.
The real history of Greek art--that is to say, of Greek
architecture, sculpture, and painting--begins much later.
Nevertheless it will repay us to get some notion, however slight,
of such prehistoric Greek remains as can be included under the
broadest acceptation of the word "art."

In such a survey it is usual to give a place to early walls of
fortification, although these, to be sure, were almost purely
utilitarian in their character. The classic example of these
constructions is the citadel wall of Tiryns in Argolis. Fig. 22
shows a portion of this fortification on the east side, with the
principal approach. Huge blocks of roughly dressed limestone--some
of those in the lower courses estimated to weigh thirteen or
fourteen tons apiece--are piled one upon another, the interstices
having been filled with clay and smaller stones. This wall is of
varying thickness, averaging at the bottom about twenty-five feet.
At two places, viz., at the south end and on the east side near
the southeast corner, the thickness is increased, in order to give
room in the wall for a row of store chambers with communicating
gallery. Fig. 23 shows one of these galleries in its present
condition. It will be seen that the roof has been formed by
pushing the successive courses of stones further and further
inward from both sides until they meet. The result is in form a
vault, but the principle of the arch is not there, inasmuch as the
stones are not jointed radially, but lie on approximately
horizontal beds. Such a construction is sometimes called a
"corbelled" arch or vault.

Similar walls to those of Tiryns are found in many places, though
nowhere else are the blocks of such gigantic size. The Greeks of
the historical period Viewed these imposing structures with as
much astonishment  as do we, and attributed them (of at least
those in Argohs) to the Cyclopes, a mythical folk, conceived in
this connection as masons of superhuman strength. Hence the
adjective Cyclopian or Cyclopean, whose meaning varies
unfortunately in modern usage, but which is best restricted to
walls of the Tirynthian type; that is to say, walls built of large
blocks not accurately fitted together, the interstices being
filled with small stones. This style of masonry seems to be always
of early date

Portions of the citadel wall of Mycenae are Cyclopean. Other
portions, quite probably of later date, show a very different
character (Fig. 24). Here the blocks on the outer surface of the
wall, though irregular in shape. are fitted together with close
joints. This style of masonry is called polygonal and is to be
carefully distinguished from Cyclopean, as above defined. Finally,
still other portions of this same Mycenaean wall show on the
outside a near approach to what is called ashlar masonry, in which
the blocks are rectangular and laid in even horizontal courses.
This is the case near the Lion Gate, the principal entrance to the
citadel. (Fig. 25)

Next to the walls of fortification the most numerous early remains
of the builder's art in Greece are the "bee-hive" tombs of which
many examples have been discovered in Argolis, Laconia, Attica,
Boeotia, Thessaly,  and Crete. At Mycenae alone there are eight
now known, all of them outside the citadel. The largest and most
imposing of these, and indeed of the entire class, is the one
commonly referred to by the misleading name of the "Treasury of
Atreus."  Fig 26 gives a section through this tomb. A straight
passage, A B, flanked by walls of ashlar masonry and open to the
sky, leads to a doorway, B. This doorway, once closed with heavy
doors, was framed with an elaborate aichitectural composition,  of
which only small fragments now exist and these widely dispersed in
London, Berlin, Carlsruhe, Munich, Athens, and Mycenae itself. In
the decoration of this facade rosettes and running spirals played
a conspicuous  part, and on either side of the doorway stood a
column which tapered downwards and was ornamented with spirals
arranged in zigzag bands. This downward-tapering  column, so
unlike the columns of classic times, seems to have been in common
use in Mycenaean architecture.  Inside the doors comes a short
passage, B C, roofed by two huge lintel blocks, the inner one of
which is estimated to weigh 132 tons. The principal chamber, D,
which is embedded in the hill, is circular in plan, with a lower
diameter of about forty-seven feet. Its wall is formed of
horizontal courses of stone, each pushed further inward than the
one below it, until the opening was small enough to be covered by
a single stone. The method of roofing is therefore identical in
principle with that used in the galleries and store chambers of
Tiryns; but here the blocks have been much more carefully worked
and accurately fitted, and the exposed ends have been so beveled
as to give to the whole interior a smooth, curved surface.
Numerous horizontal rows of small holes exist, only partly
indicated in our illustration, beginning in the fourth course from
the bottom and continuing at intervals probably to the top. In
some of these holes bronze nails still remain. These must have
served for the attachment of some sort of bronze decoration. The
most careful study of the disposition of the holes has led to the
conclusion that the fourth and fifth courses were completely
covered with bronze plates, presumably ornamented, and that above
this there were rows of single ornaments, possibly rosettes. Fig.
27 will give some idea of the present appearance of this chamber,
which is still complete, except for the loss of the bronze
decoration and two or three stones at the top. The small doorway
which is seen here, as well as in Fig. 26, leads into a
rectangular chamber, hewn in the living rock. This is much smaller
than the main chamber.

At Orchomenus in Boeotia are the ruins of a tomb scarcely inferior
in size to the "Treasury of Atreus" and once scarcely less
magnificent. Here too, besides the "bee-hive" construction, there
was a lateral, rectangular chamber--a feature which occurs only
in these two cases. Excavations conducted here by Schliemann in
1880-81 brought to light the broken fragments of a ceiling of
greenish schist with which this lateral chamber  was once covered.
Fig. 28 shows this ceiling restored. The beautiful sculptured
decoration consists of elements which recur in almost the same
combination on a fragment of painted stucco from the palace of
Tiryns. The pattern is derived from Egypt.

The two structures just described were long ago broken into and
despoiled. If they stood alone, we could only guess at their
original purpose. But some other examples of the same class have
been left unmolested or less completely ransacked, until in recent
years they could be studied by scientific investigators.
Furthermore we have the evidence of numerous rock-cut chambers of
analogous shape, many of which have been recently opened in a
virgin condition. Thus it has been put beyond a doubt that these
subterranean "beehive" chambers were sepulchral monuments, the
bodies having been laid in graves within. The largest and best
built of these tombs, if not all, must have belonged to princely

Even the dwelling-houses of the chieftains who ruled at Tiryns and
Mycenae are known to us by their remains. The palace of Tiryns
occupied the entire southern end of the citadel, within the
massive walls above described. Its ruins were uncovered in 1884-
85. The plan and the lower portions of the walls of an extensive
complex of gateways, open courts, and closed rooms were thus
revealed. There are remains of a similar building at Mycenae, but
less well preserved, while the citadels of Athens and Troy present
still more scanty traces of an analogous kind. The walls of the
Tirynthian palace were not built of gigantic blocks of stone, such
as were used in the citadel wall. That would have been a reckless
waste of labor. On the contrary, they were built partly of small
irregular pieces of stone, partly of sun-dried bricks. Clay was
used to hold these materials together, and beams of wood ("bond
timbers") were laid lengthwise here and there in the wall to give
additional strength. Where columns were needed, they were in every
case of wood, and consequently have long since decomposed and
disappeared. Considerable remains, however, were found of the
decorations of the interior. Thus there are bits of what must once
have been a beautiful frieze of alabaster, inlaid with pieces of
blue glass. A restored piece of this, sufficient to give the
pattern, is seen in Fig. 29. Essentially the same design, somewhat
simplified, occurs on objects of stone, ivory, and glass found at
Mycenae; and in a "bee-hive" tomb of Attica. Again, there are
fragments of painted stucco which decorated the walls of rooms in
the palace of Tiryns. The largest and most interesting of these
fragments is shown in Fig. 30. A yellow and red bull is
represented against a blue background, galloping furiously to
left, tail in air. Above him is a man of slender build, nearly
naked. With his right hand the man grasps one of the bull's horns;
his right leg is bent at the knee and the foot seems to touch with
its toes the bull's back; his outstretched left leg is raised high
in air. We have several similar representations on objects of the
Mycenaean period, the most interesting of which will be presently
described (see page 67). The comparison of these with one another
leaves little room for doubt that the Tirynthian fresco was
intended to portray the chase of a wild bull. But what does the
man's position signify? Has he been tossed into the air by the
infuriated animal? Has he adventurously vaulted upon the
creature's back? Or did the painter mean him to be running on the
ground, and, finding the problem of drawing the two figures in
their proper relation too much for his simple skill, did he adopt
the child-like expedient of putting one above the other? This last
seems much the most probable explanation, especially as the same
expedient is to be seen in several other designs belonging to this

At Mycenae also, both in the principal palace which corresponds to
that of Tiryns and in a smaller house, remains of wall-frescoes
have been found. These, like those of Tiryns, consisted partly of
merely ornamental patterns, partly of genuine pictures, with human
and animal figures. But nothing has there come to light at once so
well preserved and so spirited as the bull-fresco from Tiryns.

Painting in the Mycenaean period seems to have been nearly, if not
entirely, confined to the decoration of house-walls and of
pottery. Similarly sculpture had no existence as a great,
independent art. There is no trace of any statue in the round of
life-size or anything approaching that. This agrees with the
impression we get from the Homeric poems, where, with possibly one
exception, [Footnote: Iliad VI, 273, 303.] there is no allusion to
any sculptured image. There are, to be sure, primitive statuettes,
one class of which, very rude and early, in fact pre-Mycenaean in
character, is illustrated by Fig. 31. Images of this sort have
been found principally on the islands of the Greek Archipelago.
They are made of marble or limestone, and represent a naked female
figure standing stiffly erect, with arms crossed in front below
the breasts. The head, is of extraordinary rudeness, the face of a
horse-shoe shape, often with no feature except a long triangular
nose. What religious ideas were associated with these barbarous
little images by their possessors we can hardly guess. We shall
see that when a truly Greek art came into being, figures of
goddesses and women were decorously clothed.

Excavations on Mycenaean sites have yielded quantities of small
figures, chiefly of painted terra-cotta (cf. Fig. 43), but also of
bronze or lead. Of sculpture on a larger scale we possess nothing
except the gravestones found at Mycenae and the relief which has
given a name, albeit an inaccurate one, to the Lion Gate. The
gravestones are probably the earlier. They were found within a
circular enclosure just inside the Lion Gate, above a group of six
graves--the so-called pit-graves  or shaft-graves of Mycenae. The
best preserved of these gravestones is shown in Fig. 32. The
field, bordered by a double fillet, is divided horizontally into
two parts. The upper part is filled with an ingeniously contrived
system of running spirals. Below is a battle-scene: a man in a
chariot is driving at full speed, and in front there is a naked
foot soldier (enemy?), with a sword in his uplifted left hand.
Spirals, apparently meaningless, fill in the vacant spaces. The
technique is very simple. The figures having been outlined, the
background has been cut away to a shallow depth; within the
outlines there is no modeling, the surfaces being left flat. It is
needless to dwell on the shortcomings of this work, but it is
worth while to remind the reader that the gravestone commemorates
one who must have been an important personage, probably a
chieftain, and that the best available talent would have been
secured for the purpose.

The famous relief above the Lion Gate of Mycenae (Figs. 25, 33),
though probably of somewhat later date than the sculptured
gravestones, is still generally believed to go well back into the
second millennium before Christ. It represents two lionesses (not
lions) facing one another in heraldic fashion, their fore-paws
resting on what is probably to be called an altar or pair, of
altars; between them is a column, which tapers downward (cf. the
columns of the "Treasury of Atreus," page 53), surmounted by what
seems to be a suggestion of an entablature. The heads of the
lionesses, originally made of separate pieces and attached, have
been lost. Otherwise the work is in good preservation, in spite of
its uninterrupted exposure for more than three thousand years. The
technique is quite different from that of the gravestones, for all
parts of the relief are carefully modeled. The truth to nature is
also far greater here, the animals being tolerably life-like. The
design is one which recurs with variations on two or three
engraved gems of the Mycenaean period (cf Fig. 40), as well as in
a series of later Phrygian reliefs in stone. Placed in this
conspicuous position above the principal entrance to the citadel,
it may perhaps have symbolized the power of the city and its

If sculpture in stone appears to have been very little practiced
in the Mycenaean age, the arts of the goldsmith, silversmith, gem-
engraver, and ivory carver were in great requisition. The shaft-
graves of Mycenae contained, besides other things, a rich treasure
of gold objects--masks, drinking-cups, diadems, ear-rings,
finger-rings, and so on, also several silver vases. One of the
latter may be seen in Fig. 43. It is a large jar, about two and
one half feet in height, decorated below with horizontal flutings
and above with continuous spirals in repousse (i.e., hammered)
work. Most of the gold objects must be passed over, interesting
though many of them are. But we may pause a moment over a group of
circular ornaments in thin gold-leaf about two and one half inches
in diameter, of which 701 specimens were found, all in a single
grave. The patterns on these discs were not executed with a free
hand, but by means of a mold. There are fourteen patterns in all,
some of them made up of spirals and serpentine curves, others
derived from vegetable and animal forms. Two of the latter class
are shown in Figs. 34, 35. One is a butterfly, the other a cuttle-
fish, both of them skilfully conventionalized. It is interesting
to note how the antennae of the butterfly and still more the arms
of the cuttle-fish are made to end in the favorite spiral.

The sculptures and gold objects which have been thus far described
or referred to were in all probability executed by native, or at
any rate by resident, workmen, though some of the patterns clearly
betray oriental influence. Other objects must have been, others
may have been, actually imported from Egypt or the East. It is
impossible to draw the line with certainty between native and
imported. Thus the admirable silver head of a cow from one of the
shaft-graves (Fig. 36) has been claimed as an Egyptian or a
Phenician production,  but the evidence adduced is not decisive.
Similarly with the fragment of a silver vase shown in Fig. 37.
This has a design in relief (repousse) representing the siege of a
walled town or citadel. On the walls is a group of women making
frantic gestures. The defenders, most of them naked, are armed
with bows and arrows and slings. On the ground lie sling-stones
and throwing-sticks,[Footnote: So explained by Mr A. J.  Evans in
The Journal of Hellenic Studies, XIII., page 199. ] which may be
supposed to have been hurled by the enemy. In the background there
are four nondescript trees, perhaps intended for olive trees.

Another variety of Mycenaean metal-work is of a much higher order
of merit than the dramatic but rude relief on this silver vase. I
refer to a number of inlaid dagger-blades, which were found in two
of the shaft-graves. Fig. 38 reproduces one side of the finest of
these. It is about nine inches long. The blade is of bronze, while
the rivets by which the handle was attached are of gold. The
design was inlaid in a separate thin slip of bronze, which was
then inserted into a sinking on the blade. The materials used are
various. The lions and the naked parts of the men are of gold, the
shields and trunks of the men of electrum (a mixture of gold and
silver), the hair of the men, the manes of the lions, and some
other details of an unidentified dark substance; the background,
to the edges of the inserted slip, was covered with a black
enamel. The scene is a lion-hunt. Four men, one armed only with a
bow, the others with lances and huge shields of two different
forms, are attacking a lion. A fifth hunter has fallen and lies
under the lion's fore-paws. The beast has already been run through
with a lance, the point of which is seen protruding from his
haunch; but he still shows fight, while his two companions dash
away at full speed. The design is skilfully composed to fill the
triangular space, and the attitudes of men and beasts are varied,
expressive, and fairly truthful. Another of these dagger-blades
has a representation of panthers hunting ducks by the banks of a
river in which what may be lotus plants are growing, The lotus
would point toward Egypt as the ultimate source of the design.
Moreover, a dagger of similar technique has been found in Egypt in
the tomb of a queen belonging to the end of the Seventeenth
Dynasty. On the other hand, the dress and the shields of the men
engaged in the lion-hunt are identical with those on a number of
other "Mycenaean" articles--gems, statuettes, etc.--which it is
difficult to regard as all of foreign importation. The
probability, then, seems to be that while the technique of the
dagger-blades was directly or indirectly derived from Egypt, the
specimens found at Mycenae were of local manufacture.

The greatest triumph of the goldsmith's art in the "Mycenaean"
period does not come from Mycenae. The two gold cups shown in Fig.
39 were found in 1888 in a bee-hive tomb at Vaphio in Laconia.
Each cup is double; that is to say, there is an outer cup, which
has been hammered into shape from a single disc of gold and which
is therefore without a joint, and an inner cup, similarly made,
whose upper edge is bent over the outer cup so as to hold the two
together. The horizontal parts of the handles are attached by
rivets, while the intervening vertical cylinders are soldered. The
designs in repousse work are evidently pendants to one another.
The first represents a hunt of wild bulls. One bull, whose
appearance indicates the highest pitch of fury, has dashed a
would-be captor to earth and is now tossing another on his horns.
A second bull, entangled in a stout net, writhes and bellows in
the vain effort to escape. A third gallops at full speed from the
scene of his comrade's captivity. The other design shows us four
tame bulls. The first submits with evident impatience to his
master. The next two stand quietly, with an almost comical effect
of good nature and contentment. The fourth advances slowly,
browsing. In each composition the ground is indicated, not only
beneath the men and animals, but above them, wherever the design
affords room. It is an example of the same naive perspective which
seems to have been employed in the Tirynthian bull-fresco (Fig.
30). The men, too, are of the same build here as there, and the
bulls have similarly curving horns. There are several trees on the
cups, two of which are clearly characterized as palms, while the
others resemble those in Fig. 37, and may be intended for olives.
The bulls are rendered with amazing spirit and understanding.
True, there are palpable defects, if one examines closely. For
example, the position of the bull in the net is quite impossible.
But in general the attitudes and expressions are as lifelike as
they are varied. Evidently we have here the work of an artist who
drew his inspiration directly from nature.

Engraved gems were in great demand in the Mycenaean period, being
worn as ornamental beads, and the work of the gem-engraver, like
that of the goldsmith, exhibits excellent qualities. The usual
material was some variety of ornamental stone--agate, jasper,
rock-crystal, etc. There are two principal shapes, the one
lenticular, the other elongated or glandular (Figs. 40, 41). The
designs are engraved in intaglio, but, our illustrations being
made, as is usual, from plaster impressions, they appear as
cameos. Among the subjects the lion plays an important part,
sometimes represented singly, sometimes in pairs, sometimes
devouring a bull or stag. Cattle, goats, deer, and fantastic
creatures (sphinxes, griffins, etc.) are also common. So are human
figures, often engaged in war or the chase. In the best of these
gems the work is executed with great care, and the designs, though
often inaccurate, are nevertheless vigorous. Very commonly,
however, the distortion of the figure is carried beyond all
bounds. Fig. 40 was selected for illustration, not because it is a
particularly favorable specimen of its class, but because it
offers an interesting analogy to the relief above the Lion Gate.
It represents two lions rampant, their fore-paws resting on an
altar (?), their heads, oddly enough, combined into one. The
column which figures in the relief above the gate is absent from
the gem, but is found on another specimen from Mycenae, where the
animals, however, are winged griffins. Fig. 41 has only a standing
man, of the wasp-waisted figure and wearing the girdle with which
other representations have now made us familiar.

It remains to glance at the most important early varieties of
Greek pottery. We need not stop here to study the rude, unpainted,
mostly hand-made vases from the earliest strata at Troy and
Tiryns, nor the more developed, yet still primitive, ware of the
island of Thera. But the Mycenaean pottery is of too great
importance to be passed over. This was the characteristic ware of
the Mycenaean civilization. The probability is that it was
manufactured at several different places, of which Mycenae may
have been one and perhaps the most important. It was an article of
export and thus found its way even into Egypt, where specimens
have been discovered in tombs of the Eighteenth Dynasty and later.
The variations in form and ornamentation are considerable, as is
natural with an article whose production was carried on at
different centers and during a period of centuries. Fig. 42 shows
a few of the characteristic shapes and decorations; some
additional pieces may be seen in Fig. 43. The Mycenaean vases are
mostly wheel-made. The decoration, in the great majority of
examples, is applied in a lustrous color, generally red, shading
to brown or black. The favorite elements of design are bands and
spirals and a variety of animal and vegetable forms, chiefly
marine. Thus the vase at the bottom of Fig. 42, on the left, has a
conventionalized nautilus; the one at the top, on the right, shows
a pair of lily-like plants; and the jug in the middle of Fig. 43
is covered with the stalks and leaves of what is perhaps meant for
seaweed. Quadrupeds and men belong to the latest period of the
style, the vase-painters of the early and central Mycenaean
periods having abstained, for some reason or other, from those
subjects which formed the stock in trade of the gem-engravers.

The Mycenaean pottery was gradually superseded by pottery of an
essentially different style, called Geometric, from the character
of its painted decorations. It is impossible to say when this
style made its first appearance in Greece, but it seems to have
flourished for some hundreds of years and to have lasted till as
late as the end of the eighth century B. C. It falls into several
local varieties, of which the most important is the Athenian. This
is commonly called Dipylon pottery, from the fact that the
cemetery near the Dipylon, the chief gate of ancient Athens, has
supplied the greatest number of specimens. Some of these Dipylon
vases are of great size and served as funeral monuments. Fig. 44
gives a good example of this class. It is four feet high. Both the
shape and the decoration are very different from those of the
Mycenaean style. The surface is almost completely covered by a
system of ornament in which zigzags, meanders, and groups of
concentric circles play an important part. In this system of
Geometric patterns zones or friezes are reserved for designs into
which human and animal figures enter. The center of interest is in
the middle of the upper frieze, between the handles. Here we see a
corpse upon a funeral bier, drawn by a two-horse wagon. To right
and left are mourners arranged in two rows, one above the other.
The lower frieze, which encircles the vase about at its middle,
consists of a line of two-horse chariots and their drivers. The
drawing of these designs is illustrated on a larger scale on the
right and left of the vase in Fig. 44; it is more childish than
anything we have seen from the Mycenaean period. The horses have
thin bodies, legs, and necks, and their heads look as much like
fishes as anything. The men and women are just as bad. Their heads
show no feature save, at most, a dot for the eye and a projection
for the nose, with now and then a sort of tassel for the hair;
their bodies are triangular, except those of the charioteers,
whose shape is perhaps derived from one form of Greek shield;
their thin arms, of varying lengths, are entirely destitute of
natural shape; their long legs, though thigh and calf are
distinguished, are only a shade more like reality than the arms.
Such incapacity on the part of the designer would be hard to
explain, were he to be regarded as the direct heir of the
Mycenaean culture. But the sources of the Geometric style are
probably to be sought among other tribes than those which were
dominant in the days of Mycenae's splendor. Greek tradition tells
of a great movement of population, the so-called Dorian migration,
which took place some centuries before the beginning of recorded
history in Greece. If that invasion and conquest of Peloponnesus
by ruder tribes from the North be a fact, then the hypothesis is a
plausible one which would connect the gradual disappearance of
Mycenaean art with that great change. Geometric art, according to
this theory, would have originated with the tribes which now came
to the fore.

Besides the Geometric pottery and its offshoots, several other
local varieties were produced in Greece in the eighth and seventh
centuries. These are sometimes grouped together under the name of
"orientalizing" styles, because, in a greater or less degree, they
show in their ornamentation the influence of oriental models, of
which the pure Geometric style betrays no trace. It is impossible
here to describe all these local wares, but a single plate from
Rhodes (Fig. 45) may serve to illustrate the degree of proficiency
in the drawing of the human figure which had been attained about
the end of the seventh century. Additional interest is lent to
this design by the names attached to the three men. The combatants
are Menelaus and Hector; the fallen warrior is Euphorbus. Here for
the first time we find depicted a scene from the Trojan War. From
this time on the epic legends form a large part of the repertory
of the vase-painters.



The supreme achievement of Greek architecture was the temple. In
imperial Rome, or in any typical city of the Roman Empire, the
most extensive and imposing buildings were secular--basilicas,
baths, amphitheaters, porticoes, aqueducts. In Athens, on the
other hand, or in any typical Greek city, there was little or
nothing to vie with the temples and the sacred edifices associated
with them. Public secular buildings, of course, there were, but
the little we know of them does not suggest that they often ranked
among the architectural glories of the country. Private houses
were in the best period of small pretensions. It was to the temple
and its adjunct buildings that the architectural genius and the
material resources of Greece were devoted. It is the temple, then,
which we have above all to study.

Before beginning, however, to analyze the artistic features of the
temple, it will be useful to consider the building materials which
a Greek architect had at his disposal and his methods of putting
them together. Greece is richly provided with good building stone.
At many points there are inexhaustible stores of white marble. The
island of Paros, one of the Cyclades, and Mount Pentelicus in
Attica--to name only the two best and most famous quarries--are
simply masses of white marble, suitable as well for the builder as
the sculptor. There are besides various beautiful colored marbles,
but it was left to the Romans to bring these into use. Then there
are many commoner sorts of stone ready to the builder's hand,
especially the rather soft, brown limestones which the Greeks
called by the general name of poros. [Footnote: The word has no
connection with porous] This material was not disdained, even for
important buildings. Thus the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, one of
the two most important religious centers in the Greek world, was
built of local poros. The same was the case with the numerous
temples of Acragas (Girgenti) and Selinus in Sicily. An even
meaner material, sun-dried brick, was sometimes, perhaps often,
employed for cella walls. Where poros or crude brick was used, it
was coated over with a very fine, hard stucco, which gave a
surface like that of marble.

It is remarkable that no use was made in Greece of baked bricks
before the period of Roman domination. Roof-tiles of terra-cotta
were in use from an early period, and Greek travelers to Babylonia
brought back word of the use of baked bricks in that country.
Nevertheless Greek builders showed no disposition to adopt baked
bricks for their masonry.

This probably hangs together with another important fact, the
absence of lime-mortar from Greek architecture. Lime-stucco was in
use from time immemorial. But lime-mortar, i.e., lime mixed with
sand and used as a bond for masonry, is all but unknown in Greek
work. [Footnote: The solitary exception at present known is  an
Attic tomb built of crude bricks laid in lime-mortar] Consequently
in the walls of temples and other carefully constructed buildings
an elaborate system of bonding by means of clamps and dowels was
resorted to. Fig. 46 illustrates this and some other points. The
blocks of marble are seen to be perfectly rectangular and of
uniform length and height. Each end of every block is worked with
a slightly raised and well-smoothed border, for the purpose of
securing without unnecessary labor a perfectly accurate joint. The
shallow holes, III, III, in the upper surfaces are pry-holes,
which were of use in prying the blocks into position. The
adjustment having been made, contiguous blocks in the same course
were bonded to one another by clamps, I, I, embedded horizontally,
while the sliding of one course upon another was prevented by
upright dowels, II, II. Greek clamps and dowels were usually of
iron and they were fixed in their sockets by means of molten lead
run in. The form of the clamp differs at different periods. The
double-T shape shown in the illustration is characteristic of the
best age (cf. also Fig. 48).

