Monuments after Persian Wars

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RedEdison
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264406
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Monuments after Persian Wars
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2014-03-02 18:13:46
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    • Two citizens watch craftsmen finishing heroic bronze statue in workshop.
    • NB:
    • athletic bronze statue being put together at left.
    • RF cup by Foundry Painter.
    • Early 5th century.

    Bronze workshop. The production of a variety of bronze statues is shown at different stages. At the centre of one side (side A), the statue of a warrior, larger than life-sized, stands within a wooden scaffolding. His body his protected by a circular shield held in his left hand; his right hand is about to thrust a raised spear. Unusually, the cheek-guards of the helmet are folded upwards; the painter probably used this to depict the statue's face more clearly. The statue appears to be in the final stages of production, since two workers, one of them marked as a smith by his characteristic leather cap, are smoothing or polishing its surface. They are flanked on each side by a man leaning on a crook and watching the workmen. They appear to neither represent additional workmen, nor the owners of the workshop, but rather random passers-by on the way to or from the palaistra. They were probably going to (or just did) engage in athletic activity, as indicated by the sports-related items (an oil flask and a strigil) suspended behind them.

    • On the opposite side (side B), a second statue is being made. It appears to be that of an athlete.
    • The statue, still headless, is lying on a sand or clay support; a workman is holding one of its arms, carefully manipulating it with a hammer. The statue's head lies at his feet. A line between the statue's arm and hand indicates that the two parts are not fully joined yet. The soldering to join them is probably being prepared in the furnace. Behind the furnace, a youth is manipulating a bellows to kindle the fire; in front of it, a seated workman appears to be heating a metal rod.
    • Artemision Zeus
    • c460
    • Bronze

    Thunderbolt fits his hand better than Poseidon trident

    Classic/Severe style – archaic gods were like kouroi or lunging forward. This stilling of movement suggests huge power. Fearsome?

    Cf Diskoboulos by Myron in Atheltic Votives 

    Though he is probably hurling his weapon, he shows no sign of strain

    • Upright, immobile, impassive. He is a god.
    • Clarity, balance, restraint

    • Balance = his arms are actually lengthened
    • to create this, and his posture is also balanced – X-shaped - a relaxed leg and arm oppose one another, as do a flexed leg and arm

    Vitality, beauty, sensuality

    Symmetry. Ordered.  (and yet, Zeus was a womanizer? All those extra children…)

    • Probably made in an Athenian workshop.
    • His measurements are in fact very exact
    • (nipples one Attik foot apart, for example)

    Greek thought: order and opposition, μεν and δε, chiastic thought.

    • e.g.       In
    • peace sons bury their fathers

    •             In
    • war fathers bury their sons

    • Sculptors: producing perfect bodies, paying
    • attention to ideas and fashions
    • The Tyrannicides. Originals 477BC (reconstruction of those first commissioned c510BC)
    • Top: modern bronze from Roman marble
    • 2: Roman copy
    • 3: L = cast of Aristogeiton
    • R = marble copy of Aristogeiton
    • 4: L = ancient plaster head from Baiae
    • R = marble copy of Aristogeiton's head
    • 5: L = marble copy of Harmodios
    • R = more copies of Aristogeiton

    Naked, bronzed, fit, storming forwards

    • ‘New Athenians’ of the 470s, veterans of
    • mighty Persian battles, bold and invincible, crushers of hybris and defenders of freedom

    By Kritios and Nesiotes

    • Tyrant Hippias and brother Hipparchos from
    • back in 514

    • Aristogeiton and Harmodias were lovers, and
    • killed for their deed

    Statues first commissioned in 510 after hoplite republic installed

    First truly political monument

    Examples of correct behaviour – NB they weren’t successful (Hippias tightened his grip) and they died – important was their attitude.

    Stood in agora, by assembly and where the dramatic competitions were before moved to theatre of Dionysos… Context important.

    FIRST Civic icons. Non-religious, non-funerary

    • Had become mythologized already as
    • overthrowers of the tyranny! ‘establishers of the fatherland’ (inscription)

    • Kouros is well out – these new ideals are
    • in. Severe.

    • Homoeroticism was elitist, but also one’s
    • masculinity could not be compromised – mentor-pupil relationship characterised instead
    • Bearded erastes
    • Unbearded eramenos
    • Themistokles
    • Roman copy of his portrait
    • Looks heroic - blunt features like a Herakles
    • Inappropriate for the new egalitarian atmosphere in Athens?

    • Close-cropped hair and beard
    • Blunt features
    • Stern

    • One statue of him ended up in theatre of
    • Dionysos.

    • He had been a national hero, after Salamis
    • (479) but he was becoming controversial. He built a shrine to Artemis Wisest in Council next to his house… Hubristic?

    • Athens did not commission any portraits in
    • the 5th century. Not inkeeping with egalitarianism. Not personal restraint!

    • Persai:
    • Warns that Athenians might succumb to
    • hubris-nemesis cycle? Zeus is the stern chastiser of boastful men.

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