The Athenian sculptor Phidias already had a great reputation when in 437 BC he and his colleagues Colotes and Panaenus settled in ancient Olympia, on the west coast of today's Greece, about 150 kilometers west of Athens in the temple dedicated to Zeus to make the statue of the supreme god of the Greeks, Zeus, in whose honor the Olympic Games were celebrated. The dates of work in Athens, for the realization of the statue ordered by Greek statesman Pericles: 447 to 438, or 9 years. The statue, which stood in the Temple of Zeus, is now lost, but is shown on countless coins and gems, and was described by the Greek traveler and geographer Pausanias.

Ponedeljak, 14 Juni 2021 10:33

Pinax of Persephone and Hades from Locri

The city of Locri was one of the cities of Magna Graecia. Due to the local peoples' characteristics, Plato called it the "flower of Italy". A major sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Persephone, who was worshiped as the protector of the fertility of marriage. It contained a treasure trove of what are known as pinakes or terracotta tablets with bas-relief illustrations that represent the cult's myth and rituals. One in a series of pinakes from this sanctuary is the pinax of Persephone and Hades, from around 460 BC, which is today located in the National Museum of Magna Graecia, Reggio Calabria.

Doryphoros or Spear-Bearer of Polykleitos is one of the best-known Greek statues of classical antiquity. Polykleitos made a statue according to the tenets of his treatise, and called it, like the work, the Canon, translated as measure or rule. The lost bronze original of the statue would have been cast circa 440 BCE, but it is today known only from later (mainly Roman period) marble copies. A well-preserved Roman period copy of the Doryphoros is in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.

Discobolus, the motif of a discus thrower, an ancient Greek athlete, is often present in ancient Greek and Roman fine arts. It was depicted on vases, money, reliefs, and statues. The most famous is the statue of the Greek sculptor Myron from the middle of the 5th century BC the Discobolus or Discus Thrower, originally sculpted in bronze. The statue has gained fame largely through its many bronzes and marble copies made by the Romans. Its famous copy, made in marble, exactly according to the original, by Roman sculptors, is today in the National Museum in Rome.

Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and His Sons, or Laocoön Group represented, in condensed form, all the aesthetic properties that Michelangelo was striving to create in the Italian renaissance context. The original attribution by the Roman author Pliny the Elder is that it was the collaborative project of three sculptors from the island of Rhodes, namely Agesander, Athenodorus and Polydorus, and probably dates from around 42 - 20 BC. It was found in 1516, in Rome, near the town of Nero's Domus Aurea or the Golden House. This sculpture is housed in the Vatican Museum in Rome.

The sculpture Laocoön and His Sons, also called the Laocoön Group, was unearthed in a vineyard on the Esquiline Hill near Roman Emperor Nero's Domus Aurea complex and the Colosseum in 1506. This discovery made a great impression on Italian artists and continued to influence Italian art into the Baroque period. 31-year old Michelangelo, who was working for newly elected Pope Julius II, and his arch-rival Giuliano da Sangallo were called in to take a look and give their opinion. The young Michelangelo immediately recognized and admired the quality of the sculpture convincing Pope Julius II to buy it for the expanding Papal art collection.

Ponedeljak, 31 Maj 2021 11:05

Dying Slave by Michelangelo

The statue of the Dying Slave is one of six statues of slaves sculpted by Michelangelo for the tomb of Pope Julius II between 1513 and 1516. In 1546, Michelangelo gave this statue along with its companion statue, the Rebellious Slave, to Ruberto Strozzi, who in turn presented them to King François I of France. In 1794, the Rebellious and Dying Slaves were purchased for the French state, and have been preserved in the Museum Louvre in Paris ever since.

Subota, 29 Maj 2021 10:41

Rebellious Slave by Michelangelo

In 1506 Pope Julius II invited Michelangelo to Rome and gave him the task of drafting and constructing his tomb. For the tomb, Michelangelo also worked on a group of statues from 1513 to 1536. initially titled Prisoners, renamed the "slaves" only in the 19th century. He sculpted the most famous pair of slaves between 1513 and 1516. commonly referred to as the Rebellious Slave and the Dying Slave due to their respective revealing demeanors. The other four slaves were only partially carved by Michelangelo and still trapped in a block of marble. The Rebellious Slave was intended for a niche, but now it is exhibited as a free-standing pendant to the Dying Slave in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Auguste Rodin himself wrote about his intention to use a heroic figure à la Michelangelo to represent Thinking as well as Poetry: "The Thinker has a story. In the days long gone by I conceived the idea of The Gates of Hell. Before the door, seated on the rock, Dante thinking of the plan of the poem behind him... all the characters from The Divine Comedy. This project was not realized. Thin ascetic Dante in his straight robe separated from all the rest would have been without meaning. Guided by my first inspiration I conceived another thinker, a naked man, seated on a rock, his fist against his teeth, he dreams. The fertile thought slowly elaborates itself within his brain. He is no longer a dreamer, he is a creator."

One of Auguste Rodin's most famous works, Le Penseur, or The Thinker was intended to be a part of Rodin's The Gates of Hell and represent an early Italian Renaissance poet Dante Alighieri pondering The Divine Comedy, his epic story of Paradise and Inferno. However, in 1889 Rodin exhibited the sculpture independently of The Gates, giving it the title The Thinker, and in 1902 he embarked on this larger version. Sculpture The Thinker exists in many marble and bronze editions in several sizes were which were executed in Rodin's lifetime and after. The most famous version is the bronze statue cast in 1904 that sits in the gardens of the Rodin Museum in Paris.

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