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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
 

F. B. Tarbell, A History of Ancient Greek Art

The archaic period of Greek Sculpture. Second half: 550-480 B.C.

The pediment-figures from Aegina

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ARISTOTLE

THE GREEK OLD TESTAMENT (SEPTUAGINT)

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SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN

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Page 2

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, 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.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/history-of-ancient-greek-art-28.asp?pg=2