Another important fact to be noted at the outset is the absence of
the arch from Greek architecture. It is reported by the Roman
philosopher, Seneca, that the principle of the arch was
"discovered" by the Greek philosopher, Democritus, who lived in
the latter half of the fifth century B. C. That he independently
discovered the arch as a practical possibility is most unlikely,
seeing that it had been used for ages in Egypt and Mesopotamia;
but it may be that he discussed, however imperfectly, the
mathematical theory of the subject. If so, it would seem likely
that he had practical  illustrations about him; and this view
receives some support from the existence of a few subterranean
vaults which perhaps go back to the good Greek period. Be that as
it may, the arch plays absolutely no part in the columnar
architecture of Greece. In a Greek temple or similar building only
the flat ceiling was known. Above the exterior portico and the
vestibules of a temple the ceiling was sometimes of stone or
marble, sometimes of wood; in the interior it was always of wood.
It follows that no very wide space could be ceiled over without
extra supports. At Priene in Asia Minor we find a temple (Fig. 49)
whose cella, slightly over thirty feet in breadth, has no interior
columns. The architect of the Temple of Athena on the island of
AEgina (Fig. 52) was less venturesome. Although the cella there is
only 21 1/4 feet in breadth, we find, as in large temples, a
double row of columns to help support the ceiling. And when a
really large room was built, like the Hall of Initiation at
Eleusis or the Assembly Hall of the Arcadians at Megalopolis, such
a forest of pillars was required as must have seriously interfered
with the convenience of congregations. We are now ready to study
the plan of a Greek temple. The essential feature is an enclosed
chamber, commonly called by the Latin name cella, in which stood,
as a rule, the image of the god or goddess to whom the temple was
dedicated. Fig. 47 shows a very simple plan. Here the side walls
of the cella are prolonged in front and terminate in antae (see
below, page 88). Between the antae are two columns. This type of
temple is called a templum in antis. Were the vestibule (pronaos)
repeated at the other end of the building, it would be called an
opisthodomos, and the whole building would be a double templum in
antis. In Fig. 48 the vestibules are formed by rows of columns
extending across the whole width of the cella, whose side walls
are not prolonged. Did a vestibule exist at the front only, the
temple would be called prostyle; as it is, it is amphiprostyle.
Only small Greek temples have as simple a plan as those just
described. Larger temples are peripteral, i.e., are surrounded by
a colonnade or peristyle (Figs. 49. 50). In Fig. 49 the cella with
its vestibules has the form of a double templum in antis, in Fig
50 it is amphiprostyle. A further difference should be noted. In
Fig. 49, which is the plan of an Ionic temple, the antae and
columns of the vestibules are in line with columns of the outer
row, at both the ends and the sides; in Fig. 50, which is the plan
of a Doric temple, the exterior columns are set without regard to
the cella wall, and the columns of the vestibules. This is a
regular difference between Doric and Ionic temples, though the
rule is subject to a few exceptions in the case of the former.

The plan of almost any Greek temple will be found to be referable
to one or other of the types just described, although there are
great differences in the proportions of the several parts. It
remains only to add that in almost every case the principal front
was toward the east or nearly so. When Greek temples were
converted into Christian churches, as often happened, it was
necessary, in order to conform to the Christian ritual, to reverse
this arrangement and to place the principal entrance at the
western end.

The next thing is to study the principal elements of a Greek
temple as seen in elevation. This brings us to the subject of the
Greek "orders." There are two principal orders in Greek
architecture, the Doric and the Ionic. Figs. 51 and 61 show a
characteristic specimen of each. The term "order," it should be
said, is commonly restricted in architectural parlance to the
column and entablature. Our illustrations, however, show all the
features of a Doric and an Ionic facade. There are several points
of agreement between the two: in each the columns rest on a
stepped base, called the crepidoma, the uppermost step of which is
the stylobate; in each the shaft of the column tapers from the
lower to the upper end, is channeled or fluted vertically, and is
surmounted by a projecting member called a capital; in each the
entablature consists of three members--architrave, frieze, and
cornice. There the important points of agreement end. The
differences will best be fixed in mind by a detailed examination
of each order separately.

Our typical example of the Doric order (Fig. 51) is taken from the
Temple of Aphaia on the island of Aegina--a temple probably
erected about 480 B.C. (cf. Fig. 52.) The column consists of two
parts, shaft and capital. It is of sturdy proportions, its height
being about five and one half times the lower diameter of the
shaft. If the shaft tapered upward at a uniform rate, it would
have the form of a truncated cone. Instead of that, the shaft has
an ENTASIS or swelling. Imagine a vertical section to be made
through the middle of the column. If, then, the diminution of the
shaft were uniform, the sides of this section would be straight
lines. In reality, however, they are slightly curved lines, convex
outward. This addition to the form of a truncated cone is the
entasis. It is greatest at about one third or one half the height
of the shaft, and there amounts, in cases that have been measured,
to from 1/80 to 1/140 of the lower diameter of the
shaft.[Footnote: Observe that the entasis is so slight that the
lowest diameter of the shaft is always the greatest diameter. The
illustration is unfortunately not quite correct, since it gives
the shaft a uniform diameter for about one third of its height.]
In some early Doric temples, as the one at Assos in Asia Minor,
there is no entasis. The channels or flutes in our typical column
are twenty in number. More rarely we find sixteen; much more
rarely larger multiples of four. These channels are so placed that
one comes directly under the middle of each face of the capital.
They are comparatively shallow, and are separated from one another
by sharp edges or ARRISES. The capital, though worked out of one
block, may be regarded as consisting of two parts--a cushion-
shaped member called an ECHINUS, encircled below by three to five
ANNULETS, (cf. Figs. 59, 60) and a square slab called an ABACUS,
the latter so placed that its sides are parallel to the sides of
the building. The ARCHITRAVE is a succession of horizontal beams
resting upon the columns. The face of this member is plain, except
that along the upper edge there runs a slightly projecting flat
band called a TAENIA, with regulae and guttae at equal intervals;
these last are best considered in connection with the frieze. The
FRIEZE is made up of alternating triglyphs and metopes. A TRIGLYPH
is a block whose height is nearly twice its width; upon its face
are two furrows, triangular in plan, and its outer edges are
chamfered off. Thus we may say that the triglyph has two furrows
and two half-furrows; these do not extend to the top of the block.
A triglyph is placed over the center of each column and over the
center of each intercolumniation. But at the corners of the
buildings the intercolumniations are diminished, with the result
that the corner triglyphs do not stand over the centers of the
corner columns, but farther out (cf. Fig. 52). Under each triglyph
there is worked upon the face of the architrave, directly below
the taenia, a REGULA, shaped like a small cleat, and to the under
surface of this regula is attached a row of six cylindrical or
conical GUTTAE. Between every two triglyphs, and standing a little
farther back, there is a square or nearly square slab or block
called a METOPE. This has a flat band across the top; for the
rest, its face may be either plain or sculptured in relief. The
uppermost member of the entablature, the CORNICE, consists
principally of a projecting portion, the CORONA, on whose inclined
under surface or soffit are rectangular projections, the so-called
MUTULES (best seen in the frontispiece), one over each triglyph
and each metope. Three rows of six guttae each are attached to the
under surface of a mutule. Above the cornice, at the east and west
ends of the building, come the triangular PEDIMENTS or gables,
formed by the sloping roof and adapted for groups of sculpture.
The pediment is protected above by a "raking" cornice, which has
not the same form as the horizontal cornice, the principal
difference being that the under surface of the raking cornice is
concave and without mutules. Above the raking cornice comes a SIMA
or gutter-facing, which in buildings of good period has a
curvilinear profile. This sima is sometimes continued along the
long sides of the building, and sometimes not. When it is so
continued, water-spouts are inserted into it at intervals, usually
in the form of lions' heads. Fig 53 shows a fine lion's head of
this sort from a sixth century temple on the Athenian Acropolis.
If it be added that upon the apex and the lower corners of the
pediment there were commonly pedestals which supported statues or
other ornamental objects (Fig. 52), mention will have been made of
all the main features of the exterior of a Doric peripteral

Every other part of the building had likewise its established
form, but it will not be possible here to describe or even to
mention every detail. The most important member not yet treated of
is the ANTA. An anta may be described as a pilaster forming the
termination of a wall. It stands directly opposite a column and is
of the same height with it, its function being to receive one end
of an architrave block, the other end of which is borne by the
column. The breadth of its front face is slightly greater than the
thickness of the wall; the breadth of a side face depends upon
whether or not the anta supports an architrave on that side (Figs.
47, 48, 49, 50). The Doric anta has a special capital, quite
unlike the capital of the column. Fig. 54 shows an example from a
building erected in 437-32 B. C. Its most striking feature is the
DORIC CYMA, or HAWK'S-BEAK MOLDING, the characteristic molding of
the Doric style (Fig. 55), used also to crown the horizontal
cornice and in other situations (Fig. 51 and frontispiece). Below
the capital the anta is treated precisely like the wall of which
it forms a part; that is to say, its surfaces are plain, except
for the simple base-molding, which extends also along the foot of
the wall. The method of ceiling the peristyle and vestibules by
means of ceiling-beams on which rest slabs decorated with square,
recessed panels or COFFERS may be indistinctly seen in Fig. 56.
Within the cella, when columns were used to help support the
wooden ceiling, there seem to have been regularly two ranges, one
above the other. This is the only case, so far as we know, in
which Greek architecture of the best period put one range of
columns above another. There were probably no windows of any kind,
so that the cella received no daylight, except such as entered by
the great front doorway, when the doors were open. [Footnote: This
whole matter, however, is in dispute. Some authorities believe
that large temples were HYPOETHRAL, i. e., open, or partly open,
to the sky, or in some way lighted from above. In Fig. 56 an open
grating has been inserted above the doors, but for such an
arrangement in a Greek temple there is no evidence, so far as I am
aware.] The roof-beams were of wood. The roof was covered with
terra-cotta or marble tiles.

Such are the main features of a Doric temple (those last mentioned
not being peculiar to the Doric style). Little has been said thus
far of variation in these features. Yet variation there was. Not
to dwell on local differences, as between Greece proper and the
Greek colonies in Sicily, there was a development constantly going
on, changing the forms of details and the relative proportions of
parts and even introducing new features originally foreign to the
style. Thus the column grows slenderer from century to century. In
early examples it is from four to five lower diameters in height
in the best period (fifth and fourth centuries) about five and one
half, in the post classical period, six to seven. The difference
in this respect between early and late examples may be seen by
comparing the sixth century Temple of Posidon (?) at Paestum in
southern Italy (Fig. 57) with the third (?) century Temple of Zeus
at Nemea (Fig. 58). Again, the echinus of the capital is in the
early period widely flaring, making in some very early examples an
angle at the start of not more than fifteen or twenty degrees with
the horizontal (Fig. 59); in the best period it rises more
steeply, starting at an angle of about fifty degrees with the
horizontal and having a profile which closely approaches a
straight line, until it curves inward under the abacus (Fig. 51);
in the post-classical period it is low and sometimes quite conical
(Fig. 60). In general, the degeneracy of post-classical Greek
architecture is in nothing more marked than in the loss of those
subtle curves which characterize the best Greek work. Other
differences must be learned from more extended treatises.

The Ionic order was of a much more luxuriant character than the
Doric. Our typical example (Fig. 61) is taken from the Temple of
Priene in Asia Minor--a temple erected about 340-30 B. C. The
column has a base consisting of a plain square PLINTH, two
TROCHILI with moldings, and a TORUS fluted horizontally. The Ionic
shaft is much slenderer than the Doric, the height of the column
(including base and capital) being in different examples from
eight to ten times the lower diameter of the shaft. The diminution
of the shaft is naturally less than in the Doric, and the entasis,
where any has been detected, is exceedingly slight. The flutes,
twenty-four in number, are deeper than in the Doric shaft, being
in fact nearly or quite semicircular, and they are separated from
one another by flat bands or fillets. For the form of the capital
it will be better to refer to Fig. 62, taken from an Attic
building of the latter half of the fifth century. The principal
parts are an OVOLO and a SPIRAL ROLL (the latter name not in
general use). The ovolo has a convex profile, and is sometimes
called a quarter-round; it is enriched with an EGG-AND-DART
ornament The spiral roll may be conceived as a long cushion, whose
ends are rolled under to form the VOLUTES. The part connecting the
volutes is slightly hollowed, and the channel thus formed is
continued into the volutes. As seen from the side (Fig. 63), the
end of the spiral roll is called a BOLSTER; it has the appearance
of being drawn together by a number of encircling bands. On the
front, the angles formed by the spiral roll are filled by a
conventionalized floral ornament (the so-called PALMETTE). Above
the spiral roll is a low abacus, oblong or square in plan. In Fig.
62 the profile of the abacus is an ovolo on which the egg-and-dart
ornament was painted (cf. Fig. 66, where the ornament is
sculptured). In Fig. 61, as in Fig. 71, the profile is a complex
curve called a CYMA REVERSA, convex above and concave below,
enriched with a sculptured LEAF-AND-DART ornament. [Footnote: The
egg-and-dart is found only on the ovolo, the leaf-and-dart only on
the cyma reversa or the cyma recta (concave above and convex
below) Both ornaments are in origin leaf-patterns one row of
leaves showing their points behind another row.] Finally,
attention may be called to the ASTRAGAL or PEARL-BEADING just
under the ovolo in Figs. 61, 71. This might be described as a
string of beads and buttons, two buttons alternating with a single

In the normal Ionic capital the opposite faces are of identical
appearance. If this were the case with the capital at the corner
of a building, the result would be that on the side of the
building all the capitals would present their bolsters instead of
their volutes to the spectator. The only way to prevent this was
to distort the corner capital into the form shown by Fig. 64; cf.
also Figs. 61 and 70.

The Ionic architrave is divided horizontally into three (or
sometimes two) bands, each of the upper ones projecting slightly
over the one below it. It is crowned by a sort of cornice enriched
with moldings. The frieze is not divided like the Doric frieze,
but presents an uninterrupted surface. It may be either plain or
covered with relief-sculpture. It is finished off with moldings
along the upper edge. The cornice (cf. Fig. 65) consists of two
principal parts. First comes a projecting block, into whose face
rectangular cuttings have been made at short intervals, thus
leaving a succession of cogs or DENTELS; above these are moldings.
Secondly there is a much more widely projecting block, the CORONA,
whose under surface is hollowed to lighten the weight and whose
face is capped with moldings. The raking cornice is like the
horizontal cornice except that it has no dentels. The sima or
gutter-facing, whose profile is here a cyma recta (concave above
and convex below), is enriched with sculptured floral ornament.

In the Ionic buildings of Attica the base of the column consists
of two tori separated by a trochilus. The proportions of these
parts vary considerably. The base in Fig. 66 (from a building
finished about 408 B.C.) is worthy of attentive examination by
reason of its harmonious proportions. In the Roman form of this
base, too often imitated nowadays, the trochilus has too small a
diameter. The Attic-Ionic cornice never has dentels, unless the
cornice of the Caryatid portico of the Erechtheum ought to be
reckoned as an instance (Fig. 67).

The capital shown in Fig. 66 is a special variety of the Ionic
capital, of rather rare occurrence. Its distinguishing  features
are the insertion between ovolo and spiral roll of a torus
ornamented with a braided pattern, called a GUILLOCHE; the absence
of the palmettes from the corners formed by the spiral roll; and
the fact that the channel of the roll is double instead of single,
which gives a more elaborate character to that member. Finally, in
the Erechtheum the upper part or necking of the shaft is enriched
with an exquisitely wrought band of floral ornament, the so-called
honeysuckle pattern. This feature is met with in some other

As in the Doric style, so in the Ionic, the anta-capital is quite
unlike the column-capital. Fig. 68 shows an anta-capital from the
Erechtheum, with an adjacent portion of the wall-band; cf. also
Fig. 69. Perhaps it is inaccurate in this case to speak of an
anta-capital at all, seeing that the anta simply shares the
moldings which crown the wall. The floral frieze under the
moldings is, however, somewhat more elaborate on the anta than on
the adjacent wall. The Ionic method of ceiling a peristyle or
portico may be partly seen in Fig 69. The principal ceiling-beams
here rest upon the architrave, instead of upon the frieze, as in a
Doric building (cf. Fig. 56). Above were the usual coffered slabs.
The same illustration shows a well-preserved and finely
proportioned doorway, but unfortunately leaves the details of its
ornamentation indistinct.

The Ionic order was much used in the Greek cities of Asia Minor
for peripteral temples. The most considerable remains of such
buildings, at Ephesus, Priene, etc., belong to the fourth century
or later. In Greece proper there is no known instance of a
peripteral Ionic temple, but the order was sometimes used for
small prostyle and amphiprostyle buildings, such as the Temple of
Wingless Victory in Athens (Fig. 70). Furthermore, Ionic columns
were sometimes employed in the interior of Doric temples, as at
Bassae in Arcadia and (probably) in the temple built by Scopas at
Tegea. In the Propylaea or gateway of the Athenian Acropolis we
even find the Doric and Ionic orders juxtaposed, the exterior
architecture being Doric and the interior Ionic, with no wall to
separate them. One more interesting occurrence of the Ionic order
in Greece proper may be mentioned, viz., in the Philippeum at
Olympia (about 336 B.C.). This is a circular building, surrounded
by an Ionic colonnade. Still other types of building afforded
opportunity enough for the employment of this style.

After what has been said of the gradual changes in the Doric
order, it will be understood that the Ionic order was not the same
in the sixth century as in the fifth, nor in the fifth the same as
in the third. The most striking change concerns the spiral roll of
the capital. In the good period the portion of this member which
connects the volutes is bounded below by a depressed curve,
graceful and vigorous. With the gradual degradation of taste this
curve tended to become a straight line, the result being the
unlovely, mechanical form shown in Fig. 71 (from a building of
Ptolemy Philadelphus, who reigned from 283 to 246 B.C.). Better
formed capitals than this continued for some time to be made in
Greek lands; but the type just shown, or rather something
resembling it in the disagreeable feature noted, became canonical
with Roman architects.

The Corinthian order, as it is commonly called, hardly deserves to
be called a distinct order. Its only peculiar feature is the
capital; otherwise it agrees with the Ionic order. The Corinthian
capital is said to have been invented in the fifth century; and a
solitary specimen, of a meager and rudimentary type, found in 1812
in the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, but since lost, was perhaps an
original part of that building (about 430 B. C). At present the
earliest extant specimens are from the interior of a round
building of the fourth century near Epidaurus in Argolis (Fig.
72). [Footnote:  For some reason or other the particular capital
shown in our illustration was not used in the building, but it is
of the same model as those actually used, except that the edge of
the abacus is not finished.] It was from such a form as this that
the luxuriant type of Corinthian capital so much in favor with
Roman architects and their public was derived. On the other hand,
the form shown in Fig. 73, from a little building erected in 334
B.C. or soon after, is a variant which seems to have left no
lineal successors. In its usual form the Corinthian capital has a
cylindrical core, which expands slightly toward the top so as to
become bell-shaped; around the lower part of this core are two
rows of conventionalized acanthus leaves, eight in each row; from
these rise eight principal stalks (each, in fully developed
examples, wrapped about its base with an acanthus leaf) which
combine, two and two, to form four volutes (HELICES), one under
each corner of the abacus, while smaller stalks, branching from
the first, cover the rest of the upper part of the core; there is
commonly a floral ornament on the middle of each face at the top;
finally the abacus has, in plan, the form of a square whose sides
have been hollowed out and whose corners have been truncated. In
the form shown in Fig. 73 we find, first, a row of sixteen simple
leaves, like those of a reed, with the points of a second row
showing between them; then a single row of eight acanthus leaves;
then the scroll-work, supporting a palmette on each side; and
finally an abacus whose profile is made up of a trochilus and an
ovolo. This capital, though extremely elegant, is open to the
charge of appearing weak at its middle. There is a much less
ornate variety, also reckoned as Corinthian, which has no scroll-
work, but only a row of acanthus leaves with a row of reed leaves
above them around a bell-shaped core, the whole surmounted by a
square abacus. In the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates the cornice
has dentels, and this was always the case, so far as we know,
where the Corinthian capital was used. In Corinthian buildings the
anta, where met with, has a capital like that of the column. But
there is very little material to generalize from until we descend
to Roman times.

Some allusion has been made in the foregoing to other types of
columnar buildings besides the temple. The principal ones of which
remains exist are PROPYLAEA and STOAS. Propylaea is the Greek name
for a form of gateway, consisting essentially of a cross wall
between side walls, with a portico on each front. Such gateways
occur in many places as entrances to sacred precincts. The finest
example, and one of the noblest monuments of Greek architecture,
is that at the west end of the Athenian Acropolis. The stoa may be
defined as a building having an open range of columns on at least
one side. Usually its length was much greater than its depth.
Stoas were often built in sacred precincts, as at Olympia, and
also for secular purposes along public streets, as in Athens.
These and other buildings into which the column entered as an
integral feature involved no new architectural elements or

One highly important fact about Greek architecture has thus far
been only touched upon; that is, the liberal use it made of color.
The ruins of Greek temples are to-day monochromatic, either
glittering white, as is the temple at Sunium, or of a golden
brown, as are the Parthenon and other buildings of Pentelic
marble, or of a still warmer brown, as are the limestone temples
of Paestum and Girgenti (Acragas). But this uniformity of tint is
due only to time. A "White City," such as made the pride of
Chicago in 1893, would have been unimaginable to an ancient Greek.
Even to-day the attentive observer may sometimes see upon old
Greek buildings, as, for example, upon ceiling-beams of the
Parthenon, traces left by patterns from which the color has
vanished. In other instances remains of actual color exist. So
specks of blue paint may still be seen, or might a few years ago,
on blocks belonging to the Athenian Propylaea. But our most
abundant evidence for the original use of color comes from
architectural fragments recently unearthed. During the excavation
of Olympia (1875-81) this matter of the coloring of architecture
was constantly in mind and a large body of facts relating to it
was accumulated. Every new and important excavation adds to the
store. At present our information is much fuller in regard to the
polychromy of Doric than of Ionic buildings. It appears that, just
as the forms and proportions of a building and of all its details
were determined by precedent, yet not so absolutely as to leave no
scope for the exercise of individual genius, so there was an
established system in the coloring of a building, yet a system
which varied somewhat according to time and place and the taste of
the architect. The frontispiece attempts to suggest what the
coloring of the Parthenon was like, and thus to illustrate the
general scheme of Doric polychromy. The colors used were chiefly
dark blue, sometimes almost black, and red; green and yellow also
occur, and some details were gilded. The coloration of the
building was far from total. Plain surfaces, as walls, were
unpainted. So too were the columns, including, probably, their
capitals, except between the annulets. Thus color was confined to
the upper members--the triglyphs, the under surface (soffit) of
the cornice, the sima, the anta-capitals (cf. Fig. 54), the
ornamental details generally, the coffers of the ceiling, and the
backgrounds of sculpture. [Footnote: Our frontispiece gives the
backgrounds of the metopes as plain, but this is probably an
error] The triglyphs, regulae, and mutules were blue; the taenia
of the architrave and the soffit of the cornice between the
mutules with the adjacent narrow bands were red; the backgrounds
of sculpture, either blue or red; the hawk's-beak molding,
alternating blue and red; and so on. The principal uncertainty
regards the treatment of the unpainted members. Were these left of
a glittering white, or were they toned down, in the case of marble
buildings, by some application or other, so as to contrast less
glaringly with the painted portions? The latter supposition
receives some confirmation from Vitruvius, a Roman writer on
architecture of the age of Augustus, and seems to some modern
writers to be demanded by aesthetic considerations. On the other
hand, the evidence of the Olympia buildings points the other way.
Perhaps the actual practice varied. As for the coloring of Ionic
architecture, we know that the capital of the column was painted,
but otherwise our information is very scanty.

If it be asked what led the Greeks to a use of color so strange to
us and, on first acquaintance, so little to our taste, it may be
answered that possibly the example of their neighbors had
something to do with it. The architecture of Egypt, of
Mesopotamia, of Persia, was polychromatic. But probably the
practice of the Greeks was in the main an inheritance from the
early days of their own civilization. According to a well-
supported theory, the Doric temple of the historical period is a
translation into stone or marble of a primitive edifice whose
walls were of sun-dried bricks and whose columns and entablature
were of wood. Now it is natural and appropriate to paint wood; and
we may suppose that the taste for a partially colored architecture
was thus formed. This theory does not indeed explain everything.
It does not, for example, explain why the columns or the
architrave should be uncolored. In short, the Greek system of
polychromy presents itself to us as a largely arbitrary system.

More interesting than the question of origin is the question of
aesthetic effect. Was the Greek use of color in good taste? It is
not easy to answer with a simple yes or no. Many of the attempts
to represent the facts by restorations on paper have been crude
and vulgar enough. On the other hand, some experiments in
decorating modern buildings with color, in a fashion, to be sure,
much less liberal than that of ancient Greece, have produced
pleasing results. At present the question is rather one of faith
than of sight; and most students of the subject have faith to
believe that the appearance of a Greek temple in all its pomp of
color was not only sumptuous, but harmonious and appropriate.

When we compare the architecture of Greece with that of other
countries, we must be struck with the remarkable degree in which
the former adhered to established usage, both in the general plan
of a building and in the forms and proportions of each feature.
Some measure of adherence to precedent is indeed implied in the
very existence of an architectural style. What is meant is that
the Greek measure was unusual, perhaps unparalleled. Yet the
following of established canons was not pushed to a slavish
extreme. A fine Greek temple could not be built according to a
hard and fast rule. While the architect refrained from bold and
lawless innovations, he yet had scope to exercise his genius. The
differences between the Parthenon and any other contemporary Doric
temple would seem slight, when regarded singly; but the preeminent
perfection of the Parthenon lay in just those skilfully calculated

A Greek columnar building is extremely simple in form.[Footnote:
The substance of this paragraph and the following is borrowed from
Boutmy, "Philosophie de l'Architecture en Grece" (Paris, 1870)]
The outlines of an ordinary temple are those of an oblong
rectangular block surmounted by a triangular roof. With a
qualification to be explained presently, all the lines of the
building, except those of the roof, are either horizontal or
perpendicular. The most complicated Greek columnar buildings
known, the Erechtheum and the Propylaea of the Athenian Acropolis,
are simplicity itself when compared to a Gothic cathedral, with
its irregular plan, its towers, its wheel windows, its
multitudinous diagonal lines.

The extreme simplicity which characterizes the general form of a
Greek building extends also to its sculptured and painted
ornaments. In the Doric style these are very sparingly used; and
even the Ionic style, though more luxuriant, seems reserved in
comparison with the wealth of ornamental detail in a Gothic
cathedral. Moreover, the Greek ornaments are simple in character.
Examine again the hawk's-beak, the egg-and-dart, the leaf-and-
dart, the astragal, the guilloche, the honeysuckle, the meander or
fret. These are almost the only continuous patterns in use in
Greek architecture. Each consists of a small number of elements
recurring in unvarying order; a short section is enough to give
the entire pattern. Contrast this with the string-course in the
nave of the Cathedral of Amiens, where the motive of the design
undergoes constant variation, no piece exactly duplicating its
neighbor, or with the intricate interlacing patterns of Arabic
decoration, and you will have a striking illustration of the Greek
love for the finite and comprehensible.

