Phidias | Biography, Works, & Facts | index-art.info
Pericles maintained close friendships with the leading intellects of his time. The playwright Sophocles and the sculptor Phidias were among his friends. Pericles' . Plutarch in his Greek Lives spoke of Phidias, his relationship with Pericles, and his Athena sculpture in a chapter on the Greek statesman. Little is known about Phidias's life. When Pericles rose to power in , he initiated a great building program in Athens and placed Phidias in charge of all artistic.
Athena was the goddess of wisdom and warriors and the protector of Athens. At Pellene in Achaeaand at Plataea Phidias made two other statues of Athena, as well as a statue of the goddess Aphrodite in ivory and gold for the people of Elis. Zeus at Olympia and the Athena Parthenos[ edit ] Main article: Athena Parthenos For the ancient Greeks, two works of Phidias far outshone all others, the colossal chryselephantine Statue of Zeus c.
Both sculptures belong to about the middle of the 5th century BC.
A number of replicas and works inspired by it, both ancient and modern, have been made. Upon completing the Athena Parthenos sculpture, Phidias was accused of embezzlement. Specifically, he was charged with shortchanging the amount of gold that was supposed to be used in the statue and keeping the extra for himself. Plutarch writes that Phidias was imprisoned and died in jail. The god was seated on a throne, every part of which was used for sculptural decoration. His body was of ivory, his robe of gold.What Role Did Pericles Play In The Golden Age?
His head was of somewhat archaic type: Athena Lemnia According to geographer Pausanias 1. He described it as "the best of all Pheidias's works to see". Phidias' workshop rediscovered[ edit ] Photo of the workshop of Phidias at Olympia A significant advancement in the knowledge of Phidias' working methodology came during —58 with the excavation of the workshop at Olympia where Phidias created the Statue of Zeus at Olympia.
Death[ edit ] Of his death we have two discrepant accounts. According to Plutarch he was made an object of attack by the political enemies of Pericles, and died in prison at Athens. The overall composition may not have differed greatly from that of the Athena Parthenos. Phidias perfected a different, peaceful interpretation of the patron goddess of Athens in the Athena Lemnia, dedicated on the Acropolis, also about B.
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The beauty and delicate proportions of this statue are praised by ancient authors, especially Lucian Imagines. On the basis of A. In this original, unconventional work, we see Phidias's ennobling, yet humanizing vision of the Olympian gods taking shape.
Attributed Works and Parthenon Activity Among numerous other statues ascribed by classical authors to Phidias, much scholarly argument has ensued over identification of the Amazon submitted by Phidias to the famous competition at the Artemision of Ephesus, which received second place to Polykleitos's entry Pliny, Natural History. Other even more controversial sculptures include an Aphrodite Ourania in Elis, Greece Pausaniasin which the goddess rested her left foot on a tortoise, and an Aphrodite seen by Pliny Natural History in the Portico of Octavia in Rome, thought by some scholars to have been a seated statue; these attributions, however, remain hypothetical.
Although Plutarch states that Phidias was in charge of the entire Parthenon project, exactly how he was able to organize and supervise the complex staff of designers, sculptors, and masons required for the construction and execution of the building and its sculptures is still not understood. While scholars have been unable to point definitively to any single figure or feature in the sculptural ensemble as being by Phidias, B.
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Schweitzer has proposed that the underlying scheme was Phidias's and that he may well have participated in the carving of individual metopes, figures in the frieze, and three-dimensional statues in the pedimental groups. The Athena Parthenos Phidias's most justly famed creations were his two colossal gold-and-ivory cult statues.
The Athena Parthenos, probably over 35 feet in height, is known through brief literary descriptions in Pliny Natural History and Pausanias and from copies and representations in various media. The picture that emerges is a standing, fully armed, and elaborately dressed Athena, holding a small statue of Nike in her outstretched right hand and cradling her spear with her left. Her shield rested against her right leg; nearby was a coiled serpent.
Her helmet, sandals, and shield were richly decorated; the base of the statue depicted the birth of Pandora watched by 20 gods. The technique of construction, while not known for certain, probably included face, arms, and other skin areas pieced together in ivory, while the drapery, of very thin gold, was applied in detachable sections over a shaped wooden interior.
The core probably contained an armature of beams. The projecting right arm may have been supported by a column, as is the case in the Varvakeion statuette.
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Both the Athena Parthenos and the Zeus had a reservoir under the base for liquid, which helped to keep the statue from drying out and cracking. The two best copies of the Athena Parthenos, the Varvakeion and Lenormant statuettes, both marble miniatures of Roman date National Museum, Athensare invaluable for providing a general idea of the statue's proportions and appearance. Two other small replicas, from Patras, Greece, and Bitolj, Yugoslavia, have been identified.
Among other sculptural copies and adaptations, the over life-size version from the Library of the Sanctuary of Athena in Pergamon Staatliche Museen, Berlin is very important. A detailed reproduction of the head exists on a gem signed by the Roman gem cutter Aspasios Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome. In addition, the battle of Greeks and Amazons represented on the shield is known, at least in its main outlines, through a number of copies, the most important of which include the unfinished shield on the Lenormant statuette, the "Strangford Shield" British MuseumLondonand individual pairs of fighters on large neo-Attic reliefs Museum, Piraeus.
The combatants, arranged in pairs, swirl around a large central Gorgon head. The compositions of the battle of gods and giants, on the concave side of the shield, and the birth of Pandora on the base have still not been identified with certainty. Phidias depicted Zeus seated upon an elaborately decorated throne adorned with gold, ivory, ebony, and semiprecious stones.
He constructed the statue in a workshop just west of the Temple of Zeus which had measurements identical to those of the cella. Strabo's remark that if the god had arisen he would have unroofed the temple suggests, however, that Phidias did not adequately plan the statue for its restricted spatial setting. Excavations of the workshop have uncovered much debris, including terra-cotta forms used to fashion sections of the exterior gold plating of the drapery, scraps of worked ivory, tools, and fragments of molded glass and worked obsidian from the inlaid ornamentation of the statue.
When the information is published, it will be invaluable for interpreting and dating the statue, as well as for our knowledge of the chryselephantine technique. According to Pausanias, Zeus, like the Athena Parthenos, held a Nike in his right hand; his left hand held a scepter.