People - Ancient Greece: Myron
Ancient Athenian sculptor from the mid-fifth century
Myron in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
（Μύρων). One of the most celebrated Greek artists of Eleutherae, in Attica, an older contemporary of Phidias and Polyclitus, and, like them, a pupil of Ageladas. His works, chiefly in bronze, were numerous and very varied in subject—gods, heroes, and especially athletes and representations of animals, which were admired by the ancients for their life-like truth to nature. Most famous among these were his statue of the Argive runner Ladas; of Marsyas, of which a marble copy is now in the Lateran at Rome; his “Discobolus,” or quoit-thrower (see Discus), which we are enabled to appreciate in several copies in marble, the best being that in the Palazzo Massimi and one in bronze in the Palazzo Lancelotti in Rome; and his “Cow on the Market-place at Athens,” which received the very highest praise among the ancients, was celebrated in thirty-six extant epigrams in the Greek anthology, all quoted in Overbeck's Schriftquellen. 550-588, and may be regarded as his masterpiece. He was also the first to represent what is really a genre portrait in his “Drunken Old Woman” (Pliny , N. H. xxxvi. 32); but this is now attributed to another artist, one Socrates (Overbeck. 2092). See Collignon, Histoire de la Sculpture Grecque (Paris, 1892).
Myron in Wikipedia
Myron of Eleutherae (Greek Μύρων) working circa 480-440 BC, was an Athenian sculptor from the mid-fifth century BC. He was born in Eleutherae on the borders of Boeotia and Attica. According to Pliny's Natural History, Ageladas of Argos was his teacher.
The traveller Pausanias noted sculptures by Myron that remained in situ in the second century CE. Chionis, a seventh century Olympic victor from Sparta was commemorated in an idealized bronze by Myron
He worked almost exclusively in bronze: and though he made some statues of gods and heroes, his fame rested principally upon his representations of athletes, in which he made a revolution, according to commentators in Antiquity, by introducing greater boldness of pose and a more perfect rhythm, subordinating the parts to the whole. Pliny's remark that Myron's works were numerosior than those of Polycleitus and "more diligent" seem to suggest that they were considered more harmonious in proportions (numeri) and at the same time more convincing in their realism: diligentia connoted "attentive care to fine points", a quality that, in moderation, was characteristic of the best works of art, according to critics in Antiquity.
His most famous works according to Pliny's Natural History (34.57-59) were a heifer, a dog (canem, Cerberus?), a Perseus, a satyr— Marsyas— admiring the flute and Minerva (Athena), a Hercules, which was taken to the shrine dedicated by Pompey the Great at the Circus Maximus, Discobolus (the discus thrower), and an Apollo for Ephesus, "which Antony the triumvir took from the Ephesians, but the deified Augustus restored it again after being warned in a dream". The Early Imperial Roman writers consistently rated Myron among the greatest of Greek sculptors, a sign that his contemporaneous reputation had remained high.
The heifer seems to have earned its fame mainly by serving as a peg on which to hang epigrams, which tell us nothing about the pose of the animal. An epigram on Ladas, the fleetest runner of his time, notes that he was commemorated in a sculpture by Myron; of Myron's Ladas there is no known copy. A description by Lucian conclusively identifies as Myron's the Discobolus or "Discus-Thrower", of which several copies exist, of which the best is in the Palazzo Massimi alle Terme, Rome. Strabo also registers stray comments on Myron, especially a large group at Samos; several surviving heads were identified as copies of Myron's Samian Athena by C.K. Jenkins in 1926.
A marble figure in the Lateran Museum, which is now restored as a dancing satyr, is almost certainly a copy of a work of Myron, a Marsyas desirous of picking up the aulos which Athena had thrown away. The full group is copied on coins of Athens, on a vase and in a relief which represent Marsyas as oscillating between curiosity and the fear of the displeasure of Athena.
The ancient critics say of Myron that, while he succeeded admirably in giving life and motion to his figures, he did not succeed in rendering the emotions of the mind. This agrees with the extant evidence, in a certain degree, though not perfectly. The bodies of his men are of far greater excellence than the heads. The face of the Marsyas is almost a mask; but from the attitude we gain a vivid impression of the passions which sway him. The face of the discus-thrower is calm and unruffled; but all the muscles of his body are concentrated in an effort.
A considerable number of other extant works were ascribed to the school or the influence of Myron by Adolf Furtwängler. These attributions have not stood up to the test of time.
A papyrus from Oxyrhyncus gives dates of victors at Olympia of whom Myron made statues of the athlete Timanthes, victorious at Olympia in 456 BC, and of Lycinus, victorious in 448 and 444. This helps us to fix his date. He was a contemporary, but a somewhat older contemporary, of Pheidias and Polykleitos.
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