When it was said just now that the main lines of a Greek temple
are either horizontal or perpendicular, the statement called for
qualification. The elevations of the most perfect of Doric
buildings, the Parthenon, could not be drawn with a ruler. Some of
the apparently straight lines are really curved. The stylobate is
not level, but convex, the rise of the curve amounting to 1/450 of
the length of the building; the architrave has also a rising
curve, but slighter than that of the stylobate. Then again, many
of the lines that would commonly be taken for vertical are in
reality slightly inclined. The columns slope inward and so do the
principal surfaces of the building, while the anta-capitals slope
forward. These refinements, or some of them, have been observed in
several other buildings. They are commonly regarded as designed to
obviate certain optical illusions supposed to arise in their
absence. But perhaps, as one writer has suggested, their principal
office was to save the building from an appearance of mathematical
rigidity, to give it something of the semblance of a living thing.

Be that as it may, these manifold subtle curves and sloping lines
testify to the extraordinary nicety of Greek workmanship. A column
of the Parthenon, with its inclination, its tapering, its entasis,
and its fluting, could not have been constructed without the most
conscientious skill. In fact, the capabilities of the workmen kept
pace with the demands of the architects. No matter how delicate
the adjustment to be made, the task was perfectly achieved. And
when it came to the execution of ornamental details, these were
wrought with a free hand and, in the best period, with fine
artistic feeling. The wall-band of the Erechtheum is one of the
most exquisite things which Greece has left us.

Simplicity in general form, harmony of proportion, refinement of
line--these are the great features of Greek columnar architecture.

One other type of Greek building, into which the column does not
enter, or enters only in a very subordinate way, remains to be
mentioned--the theater. Theaters abounded in Greece. Every
considerable city and many a smaller place had at least one, and
the ruins of these structures rank with temples and walls of
fortification among the commonest classes of ruins in Greek lands.
But in a sketch of Greek art they may be rapidly dismissed. That
part of the theater which was occupied by spectators--the
auditorium, as we may call it--was commonly built into a natural
slope, helped out by means of artificial embankments and
supporting walls. There was no roof. The building, therefore, had
no exterior, or none to speak of. Such beauty as it possessed was
due mainly to its proportions. The theater at the sanctuary of
Asclepius near Epidaurus, the work of the same architect who built
the round building with the Corinthian columns referred to on page
103, was distinguished in ancient times for "harmony and beauty,"
as the Greek traveler, Pausamas (about 165 A. D.), puts it. It is
fortunately one of the best preserved. Fig. 74, a view taken from
a considerable distance will give some idea of that quality which
Pausanias justly admired. Fronting the auditorium was the stage
building, of which little but foundations remains anywhere. So far
as can be ascertained, this stage building had but small
architectural pretensions until the post classical period (i.e.,
after Alexander) But there was opportunity for elegance as well as
convenience in the form given to the stone or marble seats with
which the auditorium was provided.



In the Mycenaean period, as we have seen, the art of sculpture had
little existence, except for the making of small images and the
decoration of small objects. We have now to take up the story of
the rise of this art to an independent and commanding position, of
its perfection and its subsequent decline. The beginner must not
expect to find this story told with as much fulness and certainty
as is possible in dealing with the art of the Renaissance or any
more modern period. The impossibility of equal fulness and
certainty here will become apparent when we consider what our
materials for constructing a history of Greek sculpture are.

First, we have a quantity of notices, more or less relevant, in
ancient Greek and Roman authors, chiefly of the time of the Roman
Empire. These notices are of the most miscellaneous description.
They come from writers of the most unlike tastes and the most
unequal degrees of trustworthiness. They are generally very vague,
leaving most that we want to know unsaid. And they have such a
haphazard character that, when taken all together, they do not
begin to cover the field. Nothing like all the works of the
greater sculptors, let alone the lesser ones, are so much as
mentioned by name in extant ancient literature.

Secondly, we have several hundreds of original inscriptions
belonging to Greek works of sculpture and containing the names of
the artists who made them. It was a common practice, in the case
especially of independent statues in the round, for the sculptor
to attach his signature, generally to the pedestal. Unfortunately,
while great numbers of these inscribed pedestals have been
preserved for us, it is very rarely that we have the statues which
once belonged on them. Moreover, the artists' names which we meet
on the pedestals are in a large proportion of cases names not even
mentioned by our literary sources. In fact, there is only one
indisputable case where we possess both a statue and the pedestal
belonging to it, the latter inscribed with the name of an artist
known to us from literary tradition. (See pages 212-3.)

Thirdly, we have the actual remains of Greek sculpture, a
constantly accumulating store, yet only an insignificant remnant
of what once existed. These works have suffered sad disfigurement.
Not one life-sized figure has reached us absolutely intact; but
few have escaped serious mutilation. Most of those found before
the beginning of this century, and some of those found since, have
been subjected to a process known as "restoration." Missing parts
have been supplied, often in the most arbitrary and tasteless
manner, and injured surfaces, e. g., of faces, have been polished,
with irreparable damage as the result.

Again, it is important to recognize that the creations of Greek
sculpture which have been preserved to us are partly original
Greek works, partly copies executed in Roman times from Greek
originals. Originals, and especially important originals, are
scarce. The statues of gold and ivory have left not a vestige
behind. Those of bronze, once numbered by thousands, went long
ago, with few exceptions, into the melting-pot. Even sculptures in
marble, though the material was less valuable,  have been thrown
into the lime-kiln or used as building stone or wantonly mutilated
or ruined by neglect. There does not exist to-day a single
certified original work by any one of the six greatest sculptors
of Greece, except the Hermes of Praxiteles (see page 221). Copies
are more plentiful. As nowadays many museums and private houses
have on their walls copies of paintings by the "old masters," so,
and far more usually, the public and private buildings of imperial
Rome and of many of the cities under her sway were adorned with
copies of famous works by the sculptors of ancient Greece. Any
piece of sculpture might thus be multiplied indefinitely; and so
it happens that we often possess several copies, or even some
dozens of copies, of one and the same original. Most of the
masterpieces of Greek sculpture which are known to us at all are
known only in this way.

The question therefore arises, How far are these copies to be
trusted? It is impossible to answer in general terms. The
instances are very few where we possess at once the original and a
copy. The best case of the kind is afforded by Fig. 75, compared
with Fig. 132. Here the head, fore-arms, and feet of the copy are
modern and consequently do not enter into consideration. Limiting
one's attention to the antique parts of the figure, one sees that
it is a tolerably close, and yet a hard and lifeless, imitation of
the original. This gives us some measure of the degree of fidelity
we may expect in favorable cases. Generally speaking, we have to
form our estimate of the faithfulness of a copy by the quality of
its workmanship and by a comparison of it with other copies, where
such exist. Often we find two or more copies agreeing with one
another as closely as possible. This shows--and the conclusion is
confirmed by other evidence--that means existed in Roman times of
reproducing  statues with the help of measurements mechanically
taken. At the same time, a comparison of copies makes it apparent
that copyists, even when aiming to be exact in the main, often
treated details and accessories with a good deal of freedom. Of
course, too, the skill and conscientiousness of the copyists
varied enormously. Finally, besides copies, we have to reckon with
variations and modernizations in every degree of earlier works.
Under these circumstances it will easily be seen that the task of
reconstructing a lost original from extant imitations is a very
delicate and perilous one. Who could adequately appreciate the
Sistine Madonna, if the inimitable touch of Raphael were known to
us only at second-hand?

Any history of Greek sculpture attempts to piece together the
several classes of evidence above described. It classifies the
actual remains, seeking to assign to each piece its place and date
of production and to infer from direct examination and comparison
the progress of artistic methods and ideas. And this it does with
constant reference to what literature and inscriptions have to
tell us. But in the fragmentary state of our materials, it is
evident that the whole subject must be beset with doubt. Great and
steady progress has indeed been made since Winckelmann, the
founder of the science of classical archaeology, produced the
first "History of Ancient Art" (published in 1763); but twilight
still reigns over many an important question. This general warning
should be borne in mind in reading this or any other hand-book of
the subject.

We may next take up the materials and the technical processes of
Greek sculpture. These may be classified as follows:

(1) Wood. Wood was often, if not exclusively, used for the
earliest Greek temple-images, those rude xoana, of which many
survived into the historical period, to be regarded with peculiar
veneration. We even hear of wooden statues made in the developed
period of Greek art. But this was certainly exceptional. Wood
plays no part worth mentioning in the fully developed sculpture of
Greece, except as it entered into the making of gold and ivory
statues or of the cheaper substitutes for these.

(2) Stone and marble. Various uncrystallized limestones were
frequently used in the archaic period and here and there even in
the fifth century. But white marble, in which Greece abounds, came
also early into use, and its immense superiority to limestone for
statuary purposes led to the abandonment of the latter. The
choicest varieties of marble were the Parian and Pentelic (cf.
page 77). Both of these were exported to every part of the Greek

A Greek marble statue or group is often not made of a single
piece. Thus the Aphrodite of Melos (page 249) was made of two
principal pieces, the junction coming just above the drapery,
while several smaller parts, including the left arm, were made
separately and attached. The Laocoon group (page 265), which Pliny
expressly alleges to have been made of a single block, is in
reality made of six. Often the head was made separately from the
body, sometimes of a finer quality of marble, and then inserted
into a socket prepared for it in the neck of the figure. And very
often, when the statue was mainly of a single block, small pieces
were attached, sometimes in considerable numbers. Of course the
joining was done with extreme nicety, and would have escaped
ordinary observation.

In the production of a modern piece of marble sculpture, the
artist first makes a clay model and then a mere workman produces
from this a marble copy. In the best period of Greek art, on the
other hand, there seems to have been no mechanical copying of
finished models. Preliminary drawings or even clay models, perhaps
small, there must often have been to guide the eye; but the
sculptor, instead of copying with the help of exact measurements,
struck out freely, as genius and training inspired him. If he made
a mistake, the result was not fatal, for he could repair his error
by attaching a fresh piece of marble. Yet even so, the ability to
work in this way implies marvelous precision of eye and hand. To
this ability and this method we may ascribe something  of the
freedom, the vitality, and the impulsiveness of Greek marble
sculpture--qualities which the mechanical method of production
tends to destroy. Observe too that, while pediment-groups,
metopes, friezes, and reliefs upon pedestals would often be
executed by subordinates following the design of the principal
artist, any important single statue or group in marble was in all
probability chiseled by the very hand of the master.

Another fact of importance, a fact which few are able to keep
constantly enough in their thoughts, is that Greek marble
sculpture was always more or less painted. This is proved both by
statements in ancient authors and by the fuller and more explicit
evidence of numberless actual remains. (See especially pages 148,
247.) From these sources we learn that eyes, eyebrows, hair, and
perhaps lips were regularly painted, and that draperies and other
accessories were often painted in whole or in part. As regards the
treatment of flesh the evidence is conflicting. Some instances are
reported where the flesh of men was colored a reddish brown, as in
the sculpture of Egypt. But the evidence seems to me to warrant
the inference that this was unusual in marble sculpture. On the
"Alexander" sarcophagus the nude flesh has been by some process
toned down to an ivory tint, and this treatment may have been the
rule, although most sculptures which retain remains of color show
no trace of this. Observe that wherever color was applied, it was
laid on in "flat" tints, i.e., not graded or shaded.

This polychromatic character of Greek marble sculpture is at
variance with what we moderns have been accustomed to since the
Renaissance. By practice and theory we have been taught that
sculpture and painting are entirely distinct arts. And in the
austere renunciation  by sculpture of all color there has even
been seen a special distinction, a claim to precedence in the
hierarchy of the arts. The Greeks had no such idea. The sculpture
of the older nations about them was polychromatic; their own early
sculpture in wood and coarse stone was almost necessarily so;
their architecture, with which sculpture was often associated, was
so likewise. The coloring of marble sculpture, then, was a natural
result of the influences by which that sculpture was molded. And,
of course, the Greek eye took pleasure in the combination of form
and color, and presumably would have found pure white figures like
ours dull and cold. We are better circumstanced for judging Greek
taste in this matter than in the matter of colored architecture,
for we possess Greek sculptures which have kept their coloring
almost intact. A sight of the "Alexander" sarcophagus, if it does
not revolutionize our own taste, will at least dispel any fear
that a Greek artist was capable of outraging beautiful form by a
vulgarizing addition.

(3) Bronze. This material (an alloy of copper with tin and
sometimes lead), always more expensive than marble, was the
favorite material of some of the most eminent sculptors (Myron,
Polyclitus, Lysippus) and for certain purposes was always
preferred. The art of casting small, solid bronze images goes far
back into the prehistoric period in Greece. At an early date, too
(we cannot say how early), large bronze statues could be made of a
number of separate pieces, shaped by the hammer and riveted
together. Such a work was seen at Sparta by the traveler
Pausanias, and was regarded by him as the most ancient existing
statue in bronze. A great impulse must have been given to bronze
sculpture by the introduction of the process of hollow-casting.
Pausanias repeatedly attributes the invention of this process to
Rhoecus and Theodorus, two Samian artists, who flourished
apparently early in the sixth century. This may be substantially
correct, but the process is much more likely to have been borrowed
from Egypt than invented independently.

In producing a bronze statue it is necessary first to make an
exact clay model. This done, the usual Greek practice seems to
have been to dismember the model and take a casting of each part
separately. The several bronze pieces were then carefully united
by rivets or solder, and small defects were repaired by the
insertion of quadrangular patches of bronze. The eye-sockets were
always left hollow in the casting, and eyeballs of glass, metal,
or other materials, imitating cornea and iris, were inserted.
[Footnote: Marble statues also sometimes had inserted eyes]
Finally, the whole was gone over with appropriate tools, the hair,
for example, being furrowed with a sharp graver and thus receiving
a peculiar, metallic definiteness of texture.

A hollow bronze statue being much lighter than one in marble and
much less brittle, a sculptor could be much bolder in posing a
figure of the former material than one of the latter. Hence when a
Greek bronze statue was copied in marble in Roman times, a
disfiguring support, not present in the original, had often to be
added (cf. Figs, 101, 104, etc.). The existence of such a support
in a marble work is, then, one reason among others for assuming a
bronze original. Other indications pointing the same way are
afforded by a peculiar sharpness of edge, e.g., of the eyelids and
the eyebrows, and by the metallic treatment of the hair. These
points are well illustrated by Fig. 76. Notice especially the
curls, which in the original would have been made of separate
strips of bronze, twisted and attached after the casting of the

Bronze reliefs were not cast, but produced by hammering. This is
what is called repousse work. These bronze reliefs were of small
size, and were used for ornamenting helmets, cuirasses, mirrors,
and so on.

(4) Gold and ivory. Chryselephantine statues, i.e., statues of
gold and ivory, must, from the costliness of the materials, have
been always comparatively rare. Most of them, though not all, were
temple-images, and the most famous ones were of colossal size. We
are very imperfectly informed as to how these figures were made.
The colossal ones contained a strong framework of timbers and
metal bars, over which was built a figure of wood. To this the
gold and ivory were attached, ivory being used for flesh and gold
for all other parts. The gold on the Athena of the Parthenon (cf.
page 186) weighed a good deal over a ton. But costly as these
works were, the admiration  felt for them seems to have been
untainted by any thought of that fact.

(5) Terra-cotta. This was used at all periods for small figures, a
few inches high, immense numbers of which have been preserved to
us. But large terra-cotta figures, such as were common in Etruria,
were probably quite exceptional in Greece.

Greek sculpture may be classified, according to the purposes which
it served, under the following heads:

(1) Architectural sculpture. A temple could hardly be considered
complete unless it was adorned with more or less of sculpture. The
chief place for such sculpture was in the pediments and especially
in the principal or eastern pediment. Relief-sculpture might be
applied to Doric metopes or an Ionic frieze. And finally, single
statues or groups might be placed, as acroteria, upon the apex and
lower corners of a pediment. Other sacred buildings besides
temples might be similarly adorned. But we hear very little of
sculpture on secular buildings.

(2) Cult-images. As a rule, every temple or shrine contained at
least one statue of the divinity, or of each divinity, worshiped

(3) Votive sculptures. It was the habit of the Greeks to present
to their divinities all sorts of objects in recognition of past
favors or in hope of favors to come. Among these votive objects or
ANATHEMETA works of sculpture occupied a large and important
place. The subjects of such sculptures were various. Statues of
the god or goddess to whom the dedication was made were common;
but perhaps still commoner were figures representing human
persons, either the dedicators themselves or others in whom they
were nearly interested. Under this latter head fall most of the
many statues of victors in the athletic games. These were set up
in temple precincts, like that of Zeus at Olympia, that of Apollo
at Delphi, or that of Athena on the Acropolis of Athens, and were,
in theory at least, intended rather as thank-offerings than as
means of glorifying the victors themselves.

(4) Sepulchral sculpture. Sculptured grave monuments were common
in Greece at least as early as the sixth century. The most usual
monument was a slab of marble--the form varying according to place
and time--sculptured with an idealized representation in relief
of the deceased person, often with members of his family.

(5) Honorary statues. Statues representing distinguished men,
contemporary or otherwise, could be set up by state authority in
secular places or in sanctuaries. The earliest known case of this
kind is that of Harmodius and Aristogiton, shortly after 510 B.C.
(cf. pages 160-4). The practice gradually became common, reaching
an extravagant development in the period after Alexander.

(6) Sculpture used merely as ornament, and having no sacred or
public character. This class belongs mainly, if not wholly, to the
latest period of Greek art. It would be going beyond our evidence
to say that never, in the great age of Greek sculpture, was a
statue or a relief produced merely as an ornament for a private
house or the interior of a secular building. But certain it is
that the demand for such things before the time of Alexander, if
it existed at all, was inconsiderable. It may be neglected in a
broad survey of the conditions of artistic production in the great

The foregoing list, while not quite exhaustive, is sufficiently so
for present purposes. It will be seen how inspiring and elevating
was the role assigned to the sculptor in Greece. His work destined
to be seen by intelligent and sympathetic multitudes, appealed,
not to the coarser elements of their nature, but to the most
serious and exalted. Hence Greek sculpture of the best period is
always pure and noble. The grosser aspects of Greek life, which
flaunt themselves shamelessly in Attic comedy, as in some of the
designs upon Attic vases, do not invade the province of this art.

It may be proper here to say a word in explanation of that frank
and innocent nudity which is so characteristic a trait of the best
Greek art. The Greek admiration for the masculine body and the
willingness to display it were closely bound up with the
extraordinary importance in Greece of gymnastic exercises and
contests and with the habits which these engendered. As early as
the seventh century, if not earlier, the competitors in the foot-
race at Olympia dispensed with the loin-cloth, which had
previously been the sole covering worn. In other Olympic contests
the example thus set was not followed till some time later, but in
the gymnastic exercises of every-day life the same custom must
have early prevailed. Thus in contrast to primitive Greek feeling
and to the feeling of "barbarians" generally, the exhibition by
men among men of the naked body came to be regarded as something
altogether honorable. There could not be better evidence of this
than the fact that the archer-god, Apollo, the purest god in the
Greek pantheon, does not deign in Greek art to veil the glory of
his form.

Greek sculpture had a strongly idealizing bent. Gods and goddesses
were conceived in the likeness of human beings, but human beings
freed from eery blemish, made august and beautiful by the artistic
imagination. The subjects of architectural sculpture were mainly
mythological, historical scenes being very rare in purely Greek
work; and these legendary themes offered little temptation to a
literal copying of every-day life. But what is most noteworthy is
that even in the representation of actual human persons, e.g., in
athlete statues and upon grave monuments, Greek sculpture in the
best period seems not to have even aimed at exact portraiture. The
development of realistic portraiture belongs mainly to the age of
Alexander and his successors.

Mr. Ruskin goes so far as to say that a Greek "never expresses
personal character," and "never expresses momentary passion."
[Footnote: "Aratra Pentelici," Lecture VI, Section 191, 193.] These are
reckless verdicts, needing much qualification. For the art of the
fourth century they will not do at all, much less for the later
period. But they may be of use if they lead us to note the
preference for the typical and permanent with which Greek
sculpture begins, and the very gradual way in which it progresses
toward the expression of the individual and transient. However,
even in the best period the most that we have any right to speak
of is a prevailing tendency. Greek art was at all times very much
alive, and the student must be prepared to find exceptions to any
formula that can be laid down.



The date above suggested for the beginning of the period with
which we have first to deal must not be regarded as making any
pretense to exactitude. We have no means of assigning a definite
date to any of the most primitive-looking pieces of Greek
sculpture. All that can be said is that works which can be
confidently dated about the middle of the sixth century show such
a degree of advancement as implies more than half a century of
development since the first rude beginnings.

Tradition and the more copious evidence of actual remains teach us
that these early attempts at sculpture in stone or marble were not
confined to any one spot or narrow region. On the contrary, the
centers of artistic activity were numerous and widely diffused--
the islands of Crete, Paros, and Naxos; the Ionic cities of Asia
Minor and the adjacent islands of Chios and Samos; in Greece
proper, Boeotia, Attica, Argolis, Arcadia, Laconia; in Sicily, the
Greek colony Selinus; and doubtless many others. It is very
difficult to make out how far these different spots were
independent of one another; how far, in other words, we have a
right to speak of local "schools" of sculpture. Certainly there
was from the first a good deal of action and reaction between some
of these places, and one chief problem of the subject is to
discover the really originative centers of artistic impulse, and
to trace the spread of artistic types and styles and methods from
place to place. Instead of attempting here to discuss or decide
this difficult question, it will be better simply to pass in
review a few typical works of the early archaic period from
various sites.

The first place may be given to a marble image (Fig. 77) found in
1878 on the island of Delos, that ancient center of Apolline
worship for the Ionians. On the left side of the figure is
engraved in early Greek characters a metrical inscription,
recording that the statue was dedicated to Artemis by one Nicandra
of Naxos. Whether it was intended to represent the goddess Artemis
or the woman Nicandra, we cannot tell; nor is the question of much
importance to us. We have here an extremely rude attempt to
represent a draped female form. The figure stands stiffly erect,
the feet close together, the arms hanging straight down, the face
looking directly forward. The garment envelops the body like a
close-fitting sheath, without a suggestion of folds. The trunk of
the body is flat or nearly so at the back, while in front the
prominence of the breasts is suggested by the simple device of two
planes, an upper and a lower, meeting at an angle. The shapeless
arms were not detached from the sides, except just at the waist.
Below the girdle the body is bounded by parallel planes in front
and behind and is rounded off at the sides. A short projection at
the bottom, slightly rounded and partly divided, does duty for the
feet. The features of the face are too much battered to be
commented upon. The most of the hair falls in a rough mass upon
the back, but on either side a bunch, divided by grooves into four
locks, detaches itself and is brought forward upon the breast.
This primitive image is not an isolated specimen of its type.
Several similar figures or fragments of figures have been found on
the island of Delos, in Boeotia, and elsewhere. A small statuette
of this type, found at Olympia, but probably produced at Sparta,
has its ugly face tolerably preserved.

Another series of figures, much more numerously represented, gives
us the corresponding type of male figure. One of the earliest
examples of this series is shown in Fig. 78, a life-sized statue
of Naxian marble, found on the island of Thera in 1836. The figure
is completely nude. The attitude is like that of the female type
just described, except that the left foot is advanced. Other
statues, agreeing with this one in attitude, but showing various
stages of development, have been found in many places, from Samos
on the east to Actium on the west. Several features of this class
of figures have been thought to betray Egyptian influence.
[Footnote: See Wolters's edition of Friederichs's "Gipsabgusse
antiker Bildwerke," pages 11 12.] The rigid position might be
adopted independently by primitive sculpture anywhere. But the
fact that the left leg is invariably advanced, the narrowness of
the hips, and the too high position frequently given to the ears--
did this group of coincidences with the stereotyped Egyptian
standing figures come about without imitation? There is no
historical difficulty in the way of assuming Egyptian influence,
for as early as the seventh century Greeks certainly visited Egypt
and it was perhaps in this century that the Greek colony of
Naucratis was founded in the delta of the Nile. Here was a chance
for Greeks to see Egyptian statues; and besides, Egyptian
statuettes may have reached Greek shores in the way of commerce.
But be the truth about this question what it may, the early Greek
sculptors were as far as possible from slavishly imitating a fixed
prototype. They used their own eyes and strove, each in his own
way, to render what they saw. This is evident, when the different
examples of the class of figures now under discussion are passed
in review.

Our figure from Thera is hardly more than a first attempt. There
is very little of anatomical detail, and what there is is not
correct; especially the form and the muscles of the abdomen are
not understood. The head presents a number of characteristics
which were destined long to persist in Greek sculpture. Such are
the protuberant eyeballs, the prominent cheek-bones, the square,
protruding chin. Such, too, is the formation of the mouth, with
its slightly upturned corners--a feature almost, though not quite,
universal in Greek faces for more than a century. This is the
sculptor's childlike way of imparting a look of cheerfulness to
the countenance, and with it often goes an upward slant of the
eyes from the inner to the outer corners. In representing this
youth as wearing long hair, the sculptor followed the actual
fashion of the times, a fashion not abandoned till the fifth
century and in Sparta not till later. The appearance of the hair
over the forehead and temples should be noticed. It is arranged
symmetrically in flat spiral curls, five curls on each side.
Symmetry in the disposition of the front hair is constant in early
Greek sculpture, and some scheme or other of spiral curls is
extremely common.

