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August 25    Scripture



People - Ancient Greece: Lysippus
Ancient Greek sculptor of the 4th century BC.

Lysippos in Wikipedia Lysippos (Λύσιππος) was a Greek sculptor of the 4th century BC. Together with Scopas and Praxiteles, he is considered one of the three greatest sculptors of the Classical Greek era, bringing transition into the Hellenistic period. Problems confront the study of Lysippos because of the difficulty of identifying his style amongst the copies which survive. Not only did he have a large workshop and a large number of disciples in his immediate circle[1], but also there is understood to have been a market for replicas of his work which was supplied also from outside his circle already in his own lifetime and also later in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.[2] Career and legacy Lysippos was successor in contemporary repute to the famous sculptor Polykleitos. Among the works attributed to him are the so-called Horses of Saint Mark, Eros Stringing the Bow (of which various copies exist, the best in the British Museum), Agias (known for a marble copy found and preserved in Delphi), the similar Oil Pourer (Dresden and Munich), the Farnese Hercules (which was originally placed in the Baths of Caracalla, although the surviving marble copy lies in the Naples National Archaeological Museum) and Apoxyomenos (or The Scraper, known from a Roman marble copy in the Vatican Museums). Born at Sicyon around 390 BC Lysippos was a worker in bronze in his youth. He taught himself the art of sculpture, later becoming head of the school of Argos and Sicyon. According to Pliny, he produced more than 1,500 works, all of them in bronze. Commentators noted his grace and elegance, and the symmetria or coherent balance of his figures, which were leaner than the ideal represented by Polykleitos and with proportionately smaller heads, giving them the impression of greater height. He was famous for his attention to the details of eyelids and toenails. His pupil, Chares of Lindos, constructed the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. As this statue does not exist today, debate continues as to whether it was cast bronze or hammered of sheet bronze. Lysippos and Alexander During his lifetime, Lysippos was personal sculptor to Alexander the Great; indeed, he was the only artist whom the conqueror saw fit to represent him. A recently-discovered epigram of Macedonian Poseidippus, in the anthology represented in the Milan Papyrus, takes as its inspiration a bronze portrait of Alexander: Lysippos, Sicyonian sculptor, daring hand, learned artisan, your bronze statue has the look of fire in its eyes, that one you made in the form of Alexander. The Persians deserve no blame. We forgive cattle for fleeing a lion. Lysippus has been credited with the stock representation of an inspired, godlike Alexander with tousled hair and lips parted, looking upward.[3] One fine example, an early Imperial Roman copy found at Tivoli, is conserved at the Louvre. Discovery of possible original statue of Alexander On 26 February 2010, Greek authorities arrested two men found in illegal possession of various antiquities, including a bronze statue of Alexander, which is possibly a work of Lysippos. If confirmed, this would make it the first original work of Lysippos ever discovered. The statue is currently being examined at the laboratory of the Archaeological Museum of Salonica, which is expected to confirm or deny its authenticity. [4] [5]

Lysippus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (Λύσιππος). A native of Sicyon, and one of the most famous Greek artists, a contemporary of Alexander the Great. He was originally a worker in metal, and taught himself the art of the sculptor by studying nature and the canon of Polyclitus (q.v.). His works, which were said to amount to 1500, were all statues in bronze, and were remarkable for their lifelike characterization and their careful and accurate execution, shown particularly in the treatment of the hair. He aimed at representing the beauty and harmony more especially of the male human body; and substituted for the proportions of Polyclitus a new ideal, which kept in view the effect produced, by giving the body a more slender and elegant shape, and by making the head smaller in comparison with the trunk, than is the case with the actual average man. The most famous among his statues of gods were the colossal forms of Zeus and Heracles, at Tarentum of which the former was second in size only to that at Rhodes, while the latter was afterwards brought to the Capitol at Rome, and then to the Hippodrome at Constantinople, where it was melted down in A.D. 1022; and, lastly, the sun-god on the four-horse chariot at Rhodes (Pliny , Pliny H. N. xxxiv. 40, 63). The first example of pure allegory in Greek art was his Καιρός, the “Favourable Moment”—a delicate youth with modest look standing on a ball, with his foot winged, and holding shears and a balance in his hands. The hair hung down in front, while it was so short behind that it could not be grasped (Anthol. Gr. ii. 49, 13; Callist. Statuae, 6). By far the greater number of his statues were portraits. Of these the various representations of Alexander the Great from boyhood onwards were of marked excellence (Pliny , Pliny H. N. xxxiv. 64). Indeed, the king would have no sculptor but Lysippus to represent him, even as he would have no other painter than Apelles (Pliny , Pliny H. N. vii. 125; Epist. ii. 1, 240; Ad Fam. v. 12, 13). Among his large groups were Craterus saving the life of Alexander chasing the lion (Pliny , Pliny H. N. xxxiv. 64), and the portraits of twenty-five horsemen and nine foot soldiers who fell at the first assault in the battle of the Granicus (Arrian, Anab. i. 16.7; Plut. Alex. 16). The excellent copy in marble, at the Vatican, of the Apoxyomenos, a youth removing the dust of the palaestra with a strigil, affords an idea of his skill in representing beautiful and perfectly developed bodies of delicate elasticity and graceful suppleness (Pliny , Pliny H. N. xxxiv. 62). See Perry's Greek and Roman Sculpture, pp. 478-488.

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