Polykleitos of argos and the spear bearer

Conception[ edit ] The renowned Greek sculptor Polykleitos designed a sculptural work as a demonstration of his written treatise, entitled the " Kanon " or Canon, translated as "measure" or "rule"exemplifying what he considered to be the perfectly harmonious and balanced proportions of the human body in the sculpted form.

He designed the great theatre at Epidaurus. For example, the copy in Naples was found in the municipal Gymnasium of Pompeii, which leads us to believe that one may have been placed near fitness programs of the youth.

There are some deep scratches on the side and the marks that are on his cheeks and arms are from the roots of plants, which suggest that this copy had been buried for centuries. The gesture of the boy tying his headband represents a victory, possibly from an athletic contest.

The figure is squarely built and stands in a relaxed contrapposto position, weight on right leg, left hand bent backward to hold a spear shaft over his shoulder.

Chrysippos Polykleitos of argos and the spear bearer beauty to consist not in the commensurability or "symmetria" [ie proportions] of the constituent elements [of the body], but in the commensurability of the parts, such as that of finger to finger, and of all the fingers to the palm and wrist, and of those to the forearm, and of the forearm to the upper arm, and in fact, of everything to everything else, just as it is written in the Canon of Polyclitus.

The identification most often suggested for the Doryphoros is Achilles. The Herakles is still relatively little known; while several excellent heads have been shown with some probability to represent the Hermes, the position of the body remains unknown.

Pausanias describes it as seated, holding a scepter in one hand, on which a cuckoo rests, and a pomegranate in the other; his observation that she wore a diadem, worked with Charites and Horai, finds partial confirmation in the decorated polos work on the head of Hera on late classical Argive coins.

During this time, there was an emphasis put on the ideal man who was shown in heroic nudity. Receiving most attention in recent years has been the well-preserved, Roman period copy of the statue in Pentelic marble, purchased in by the Minneapolis Institute of Art Mia.

Polykleitos, the elder of two sculptors of this name, was a master bronze caster of the Argive school. Richter, The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks 4th ed. Contrapposto was a posture in his statues in which the weight was placed on one leg, and was a source of his fame.


References to it in other ancient writings, however, imply that its main principle was expressed by the Greek words symmetria, the Hippocratic principle of isonomia "equilibrium"and rhythmos.

The canonic proportions of the male torso established by Polykleitos ossified in Hellenistic and Roman times in the heroic cuirassexemplified by the Augustus of Prima Portawho wears ceremonial dress armour modelled in relief over an idealised muscular torso which is ostensibly modelled on the Doryphoros.

Vermeule, Polykleitos ; B. These expressions motivated Kenneth Clark to place him among "the great puritans of art": A Study in Ideal Form: In the surviving Roman marble copies, a large sculpted tree stump is obtrusively added behind one leg of the statue in order to support the weight of the stone; this would not have been present in the original bronze the tensile strength of the metal would have made this unnecessary.

In one interpretation, the figure represents Apollo, the personification of victory; however, a specific, although unknown, human victor seems more likely.Hence the Spear Bearer combines actual observations with mathematical calculation.

-The statue depicts an athlete who once held a spear on his left should.r Typical of classical art, the figure is in the prime of life, and blemish-free. » After Polykleitos of Argos (Greek, ca.

/– BCE) Created by master sculptor Polykleitos of Argos (ca. /– BCE), the Doryphoros, or Spear-Bearer, has long been regarded as an exemplum of male beauty as conceived of by the ancient Greeks. The Doryphoros, or spear bearer, a statue of a standing nude youth, has been identified as this statue, which Cicero and Pausanius plausibly attributed to Polykleitos.

The original statue was in bronze; it is known from many copies, including excellent marble copies (Museo Nazionale, Naples; Uffizi, Florence).


Doryphoros Doryphoros (“Spear Bearer”), Roman marble copy of Greek bronze by Polyclitus, c. – bce; in the National Archaeological Museum, Naples.

Hirmer Fotoarchiv, Munich Another outstanding work by Polyclitus was his gold and ivory statue of the goddess Hera. The Doryphoros (Spear-Bearer) in the Naples museum (image above) is a Roman copy of a lost Greek original that we think was found, largely intact, in the provincial Roman city of Pompeii.* The canon The idea of a canon, a rule for a standard of beauty developed for artists to follow, was not new to the ancient Greeks.

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Polykleitos of argos and the spear bearer
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