It was at one time thought that these nude standing figures all
represented Apollo. It is now certain that Apollo was sometimes
intended, but equally certain that the same type was used for men.
Greek sculpture had not yet learned to differentiate divine from
human beings The so-called "Apollo" of Tenea (Fig. 79), probably
in reality a grave-statue representing the deceased, was found on
the site of the ancient Tenea, a village in the territory of
Corinth. It is unusually well preserved, there being nothing
missing except the middle portion of the right arm, which has been
restored. This figure shows great improvement over his fellow from
Thera. The rigid attitude, to be sure, is preserved unchanged,
save for a slight bending of the arms at the elbows; and we meet
again the prominent eyes, cheek-bones, and chin, and the smiling
mouth. But the arms are much more detached from the sides and the
modeling of the figure generally is much more detailed. There are
still faults in plenty, but some parts are rendered very well,
particularly the lower legs and feet, and the figure seems alive.
The position of the feet, flat upon the ground and parallel to one
another, shows us how to complete in imagination the "Apollo" of
Thera and other mutilated members of the series. Greek sculpture
even in its earliest period could not limit itself to single
standing figures. The desire to adorn the pediments of temples and
temple-like buildings gave use to more complex compositions. The
earliest pediment sculptures known were found on the Acropolis of
Athens in the excavations of 1885-90 (see page 147) The most
primitive of these is a low relief of soft poros (see page 78),
representing Heracles slaying the many-headed hydra. Somewhat
later, but still very rude, is the group shown in Fig. 80, which
once occupied the right-hand half of a pediment. The material here
is a harder sort of poros, and the figures are practically in the
round, though on account of the connection with the background the
work has to be classed as high relief. We see a triple monster, or
rather three monsters, with human heads and trunks and arms the
human bodies passing into long snaky bodies coiled together. A
single pair of wings was divided between the two outermost of the
three beings, while snakes' heads, growing out of the human
bodies, rendered the aspect of the group still more portentous.
The center of the pediment was probably occupied by a figure of
Zeus, hurling his thunderbolt at this strange enemy. We have
therefore here a scene from one of the favorite subjects of Greek
art at all periods--the gigantomachy, or battle of gods and
giants. Fig. 81 gives a better idea of the nearest of the three
heads. [Footnote: It is doubtful whether this head belongs where
it is placed in Fig 80, or in another pediment-group, of which
fragments have been found.] It was completely covered with a crust
of paint, still pretty well preserved. The flesh was red; the
hair, moustache, and beard, blue; the irises of the eyes, green;
the eyebrows, edges of the eyelids, and pupils, black. A
considerable quantity of early poros sculptures was found on the
Athenian Acropolis. These were all liberally painted. The poor
quality of the material was thus largely or wholly concealed.

Fig. 82 shows another Athenian work, found on the Acropolis in
1864-65. It is of marble and is obviously of later date than the
poros sculptures. In 1887 the pedestal of this statue was found,
with a part of the right foot. An inscription on the pedestal
shows that the statue was dedicated to some divinity, doubtless
Athena, whose precinct the Acropolis was. The figure then probably
represents the dedicator, bringing a calf for sacrifice. The
position of the body and legs is here the same as in the "Apollo"
figures, but the subject has compelled the sculptor to vary the
position of the arms. Another difference from the "Apollo" figures
lies in the fact that this statue is not wholly naked. The
garment, however, is hard to make out, for it clings closely to
the person of the wearer and betrays its existence only along the
edges. The sculptor had not yet learned to represent the folds of

The British Museum possesses a series of ten seated figures of
Parian marble, which were once ranged along the approach to an
important temple of Apollo near Miletus. Fig. 83 shows three of
these. They are placed in their assumed chronological order, the
earliest furthest off. Only the first two belong in the period now
under review. The figures are heavy and lumpish, and are
enveloped, men and women alike, in draperies, which leave only the
heads, the fore-arms, and the toes exposed. It is interesting to
see the successive sculptors attacking the problem of rendering
the folds of loose garments. Not until we reach the latest of the
three statues do we find any depth given to the folds, and that
figure belongs distinctly in the latter half of the archaic

Transporting ourselves now from the eastern to the western
confines of Greek civilization, we may take a look at a sculptured
metope from Selinus in Sicily (Fig. 84). That city was founded,
according to our best ancient authority, about the year 629 B.C.,
and the temple from which our metope is taken is certainly one of
the oldest, if not the oldest, of the many temples of the place.
The material of the metope, as of the whole temple, is a local
poros, and the work is executed in high relief. The subject is
Perseus cutting off the head of Medusa. The Gorgon is trying to
run away--the position given to her legs is used in early Greek
sculpture and vase-painting to signify rapid motion--but is
overtaken by her pursuer. From the blood of Medusa sprang,
according to the legend, the winged horse, Pegasus; and the
artist, wishing to tell as much of the story as possible, has
introduced Pegasus into his composition, but has been forced to
reduce him to miniature size. The goddess Athena, the protectress
of Perseus, occupies what remains of the field. There is no need
of dwelling in words on the ugliness of this relief, an ugliness
only in part accounted for by the subject. The student should note
that the body of each of the three figures is seen from the front,
while the legs are in profile. The same distortion occurs in a
second metope of this same temple, representing Heracles carrying
off two prankish dwarfs who had tried to annoy him, and is in fact
common in early Greek work. We have met something similar in
Egyptian reliefs and paintings (cf. page 33), but this method of
representing the human form is so natural to primitive art that we
need not here assume Egyptian influence. The garments of Perseus
and Athena show so much progress in the representation of folds
that one scruples to put this temple back into the seventh
century, as some would have us do. Like the poros sculptures of
Attica, these Selinus metopes seem to have been covered with

Fig. 85 takes us back again to the island of Delos, where the
statue came to light in 1877. It is of Parian marble, and is
considerably less than life-sized. A female figure is here
represented, the body unnaturally twisted at the hips, as in the
Selinus metopes, the legs bent in the attitude of rapid motion. At
the back there were wings, of which only the stumps now remain. A
comparison of this statue with similar figures from the Athenian
Acropolis has shown that the feet did not touch the pedestal, the
drapery serving as a support. The intention of the artist, then,
was to represent a flying figure, probably a Victory. The goddess
is dressed in a chiton (shift), which shows no trace of folds
above the girdle, while below the girdle, between the legs, there
is a series of flat, shallow ridges. The face shows the usual
archaic features--the  prominent eyeballs, cheeks, and chin, and
the smiling mouth. The hair is represented as fastened by a sort
of hoop, into which metallic ornaments, now lost, were inserted.
As usual, the main mass of the hair falls straight behind, and
several locks, the same number on each side, are brought forward
upon the breast. As usual, too, the front hair is disposed
symmetrically; in this case, a smaller and a larger flat curl on
each side of the middle of the forehead are succeeded by a
continuous tress of hair arranged in five scallops.

If, as has been generally thought, this statue belongs on an
inscribed pedestal which was found near it, then we have before us
the work of one Archermus of Chios, known to us from literary
tradition as the first sculptor to represent Victory with wings.
At all events, this, if a Victory, is the earliest that we know.
She awakens our interest, less for what she is in herself than
because she is the forerunner of the magnificent Victories of
developed Greek art.

Thus far we have not met a single work to which it is possible to
assign a precise date. We have now the satisfaction of finding a
chronological landmark in our path. This is afforded by some
fragments of sculpture belonging to the old Temple of Artemis at
Ephesus. The date of this temple is approximately fixed by the
statement of Herodotus (I, 92) that most of its columns were
picsented by Croesus, king of Lydia, whose reign lasted from 560
to 546 B. C. In the course of the excavations carried on for the
British Museum upon the site of Ephesus there were brought to
light, in 1872 and 1874, a few fragments of this sixth century
edifice. Even some letters of Croesus's dedicatory inscription
have been found on the bases of the Ionic columns, affording a
welcome confirmation to the testimony of Herodotus. It appears
that the columns, or some of them, were treated in a very
exceptional fashion, the lowest drums being adorned with relief-
sculpture. The British Museum authorities have partially restored
one such drum (Fig. 86), though without guaranteeing that the
pieces of sculpture here combined actually belong to the same
column. The male figure is not very pre-possessing, but that is
partly due to the battered condition of the face. Much more
attractive is the female head, of which unfortunately only the
back is seen in our illustration. It bears a strong family
likeness to the head of the Victory of Delos, but shows marked
improvement  over that. Some bits of a sculptured cornice
belonging to the same temple are also refined in style. In this
group of reliefs, fragmentary though they are, we have an
indication of the development attained by Ionic sculptors about
the middle of the sixth century. For, of course, though Croesus
paid for the columns, the work was executed by Greek artists upon
the spot, and presumably by the best artists that could be
secured. We may therefore use these sculptures as a standard by
which to date other works, whose date is not fixed for us by
external evidence.



Greek sculpture now enters upon a stage of development which
possesses for the modern student a singular and potent charm True,
many traces still remain of the sculptor's imperfect mastery. He
cannot pose his figures in perfectly easy attitudes not even in
reliefs, where the problem is easier than in sculpture in the
round. His knowledge of human anatomy--that is to say, of the
outward appearance of the human body, which is all the artistic
anatomy that any one attempted to know during the rise and the
great age of Greek sculpture--is still defective, and his means of
expression are still imperfect. For example, in the nude male
figure the hips continue to be too narrow for the shoulders, and
the abdomen too flat. The facial peculiarities mentioned in the
preceding chapter--prominent eyeballs, cheeks, and chin, and
smiling mouth--are only very gradually modified. As from the
first, the upper eyelid does not overlap the lower eyelid at the
outer corner, as truth, or rather appearance, requires, and in
relief sculpture the eye of a face in profile is rendered as in
front view. The texture and arrangement of hair are expressed in
various ways but always with a marked love of symmetry and
formalism. In the difficult art of representing drapery there is
much experimentation and great progress. It seems to have been
among the eastern Ionians perhaps at Chios, that the deep cutting
of folds was first practiced, and from Ionia this method of
treatment spread to Athens and elsewhere. When drapery is used,
there is a manifest desire on the sculptor's part to reveal what
he can, more, in fact, than in reality could appear, of the form
underneath. The garments fall in formal folds, sometimes of great
elaboration. They look as if they were intended to represent
garments of irregular cut, carefully starched and ironed. But one
must be cautious about drawing inferences from an imperfect
artistic manner as to the actual fashions of the day.

But whatever shortcomings in technical perfection may be laid to
their charge, the works of this period are full of the indefinable
fascination of promise. They are marked, moreover, by a simplicity
and sincerity of purpose, an absence of all ostentation, a
conscientious and loving devotion on the part of those who made
them. And in many of them we are touched by great refinement and
tenderness of feeling, and a peculiarly Greek grace of line.

To illustrate these remarks we may turn first to Lycia, in
southwestern Asia Minor. The so called "Harpy" tomb was a huge,
four sided pillar of stone, in the upper part of which a square
burial-chamber was hollowed out. Marble bas-reliefs adorned the
exterior of this chamber The best of the four slabs is seen in Fig
87 [Footnote: Our illustration is not quite complete on the right]
At the right is a seated female figure, divinity or deceased
woman, who holds in her right hand a pomegranate flower and in her
left a pomegranate fruit To her approach three women, the first
raising the lower part of her chiton with her right hand and
drawing forward her outer garment with her left, the second
bringing a fruit and a flower the third holding an egg in her
right hand and raising her chiton with her left. Then comes the
opening into the burial-chamber, surmounted by a diminutive cow
suckling her calf. At the left is another seated female figure,
holding a bowl for libation. The exact significance of this scene
is unknown, and we may limit our attention to its artistic
qualities. We have here our first opportunity of observing the
principle of isocephaly in Greek relief-sculpture; i.e., the
convention whereby the heads of figures in an extended composition
are ranged on nearly the same level, no matter whether the figures
are seated, standing, mounted on horseback, or placed in any other
position. The main purpose of this convention doubtless was to
avoid the unpleasing blank spaces which would result if the
figures were all of the same proportions. In the present instance
there may be the further desire to suggest by the greater size of
the seated figures their greater dignity as goddesses or divinized
human beings. Note, again, how, in the case of each standing
woman, the garments adhere to the body behind. The sculptor here
sacrifices truth for the sake of showing the outline of the
figure. Finally, remark the daintiness with which the hands are
used, particularly in the case of the seated figure on the right.
The date of this work may be put not much later than the middle of
the sixth century, and the style is that of the Ionian school.

Under the tyrant Pisistratus and his sons Athens attained to an
importance in the world of art which it had not enjoyed before. A
fine Attic work, which we may probably attribute to the time of
Pisistratus, is the grave-monument of Aristion (Fig. 88). The
material is Pentelic marble. The form of the monument, a tall,
narrow, slightly tapering slab or stele, is the usual one in
Attica in this period. The man represented in low relief is, of
course, Aristion himself. He had probably fallen in battle, and so
is put before us armed. Over a short chiton he wears a leather
cuirass with a double row of flaps below, on his head is a small
helmet, which leaves his face entirely exposed, on his legs are
greaves; and in his left hand he holds a spear There is some
constraint in the position of the left arm and hand, due to the
limitations of space In general, the anatomy, so far as exhibited
is creditable, though fault might be found with the shape of the
thighs The hair, much shorter than is usual in the archaic period,
is arranged in careful curls The beard, trimmed to a point in
front, is rendered by parallel grooves The chiton, where it shows
from under the cuirass, is arranged in symmetrical plaits There
are considerable traces of color on the relief, as well as on the
background Some of these may be seen in our illustration on the

Our knowledge of early Attic sculpture has been immensely
increased by the thorough exploration of the summit of the
Athenian Acropolis in 1885-90 In regard to these important
excavations it must be remembered that in 480 and again in 479 the
Acropolis was occupied by Persians belonging to Xerxes' invading
army, who reduced the buildings and sculptures on that site to a
heap of fire-blackened ruins This debris was used by the Athenians
in the generation immediately following toward raising the general
level of the summit of the Acropolis. All this material, after
having been buried for some twenty three and a half centuries, has
now been recovered. In the light of the newly found remains, which
include numerous inscribed pedestals, it is seen that under the
rule of Pisistratus and his sons Athens attracted to itself
talented sculptors from other Greek communities, notably from
Chios and Ionia generally. It is to Ionian sculptors and to
Athenian sculptors brought under Ionian influences that we must
attribute almost all those standing female figures which form the
chief part of the new treasures of the Acropolis Museum.

The figures of this type stand with the left foot, as a rule, a
little advanced, the body and head facing directly forward with
primitive stiffness. But the arms no longer hang straight at the
sides, one of them, regularly the right, being extended from the
elbow, while the other holds up the voluminous drapery. Many of
the statues retain copious traces of color on hair, eyebrows,
eyes, draperies, and ornaments; in no case does the flesh give any
evidence of having been painted (cf. page 119). Fig. 89 is taken
from an illustration which gives the color as it was when the
statue was first found, before it had suffered from exposure. Fig.
90 is not in itself one of the most pleasing of the series, but it
has a special interest, not merely on account of its exceptionally
large size--it is over six and a half feet high--but because we
probably know the name and something more of its sculptor. If, as
seems altogether likely, the statue belongs upon the inscribed
pedestal upon which it is placed in the illustration, then we have
before us an original work of that Antenor who was commissioned by
the Athenian people, soon after the expulsion of the tyrant
Hippias and his family in 510, to make a group in bronze of
Harmodius and Aristogiton (cf. pages 160-4) This statue might, of
course, be one of his earlier productions.

At first sight these figures strike many untrained observers as
simply grotesque. Some of them are indeed odd; Fig. 91 reproduces
one which is especially so. But they soon become absorbingly
interesting and then delightful. The strange-looking, puzzling
garments, [Footnote: Fig 91 wears only one garment the Ionic
chiton, a long; linen shift, girded at the waist and pulled up so
as to fall over conceal the girdle. Figs 89, 90, 92 93 wear over
this a second garment which goes over the right shoulder and under
the left This over-garment reaches to the feet, so as to conceal
the lower portion of the chiton At the top it is folded over, or
perhaps rather another piece of cloth is sewed on. This over-fold,
if it may be so called, appears as if cut with two or more long
points below] which cling to the figure behind and fall in formal
folds in front, the elaborately, often impossibly, arranged hair,
the gracious countenances, a certain quaintness and refinement and
unconsciousness of self--these things exercise over us an endless

Who are these mysterious beings? We do not know. There are those
who would see in them, or in some of them, representations of
Athena, who was not only a martial goddess, but also patroness of
spinning and weaving and all cunning handiwork. To others,
including the writer, they seem, in their manifold variety, to be
daughters of Athens. But, if so, what especial claim these women
had to be set up in effigy upon Athena's holy hill is an unsolved

Before parting from their company we must not fail to look at two
fragmentary figures (Figs. 94, 95), the most advanced in style of
the whole series and doubtless executed shortly before 480. In the
former, presumably the earlier of the two, the marvelous
arrangement of the hair over the forehead survives and the
eyeballs still protrude unpleasantly. But the mouth has lost the
conventional smile and the modeling of the face is of great
beauty. In the other, alone of the series, the hair presents a
fairly natural appearance, the eyeballs lie at their proper depth,
and the beautiful curve of the neck is not masked by the locks
that fall upon the breasts. In this head, too, the mouth actually
droops at the corners, giving a perhaps unintended look of
seriousness to the face. The ear, though set rather high, is
exquisitely shaped.

Still more lovely than this lady is the youth's head shown in Fig.
96. Fate has robbed us of the body to which it belonged, but the
head itself is in an excellent state of preservation. The face is
one of singular purity and sweetness. The hair, once of a golden
tint, is long behind and is gathered into two braids, which start
from just behind the ears, cross one another, and are fastened
together in front; the short front hair is combed forward and
conceals the ends of the braids; and there is a mysterious puff in
front of each ear. In the whole work, so far at least as appears
in a profile view, there is nothing to mar our pleasure. The
sculptor's hand has responded cunningly to his beautiful thought.

It is a pity not to be able to illustrate another group of Attic
sculptures of the late archaic period, the most recent addition to
our store. The metopes of the Treasury of the Athenians at Delphi,
discovered during the excavations now in progress, are of
extraordinary interest and importance; but only two or three of
them have yet been published, and these in a form not suited for
reproduction. The same is the case with another of the recent
finds at Delphi, the sculptured frieze of the Treasury of the
Cnidians, already famous among professional students and destined
to be known and admired by a wider public. Here, however, it is
possible to submit a single fragment, which was found years ago
(Fig. 97). It represents a four-horse chariot approaching an
altar. The newly found pieces of this frieze have abundant remains
of color. The work probably belongs in the last quarter of the
sixth century.

The pediment-figures from Aegina, the chief treasure of the Munich
collection of ancient sculpture, were found in 1811 by a party of
scientific explorers and were restored in Italy under the
superintendence of the Danish sculptor, Thorwaldsen. Until lately
these AEginetan figures were our only important group of late
archaic Greek sculptures; and, though that is no longer the case,
they still retain, and will always retain, an especial interest
and significance. They once filled the pediments of a Doric temple
of Aphaia, of which considerable remains are still standing. There
is no trustworthy external clue to the date of the building, and
we are therefore obliged to depend for that on the style of the
architecture and sculpture, especially the latter. In the dearth
of accurately dated monuments which might serve as standards of
comparison, great difference of opinion on this point has
prevailed. But we are now somewhat better off, thanks to recent
discoveries at Athens and Delphi, and we shall probably not go far
wrong in assigning the temple with its sculptures to about 480
B.C. Fig. 52 illustrates, though somewhat incorrectly, the
composition of the western pediment. The subject was a combat, in
the presence of Athena, between Greeks and Asiatics, probably on
the plain of Troy. A close parallelism existed between the two
halves of the pediment, each figure, except the goddess and the
fallen warrior at her feet, corresponding  to a similar figure on
the opposite side. Athena, protectress of the Greeks, stands in
the center (Fig. 98). She wears two garments, of which the outer
one (the only one seen in the illustration) is a marvel of
formalism. Her aegis covers her breasts and hangs far down behind;
the points of its scalloped edge once bristled with serpents'
heads, and there was a Gorgon's head in the middle of the front.
She has upon her head a helmet with lofty crest, and carries
shield and lance. The men, with the exception of the two archers,
are naked, and their helmets, which are of a form intended to
cover the face, are pushed back. Of course, men did not actually
go into battle in this fashion; but the sculptor did not care for
realism, and he did care for the exhibition of the body. He
belonged to a school which had made an especially careful study of
anatomy, and his work shows a great improvement in this respect
over anything we have yet had the opportunity to consider. Still,
the men are decidedly lean in appearance and their angular
attitudes are a little suggestive of prepared skeletons. They have
oblique and prominent eyes, and, whether fighting or dying, they
wear upon their faces the same conventional smile.

The group in the eastern pediment corresponds closely in subject
and composition to that in the western, but is of a distinctly
more advanced style. Only five figures of this group were
sufficiently preserved to be restored. Of these perhaps the most
admirable is the dying warrior from the southern corner of the
pediment (Fig. 99), in which the only considerable modern part is
the right leg, from the middle of the thigh. The superiority of
this and its companion figures to those of the western pediment
lies, as the Munich catalogue points out, in the juster
proportions of body, arms, and legs, the greater fulness of the
muscles, the more careful attention to the veins and to the
qualities of the skin, the more natural position of eyes and
mouth. This dying man does not smile meaninglessly. His lips are
parted, and there is a suggestion of death-agony on his
countenance. In both pediments the figures are carefully finished
all round; there is no neglect, or none worth mentioning, of those
parts which were destined to be invisible so long as the figures
were in position.

The Strangford "Apollo" (Fig. 100) is of uncertain provenience,
but is nearly related in style to the marbles of Aegina. This
statue, by the position of body, legs, and head, belongs to the
series of "Apollo" figures discussed above (pages 129-32); but the
arms were no longer attached to the sides, and were probably bent
at the elbows. The most obvious traces of a lingering archaism,
besides the rigidity of the attitude, are the narrowness of the
hips and the formal arrangement of the hair, with its double row
of snail-shell curls. The statue has been spoken of by a high
authority [Footnote: Newton,  "Essays on Art and Archaeology" page
81.] as showing only "a meager and painful rendering of nature."
That is one way of looking at it. But there is another way, which
has been finely expressed by Pater, in an essay on "The Marbles of
Aegina": "As art which has passed its prime has sometimes the
charm of an absolute refinement in taste and workmanship, so
immature art also, as we now see, has its own attractiveness in
the naivete, the freshness of spirit, which finds power and
interest in simple motives of feeling, and in the freshness of
hand, which has a sense of enjoyment in mechanical processes still
performed unmechanically, in the spending of care and intelligence
on every touch. ... The workman is at work in dry earnestness,
with a sort of hard strength of detail, a scrupulousness verging
on stiffness, like that of an early Flemish painter; he
communicates to us his still youthful sense of pleasure in the
experience of the first rudimentary difficulties of his art
overcome." [Footnote: Pater, "Greek Studies" page 285]



The term "Transitional period" is rather meaningless in itself,
but has acquired considerable currency as denoting that stage in
the history of Greek art in which the last steps were taken toward
perfect freedom of style. It is convenient to reckon this period
as extending from the year of the Persian invasion of Greece under
Xerxes to the middle of the century. In the artistic as in the
political history of this generation Athens held a position of
commanding importance, while Sparta, the political rival of
Athens, was as barren of art as of literature. The other principal
artistic center was Argos, whose school of sculpture had been and
was destined long to be widely influential. As for other local
schools, the question of their centers and mutual relations is too
perplexing and uncertain to be here discussed.

In the two preceding chapters we studied only original works, but
from this time on we shall have to pay a good deal of attention to
copies (cf. pages 114-16). We begin with two statues in Naples
(Fig. 101). The story of this group--for the two statues were
designed as a group--is interesting. The two friends, Harmodius
and Aristogiton, who in 514 had formed a conspiracy to rid Athens
of her tyrants, but who had succeeded only in killing one of them,
came to be regarded after the expulsion of the remaining tyrant
and his family in 510 as the liberators of the city. Their statues
in bronze, the work of Antenor, were set up on a terrace above the
market-place (cf. pages 124, 149). In 480 this group was carried
off to Persia by Xerxes and there it remained for a hundred and
fifty years or more when it was restored to Athens by Alexander
the Great or one of his successors. Athens however had as promptly
as possible repaired her loss. Critius and Nesiotes, two sculptors
who worked habitually in partnership, were commissioned to make a
second group, and this was set up in 477-6 on the same terrace
where the first had been After the restoration of Antenor's
statues toward the end of the fourth century the two groups stood
side by side.

It was argued by a German archaeologist more than a generation ago
that the two marble statues shown in Fig. 101 are copied from one
of these bronze groups, and this identification has been all but
universally accepted. The proof may be stated briefly, as follows.
First several Athenian objects of various dates, from the fifth
century B.C. onward, bear a design to which the Naples statues
clearly correspond One of these is a relief on a marble throne
formerly in Athens. Our illustration of this (Fig. 102) is taken
from a "squeeze," or wet paper impression. This must then, have
been an important group in Athens. Secondly, the style of the
Naples statues points to a bronze original of the early fifth
century. Thirdly, the attitudes of the figures are suitable for
Harmodius and Aristogiton, and we do not know of any other group
of that period for which they are suitable. This proof, though not
quite as complete as we should like, is as good as we generally
get in these matters. The only question that remains in serious
doubt is whether our copies go back to the work of Antenor or to
that of Critius and Nesiotes. Opinions have been much divided on
this point but the prevailing tendency now is to connect them with
the later artists. That is the view here adopted

In studying the two statues it is important to recognize the work
of the modern "restorer." The figure of Aristogiton (the one on
your left as you face the group) having been found in a headless
condition, the restorer provided it with a head, which is antique,
to be sure, but which is outrageously out of keeping, being of the
style of a century later. The chief modern portions are the left
hand of Aristogiton and the arms, right leg, and lower part of the
left leg of Harmodius. As may be learned from the small copies,
Aristogiton should be bearded, and the right arm of Harmodius
should be in the act of being raised to bring down a stroke of the
sword upon his antagonist. We have, then, to correct in
imagination the restorer's misdoings, and also to omit the tree-
trunk supports, which the bronze originals did not need. Further,
the two figures should probably be advancing in the same
direction, instead of in converging lines.

When these changes are made, the group cannot fail to command our
admiration. It would be a mistake to fix our attention exclusively
on the head of Harmodius. Seen in front view, the face, with its
low forehead and heavy chin, looks dull, if not ignoble. But the
bodies! In complete disregard of historic truth, the two men are
represented in a state of ideal nudity, like the Aeginetan
figures. The anatomy is carefully studied, the attitudes lifelike
and vigorous. Finally, the composition is fairly successful. This
is the earliest example preserved to us of a group of sculpture
other than a pediment-group. The interlocking of the figures is
not yet so close as it was destined to be in many a more advanced
piece of Greek statuary. But already the figures are not merely
juxtaposed; they share in a common action, and each is needed to
complete the other.

Of about the same date, it would seem, or not much later, must
have been a lost bronze statue, whose fame is attested by the
existence of several marble copies. The best of these was found in
1862, in the course of excavating the great theater on the
southern slope of the Athenian Acropolis (Fig. 103). The naming of
this figure is doubtful. It has been commonly taken for Apollo,
while another view sees in it a pugilist. Recently the suggestion
has been thrown out that it is Heracles. Be that as it may, the
figure is a fine example of youthful strength and beauty. In pose
it shows a decided advance upon the Strangford "Apollo" (Fig.
100). The left leg is still slightly advanced, and both feet were
planted flat on the ground; but more than half the weight of the
body is thrown upon the right leg, with the result of giving a
slight curve to the trunk, and the head is turned to one side. The
upper part of the body is very powerful, the shoulders broad and
held well back, the chest prominently developed. The face, in
spite of its injuries, is one of singular refinement and
sweetness. The long hair is arranged in two braids, as in Fig. 96,
the only difference being that here the braids pass over instead
of under the fringe of front hair. The rendering of the hair is in
a freer style than in the case just cited, but of this difference
a part may be chargeable to the copyist. Altogether we see here
the stamp of an artistic manner very different from that of
Critius and Nesiotes. Possibly, as some have conjectured, it is
the manner of Calamis, an Attic sculptor of this period, whose
eminence at any rate entitles him to a passing mention. But even
the Attic origin of this statue is in dispute.

We now reach a name of commanding importance, and one with which
we are fortunately able to associate some definite ideas. It is
the name of Myron of Athens, who ranks among the six most
illustrious sculptors of Greece. It is worth remarking, as an
illustration of the scantiness of our knowledge regarding the
lives of Greek artists, that Myron's name is not so much as
mentioned in extant literature before the third century B.C.
Except for a precise, but certainly false, notice in Pliny, who
represents him as flourishing in 420-416, our literary sources
yield only vague indications as to his date. These indications,
such as they are, point to the "Transitional period." This
inference is strengthened by the recent discovery on the Athenian
Acropolis of a pair of pedestals inscribed with the name of
Myron's son and probably datable about 446. Finally, the argument
is clinched by the style of Myron's most certainly identifiable

Pliny makes Myron the pupil of an influential Argive master,
Ageladas, who belongs in the late archaic period. Whether or not
such a relation actually existed, the statement is useful as a
reminder of the probability that Argos and Athens were
artistically in touch with one another. Beyond this, we get no
direct testimony as to the circumstances of Myron's life. We can
only infer that his genius was widely recognized in his lifetime,
seeing that commissions came to him, not from Athens only, but
also from other cities of Greece proper, as well as from distant
Samos and Ephesus. His chief material was bronze, and colossal
figures of gold and ivory are also ascribed to him. So far as we
know, he did not work in marble at all. His range of subjects
included divinities, heroes, men, and animals. Of no work of his
do we hear so often or in terms of such high praise as of a
certain figure of a cow, which stood on or near the Athenian
Acropolis. A large number of athlete statues from his hand were to
be seen at Olympia, Delphi, and perhaps elsewhere, and this side
of his activity was certainly an important one. Perhaps it is a
mere accident that we hear less of his statues of divinities and

The starting point in any study of Myron must be his Discobolus
(Discus-thrower). Fig. 104 reproduces the best copy. This statue
was found in Rome in 1781, and is in an unusually good state of
preservation. The head has never been broken from the body; the
right arm has been broken off, but is substantially antique; and
the only considerable restoration is the right leg from the knee
to the ankle. The two other most important copies were found
together in 1791 on the site of Hadrian's villa at Tibur (Tivoli).
One of these is now in the British Museum, the other in the
Vatican; neither has its original head. A fourth copy of the body,
a good deal disguised by "restoration," exists in the Museum of
the Capitol in Rome. There are also other copies of the head
besides the one on the Lancellotti statue.

The proof that these statues and parts of statues were copied from
Myron's Discobolus depends principally upon a passage in Lucian
(about 160 A. D.). [Footnote: Philopseudes, Section 18.] He gives a
circumstantial description of the attitude of that work, or rather
of a copy of it, and his description agrees point for point with
the statues in question. This agreement is the more decisive
because the attitude is a very remarkable one, no other known
figure showing anything in the least resembling it. Moreover, the
style of the Lancellotti statue points to a bronze original of the
"Transitional period," to which on historical grounds Myron is

Myron's statue represented a young Greek who had been victorious
in the pentathlon, or group of five contests (running, leaping,
wrestling, throwing the spear, and hurling the discus), but we
have no clue as to where in the Greek world it was set up. The
attitude of the figure seems a strange one at first sight, but
other ancient representations, as well as modern experiments,
leave little room for doubt that the sculptor has truthfully
caught one of the rapidly changing positions which the exercise
involved. Having passed the discus from his left hand to his
right, the athlete has swung the missile as far back as possible.
In the next instant he will hurl it forward, at the same time, of
course, advancing his left foot and recovering his erect position.
Thus Myron has preferred to the comparatively easy task of
representing the athlete at rest, bearing some symbol of victory,
the far more difficult problem of exhibiting him in action. It
would seem that he delighted in the expression of movement. So his
Ladas, known to us only from two epigrams in the Anthology,
represented a runner panting toward the goal; and others of his
athlete statues may have been similarly conceived. His temple-
images, on the other hand, must have been as composed in attitude
as the Discobolus is energetic.

The face of the Discobolus is rather typical than individual. If
this is not immediately obvious to the reader, the comparison of a
closely allied head may make it clear. Of the numerous works which
have been brought into relation with Myron by reason of their
likeness to the Discobolus, none is so unmistakable as a fine bust
in Florence (Fig. 105). The general form of the head, the
rendering of the hair, the anatomy of the forehead, the form of
the nose and the angle it makes with the forehead--these and other
features noted by Professor Furtwangler are alike in the
Discobolus and the Riccardi head. These detailed resemblances
cannot be verified without the help of casts or at least of good
photographs taken from different points of view; but the general
impression of likeness will be felt convincing, even without
analysis. Now these two works represent different persons, the
Riccardi head being probably copied from the statue of some ideal
hero. And the point to be especially illustrated is that in the
Discobolus we have not a realistic portrait, but a generalized
type. This is not the same as to say that the face bore no
recognizable resemblance to the young man whom the statue
commemorated. Portraiture admits of many degrees, from literal
fidelity to an idealization in which the identity of the subject
is all but lost. All that is meant is that the Discobolus belongs
somewhere near the latter end of the scale. In this absence of
individualization we have a trait, not of Myron alone, but of
Greek sculpture generally in its rise and in the earlier stages of
its perfection (cf. page 126).

Another work of Myron has been plausibly recognized in a statue of
a satyr in the Lateran Museum (Fig. 106). The evidence for this is
too complex to be stated here. If the identification is correct,
the Lateran statue is copied from the figure of Marsyas in a
bronze group of Athena and Marsyas which stood on the Athenian
Acropolis The goddess was represented s having just flung down in
disdain a pair of flutes; the satyr, advancing on tiptoe,
hesitates between cupidity and the fear of Athena's displeasure.
Marsyas has a lean and sinewy figure, coarse stiff hair and beard,
a wrinkled forehead, a broad flat nose which makes a marked angle
with the forehead, pointed ears (modern, but guaranteed by another
copy of the head), and a short tail sprouting from the small of
the back The arms, which were missing, have been incorrectly
restored with castanets. The right should be held up, the left
down, in a gesture of astonishment. In this work we see again
Myron's skill in suggesting movement. We get a lively impression
of an advance suddenly checked and changed to a recoil.

Thus far in this chapter we have been dealing with copies Our
stock of original works of this period, however, is not small; it
consists, as usual, largely of architectural sculpture. Fig. 107
shows four metopes from a temple at Selinus. They represent
(beginning at the left) Heracles in combat with an Amazon, Hera
unveiling herself before Zeus, Actaeon torn by his dogs in the
presence of Artemis, and Athena overcoming the giant Enceladus.
These reliefs would repay the most careful study, but the
sculptures of another temple have still stronger claims to

Olympia was one of the two most important religious centers of the
Greek world, the other being Delphi. Olympia was sacred to Zeus,
and the great Doric temple of Zeus was thus the chief among the
group of religious buildings there assembled. The erection of this
temple probably falls in the years just preceding and following
460 B.C. A slight exploration carried on by the French in 1829 and
the thorough excavation of the site by the Germans in 1875-81
brought to light extensive remains of its sculptured decoration.
This consisted of two pediment groups and twelve sculptured
metopes, besides the acroteria. In the eastern pediment the
subject is the preparation for the chariot-race of Pelops and
Oenomaus. The legend ran that Oenomaus, king of Pisa in Elis,
refused the hand of his daughter save to one who should beat him
in a chariot-race. Suitor after suitor tried and failed, till at
last Pelops, a young prince from over sea, succeeded In the
pediment group Zeus, as arbiter of the impending contest, occupies
the center. On one side of him stand Pelops and his destined
bride, on the other Oenomaus and his wife, Sterope (Fig. 108). The
chariots, with attendants and other more or less interested
persons follow (Fig. 109). The moment chosen by the sculptor is
one of expectancy rather than action, and the various figures are
in consequence simply juxtaposed, not interlocked. Far different
is the scene presented by the western pediment. The subject here
is the combat between Lapiths and Centaurs, one of the favorite
themes of Greek sculpture, as of Greek painting. The Centaurs,
brutal creatures, partly human, partly equine, were fabled to have
lived in Thessaly. There too was the home of the Lapiths, who were
Greeks. At the wedding of Pirithous, king of the Lapiths, the
Centaurs, who had been bidden as guests, became inflamed with wine
and began to lay hands on the women. Hence a general metee, in
which the Greeks were victorious. The sculptor has placed the god
Apollo in the center (Fig. 110), undisturbed amid the wild tumult;
his presence alone assures us what the issue is to he. The
struggling groups (Figs. 111, 112) extend nearly to the corners,
which are occupied each by two reclining female figures,
spectators of the scene. In each pediment the composition is
symmetrical, every figure having its corresponding figure on the
opposite side. Yet the law of symmetry is interpreted much more
freely than in the Aegina pediments of a generation earlier; the
corresponding figures often differ from one another a good deal in
attitude, and in one instance even in sex.

Our illustrations, which give a few representative specimens of
these sculptures, suggest some comments. To begin with, the
workmanship here displayed is rapid and far from faultless. Unlike
the Aeginetan pediment-figures and those of the Parthenon, these
figures are left rough at the back. Moreover, even in the visible
portions there are surprising evidences of carelessness, as in the
portentously long left thigh of the Lapith in Fig. 112. It is,
again, evidence of rapid, though not exactly of faulty, execution,
that the hair is in a good many cases only blocked out, the form
of the mass being given, but its texture not indicated (e.g., Fig.
111). In the pose of the standing figures (e.g., Fig. 108), with
the weight borne about equally by both legs, we see a modified
survival of the usual archaic attitude. A lingering archaism may
be seen in other features too; very plainly, for example, in the
arrangement of Apollo's hair (Fig 110). The garments represent a
thick woolen stuff, whose folds show very little pliancy. The
drapery of Sterope (Fig. 108) should be especially noted, as it is
a characteristic example for this period of a type which has a
long history She wears the Doric chiton, a sleeveless woolen
garment girded and pulled over the girdle and doubled over from
the top. The formal, starched-looking folds of the archaic period
have disappeared. The cloth lies pretty flat over the chest and
waist; there is a rather arbitrary little fold at the neck. Below
the girdle the drapery is divided vertically into two parts; on
the one side it falls in straight folds to the ankle, on the other
it is drawn smooth over the bent knee.

Another interesting fact about these sculptures is a certain
tendency toward realism. The figures and faces and attitudes of
the Greeks, not to speak of the Centaurs, are not all entirely
beautiful and noble. This is illustrated by Fig. 109, a bald-
headed man, rather fat. Here is realism of a very mild type, to be
sure, in comparison with what we are accustomed to nowadays; but
the old men of the Parthenon frieze bear no disfiguring marks of
age. Again, in the face of the young Lapith whose arm is being
bitten by a Centaur (Fig. 112), there is a marked attempt to
express physical pain; the features are more distorted than in any
other fifth century sculpture, except representations of Centaurs
or other inferior creatures. In the other heads of imperiled men
and women in this pediment, e.g., in that of the bride (Fig. 111),
the ideal calm of the features is overspread with only a faint
shadow of distress.

Lest what has been said should suggest that the sculptors of the
Olympia pediment-figures were indifferent to beauty, attention may
be drawn again to the superb head of the Lapith bride. Apollo, too
(Fig. 110), though not that radiant god whom a later age conceived
and bodied forth, has an austere beauty which only a dull eye can
fail to appreciate.

The twelve sculptured metopes of the temple do not belong to the
exterior frieze, whose metopes were plain, but to a second frieze,
placed above the columns and antae of pronaos and opisthodomos.
Their subjects  are the twelve labors of Heracles, beginning with
the slaying of the Nemean lion and ending with the cleansing of
the Augean stables. The one selected for illustration is one of
the two or three best preserved members of the series (Fig. 113).
Its subject is the winning of the golden apples which grew in the
garden of the Hesperides, near the spot where Atlas stood,
evermore supporting on his shoulders the weight of the heavens.
Heracles prevailed upon Atlas to go and fetch the coveted
treasure, himself meanwhile assuming the burden. The moment chosen
by the sculptor is that of the return of Atlas with the apples. In
the middle stands Heracles, with a cushion, folded double, upon
his shoulders, the sphere of the heavens being barely suggested at
the top of the relief. Behind him is his companion and
protectress, Athena, once recognizable by a lance in her right
hand. [Footnote: Such at least seems to be the view adopted in the
latest official publication on the subject "Olympia; Die Bildwerke
in Stein und Thon," Pl. LXV.] With her left hand she seeks to ease
a little the hero's heavy load. Before him stands Atlas, holding
out the apples in both hands. The main lines of the composition
are somewhat monotonous, but this is a consequence of the subject,
not of any incapacity of the artist, as the other metopes testify.
The figure of Athena should be compared with that of Sterope in
the eastern pediment. There is a substantial resemblance in the
drapery, even to the arbitrary little fold in the neck; but the
garment here is entirely open on the right side, after the fashion
followed by Spartan maidens, whereas there it is sewed together
from the waist down; there is here no girdle; and the broad, flat
expanse of cloth in front observable there is here narrowed by two
folds falling from the breasts.

Fig. 114 is added as a last example of the severe beauty to be
found in these sculptures. It will be observed  that the hair of
this head is not worked out in detail, except at the front. This
summary treatment of the hair is, in fact, more general in the
metopes than in the pediment-figures. The upper eyelid does not
yet overlap the under eyelid at the outer corner (cf. Fig. 110).

The two pediment-groups and the metopes of this temple show such
close resemblances of style among themselves that they must all be
regarded as products of a single school of sculpture, if not as
designed by a single man. Pausanias says nothing of the authorship
of the metopes; but he tells us that the sculptures of the eastern
pediment were the work of Paeonius of Mende, an indisputable
statue by whom is known (cf. page 213), and those of the western
by Alcamenes, who appears elsewhere in literary tradition as a
pupil of Phidias. On various grounds it seems almost certain that
Pausanias was misinformed on this point. Thus we are left without
trustworthy testimony as to the affiliations of the artist or
artists to whom the sculptured decoration of this temple was

The so-called Hestia (Vesta) which formerly belonged to the
Giustiniani family (Fig. 115), has of late years been inaccessible
even to professional students. It must be one of the very best
preserved of ancient statues in marble, as it is not reported to
have anything modern about it except the index finger of the left
hand. This hand originally held a scepter. The statue represents
some goddess, it is uncertain what one. In view of the likeness in
the drapery to some of the Olympia figures, no one can doubt that
this is a product of the same period.

In regard to the bronze statue shown in Fig. 116 there is more
room for doubt, but the weight of opinion is in favor of placing
it here. It is confidently claimed by a high authority that this
is an original Greek bronze. There exist also fragmentary copies
of the same in marble and free imitations in marble and in bronze.
The statue represents a boy of perhaps twelve, absorbed in pulling
a thorn from his foot. We do not know the original purpose of the
work; perhaps it commemorated a victory won in a foot-race of boys
The left leg of the figure is held in a position which gives a
somewhat ungraceful outline; Praxiteles would not have placed it
so. But how delightful is the picture of childish innocence and
self-forgetfulness! This statue might be regarded as an epitome of
the artistic spirit and capacity of the age--its simplicity and
purity and freshness of feeling, its not quite complete
emancipation from the formalism of an earlier day.



The Age of Pericles, which, if we reckon from the first entrance
of Pericles, into politics, extended from about 466 to 429, has
become proverbial as a period of extraordinary artistic and
literary splendor. The real ascendancy of Pericles began in 447,
and the achievements most properly associated with his name belong
to the succeeding fifteen years. Athens at this time possessed
ample material resources, derived in great measure from the
tribute of subject allies, and wealth was freely spent upon noble
monuments of art. The city was fled with artists of high and low
degree. Above them all in genius towered Phidias, and to him, if
we may believe the testimony of Plutarch, [Footnote: Life of
Pericles Section 13] a general superintendence of all the artistic
undertakings of the state was intrusted by Pericles.

Great as was the fame of Phidias in after ages, we are left in
almost complete ignorance as to the circumstances of his life. If
he was really the author of certain works ascribed to him, he must
have been born about 500 B.C. This would make him as old, perhaps,
as Myron. Another view would put his birth between 490 and 485,
still another, as late as 480. The one undisputed date in his life
is the year 438, when the gold and ivory statue of Athena in the
Parthenon was completed. Touching the time and circumstances of
his death we have two inconsistent traditions. According to the
one, he was brought to trial in Athens immediately after the
completion of the Athena on the charge of misappropriating some of
the ivory with which he had been intrusted but made his escape to
Elis, where, after executing the gold and ivory Zeus for the
temple of that god at Olympia he was put to death for some
unspecified reason by the Eleans in 432-1. According to the other
tradition he was accused in Athens, apparently not before 432, of
stealing some of the gold destined for the Athena and, when this
charge broke down, of having sacrilegiously introduced his own and
Pericles's portraits into the relief on Athena's shield, being
cast into prison he died there of disease, or, as some said, of

The most famous works of Phidias were the two chryselephantine
statues to which reference has just been made, and two or three
other statues of the same materials were ascribed to him. He
worked also in bronze and in marble. From a reference in
Aristotle's "Ethics" it might seem as if he were best known as a
sculptor in marble, but only three statues by him are expressly
recorded to have been of marble, against a larger number of bronze
His subjects were chiefly divinities, we hear of only one or two
figures of human beings from his hands.

Of the colossal Zeus at Olympia, the most august creation of Greek
artistic imagination, we can form only an indistinct idea. The god
was seated upon a throne, holding a figure of Victory upon one
hand and a scepter in the other. The figure is represented on
three Elean coins of the time of Hadrian (117-138 A.D.) but on too
small a scale to help us much. Another coin of the same period
gives a fine head of Zeus in profile (Fig. 117),[Footnote: A more
truthful representation of this coin may be found in Gardner's
"Types of Greek Coins," PI XV 19] which is plausibly supposed to
preserve some likeness to the head of Phidias's statue.

In regard to the Athena of the Parthenon we are considerably
better off, for we possess a number of marble statues which, with
the aid of Pausanias's description and by comparison with one
another, can be proved to be copies of that work. But a warning is
necessary here. The Athena, like the Zeus, was of colossal size.
Its height, with the pedestal, was about thirty-eight feet. Now it
is not likely that a really exact copy on a small scale could
possibly have been made from such a statue, nor, if one had been
made, would it have given the effect of the original. With this
warning laid well to heart the reader may venture to examine that
one among our copies which makes the greatest attempt at
exactitude (Fig. 118). It is a statuette, not quite 3 1/2 feet
high with the basis, found in Athens in 1880. The goddess stands
with her left leg bent a little and pushed to one side. She is
dressed in a heavy Doric chiton, open at the side. The girdle,
whose ends take the form of snakes' heads, is worn outside the
doubled-over portion of the garment. Above it the folds are
carefully adjusted, drawn in symmetrically from both sides toward
the middle; in the lower part of the figure there is the common
vertical division into two parts, owing to the bending of one leg.
Over the chiton is the aegis, much less long behind than in
earlier art (cf. Fig. 98), fringed with snakes' heads and having a
Gorgon's mask in front. The helmet is an elaborate affair with
three crests, the central one supported by a sphinx, the others by
winged horses; the hinged cheek-pieces are turned up. At the left
of the goddess is her shield, within which coils a serpent. On her
extended right hand stands a Victory. The face of Athena is the
most disappointing part of it all, but it is just there that the
copyist must have failed most completely. Only the eye of faith,
or better, the eye trained by much study of allied works, can
divine in this poor little figure the majesty which awed the
beholder of Phidias's work.

Speculation has been busy in attempting to connect other statues
that have been preserved to us with the name of Phidias. The most
probable case that has yet been made out concerns two closely
similar marble figures in Dresden, one of which is shown in Fig.
119. The head of this statue is missing, but its place has been
supplied by a cast of a head in Bologna (Fig. 120), which has been
proved to be another copy from the same original. This proof,
about which there seems to be no room for question, is due to
Professor Furtwangler, [Footnote: "Masterpieces of  Greek
Sculpture" pages 4 ff.] who argues further that the statue as thus
restored is a faithful copy of the Lemnian Athena of Phidias, a
bronze work which stood on the Athenian Acropolis. The proof of
this depends upon (1) the resemblance in the standing position and
in the drapery of this figure to the Athena of the Parthenon, and
(2) the fact that Phidias is known to have made a statue of Athena
(thought to be the Lemnian Athena) without a helmet on the head--
an exceptional, though not wholly unique, representation in
sculpture in the round.

If this demonstration be thought insufficient, there cannot, at
all events, be much doubt that we have here the copy of an
original of about the middle of the fifth century. The style is
severely simple, as we ought to expect of a religious work of that
period. The virginal face, conceived and wrought with ineffable
refinement, is as far removed from sensual charm as from the
ecstasy of a Madonna. The goddess does not reveal herself as one
who can be "touched with a feeling of our infirmities"; but by the
power of her pure, passionless beauty she sways our minds and

The supreme architectural achievement of the Periclean age was the
Parthenon, which crowned the Athenian Acropolis. It appears to
have been begun in 447, and was roofed over and perhaps
substantially finished by 438. Its sculptures were more extensive
than those of any other Greek temple, comprising two pediment-
groups, the whole set of metopes of the exterior frieze, ninety-
two in number, and a continuous frieze of bas-relief, 522 feet 10
inches in total length, surrounding the cella and its vestibules
(cf. Fig. 56). After serving its original purpose for nearly a
thousand years, the building was converted into a Christian church
and then, in the fifteenth century, into a Mohammedan mosque. In
1687 Athens was besieged by the forces of Venice. The Parthenon
was used by the Turks as a powder-magazine, and was consequently
made the target for the enemy's shells. The result was an
explosion, which converted the building into a ruin. Of the
sculptures which escaped from this catastrophe, many small pieces
were carried off at the time or subsequently, while other pieces
were used as building stone or thrown into the lime-kiln. Most of
those which remained down to the beginning of this century were
acquired by Lord Elgin, acting under a permission from the Turkish
government (1801-3), and in 1816 were bought for the British
Museum. The rest are in Athens, either in their original positions
on the building, or in the Acropolis Museum.

The best preserved metopes of the Parthenon belong to the south
side and represent scenes from the contest between Lapiths and
Centaurs (cf. page 174). These metopes differ markedly in style
from one another, and must have been not only executed, but
designed, by different hands. One or two of them are spiritless
and uninteresting. Others, while fine in their way, show little
vehemence of action. Fig. 121 gives one of this class. Fig. 122 is
very different. In this "the Lapith presses forward, advancing his
left hand to seize the rearing Centaur by the throat, and forcing
him on his haunches; the right arm of the Lapith is drawn back, as
if to strike; his right hand, now wanting, probably held a sword.
.... The Centaur, rearing up, against his antagonist, tries in
vain to pull away the left hand of the Lapith, which, in Carrey's
drawing [made in 1674] he grasps." [Footnote: A. H. Smith,
"Catalogue of Sculpture in the British Museum," page 136.] Observe
how skilfully the design is adapted to the square field, so as to
leave no unpleasant blank spaces, how flowing and free from
monotony are the lines of the composition, how effective (in
contrast with Fig. 121) is the management of the drapery, and,
above all, what vigor is displayed in the attitudes. Fig. 123 is
of kindred character. These two metopes and two others, one
representing a victorious Centaur prancing in savage glee over the
body of his prostrate foe, the other showing a Lapith about to
strike a Centaur already wounded in the back, are among the very
best works of Greek sculpture preserved to us.

The Parthenon frieze presents an idealized picture of the
procession which wound its way upward from the market-place to the
Acropolis on the occasion of Athena's chief festival. Fully to
illustrate this extensive and varied composition is out of the
question here. All that is possible is to give three or four
representative pieces and a few comments. Fig. 124 shows the best
preserved piece of the entire frieze. It belongs to a company of
divinities, seated to right and left of the central group of the
east front, and conceived as spectators of the scene. The figure
at the left of the illustration is almost certainly Posidon, and
the others are perhaps Apollo and Artemis. In Fig. 125 three
youths advance with measured step, carrying jars filled with wine,
while a fourth youth stoops to lift his jar; at the extreme right
may be seen part of a flute-player, whose figure was completed on
the next slab. The attitudes and draperies of the three advancing
youths, though similar, are subtly varied. So everywhere monotony
is absent from the frieze. Fig. 126 is taken from the most
animated and crowded part of the design. Here Athenian youths, in
a great variety of dress and undress, dash forward on small,
mettlesome horses. Owing to the principle of isocephaly (cf. page
145), the mounted men are of smaller dimensions than those on
foot, but the difference does not offend the eye. In Fig. 127 we
have, on a somewhat larger scale, the heads of four chariot-horses
instinct with fiery life. Fig. 132 may also be consulted. An
endless variety in attitude and spirit, from the calm of the ever-
blessed gods to the most impetuous movement; grace and harmony of
line; an almost faultless execution--such are some of the
qualities which make the Parthenon frieze the source of
inexhaustible delight.

The composition of the group in the western pediment is fairly
well known, thanks to a French artist, Jacques Carrey, who made a
drawing of it in 1674, when it was still in tolerable
preservation. The subject was, in the words of Pausanias, "the
strife of Posidon with Athena for the land" of Attica. In the
eastern pediment the subject was the birth of Athena. The central
figures, eleven in number, had disappeared long before Carrey's
time, having probably been removed when the temple was converted
into a church. On the other hand, the figures near the angles have
been better preserved than any of those from the western pediment,
with one exception. The names of these eastern figures have been
the subject of endless guess-work. All that is really certain is
that at the southern corner Helios (the Sun-god) was emerging from
the sea in a chariot drawn by four horses, and at the northern
corner Selene (the Moon-goddess) or perhaps Nyx (Night) was
descending in a similar chariot. Fig. 128 is the figure that was
placed next to the horses of Helios. The young god or hero
reclines in an easy attitude on a rock; under him are spread his
mantle and the skin of a panther or some such animal. In Fig. 129
we have, beginning on the right, the head of one of Selene's
horses and the torso of the goddess herself, then a group of three
closely connected female figures, known as the "Three Fates,"
seated or reclining on uneven, rocky ground, and last the body and
thighs of a winged goddess,  Victory or Iris, perhaps belonging in
the western pediment. Fig. 130, from the northern corner of the
western pediment, is commonly taken for a river-god.

We possess but the broken remnants of these two pediment-groups,
and the key to the interpretation of much that we do possess is
lost. We cannot then fully appreciate the intention of the great
artist who conceived these works. Yet even in their ruin and their
isolation the pediment-figures of the Parthenon are the sublimest
creations of Greek art that have escaped annihilation.

We have no ancient testimony as to the authorship of the Parthenon
sculptures, beyond the statement of Plutarch, quoted above, that
Phidias was the general superintendent of all artistic works
undertaken during Pericles's administration. If this statement be
true, it still leaves open a wide range of conjecture as to the
nature and extent of his responsibility in this particular case.
Appealing to the sculptures themselves for information, we find
among the metopes such differences of style as exclude the notion
of single authorship. With the frieze and the pediment-groups,
however, the case is different. Each of these three compositions
must, of course, have been designed by one master-artist and
executed by or with the help of subordinate artists or workmen.
Now the pediment-groups, so far as preserved, strongly suggest a
single presiding genius for both, and there is no difficulty in
ascribing the design of the frieze to the same artist. Was it
Phidias? The question has been much agitated of late years, but
the evidence at our disposal  does not admit of a decisive answer.
The great argument for Phidias lies in the incomparable merit of
these works; and with the probability that his genius is here in
some degree revealed to us we must needs be content. After all, it
is of much less consequence to be assured of the master's name
than to know and enjoy the masterpieces themselves.

The great statesman under whose administration these immortal
sculptures were produced was commemorated by a portrait statue or
head, set up during his lifetime on the Athenian Acropolis; it was
from the hand of Cresilas, of Cydonia in Crete. It is perhaps this
portrait of which copies have come down to us. The best of these
is given in Fig 131. The features are, we may believe, the
authentic features of Pericles, somewhat idealized, according to
the custom of portraiture in this age. The helmet characterizes
the wearer as general.

The artistic activity in Athens did not cease with the outbreak of
the Peloponnesian War in 431. The city was full of sculptors, many
of whom had come directly under the influence of Phidias, and they
were not left idle. The demand from private individuals for votive
sculptures and funeral reliefs must indeed have been abated, but
was not extinguished; and in the intervals of the protracted war
the state undertook important enterprises with an undaunted
spirit. It is to this period that the Erechtheum probably belongs
(420?-408), though all that we certainly know is that the building
was nearly finished some time before 409 and that the work was
resumed in that year. The temple had a sculptured frieze of which
fragments are extant, but these are far surpassed in interest by
the Caryatides of the southern porch (Fig. 67). The name
Caryatides, by the way, meets us first in the pages of Vitruvius,
a Roman architect of the time of Augustus; a contemporary Athenian
inscription, to which we are indebted for many details concerning
the building, calls them simply "maidens." As you face the front
of the porch, the three maidens on your right support themselves
chiefly on the left leg, the three on your left on the right leg
(Fig. 132), so that the leg in action is the one nearer to the end
of the porch. The arms hung straight at the sides, one of them
grasping a corner of the small mantle. The pose and drapery show
what Attic sculpture had made of the old Peloponnesian type of
standing female figure in the Doric chiton (cf. page 177). The
fall of the garment preserves the same general features, but the
stuff has become much more pliable. It is interesting to note
that, in spite of a close general similarity, no two maidens are
exactly alike, as they would have been if they had been reproduced
mechanically from a finished model. These subtle variations are
among the secrets of the beauty of this porch, as they are of the
Parthenon frieze. One may be permitted to object altogether to the
use of human figures as architectural supports, but if the thing
was to be done at all, it could not have been better done. The
weight that the maidens bear is comparatively small, and their
figures are as strong as they are graceful.

To the period of the Peloponnesian War may also be assigned a
sculptured balustrade which inclosed and protected the precinct of
the little Temple of Wingless Victory on the Acropolis (Fig. 70).
One slab of this balustrade is shown in Fig. 133. It represents a
winged Victory stooping to tie (or, as some will have it, to
untie) her sandal. The soft Ionic chiton, clinging to the form,
reminds one of the drapery of the reclining goddess from the
eastern pediment of the Parthenon (Fig. 129), but it finds its
closest analogy, among datable sculptures, in a fragment of relief
recently found at Rhamnus in Attica. This belonged to the pedestal
of a statue by Agoracritus, one of the most famous pupils of

The Attic grave-relief given in Fig. 134 seems to belong
somewhere near the end of the fifth century. The subject is a
common one on this class of monuments, but is nowhere else so
exquisitely treated. There is no allusion to the fact of death.
Hegeso, the deceased lady, is seated and is holding up a necklace
or some such object (originally, it may be supposed, indicated by
color), which she has just taken from the jewel-box held out by
the standing slave-woman. Another fine grave-relief (Fig. 135) may
be introduced here, though it perhaps belongs to the beginning of
the fourth century rather than to the end of the fifth. It must
commemorate some young Athenian cavalryman. It is characteristic
that the relief ignores his death and represents him in a moment
of victory. Observe that on both these monuments there is no
attempt at realistic portraiture and that on both we may trace the
influence of the style of the Parthenon frieze.

Among the other bas-reliefs which show that influence there is no
difficulty in choosing one of exceptional beauty, the so-called
Orpheus relief (Fig. 136). This is known to us in three copies,
unless indeed the Naples example be the original. The story here
set forth is one of the most touching in Greek mythology. Orpheus,
the Thracian singer, has descended into Hades in quest of his dead
wife, Eurydice, and has so charmed by his music the stern
Persephone that she has suffered him to lead back his wife to the
upper air, provided only he will not look upon her on the way. But
love has overcome  him. He has turned and looked, and the doom of
an irrevocable parting is sealed. In no unseemly paroxysm of
grief, but tenderly, sadly, they look their last at one another,
while Hermes, guide of departed spirits, makes gentle signal for
the wife's return. In the chastened pathos of this scene we have
the quintessence of the temper of Greek art in dealing with the
fact of death.

Turning now from Athens to Argos, which, though politically weak,
was artistically the rival of Athens in importance, we find
Polyclitus the dominant master there, as Phidias was in the other
city. Polyclitus survived Phidias and may have been the younger of
the two. The only certain thing is that he was in the plenitude of
his powers as late as 420, for his gold and ivory statue of Hera
was made for a temple built to replace an earlier temple destroyed
by fire in 423. His principal material was bronze. As regards
subjects, his great specialty was the representation of youthful
athletes. His reputation in his own day and afterwards was of the
highest; there were those who ranked him above Phidias. Thus
Xenophon represents [Footnote: Memorabilia I., 4, 3 (written about
390 B. C).] an Athenian as assigning to Polyclitus a preeminence
in sculpture like that of Homer in epic poetry and that of
Sophocles in tragedy; and Strabo[Footnote: VIII., page 372
(written about 18 A. D.).] pronounced his gold and ivory statues
in the Temple of Hera near Argos the finest in artistic merit
among all such works, though inferior to those of Phidias in size
and costliness. But probably the more usual verdict was that
reported by Quintilian, [Footnote: De Institutione Oratoria XII,
10, 7 (written about 90 A. D.).] which, applauding as unrivaled
his rendering of the human form, found his divinities lacking in

In view of the exalted rank assigned to Polyclitus by Greek and
Roman judgment, his identifiable works are a little disappointing.
His Doryphorus, a bronze figure of a young athlete holding a spear
such as was used in the pentathlon (cf. page 168), exists in
numerous copies. The Naples copy (Fig. 137), found in Pompeii in
1797, is the best preserved, being substantially antique
throughout, but is of indifferent workmanship. The young man, of
massive build, stands supporting his weight on the right leg; the
left is bent backward from the knee, the foot touching the ground
only in front. Thus the body is a good deal curved. This attitude
is an advance upon any standing motive attained in the
"Transitional period" (cf. page 165). It was much used by
Polyclitus, and is one of the marks by which statues of his may be
recognized. The head of the Doryphorus, as seen from the side, is
more nearly rectangular than the usual Attic heads of the period,
e.g., in the Parthenon frieze. For the characteristic face our
best guide is a bronze copy of the head from Herculaneum (Fig.
138), to which our illustration does less than justice.

A strong likeness to the Doryphorus exists in a whole series of
youthful athletes, which are therefore with probability traced to
Polyclitus as their author or inspirer. Such is a statue of a boy
in Dresden, of which the head is shown in Fig. 139. One of these
obviously allied works can be identified with a statue by
Polyclitus known to us from our literary sources. It is the so-
called Diadumenos, a youth binding the fillet of victory about his
head. This exists in several copies, the best of which has been
recently found on the island of Delos and is not yet published.

An interesting statue of a different order, very often attributed
to Polyclitus, may with less of confidence be accepted as his. Our
illustration (Fig. 140) is taken from the Berlin copy of this
statue, in which the arms, pillar, nose, and feet are modern, but
are guaranteed by other existing copies. It is the figure of an
Amazon, who has been wounded in the right breast. She leans upon a
support at her left side and raises her right hand to her head in
an attitude perhaps intended to suggest exhaustion, yet hardly
suitable to the position of the wound. The attitude of the figure,
especially the legs, is very like that of the Doryphorus, and the
face is thought by many to show a family likeness to his. There
are three other types of Amazon which seem to be connected with
this one, but the mutual relations of the four types are too
perplexing to be here discussed.

It is a welcome change to turn from copies to originals. The
American School of Classical Studies at Athens has carried on
excavations (1890-95) on the site of the famous sanctuary of Hera
near Argos, and has uncovered the foundations both of the earlier
temple, burned in 423, and of the later temple, in which stood the
gold and ivory image by Polyclitus, as well as of adjacent
buildings. Besides many other objects of interest, there have been
brought to light several fragments of the metopes of the second
temple, which, together with a few fragments from the same source
found earlier, form a precious collection of materials for the
study of the Argive school of sculpture of about 420. Still more
interesting, at least to such as are not specialists, is a head
which was found on the same site (Fig. 141), and which, to judge
by its style, must date from the same period. It is a good
illustration of the uncertainty which besets the attempt to
classify extant Greek sculptures into local schools that this head
has been claimed with equal confidence as Argive [Footnote: So by
Professor Charles Waldstein, who directed the excavations.] and as
Attic in style. In truth, Argive and Attic art had so acted and
reacted upon one another that it is small wonder if their
productions are in some cases indistinguishable by us.

The last remark applies also to the bronze statue shown in Fig.
142, which is believed by high authorities to be an original Greek
work and which has been claimed both for Athens and for Argos. The
standing position, while not identical with that of the
Doryphorus, the Diadumenos, and the wounded Amazon, is strikingly
similar, as is also the form of the head. At all events, the
statue is a fine example of apparently unstudied ease, of that
consummate art which conceals itself.

The only sculptor of the fifth century who is at once known to us
from literary tradition and represented by an authenticated and
original work is Paeonius of Mende in Thrace. He was an artist of
secondary rank, if we may judge from the fact that his name occurs
only in Pausanias; but in the brilliant period of Greek history
even secondary artists were capable of work which less fortunate
ages could not rival. Pausanias mentions a Victory by Paeonius at
Olympia, a votive offering of the Messenians for successes gained
in war. Portions of the pedestal of this statue with the
dedicatory inscription and the artist's signature were found on
December 20, 1875, at the beginning of the German excavations, and
the mutilated statue itself on the following day (Fig. 143). A
restoration of the figure by a German sculptor (Fig. 144) may be
trusted for nearly everything but the face. The goddess is
represented in descending flight. Poised upon a triangular
pedestal about thirty feet high, she seems all but independent of
support. Her draperies, blown by the wind, form a background for
her figure. An eagle at her feet suggests the element through
which she moves. Never was a more audacious design executed in
marble. Yet it does not impress us chiefly as a tour de force. The
beholder forgets the triumph over material difficulties in the
sense of buoyancy, speed, and grace which the figure inspires.
Pausanias records that the Messenians of his day believed the
statue to commemorate an event which happened in 425, while he
himself preferred to connect it with an event of 453. The
inscription on the pedestal is indecisive on this point. It runs
in these terms: "The Messenians and Naupactians dedicated [this
statue] to the Olympian Zeus, as a tithe [of the spoils] from
their enemies. Paeonius of Mende made it; and he was victorious
[over his competitors] in making the acroteria for the temple."
The later of the two dates mentioned by Pausanias has been
generally accepted, though not without recent protest. This would
give about the year 423 for the completion and erection of this



In the fourth century art became even more cosmopolitan than
before. The distinctions between local schools were nearly effaced
and the question of an artist's birthplace or residence ceases to
have much importance Athens, however, maintained her artistic
preeminence through the first half or more of the century. Several
of the most eminent sculptors of the period were certainly or
probably Athenians, and others appear to have made Athens their
home for a longer or shorter time. It is therefore common to speak
of a "younger Attic school," whose members would include most of
the notable sculptors of this period. What the tendencies of the
times were will best be seen by studying the most eminent
representatives of this group or school.

The first great name to meet us is that of Scopas of Paros. His
artistic career seems to have begun early in the fourth century,
for he was the architect of a temple of Athena at Tegea in Arcadia
which was built to replace one destroyed by fire in 395-4. He  as
active as late as the middle of the century, being one of four
sculptors engaged on the reliefs of the Mausoleum or funeral
monument of Maussollus, satrap of Caria, who died in 351-0, or
perhaps two years earlier. That is about all we know of his life,
for it is hardly more than a conjecture that he took up his abode
in Athens for a term of years. The works of his hands were widely
distributed in Greece proper and on the coast of Asia Minor.

Until lately nothing very definite was known of the style of
Scopas. While numerous statues by him, all representing divinities
or other imaginary beings, are mentioned in our literary sources,
only one of these is described in such a way as to give any notion
of its artistic character. This was a Maenad, or female attendant
of the god Bacchus, who was represented in a frenzy of religious
excitement. The theme suggests a strong tendency on the part of
Scopas toward emotional expression, but this inference does not
carry us very far. The study of Scopas has entered upon a new
stage since some fragments of sculpture belonging to the Temple of
Athena at Tegea have become known. The presumption is that, as
Scopas was the architect of the building, he also designed, if he
did not execute, the pediment-sculptures. If this be true, then
we have at last authentic, though scanty, evidence of his style.
The fragments thus far discovered consist of little more than two
human heads and a boar's head. One of the human heads is here
reproduced (Fig. 145). Sadly mutilated as it is, is has become
possible by its help and that of its fellow to recognize with
great probability the authorship of Scopas in a whole group of
allied works. Not to dwell on anatomical details, which need casts
for their proper illustration, the obvious characteristic mark of
Scopadean heads is a tragic intensity of expression unknown to
earlier Greek art. It is this which makes the Tegea heads so
impressive in spite of the "rude wasting of old Time."

The magnificent head of Meleager in the garden of the Villa Medici
in Rome (Fig. 146) shows this same quality. A fiery eagerness of
temper animates the marble, and a certain pathos, as if born of a
consciousness of approaching doom. So masterly is the workmanship
here, so utterly removed from the mechanical, uninspired manner of
Roman copyists, that this head has been claimed as an original
from the hand of Scopas, and so it may well be. Something of the
same character belongs to a head of a goddess in Athens, shown in
Fig. 147.

Fig. 148 introduces us to another tendency of fourth century art.
The group represents Eirene and Plutus (Peace and Plenty). It is
in all probability a copy of a bronze work by Cephisodotus, which
stood in Athens and was set up, it is conjectured, soon after 375,
the year in which the worship of Eirene was officially established
in Athens. The head of the child is antique, but does not belong
to the figure; copies of the child with the true head exist in
Athens and Dresden. The principal modern parts are: the right arm
of the goddess (which should hold a scepter), her left hand with
the vase, and both arms of the child; in place of the vase there
should be a small horn of plenty, resting on the child's left arm.
The sentiment of this group is such as we have not met before. The
tenderness expressed by Eirene's posture is as characteristic of
the new era as the intensity of look in the head from Tegea.

Cephisodotus was probably a near relative of a much greater
sculptor, Praxiteles, perhaps his father. Praxiteles is better
known to us than any other Greek artist. For we have, to begin
with, one authenticated original statue from his hand, besides
three fourths of a bas-relief probably executed under his
direction. In the second place, we can gather from our literary
sources a catalogue of toward fifty of his works, a larger list
than can be made out for any other sculptor. Moreover, of several
pieces we get really enlightening descriptions, and there are in
addition one or two valuable general comments on his style.
Finally two of his statues that are mentioned in literature can be
identified with sufficient certainty in copies. The basis of
judgment is thus wide enough to warrant us in bringing numerous
other works into relation with him.

About his life, however, we know, as in other cases, next to
nothing. He was an Athenian and must have been somewhere near the
age of Scopas, though seemingly rather younger. Pliny gives the
hundred and fourth Olympiad (370-66) as the date at which he
flourished, but this was probably about the beginning of his
artistic career. Only one anecdote is told of him which is worth
repeating here. When asked what ones among his marble statues he
rated highest he answered that those which Nicias had tinted were
the best. Nicias was an eminent painter of the period (see page
282, foot note).

The place of honor in any treatment of Praxiteles must be given to
the Hermes with the infant Dionysus on his arm (Figs. 149, 150).
This statue was found on May 8, 1877, in the Temple of Hera at
Olympia, lying in front of its pedestal. Here it had stood when
Pausanias  saw it and recorded that it was the work of Praxiteles.
The legs of Hermes below the knees have been restored in plaster
(only the right foot being antique), and so have the arms of
Dionysus. Except for the loss of the right arm and the lower legs,
the figure of Hermes is in admirable preservation, the surface
being uninjured. Some notion of the luminosity of the Parian
marble may be gained from Fig. 150.

Hermes is taking the new-born Dionysus to the Nymphs to be reared
by them. Pausing on his way, he has thrown his mantle over a
convenient tree-trunk and leans upon it with the arm that holds
the child. In his closed left hand he doubtless carried his
herald's wand; the lost right hand must have held up some object--
bunch of grapes or what-not--for the entertainment of the little
god. The latter is not truthfully proportioned; in common with
almost all sculptors before the time of Alexander, Praxiteles
seems to have paid very little attention to the characteristic
forms of infancy. But the Hermes is of unapproachable perfection.
His symmetrical figure, which looks slender in comparison with the
Doryphorus of Polyclitus, is athletic without exaggeration, and is
modeled with faultless skill. The attitude, with the weight
supported chiefly by the right leg and left arm, gives to the body
a graceful curve which Praxiteles loved. It is the last stage in
the long development of an easy standing pose. The head is of the
round Attic form, contrasting with the squarer Peloponnesian type;
the face a fine oval. The lower part of the forehead between the
temples is prominent; the nose not quite straight, but slightly
arched at the middle. The whole expression is one of indescribable
refinement and radiance. The hair, short and curly, illustrates
the possibilities of marble in the treatment of that feature; in
place of the wiry appearance of hair in bronze we find here a
slight roughness of surface, suggestive of the soft texture of
actual hair (cf. Fig. 146 and contrast Fig. 138). The drapery that
falls over the tree-trunk is treated with a degree of elaboration
and richness which does not occur in fifth century work; but
beautiful as it is, it is kept subordinate and does not unduly
attract our attention.

For us the Hermes stands alone and without a rival. The statue,
however, did not in antiquity enjoy any extraordinary celebrity,
and is in fact not even mentioned in extant literature except by
Pausanias. The most famous work of Praxiteles was the Aphrodite of
Cnidus in southwestern Asia Minor. This was a temple-statue; yet
the sculptor, departing from the practice of earlier times, did
not scruple to represent the goddess as nude. With the help of
certain imperial coins of Cnidus this Aphrodite has been
identified in a great number of copies. She is in the act of
dropping her garment from her left hand in preparation for a bath;
she supports herself chiefly by the right leg, and the body has a
curve approaching that of the Hermes, though here no part of the
weight is thrown upon the arm. The subject is treated with
consummate delicacy, far removed from the sensuality too usual in
a later age; and yet, when this embodiment of Aphrodite is
compared with fifth century ideals, it must be recognized as
illustrating a growing fondness on the part of sculptor and public
for the representation of physical charm. Not being able to offer
a satisfactory illustration of the whole statue, I have chosen for
reproduction a copy of the head alone (Fig. 151). It will help the
reader to divine the simple loveliness of the original.

Pliny mentions among the works in bronze by Praxiteies  a youthful
Apollo, called "Sauroctonos" (Lizard-slayer). Fig. 152 is a
marble copy of this, considerably restored. The god, conceived in
the likeness of a beautiful boy, leans against a tree, preparing
to stab a lizard with an arrow, which should be in the right hand.
The graceful, leaning pose and the soft beauty of the youthful
face and flesh are characteristically Praxitelean.

Two or three satyrs by Praxiteles are mentioned by Greek and Roman
writers, and an anecdote is told by Pausanias which implies that
one of them enjoyed an exceptional fame. Unfortunately they are
not described; but among the many satyrs to be found in museums of
ancient sculpture there are two types in which the style of
Praxiteles, as we have now learned to know it, is so strongly
marked that we can hardly go wrong in ascribing them both to him.
Both exist in numerous copies. Our illustration of the first (Fig.
153) is taken from the copy of which Hawthorne wrote so subtle a
description in "The Marble Faun." The statue is somewhat restored,
but the restoration is not open to doubt, except as regards the
single pipe held in the right hand. No animal characteristic is to
be found here save the pointed ears; the face, however, retains a
suggestion of the traditional satyr-type. "The whole statue,
unlike anything else that ever was wrought in that severe material
of marble, conveys the idea of an amiable and sensual creature--
easy, mirthful, apt for jollity, yet not incapable of being
touched by pathos." [Footnote: Hawthorne, "The Marble Faun," Vol
I, Chapter I.]

In the Palermo copy of the other Praxitelean satyr (Fig. 154) the
right arm is modern, but the restoration is substantially correct.
The face of this statue has purely Greek features, and only the
pointed ears remain to betray the mixture of animal nature with
the human form. The original was probably of bronze.

With Fig. 155 we revert from copies to an original work. This is
one of three slabs which probably decorated the pedestal of a
group by Praxiteles representing Apollo, Leto, and Artemis; a
fourth slab, needed to complete the series, has not been found The
presumption is strong that these reliefs were executed under the
direction of Praxiteles, perhaps from his design. The subject of
one slab is the musical contest between Apollo and Marsyas, while
the other two bear figures of Muses. The latter are posed and
draped with that delightful grace of which Praxiteles was master,
and with which he seems to have inspired his pupils The execution,
however, is not quite faultless, as witness the distortion in the
right lower leg of the seated Muse in Fig. l55--otherwise an
exquisite figure.

Among the many other works that have been claimed for Praxiteles
on grounds of style, I venture to single out one (Fig. 156). The
illustration is taken from one of several copies of a lost
original, which, if it was not by Praxiteles himself, was by some
one who had marvelously caught his spirit. That it represents the
goddess Artemis we may probably infer from the short chiton, an
appropriate garment often worn by the divine huntress, but not by
human maidens. Otherwise the goddess has no conventional attribute
to mark her divinity. She is just a beautiful girl, engaged in
fastening her mantle together with a brooch. In this way of
conceiving a goddess, we see the same spirit that created the
Apollo Sauroctonos.

The genius of Praxiteles, as thus far revealed to us, was
preeminently sunny, drawn toward what is fair and graceful and
untroubled, and ignoring what is tragic in human existence. This
view of him is confirmed by what is known from literature of his
subjects. The list includes five figures of Aphrodite, three or
four of Eros, two of Apollo, two of Artemis, two of Dionysus, two
or three of satyrs, two of the courtesan Phryne, and one of a
beautiful human youth binding a fillet about his hair, but no work
whose theme is suffering or death is definitely ascribed to him.
It is strange therefore to find Pliny saying that it was a matter
of doubt in his time whether a group of the dying children of
Niobe which stood in a temple of Apollo in Rome was by Scopas or
Praxiteles. It is commonly supposed, though without decisive
proof, that certain statues of Niobe and her children which exist
in Florence and elsewhere are copied from the group of which Pliny
speaks. The story was that Niobe vaunted herself before Leto
because she had seven sons and seven daughters, while Leto had
borne only Apollo and Artemis. For her presumption all her
children were stricken down by the arrows of Apollo and Artemis.
This punishment is the subject of the group. Fig. 157 gives the
central figures; they are Niobe herself and her youngest daughter,
who has fled to her for protection. The Niobe has long been famous
as an embodiment of haughtiness, maternal love, and sharp
distress. But much finer in composition, to my thinking, is Fig.
158. In this son of Niobe the end of the right arm and the entire
left arm are modern. Originally this youth was grouped with a
sister who has been wounded unto death. She has sunk upon the
ground and her right arm hangs limply over his left knee, thus
preventing his garment from falling. His left arm clasps her and
he seeks ineffectually to protect her. That this is the true
restoration is known from a copy in the Vatican of the wounded
girl with a part of the brother. Except for this son of Niobe the
Florentine figures are not worthy of their old-time reputation. As
for their authorship, Praxiteles seems out of the question. The
subject is in keeping--with the genius of Scopas, but it is safer
not to associate the group with any individual name.

This reserve is the more advisable because Scopas and Praxiteles
are but two stars, by far the brightest, to be sure, in a
brilliant constellation of contemporary artists. For the others it
is impossible to do much more here than to mention the most
important names: Leochares and Timotheus, whose civic ties are
unknown, Bryaxis and Silanion of Athens, and Euphranor of Corinth,
the last equally famous as painter and sculptor. These artists
seem to be emerging a little from the darkness that has enveloped
them, and it may be hoped that discoveries of new material and
further study of already existing material will reveal them to us
with some degree of clearness and certainty. A good illustration
of how new acquisitions may help us is afforded by a group of
fragmentary sculptures found in the sanctuary of Asclepius near
Epidauros in the years 1882-84 and belonging to the pediments of
the principal temple. An inscription was found on the same site
which records the expenses incurred in building this temple, and
one item in it makes it probable that Timotheus, the sculptor
above mentioned, furnished the models after which the pediment-
sculptures were executed. The largest and finest fragment of these
sculptures that has been found is given in Fig. 159. It belongs to
the western pediment, which seems to have contained a battle of
Greeks and Amazons. The Amazon of our illustration, mounted upon a
rearing horse, is about to bring down her lance upon a fallen foe.
The action is rendered with splendid vigor. The date of this
temple and its sculptures may be put somewhere about 375.

Reference was made above (page 215) to the Mausoleum. The artists
engaged on the sculptures which adorned that magnificent monument
were, according to Pliny, Scopas, Leochares, Bryaxis, and
Timotheus. [Footnote:  The tradition on this point was not quite
uniform Vitruvius names Praxiteles as the fourth artist, but adds
that some believed that Timotheus also was engaged] There seem to
have been at least three sculptured friezes, but of only one have
considerable remains been preserved (cf. Fig. 65). This has for
its subject a battle of Greeks and Amazons, a theme which Greek
sculptors and painters never wearied of reproducing. The preserved
portions of this frieze amount in all to about eighty feet, but
the slabs are not consecutive. Figs. 160 and 161 give two of the
best pieces. The design falls into groups of two or three
combatants, and these groups are varied with inexhaustible
fertility and liveliness of imagination. Among the points which
distinguish this from a work of the fifth century may be noted the
slenderer forms of men and women and the more expressive faces.
The existing slabs, moreover, differ among themselves in style and
merit, and an earnest attempt has been made to distribute them
among the four artists named by Pliny, but without conclusive

Since the Hermes of Praxiteles was brought to light at Olympia
there has been no discovery of Greek sculpture so dazzling in its
splendor as that made in 1887 on the site of the necropolis of
Sidon in Phenicia. There, in a group of communicating subterranean
chambers, were found, along with an Egyptian sarcophagus, sixteen
others of Greek workmanship, four of them adorned with reliefs of
extraordinary beauty. They are all now in the recently created
Museum of Constantinople, which has thus become one of the places
of foremost consequence to every student and lover of Greek art.
The sixteen sarcophagi are of various dates, from early in the
fifth to late in the fourth century. The one shown in Fig. 162 may
be assigned to about the middle of the fourth century. Its form is
adapted from that of an Ionic temple. Between the columns are
standing or seated women, their faces and attitudes expressing
varying degrees of grief. Our illustration is on too small a scale
to convey any but the dimmest impression of the dignity and beauty
of this company of mourners. Above, on a sort of balustrade, may
be been a funeral procession.

The old Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (cf page 140) was set on fire
and reduced to ruins by an incendiary in 356 B.C., on the very
night, it is said, in which Alexander the Great was born. The
Ephesians rebuilt the temple on a much more magnificent scale,
making of it the most extensive and sumptuous columnar edifice
ever erected by a Greek architect. How promptly the work was begun
we do not know, but it lasted into the reign of Alexander, so that
its date may be given approximately as 350-30. Through the
indefatigable perseverance of Mr J. T. Wood, who conducted
excavations at Ephesus for the British Museum in 1863-74, the site
of this temple, long unknown, was at last discovered and its
remains unearthed. Following the example of the sixth century
temple, it had the lowest drums of a number of its columns covered
with relief sculpture. Of the half dozen recovered specimens Fig.
163 shows the finest. The subject is an unsolved riddle. The most
prominent figure in the illustration is the god Hermes, as the
herald's staff in his right hand shows. The female figures to
right and left of him are good examples of that grace in pose and
drapery which was characteristic of Greek sculpture in the age of
Scopas and Praxiteles.

The most beautiful Greek portrait statue that we possess is the
Lateran Sophocles (Fig 164). The figure has numerous small
restorations, including the feet and the box of manuscript rolls.
That Sophocles, the tragic poet, is represented, is known from the
likeness of the head to a bust inscribed with his name. He died in
406 B.C. The style of our statue, however, points to an original
(if it be not itself the original) of about the middle of the
fourth century. There were probably in existence at this time
authentic likenesses of the poet, on which the sculptor based his
work. The attitude of the figure is the perfection of apparent
ease, but in reality of skilful contrivance to secure a due
balance of parts and anety and grace of line. The one garment,
drawn closely about the person, illustrates the inestimable good
fortune enjoyed by the Greek sculptor, in contrast with the
sculptor of to-day, in having to represent a costume so simple, so
pliant, so capable of graceful adjustment. The head, however much
it may contain of the actual look of Sophocles, must be idealized.
To appreciate it properly one must remember that this poet, though
he dealt with tragic themes, was not wont to brood over the sin
and sorrow and unfathomable mystery of the world, but was serene
in his temper and prosperous in his life.

The colossal head of Zeus shown in Fig. 165 was found a hundred
years or more ago at Otricoli, a small village to the north of
Rome. The antique part is a mere mask; the back of the head and
the bust are modern. The material is Carrara marble, a fact which
alone would prove that the work was executed in Italy and in the
imperial period. At first this used to be regarded as copied from
the Olympian Zeus of Phidias (page 185), but in the light of
increased acquaintance with the style of Phidias and his age, this
attribution has long been seen to be impossible. The original
belongs about at the end of the period now under review, or
possibly still later. Although only a copy, the Otricoli Zeus is
the finest representation we have of the father of gods and men.
The predominant expression is one of gentleness and benevolence,
but the lofty brow, transversely furrowed, tells of thought and
will, and the leonine hair of strength.

With Lysippus of Sicyon we reach the last name of first-rate
importance in the history of Greek sculpture. There is the usual
uncertainty about the dates of his life, but it is certain that he
was in his prime during the reign of Alexander (336-23). Thus he
belongs essentially  to the generation succeeding that of Scopas
and Praxiteles. He appears to have worked exclusively in bronze;
at least we hear of no work in marble from his hands. He must have
had a long life. Pliny credits him with fifteen hundred statues,
but this is scarcely credible. His subjects suggest that his
genius was of a very different bent from that of Praxiteles. No
statue of Aphrodite or indeed of any goddess (except the Muses) is
ascribed to him; on the other hand, he made at least four statues
of Zeus, one of them nearly sixty feet high, and at least four
figures of Heracles, of which one was colossal, while one was less
than a foot high, besides groups representing the labors of
Heracles. In short, the list of his statues of superhuman beings,
though it does include an Eros and a Dionysus, looks as if he had
no especial predilection for the soft loveliness of youth, but
rather for mature and vigorous forms. He was famous as a portrait-
sculptor and made numerous statues of Alexander, from whom he
received conspicuous recognition. Naturally, too, he accepted
commissions for athlete statues; five such are mentioned by
Pausanias as existing at Olympia. An allegorical figure by him of
Cairos (Opportunity) receives lavish praise from a late
rhetorician. Finally, he is credited with a statue of a tipsy
female flute-player. This deserves especial notice as the first
well-assured example of a work of Greek sculpture ignoble in its
subject and obviously unfit for any of the purposes for which
sculpture had chiefly existed (cf. page 124).

It is Pliny who puts us in the way of a more direct acquaintance
with this artist than the above facts can give. He makes the
general statement that Lysippus departed from the canon of
proportions previously followed (i.e., probably, by Polyclitus and
his immediate  followers), making the head smaller and the body
slenderer and "dryer," and he mentions a statue by him in Rome
called an Apoxyomenos, i.e., an athlete scraping himself with a
strigil. A copy of such a statue was found in Rome in 1849 (Fig.
166). The fingers of the right hand with the inappropriate die are
modern, as are also some additional bits here and there. Now the
coincidence in subject between this statue and that mentioned by
Pliny would not alone be decisive. Polyclitus also made an
Apoxyomenos, and, for all we know, other sculptors may have used
the same motive. But the statue in question is certainly later
than Polyclitus, and its agreement with what Pliny tells us of the
proportions adopted by Lysippus is as close as could be desired
(contrast Fig. 137). We therefore need not scruple to accept it as

Our young athlete, before beginning his exercise, had rubbed his
body with oil and, if he was to wrestle, had sprinkled himself
with sand. Now, his exercise over, he is removing oil and sweat
and dirt with the instrument regularly used for that purpose. His
slender figure suggests elasticity and agility rather than brute
strength. The face (Fig. 167) has not the radiant charm which
Praxiteles would have given it, but it is both fine and alert. The
eyes are deeply set; the division of the upper from the lower
forehead is marked by a groove; the hair lies in expressive
disorder. In the bronze original the tree-trunk behind the left
leg was doubtless absent, as also the disagreeable support (now
broken) which extended from the right leg to the right fore-arm.

The best authenticated likeness of Alexander the Great is a bust
in the Louvre (Fig. 168) inscribed with his name: "Alexander of
Macedon, son of Philip." The surface has been badly corroded and
the nose is restored. The work, which is only a copy, may go back
to an original by Lysippus, though the evidence for that belief, a
certain resemblance to the head of the Apoxyomenos, is hardly as
convincing as one could desire. The king is here represented, one
would guess, at the age of thirty or thereabouts. Now as he was
absent from Europe from the age of twenty-two until his death at
Babylon at the age of thirty-three (323 B.C.), it would seem
likely that Lysippus, or whoever the sculptor was, based his
portrait upon likenesses taken some years earlier. Consequently,
although portraiture in the age of Alexander had become
prevailingly realistic, it would be unsafe to regard this head as
a conspicuous example of the new tendency. The artist probably
aimed to present a recognizable likeness and at the same time to
give a worthy expression to the great conqueror's qualities of
character. If the latter object does not seem to have been
attained, one is free to lay the blame upon the copyist and time.



The reign of Alexander began a new era in Greek history, an era in
which the great fact was the dissemination of Greek culture over
wide regions to which it had been alien. This period, in which
Egypt and western Asia were ruled by men of Greek or Macedonian
blood and gradually took on more or less of Greek civilization, is
often called the Hellenistic period.

Under the new political and social order new artistic conditions
were developed. For one thing, Athens and the other old centers of
artistic activity lost their pre-eminence, while new centers were
created in the East, The only places which our literary sources
mention as seats of important schools of sculpture in the two
centuries following the death of Alexander are Rhodes and

Then again a demand now grew up for works of sculpture to be used
as mere ornaments in the interiors of palaces and private houses,
as well as in public buildings and places. This of course threw
open the door for subjects which had been excluded when sculpture
was dominated by a sacred purpose. Sculptors were now free to
appeal to the lower tastes of their patrons. The practice of "art
for art's sake" had its day, and trivial, comical, ugly,
harrowing, or sensual themes were treated with all the resources
of technical skill. In short, the position and purposes of the art
of sculpture became very like what they are to-day. Hence the
untrained modern student feels much more at home in a collection
of Hellenistic sculpture than in the presence of the severer,
sublimer creations of the age of Phidias.

It is by no means meant to pass a sweeping condemnation upon the
productions of the post-classical period. Realistic portraiture
was now practiced with great frequency and high success. Many of
the genre statues and decorative reliefs of the time are admirable
and delightful. Moreover, the old uses of sculpture were not
abandoned, and though the tendency toward sensationalism was
strong, a dignified and exalted work was sometimes achieved. But,
broadly speaking, we must admit the loss of that "noble simplicity
and quiet grandeur"--the phrase is Winckelmann's--which stamped
the creations of the age of Phidias. Greek sculpture gained
immensely in variety, but at the expense of its elevation of

Although this sketch is devoted principally to bronze and marble
sculpture, I cannot resist the temptation to illustrate by a few
examples the charming little terra-cotta figurines which have been
found in such great numbers in graves at Tanagra and elsewhere in
Boeotia (Figs. 169, 170). It is a question whether the best of
them were not produced before the end of the period covered by the
last chapter. At all events, they are post-Praxitelean. The
commonest subjects are standing or seated women; young men, lads,
and children are also often met with. Fig. 170 shows another
favorite figure, the winged Eros, represented as a chubby boy of
four or five--a conception of the god of Love which makes its
first appearance in the Hellenistic period. The men who modeled
these statuettes were doubtless regarded in their own day as very
humble craftsmen, but the best of them had caught the secret of
graceful poses and draperies, and the execution of their work is
as delicate as its conception is refined.

Returning now to our proper subject, we may begin with the latest
and most magnificent of the sarcophagi found at Sidon (Fig. 171;
cf. page 234). This belongs somewhere near the end of the fourth
century. It is decorated with relief-sculpture on all four sides
and in the gables of the cover. On the long side shown in our
illustration the subject is a battle between Greeks and Persians,
perhaps the battle of Issus, fought in 333. Alexander the Great,
recognizable by the skin of a lion's head which he wears like
Heracles, instead of a helmet, is to be seen at the extreme left.
The design, which looks crowded and confused when reduced to a
small scale, is in reality well arranged and extremely spirited,
besides being exquisitely wrought. But the crowning interest of
the work lies in the unparalleled freshness with which it has kept
its color. Garments, saddle-cloths, pieces of armor, and so on,
are tinted in delicate colors, and the finest details, such as
bow-strings, are perfectly distinct. The nude flesh, though not
covered with opaque paint, has received some application which
differentiates it from the glittering white background, and gives
it a sort of ivory hue. The effect of all this color is thoroughly
refined, and the work is a revelation of the beauty of
polychromatic sculpture.

The Victory of Samothrace (Fig. 172) can also be dated at about
the end of the fourth century. The figure is considerably above
life-size. It was found in 1863, broken into a multitude of
fragments, which have been carefully united. There are no modern
pieces, except  in the wings. The statue stood on a pedestal
having the form of a ship's prow, the principal parts of which
were found by an Austrian expedition to Samothrace in 1875. These
fragments were subsequently conveyed to the Louvre, and the
Victory now stands on her original pedestal. For determining the
date and the proper restoration of this work we have the fortunate
help of numismatics. Certain silver coins of Demetrius
Poliorcetes, who reigned 306-286 B.C., bear upon one side a
Victory which agrees closely with her of Samothrace, even to the
great prow-pedestal. The type is supposed on good grounds to
commemorate an important naval victory won by Demetrius over
Ptolemy in 306. In view, then, of the close resemblance between
coin-type and statue, it seems reasonably certain that the Victory
was dedicated at Samothrace by Demetrius soon after the naval
battle with Ptolemy and that the commemorative coins borrowed
their design directly from the statue. Thus we get a date for the
statue, and, what is more, clear evidence as to how it should be
restored. The goddess held a trumpet to her lips with her right
hand and in her left carried a support such as was used for the
erection of a trophy. The ship upon which she has just alighted is
conceived as under way, and the fresh breeze blows her garments
backward in tumultuous folds. Compared with the Victory of
Paeonius (Figs. 143, 144) this figure seems more impetuous and
imposing. That leaves us calm; this elates us with the sense of
onward motion against the salt sea air. Yet there is nothing
unduly sensational about this work. It exhibits a magnificent
idea, magnificently rendered.

From this point on no attempt will be made to preserve a
chronological order, but the principal classes of sculpture
belonging to the Hellenistic period will be illustrated, each by
two or three examples. Religious sculpture may be put first. Here
the chief place belongs to the Aphrodite of Melos, called the
Venus of Milo (Fig. 173). This statue was found by accident in
1820 on the island of Melos (Milo) near the site of the ancient
city. According to the best evidence available, it was lying in
the neighborhood of its original pedestal, in a niche of some
building. Near it were found a piece of an upper left arm and a
left hand holding an apple; of these two fragments the former
certainly and perhaps the latter belong to the statue. The prize
was bought by M. de Riviere, French ambassador at Constantinople,
and presented by him to the French king, Louis XVIII. The same
vessel which conveyed it to France brought some other marble
fragments from Melos, including a piece of an inscribed statue-
base with an artist's inscription, in characters of the second
century B.C. or later. A drawing exists of this fragment, but the
object itself has disappeared, and in spite of much acute
argumentation it remains uncertain whether it did or did not form
a part of the basis of the Aphrodite.

Still greater uncertainty prevails as to the proper restoration of
the statue, and no one of the many suggestions that have been made
is free from difficulties. It seems probable, as has recently been
set forth with great force and clearness by Professor Furtwangler,
[Footnote: "Masterpieces of Greek Sculpture," pages 384 ff.] that
the figure is an adaptation from an Aphrodite of the fourth
century, who rests her left foot upon a helmet and, holding a
shield on her left thigh, looks at her own reflection. On this
view the difficulty of explaining the attitude of the Aphrodite of
Melos arises from the fact that the motive was created for an
entirely different purpose and is not altogether appropriate to
the present one, whatever precisely that may be.

It has seemed necessary, in the case of a statue of so much
importance, to touch upon these learned perplexities; but let them
not greatly trouble the reader or turn him aside from enjoying the
superb qualities of the work. One of the Aphrodites of Scopas or
Praxiteles, if we had it in the original, would perhaps reveal to
us a still diviner beauty. As it is, this is the worthiest
existing embodiment of the goddess of Love. The ideal is chaste
and noble, echoing the sentiment of the fourth century at its
best; and the execution is worthy of a work which is in some sense
a Greek original.

The Apollo of the Belvedere (Fig. 174), on the other hand, is only
a copy of a bronze original. The principal restorations are the
left hand and the right fore-arm and hand. The most natural
explanation of the god's attitude is that he held a bow in his
left hand and has just let fly an arrow against some foe. His
figure is slender, according to the fashion which prevailed from
the middle of the fourth century onward, and he moves over the
ground with marvelous lightness. His appearance has an effect of
almost dandified elegance, and critics to-day cannot feel the
reverent raptures which this statue used to evoke. Yet still the
Apollo of the Belvedere remains a radiant apparition. An attempt
has recently  been made to promote the figure, or rather its
original, to the middle of the fourth century.

As a specimen of the portrait-sculpture of the Hellenistic period
I have selected the seated statue of Posidippus (Fig. 175), an
Athenian dramatist of the so-called New Comedy, who flourished in
the early part of the third century. The preservation of the
statue is extraordinary; there is nothing modern about it except
the thumb of the left hand. It produces strongly the impression of
being an original work and also of being a speaking likeness. It
may have been modeled in the actual presence of the subject, but
in that case the name on the front of the plinth was doubtless
inscribed later, when the figure was removed from its pedestal and
taken to Rome. Posidippus is clean-shaven, according to the
fashion that came in about the time of Alexander. There is a
companion statue of equal merit, which commonly goes by the name
of Menander. The two men are strongly contrasted with one another
by the sculptor in features, expression, and bodily carriage. Both
statues show, as do many others of the period, how mistaken it
would be to form our idea of the actual appearance of the Greeks
from the purely ideal creations of Greek sculpture.

Besides real portraits, imaginary portraits of great excellence
were produced in the Hellenistic period. Fig. 176 is a good
specimen of these. Only the head is antique, and there are some
restorations, including the nose. This is one of a considerable
number of heads which reproduce an ideal portrait of Homer,
conceived as a blind old man. The marks of age and blindness are
rendered with great fidelity. There is a variant type of this head
which is much more suggestive of poetical inspiration.

Portraiture, of course, did not confine itself to men of
refinement and intellect. As an extreme example of what was
possible in the opposite direction nothing could be better than
the original bronze statue shown in Fig. 177. It was found in Rome
in 1885, and is essentially complete, except for the missing
eyeballs; the seat is new. The statue represents a naked boxer of
herculean frame, his hands armed with the aestus or boxing-gloves
made of leather. The man is evidently a professional "bruiser" of
the lowest type. He is just resting after an encounter, and no
detail is spared to bring out the nature of his occupation.
Swollen ears were the conventional mark of the boxer at all
periods, but here the effect is still further enhanced by
scratches and drops of blood. Moreover, the nose and cheeks bear
evidence of having been badly "punished," and the moustache is
clotted with blood. From top to toe the statue exhibits the
highest grade of technical skill. One would like very much to know
what was the original purpose of the work. It may have been a
votive statue, dedicated by a victorious boxer at Olympia or
elsewhere. A bronze head of similar brutality found at Olympia
bears witness that the refined statues of athletes produced in
the best period of Greek art and set up in that precinct were
forced at a later day to accept such low companionship. Or it may
be that this boxer is not an actual person at all, and that the
statue belongs to the domain of genre. In either case it testifies
to the coarse taste of the age.

By genre sculpture is meant sculpture which deals with incidents
or situations illustrative of every-day life. The conditions of
the great age, although they permitted a genre-like treatment in
votive sculptures and in grave-reliefs (cf. Fig. 134), offered few
or no occasions for works of pure genre, whose sole purpose is to
gratify the spectator. In the Hellenistic period, however, such
works became plentiful. Fig. 178 gives a good specimen. A boy of
four or five is struggling in play with a goose and is triumphant.
The composition of the group is admirable, and the zest of the
sport is delightfully brought out. Observe too that the
characteristic forms of infancy--the large head, short legs, plump
body and limbs--are truthfully rendered (cf. page 222). There is a
large number of representations in ancient sculpture of boys with
geese or other aquatic birds; among them are at least three other
copies of this, same group. The original is thought to have been
of bronze.

Fig. 179 is genre again, and is as repulsive as the last example
is charming. It is a drunken old woman, lean and wrinkled, seated
on the ground and clasping her wine-jar between her knees, in a
state of maudlin ecstasy. The head is modern, but another copy of
the statue has the original head, which is of the same character
as this. Ignobility of subject could go no further than in this

It is a pleasure to turn to Fig. 180, which in purity of spirit is
worthy of the best time. The arms are modern, and their direction
may not be quite correct, though it must be nearly so. This
original bronze figure represents a boy in an attitude of prayer.
It is impossible to decide whether the statue was votive or is
simply a genre piece.

Hellenistic art struck out a new path in a class of reliefs of
which Figs. 181 and 182 are examples. There are some restorations.
A gulf separates these works from the friezes of the Parthenon and
the Mausoleum. Whereas relief-sculpture in the classical period
abjured backgrounds and picturesque accessories, we find here a
highly pictorial treatment. The subjects moreover are, in the
instances chosen, of a character to which Greek sculpture before
Alexander's time hardly offers a parallel (yet cf. Fig. 87). In
Fig. 181 we see a ewe giving suck to her lamb. Above, at the
right, is a hut or stall, from whose open door a dog is just
coming out; at the left is an oak tree. In Fig. 182 a lioness
crouches with her two cubs. Above is a sycamore tree, and to the
right of it a group of objects which tell of the rustic worship of
Bacchus. Each of the two reliefs decorated a fountain or something
of the sort. In the one the overturned milk-jar served as a water-
spout; in the other the open mouth of one of the cubs answered the
same purpose. Generally speaking, the pictorial reliefs seem to
have been used for the interior decoration of private and public
buildings. By their subjects many of them bear witness to that
love of country life and that feeling for the charms of landscape
which are the most attractive traits of the Hellenistic period.

The kingdom of Pergamum in western Asia Minor was one of the
smaller states formed out of Alexander's dominions. The city of
Pergamum became a center of Greek learning second only to
Alexandria in importance. Moreover, under Attalus I. (241-197
B.C.) and Eumenes II. (197-159 B.C.) it developed an independent
and powerful school of sculpture, of whose productions we
fortunately possess numerous examples. The most famous of these is
the Dying Gaul or Galatian (Fig. 183), once erroneously called the
Dying Gladiator. Hordes of Gauls had invaded Asia Minor as early
as 278 B.C., and, making their headquarters in the interior, in
the district afterwards known from them as Galatia, had become the
terror and the scourge of the whole region. Attalus I. early in
his reign gained an important victory over these fierce tribes,
and this victory was commemorated by extensive groups of sculpture
both at Pergamum and at Athens. The figure of the Dying Gaul
belongs to this series. The statue was in the possession of
Cardinal Ludovisi as early as 1633, along with a group closely
allied in style, representing a Gaul and his wife, but nothing is
certainly known as to the time and place of its discovery. The
restorations are said to be: the tip of the nose, the left knee-
pan, the toes, and the part of the plinth on which the right arm
rests,[Footnote: Helbig, "Guide to the Public Collections of
Classical Antiquities in Rome," Vol I, No 533.] together with the
objects on it. That the man represented is not a Greek is evident
from the large hands and feet, the coarse skin, the un-Greek
character of the head (Fig. 184). That he is a Gaul is proved by
several points of agreement with what is known from literary
sources of the Gallic peculiarities--the moustache worn with
shaven cheeks and chin, the stiff, pomaded hair growing low in the
neck, the twisted collar or torque. He has been mortally wounded
in battle--the wound is on the right side--and sinks with drooping
head upon his shield and broken battle-horn. His death-struggle,
though clearly marked, is not made violent or repulsive. With
savage heroism he "consents to death, and conquers
agony."[Footnote: Byron, "Childe Harold," IV, 150] Here, then, a
powerful realism is united to a tragic idea, and amid all
vicissitudes of taste this work has never ceased to command a
profound admiration.

Our knowledge of Pergamene art has recently received a great
extension, in consequence of excavations carried on in 1878-86
upon the acropolis of Pergamum in the interest of the Royal Museum
of Berlin. Here were found the remains of numerous buildings,
including an immense altar, or rather altar-platform, which was
perhaps the structure referred to in Revelation II. 13, as
"Satan's throne." This platform, a work of great architectural
magnificence, was built under Eumenes II. Its exterior was
decorated with a sculptured frieze, 7 1/2 feet in height and
something like 400 feet in total length. The fragments of this
great frieze which were found in the course of the German
excavations have been pieced together with infinite patience and
ingenuity and amount to by far the greater part of the whole. The
subject is the gigantomachy, i.e., the battle between the gods and
the rebellious sons of earth (cf. page 134).

Fig. 185 shows the most important group of the whole composition.
Here Zeus recognizable by the thunderbolt in his outstretched
right hand and the aegis upon his left arm, is pitted against
three antagonists. Two of the three are already disabled. The one
at the left, a youthful giant of human form, has sunk to earth,
pierced through the left thigh with a huge, flaming thunderbolt.
The second, also youthful and human, has fallen upon his knees in
front of Zeus and presses his left hand convulsively to a wound
(?) in his right shoulder. The third still fights desperately.
This is a bearded giant, with animal ears and with legs that pass
into long snaky bodies. Around his left arm is wrapped the skin of
some animal; with his right hand (now missing) he is about to hurl
some missile; the left snake, whose head may be seen just above
the giant's left shoulder, is contending, but in vain, with an
eagle, the bird of Zeus.

Fig. 186 adjoins Fig 185 on the right of the latter. [Footnote:
Fig 186 is more reduced in scale, so that the slabs incorrectly
appear to be of unequal height.] Here we have a group in which
Athena is the central figure. The goddess, grasping her antagonist
by the hair, sweeps to right. The youthful giant has great wings,
but is otherwise purely human in form. A serpent, attendant of
Athena, strikes its fangs into the giant's right breast. In front
of Athena, the Earth-goddess, mother of the giants, half emerging
from the ground, pleads for mercy. Above, Victory wings her way to
the scene to place a crown upon Athena's head.

If we compare the Pergamene altar-frieze with scenes of combat
from the best period of Greek art, say with the metopes of the
Parthenon or the best preserved frieze of the Mausoleum, we see
how much more complicated and confused in composition and how much
more violent in spirit is this later work. Yet, though we miss the
"noble simplicity" of the great age, we cannot fail to be
impressed with the Titanic energy which surges through this
stupendous composition. The "decline" of Greek art, if we are to
use that term, cannot be taken to imply the exhaustion of artistic

The existence of a flourishing school of sculpture at Rhodes
during the Hellenistic period is attested by our literary sources,
as well as by artists' inscriptions found on the spot. Of the
actual productions of that school we possess only the group of
Laocoon and his sons (Fig. 187). This was found in Rome in 1506,
on the site of the palace of Titus. The principal modern parts
are: the right arm of Laocoon with the adjacent parts of the
snake, the right arm of the younger son with the coil of the snake
around it, and the right hand and wrist of the older son. These
restorations are bad. The right arm of Laocoon should be bent so
as to bring the hand behind the head, and the right hand of the
younger son should fall limply backward.

Laocoon was a Trojan priest who, having committed grievous sin,
was visited with a fearful punishment. On a certain occasion when
he was engaged with his two sons in performing sacrifice, they
were attacked by a pair of huge serpents, miraculously sent, and
died a miserable death. The sculptors--for the group, according to
Pliny, was the joint work of three Rhodian artists--have put
before us the moving spectacle of this doom. Laocoon, his body
convulsed and his face distorted by the torture of poison, his
mouth open for a groan or a cry, has sunk upon the altar and
struggles in the agony of death. The younger son is already past
resistance; his left hand lies feebly on the head of the snake
that bites him and the last breath escapes his lips. The older
son, not yet bitten, but probably not destined to escape, strives
to free himself from the coil about his ankle and at the same time
looks with sympathetic horror upon his father's sufferings.

No work of sculpture of ancient or modern times has given rise to
such an extensive literature as the Laocoon. None has been more
lauded and more blamed. Hawthorne "felt the Laocoon very
powerfully, though very quietly; an immortal agony, with a strange
calmness diffused through it, so that it resembles the vast rage
of the sea, calm on account of its immensity." [Footnote: "Italian
Note-books," under date of March 10,1858.] Ruskin, on the other
hand, thinks "that no group has exercised so pernicious an
influence on art as this; a subject ill chosen, meanly conceived,
and unnaturally treated, recommended to imitation by subtleties of
execution and accumulation of technical knowledge," [Footnote:
"Modern Painters," Part II, Section II, Chap. III.] Of the two verdicts
the latter is surely much nearer the truth. The calmness which
Hawthorne thought he saw in the Laocoon is not there; there is
only a terrible torment. Battle, wounds, and death were staple
themes of Greek sculpture from first to last; but nowhere else is
the representation of physical suffering, pure and simple, so
forced upon us, so made the "be-all and end-all" of a Greek work.
As for the date of the group, opinion still varies considerably.
The probabilities seem to point to a date not far removed from
that of the Pergamene altar; i.e., to the first half of the second
century B.C.

Macedonia and Greece became a Roman province in 146 B.C.; the
kingdom of Pergamum in 133 B.C. These political changes, it is
true, made no immediate difference to the cause of art. Greek
sculpture went on, presently transferring its chief seat to Rome,
as the most favorable place of patronage. What is called Roman
sculpture is, for the most part, simply Greek sculpture under
Roman rule. But in the Roman period we find no great, creative
epoch of art history; moreover, the tendencies of the times have
already received considerable illustration. At this point,
therefore, we may break off this sketch.



The art of painting was in as high esteem in Greece as the art of
sculpture and, if we may believe the testimony of Greek and Roman
writers, achieved results as important and admirable. But the
works of the great Greek painters have utterly perished, and
imagination, though guided by ancient descriptions and by such
painted designs as have come down to us, can restore them but
dimly and doubtfully. The subject may therefore here be dismissed
with comparative brevity.

In default of pictures by the great Greek masters, an especial
interest attaches to the work of humbler craftsmen of the brush.
One class of such work exists in abundance--the painted
decorations upon earthenware vases. Tens of thousands of these
vases have been brought to light from tombs and sanctuaries on
Greek and Italian sites and the number is constantly increasing.
Thanks to the indestructible character of pottery, the designs are
often intact. Now the materials and methods employed by the vase-
painters and the spaces at their disposal were very different from
those of mural or easel paintings. Consequently inferences must
not be hastily drawn from designs upon vases as to the composition
and coloring of the great masterpieces. But the best of the vase-
painters, especially in the early fifth century, were men of
remarkable talent, and all of them were influenced by the general
artistic tendencies of their respective periods. Their work,
therefore, contributes  an important element to our knowledge of
Greek art history.

Having touched in Chapter II. upon the earlier styles of Greek
pottery, I begin here with a vase of Attic manufacture, decorated,
as an inscription on it shows, by Clitias, but commonly called
from its finder the Francois vase (Fig. 188). It may be assigned
to the first half of the sixth century, and probably to somewhere
near the beginning of that period. It is an early specimen of the
class of black-figured vases, as they are called. The propriety of
the name is obvious from the illustration. The objects represented
were painted in black varnish upon the reddish clay, and the vase
was then fired. Subsequently anatomical details, patterns of
garments, and so on were indicated by means of lines cut through
the varnish with a sharp instrument. Moreover, the exposed parts
of the female figures--faces, hands, arms, and feet--were covered
with white paint, this being the regular method in the black-
figured style of distinguishing the flesh of female from that of
male figures.

The decoration of the Francois vase is arranged in horizontal
bands or zones. The subjects are almost wholly legendary and the
vase is therefore a perfect mine of information for the student of
Greek mythology. Our present interest, however, is rather in the
character of the drawing. This may be better judged from Fig. 189,
which is taken from the zone encircling the middle of the vase.
The subject is the wedding of the mortal, Peleus, to the sea-
goddess, Thetis, the wedding whose issue was Achilles, the great
hero of the Iliad. To this ceremony came gods and goddesses and
other supernatural beings. Our illustration shows Dionysus
(Bacchus), god of wine, with a wine-jar on his shoulder and what
is meant for a vine-branch above him. Behind him walk three female
figures, who are the personified Seasons. Last comes a group
consisting of two Muses and a four-horse chariot bearing Zeus, the
chief of the gods, and Hera, his wife. The principle of isocephaly
is observed on the vase as in a frieze of relief-sculpture (page
145). The figures are almost all drawn in profile, though the body
is often shown more nearly from the front, e.g., in the case of
the Seasons, and the eyes are always drawn as in front view. Out
of the great multitude of figures on the vase there are only four
in which the artist has shown the full face. Two of these are
intentionally ugly Gorgons on the handles; the two others come
within the limits of our specimen illustration. If Dionysus here
appears almost like a caricature, that is only because the
decorator is so little accustomed to drawing the face in front
view. There are other interesting analogies between the designs on
the vase and contemporary reliefs. For example, the bodies, when
not disguised by garments, show an unnatural smallness at the
waist, the feet of walking figures are planted flat on the ground,
and there are cases in which the body and neck are so twisted that
the face is turned in exactly the opposite direction to the feet.
On the whole, Clitias shows rather more skill than a contemporary
sculptor, probably because of the two arts that of the vase-
painter had been the longer cultivated.

The black-figured ware continued to be produced in Attica through
the sixth century and on into the fifth. Fig. 190 gives a specimen
of the work of an interesting vase-painter in this style, Execias
by name, who probably belongs about the middle of the sixth
century. The subject is Achilles slaying in battle the Amazon
queen, Penthesilea. The drawing of Execias is distinguished by an
altogether unusual care and minuteness of detail, and if the whole
body of his work, as known to us from several signed vases, could
be here presented, it would be easily seen that his proficiency
was well in advance of that of Clitias. Obvious archaisms,
however, remain. Especially noticeable is the unnatural twisting
of the bodies. A minor point of interest is afforded by the
Amazon's shield, which the artist has not succeeded in rendering
truthfully in side view. That is a rather difficult problem in
perspective, which was not solved until after many experiments.

Some time before the end of the sixth century, perhaps as early as
540, a new method of decorating pottery was invented in Attica.
The principal coloring matter used continued to be the lustrous
black varnish; but instead of filling in the outlines of the
figures with black, the decorator, after outlining the figures by
means of a broad stroke of the brush, covered with black the
spaces between the figures, leaving the figures themselves in the
color of the clay. Vases thus decorated are called "red-figured."
In this style incised lines ceased to be used, and details were
rendered chiefly by means of the black varnish or, for certain
purposes, of the same material diluted till it became of a reddish
hue. The red-figured and black-figured styles coexisted for
perhaps half a century, but the new style ultimately drove the old
one out of the market.

The development of the new style was achieved by men of talent,
several of whom fairly deserve to be called artists. Such an one
was Euphronius, whose long career as a potter covered some fifty
years, beginning at the beginning of the fifth century or a little
earlier. Fig. 191 gives the design upon the outside of a cylix (a
broad, shallow cup, shaped like a large saucer, with two handles
and a foot), which bears his signature. Its date is about 480, and
it is thus approximately contemporary with the latest of the
archaic statues of the Athenian Acropolis (pages 151 f.). On one
side we have one of the old stock subjects of the vase-painters,
treated with unapproached vivacity and humor. Among the labors of
Heracles, imposed upon him by his taskmaster, Eurystheus, was the
capturing of a certain destructive wild boar of Arcadia and the
bringing of the creature alive to Mycenae. In the picture,
Heracles is returning with the squealing boar on his shoulder. The
cowardly Eurystheus has taken refuge in a huge earthenware jar
sunk in the ground, but Heracles, pretending to be unaware of this
fact, makes as though he would deposit his burden in the jar. The
agitated man and woman to the right are probably the father and
mother of Eurystheus. The scene on the other side of the cylix is
supposed to illustrate an incident of the Trojan War: two
warriors, starting out on an expedition, are met and stopped by
the god Hermes. In each design the workmanship, which was
necessarily rapid, is marvelously precise and firm, and the
attitudes are varied and telling. Euphronius belonged to a
generation which was making great progress in the knowledge of
anatomy and in the ability to pose figures naturally and
expressively. It is interesting to note how close is the
similarity in the method of treating drapery between the vases of
this period and contemporary sculpture.

The cylix shown in Fig. 192 is somewhat later, dating from about
460. The technique is here different from that just described,
inasmuch as the design is painted in reddish brown upon a white
ground. The subject is the goddess Aphrodite, riding upon a goose.
The painter, some unnamed younger contemporary of Euphronius, has
learned a freer manner of drawing. He gives to the eye in profile
its proper form, and to the drapery a simple and natural fall. The
subject does not call, like the last, for dramatic vigor, and the
preeminent quality of the work is an exquisite purity and
refinement of spirit.

If we turn now from the humble art of vase-decoration to painting
in the higher sense of the term, the first eminent name to meet us
is that of Polygnotus, who was born on the island of Thasos near
the Thracian coast. His artistic career, or at least the later
part of it, fell in the "Transitional period" (480-450 B.C.), so
that he was a contemporary of the great sculptor Myron. He came to
Athens at some unknown date after the Persian invasion of Greece
(480 B.C.) and there executed a number of important paintings. In
fact, he is said to have received Athenian citizenship. He worked
also at Delphi and at other places, after the ordinary manner of

Painting in this period, as practiced by Polygnotus and other
great artists, was chiefly mural; the painting of easel pictures
seems to have been of quite secondary consequence. Thus the most
famous works of Polygnotus adorned the inner faces of the walls of
temples and stoas. The subjects of these great mural paintings
were chiefly mythological. For example, the two compositions of
Polygnotus at Delphi, of which we possess an extremely detailed
account in the pages of Pausanias, depicted the sack of Troy and
the descent of Odysseus into Hades. But it is worth remarking, in
view of the extreme rarity of historical subjects in Greek relief-
sculpture, that in the Stoa Poicile (Painted Portico) of Athens,
alongside of a Sack of Troy by Polygnotus and a Battle of Greeks
and Amazons by his contemporary, Micon, there were two historical
scenes, a Battle of Marathon and a Battle of OEnoe. In fact,
historical battle-pieces were not rare among the Greeks at any

As regards the style of Polygnotus we can glean a few interesting
facts from our ancient authorities. His figures were not ranged on
a single line, as in contemporary bas-reliefs, but were placed at
varying heights, so as to produce a somewhat complex composition.
His palette contained only four colors, black, white, yellow, and
red, but by mixing these he was enabled to secure a somewhat
greater variety. He laid his colors on in "flat" tints, just as
the Egyptian decorators did, making no attempt to render the
gradations of color due to varying light and shade. His pictures
were therefore rather colored drawings than genuine paintings, in
our sense of the term. He often inscribed beside his figures their
names, according to a common practice of the time. Yet this must
not be taken as implying that he was unable to characterize his
figures by purely artistic means. On the contrary, Polygnotus was
preeminently skilled in expressing character, and it is recorded
that he drew the face with a freedom which archaic art had not
attained. In all probability his pictures are not to be thought of
as having any depth of perspective; that is to say, although he
did not fail to suggest the nature of the ground on which his
figures stood and the objects adjacent to them, it is not likely
that he represented his figures at varying distances from the
spectator or gave them a regular background.

It is clear that Polygnotus was gifted with artistic genius of the
first rank and that he exercised a powerful influence upon
contemporaries and successors. Yet, alas! in spite of all research
and speculation, our knowledge of his work remains very shadowy. A
single drawing from his hand would be worth more than all that has
ever been written about him. But if one would like to dream what
his art was like, one may imagine it as combining with the
dramatic power of Euphronius and the exquisite loveliness of the
Aphrodite cup, Giotto's elevation of feeling and Michael Angelo's
profundity of thought.

Another branch of painting which began to attain importance in the
time of Polygnotus was scene-painting for theatrical performances.
It may be, as has been conjectured, that the impulse toward a
style of work in which a greater degree of illusion was aimed at
and secured came from this branch of the art. We read, at any
rate, that one Agatharchus, a scene-painter who flourished about
the middle of the fifth century, wrote a treatise which stimulated
two philosophers to an investigation of the laws of perspective.

The most important technical advance, however, is attributed to
Apollodorus of Athens, a painter of easel pictures. He departed
from the old method of coloring in flat tints and introduced the
practice of grading colors according to the play of light and
shade. How successfully he managed this innovation we have no
means of knowing; probably very imperfectly. But the step was of
the utmost significance. It meant the abandonment of mere colored
drawing and the creation of the genuine art of painting.

Two artists of the highest distinction now appear upon the scene.
They are Zeuxis and Parrhasius. The rather vague remark of a Roman
writer, that they both lived "about the time of the Peloponnesian
War" (431-404 B.C.) is as definite a statement as can safely be
made about their date. Parrhasius was born at Ephesus, Zeuxis at
some one or other of the numerous cities named Heraclea. Both
traveled freely from place to place, after the usual fashion of
Greek artists, and both naturally made their home for a time in
Athens. Zeuxis availed himself of the innovation of Apollodorus
and probably carried it farther. Indeed, he is credited by one
Roman writer with being the founder of the new method. The
strength of Parrhasius is said to have lain in subtlety of line,
which would suggest that with him, as with Polygnotus, painting
was essentially outline drawing. Yet he too can hardly have
remained unaffected by the new chiaroscuro.

Easel pictures now assumed a relative importance which they had
not had a generation earlier. Some of these were placed in temples
and such conformed in their subjects to the requirements of
religious art, as understood in Greece. But many of the easel
pictures by Zeuxis and his contemporaries can hardly have had any
other destination than the private houses of wealthy connoisseurs.
Moreover, we hear first in this period of mural painting as
applied to domestic interiors. Alcibiades is said to have
imprisoned a reluctant painter, Agatharchus (cf. page 278), in his
house and to have forced him to decorate the walls. The result of
this sort of private demand was what we have seen taking place a
hundred years later in the case of sculpture, viz.: that artists
became free to employ their talents on any subjects which would
gratify the taste of patrons. For example, a painting by Zeuxis of
which Lucian has left us a description illustrates what may be
called mythological genre. It represented a female Centaur giving
suck to two offspring, with the father of the family in the
background, amusing himself by swinging a lion's whelp above his
head to scare his young. This was, no doubt, admirable in its way,
and it would be narrow-minded to disparage it because it did not
stand on the ethical level of Polygnotus's work. But painters did
not always keep within the limits of what is innocent. No longer
restrained by the conditions of monumental and religious art, they
began to pander not merely to what is frivolous, but to what is
vile in human nature. The great Parrhasius is reported by Pliny to
have painted licentious little pictures, "refreshing himself"
(says the writer) by this means after more serious labors. Thus at
the same time that painting was making great technical advances,
its nobility of purpose was on the average declining.

Timanthes seems to have been a younger contemporary of Zeuxis and
Parrhasius. Perhaps his career fell chiefly after 400 B. C. The
painting of his of which we hear the most represented the
sacrifice of Iphigenia at Aulis, The one point about the picture
to which all our accounts refer is the grief exhibited in varying
degrees by the bystanders. The countenance of Calchas was
sorrowful; that of Ulysses still more so; that of Menelaus
displayed an intensity of distress which the painter could not
outdo; Agamemnon, therefore, was represented with his face covered
by his mantle, his attitude alone suggesting the father's poignant
anguish. The description is interesting as illustrating the
attention paid in this period to the expression of emotion.
Timanthes was in spirit akin to Scopas. There is a Pompeian wall-
painting of the sacrifice of Iphigenia, which represents Agamemnon
with veiled head and which may be regarded, in that particular at
least, as a remote echo of Timanthes's famous picture.

Sicyon, in the northeastern part of Peloponnesus--a city already
referred to as the home of the sculptor Lysippus--was the seat of
an important school of painting in the fourth century. Toward the
middle of the century the leading teacher of the art in that place
was one Pamphilus. He secured the introduction of drawing into the
elementary schools of Sicyon, and this new branch of education was
gradually adopted in other Greek communities. A pupil of his,
Pausias by name, is credited with raising the process of encaustic
painting to a prominence which it had not enjoyed before. In this
process the colors, mixed with wax, were applied to a wooden panel
and then burned in by means of a hot iron held near.

Thebes also, which attained to a short-lived importance in the
political world after the battle of Leuctra (371 B.C.), developed
a school of painting, which seems to have been in close touch with
that of Athens. There were painters besides, who seem to have had
no connection with any one of these centers of activity. The
fourth century was the Golden Age of Greek painting, and the list
of eminent names is as long and as distinguished for painting as
for sculpture.

The most famous of all was Apelles. He was a Greek of Asia Minor
and received his early training at Ephesus. He then betook himself
to Sicyon, in order to profit by the instruction of Pamphilus and
by association with the other painters gathered there. It seems
likely that his next move was to Pella, the capital of Macedon,
then ruled over by Philip, the father of Alexander. At any rate,
he entered into intimate relations with the young prince and
painted numerous portraits of both father and son. Indeed,
according to an often repeated story, Alexander, probably after
his accession to the throne, conferred upon Apelles the exclusive
privilege of painting his portrait, as upon Lysippus the exclusive
privilege of representing him in bronze. Later, presumably when
Alexander started on his eastern campaigns (334 B.C.), Apelles
returned to Asia Minor, but of course not even then to lead a
settled life. He outlived Alexander, but we do not know by how

Of his many portraits of the great conqueror four are specifically
mentioned by our authorities. One of these represented the king as
holding a thunderbolt, i.e., in the guise of Zeus--a fine piece of
flattery. For this picture, which was placed in the Temple of
Artemis at Ephesus, he is reported, though not on very good
authority, to have received twenty talents in gold coin. It is
impossible to make exact comparisons between ancient and modern
prices, but the sum named would perhaps be in purchasing power as
large as any modern painter ever received for a work of similar
size. [Footnote: Nicias, an Athenian painter and a contemporary of
Apelles, is reported to have been offered by Ptolemy, the ruler of
Egypt, sixty talents for a picture and to have refused the offer.]
It has been mentioned above that Apelles made a number of
portraits of King Philip. He had also many sitters among the
generals and associates of Alexander; and he left at least one
picture of himself. His portraits were famous for their truth of
likeness, as we should expect of a great painter in this age.

An allegorical painting by Apelles of Slander and Her Crew is
interesting as an example of a class of works to which Lysippus's
statue of Opportunity belonged (page 239). This picture contained
ten figures, whereas most of his others of which we have any
description contained only one figure each.

His most famous work was an Aphrodite, originally placed in the
Temple of Asclepius on the island of Cos. The goddess was
represented, according to the Greek myth of her birth, as rising
from the sea, the upper part of her person being alone distinctly
visible. The picture, from all that we can learn of it, seems to
have been imbued with the same spirit of refinement and grace as
Praxiteles's statue of Aphrodite in the neighboring city of
Cnidus. The Coans, after cherishing it for three hundred years,
were forced to surrender it to the emperor Augustus for a price of
a hundred talents, and it was removed to the Temple of Julius
Caesar in Rome. By the time of Nero it had become so much injured
that it had to be replaced by a copy.

Protogenes was another painter whom even the slightest sketch
cannot afford to pass over in silence. He was born at Caunus in
southwestern Asia Minor and flourished about the same time as
Apelles. We read of his conversing with the philosopher Aristotle
(died 322 B.C.), of whose mother he painted a portrait, and of his
being engaged on his most famous work, a picture of a Rhodian
hero, at the time of the siege of Rhodes by Demetrius (304 B.C.).
He was an extremely painstaking artist, inclined to excessive
elaboration in his work. Apelles, who is always represented as of
amiable and generous character, is reported as saying that
Protogenes was his equal or superior in every point but one, the
one inferiority of Protogenes being that he did not know when to
stop. According to another anecdote Apelles, while profoundly
impressed by Protogenes's masterpiece, the Rhodian hero above
referred to, pronounced it lacking in that quality of grace which
was his own most eminent merit. [Footnote: Plutarch, "Life of
Demetrius," Section 22.] There are still other anecdotes, which give an
entertaining idea of the friendly rivalry between these two
masters, but which do not help us much in imagining their artistic
qualities. As regards technique, it seems likely that both of them
practiced principally "tempera" painting, in which the colors are
mixed with yolk of eggs or some other sticky non-unctuous medium.
[Footnote: Oil painting was unknown in ancient times.] Both
Apelles and Protogenes are said to have written technical
treatises on the painter's art.

There being nothing extant which would properly illustrate the
methods and the styles of the great artists in color, the best
substitute that we have from about their period is an Etruscan
sarcophagus, found near Corneto in 1869. The material is
"alabaster or a marble closely resembling alabaster." It is
ornamented on all four sides by paintings executed in tempera
representing a battle of Greeks and Amazons. "In the flesh tints
the difference of the sexes is strongly marked, the flesh of the
fighting Greeks being a tawny red, while that of the Amazons is
very fair. For each sex two tints only are used in the shading and
modeling of the flesh. ... Hair and eyes are for the most part a
purplish brown; garments mainly reddish brown, whitish grey, or
pale lilac and light blue. Horses are uniformly a greyish white,
shaded with a fuller tint of grey; their eyes always blue. There
are two colors of metal, light blue for swords, spear-heads, and
the inner faces of shields, golden yellow for helmets, greaves,
reins, and handles of shields, girdles, and chain ornaments."

Our illustration (Fig. 193) is taken from the middle of one of the
long sides of the sarcophagus. It represents a mounted Amazon in
front of a fully armed foot-soldier, upon whom she turns to
deliver a blow with her sword. "Every reader will be struck by the
beauty and spirit of the Amazon, alike in her action and her
facial expression. The type of head, broad, bold, and powerful,
and at the same time young and blooming, with the pathetic-
indignant expression, is preserved with little falling off from
the best age of Greek art. ... In spirit and expression almost
equal to the Amazon is the horse she bestrides." [Footnote: The
quotations are from an article by Mr. Sidney Colvin in The Journal
of Hellenic Studies, Vol. IV., pages 354 ff] The Greek warrior is
also admirable in attitude and expression, full of energy and

Although the paintings of this sarcophagus were doubtless executed
in Etruria, and probably by an Etruscan hand, they are in their
style almost purely Greek. The work is assigned to the earlier
half of the third century B.C. If an unknown craftsman was
stimulated by Greek models to the production of paintings of such
beauty and power, how magnificent must have been the achievements
of the great masters of the brush!

For examples of Greek portrait painting we are indebted to Egypt,
that country whose climate has preserved so much that elsewhere
would have perished. It will be remembered that Egypt, having been
conquered by Alexander, fell after his death to the lot of his
general, Ptolemy, and continued to be ruled by Ptolemy's
descendants until, in 30 B.C., it became a Roman province. During
the period of Macedonian rule Alexandria was the chief center of
Greek culture in the world, and Greeks and Greek civilization
became established also in the interior of the country; nor did
these Hellenizing influences abate under Roman domination. To this
late period, when Greek and Egyptian customs ere largely
amalgamated, belongs a class of portrait heads which have been
found in the Fayyurn, chiefly within the last ten years. They are
painted on panels of wood (or rarely on canvas), and were
originally attached to mummies. The embalmed body was carefully
wrapped in linen bandages and the portrait placed over the face
and secured in position. These pictures are executed principally
by the encaustic process, though some use was made also of
tempera. The persons represented appear to be of various races--
Greek, Egyptian, Hebrew, negro, and mixed; perhaps the Greek type
predominates in the specimens now known. At any rate, the artistic
methods of the portraits seem to be purely Greek. As for their
date, it is the prevailing opinion that they belong to the second
century after Christ and later, though an attempt has been made to
carry the best of them back to the second century B.C.

The finest collection of these portraits is one acquired by a
Viennese merchant, Herr Theodor Graf. They differ widely in
artistic merit; our illustrations show three of the best. Fig. 194
is a man in middle life, with irregular features, abundant, waving
hair, and thin, straggling beard. One who has seen Watts's picture
of "The Prodigal Son" may remark in the lower part of this face a
likeness to that. Fig. 195 is a charming girl, wearing a golden
wreath of ivy-leaves about her hair and a string of great pearls
about her neck. Her dark eyes look strangely large, as do those of
all the women of the series; probably the effect of eyes naturally
large was heightened, as nowadays in Egypt, by the practice of
blackening the edges of the eyelids. Fig. 196 is the most
fascinating face of all, and it is artistically unsurpassed in the
whole series. This and a portrait of an elderly man, not given
here, are the masterpieces of the Graf collection. It is much too
little to say of these two heads that they are the best examples
of Greek painting that have come down to us. In spite of the great
inferiority of the encaustic technique to that of oil painting,
these pictures are not unworthy of comparison with the great
portraits of modern times.

The ancient wall-paintings found in and near Rome. but more
especially in Pompeii, are also mostly Greek in character, so far
as their best qualities are concerned. The best of them, while
betraying deficient skill in perspective, show such merits in
coloring, such power of expression and such talent for
composition, as to afford to the student a lively enjoyment and to
intensify tenfold his regret that Zeuxis and Parrhasius, Apelles
and Protogenes, are and will remain to us nothing but names.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of Greek Art
 - With an Introductory Chapter on Art in Egypt and Mesopotamia" ***

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