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    Chapter 34

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    Chapter 34
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    Chapter XXXIV
    The Druids Iona

    The Druids were the priests or ministers of religion among the
    ancient Celtic nations in Gaul, Britain, and Germany. Our
    information respecting them is borrowed from notices in the Greek
    and Roman writers, compared with the remains of Welsh and Gaelic
    poetry still extant.

    The Druids combined the functions of the priest, the magistrate,
    the scholar, and the physician. They stood to the people of the
    Celtic tribes in a relation closely analogous to that in which
    the Brahmans of India, the Magi of Persia, and the priests of the
    Egyptians stood to the people respectively by whom they were

    The Druids taught the existence of one God, to whom they gave a
    name "Be'al," which Celtic antiquaries tell us means "the life of
    everything," or "the source of all beings,:" and which seems to
    have affinity with the Phoenician Baal. What renders this
    affinity more striking is that the Druids as well as the
    Phoenicians identified this, their supreme deity, with the Sun.
    Fire was regarded as a symbol of the divinity. The Latin writers
    assert that the Druids also worshipped numerous inferior Gods.
    They used no images to represent the object of their worship, nor
    did they meet in temples or buildings of any kind for the
    performance of their sacred rites. A circle of stones (each
    stone generally of vast size) enclosing an area of from twenty
    feet to thirty yards in diameter, constituted their sacred place.
    The most celebrated of these now remaining is Stonehenge, on
    Salisbury Plain, England.

    These sacred circles were generally situated near some stream, or
    under the shadow of a grove or wide-spreading oak. In the centre
    of the circle stood the Cromlech or altar, which was a large
    stone, placed in the manner of a table upon other stones set up
    on end. The Druids had also their high places, which were large
    stones or piles of stones on the summits of hills. These were
    called Cairns, and were used in the worship of the deity under
    the symbol of the sun.

    That the Druids offered sacrifices to their deity there can be no
    doubt. But there is some uncertainty as to what they offered,
    and of the ceremonies connected with their religious services we
    know almost nothing. The classical (Roman) writers affirm that
    they offered on great occasions human sacrifices; as for success
    in war or for relief from dangerous diseases. Caesar has given a
    detailed account of the manner in which this was done. "They
    have images of immense size, the limbs of which are framed with
    twisted twigs and filled with living persons. These being set on
    fire, those within are encompassed by the flames." Many attempts
    have been made by Celtic writers to shake the testimony of the
    Roman historians to this fact, but without success.

    The Druids observed two festivals in each year. The former took
    place in the beginning of May, and was called Beltane or "fire of
    God." On this occasion a large fire was kindled on some elevated
    spot, in honor of the sun, whose returning beneficence they thus
    welcomed after the gloom and desolation of winter. Of this
    custom a trace remains in the name given to Whitsunday in parts
    of Scotland to this day. Sir Walter Scott uses the word in the
    Boat Song in the Lady of the Lake:

    "Ours is no sapling, chance-sown by the fountain,
    Blooming at Beltane in winter to fade."

    The other great festival of the Druids was called "Samh'in," or
    "fire of peace," and was held on Hallow-eve (first of November),
    which still retains this designation in the Highlands of
    Scotland. On this occasion the Druids assembled in solemn
    conclave, in the most central part of the district, to discharge
    the judicial functions of their order. All questions, whether
    public or private, all crimes against person or property, were at
    this time brought before them for adjudication. With these
    judicial acts were combined certain superstitious usages,
    especially the kindling of the sacred fire, from which all the
    fires in the district which had been beforehand scrupulously
    extinguished, might be relighted. This usage of kindling fires
    on Hallow-eve lingered in the British Islands long after the
    establishment of Christianity.

    Besides these two great annual festivals, the Druids were in the
    habit of observing the full moon, and especially the sixth day of
    the moon. On the latter they sought the mistletoe, which grew on
    their favorite oaks, and to which, as well as to the oak itself,
    they ascribed a peculiar virtue and sacredness. The discovery of
    it was an occasion of rejoicing and solemn worship. "They call
    it," says Pliny, "by a word in their language which means 'heal-
    all,' and having made solemn preparation for feasting and
    sacrifice under the tree, they drive thither two milk-white
    bulls, whose horns are then for the first time bound. The priest
    then, robed in white, ascends the tree, and cuts off the
    mistletoe with a golden sickle. It is caught in a white mantle,
    after which they proceed to slay the victims, at the same time
    praying that god would render his gift prosperous to those to
    whom he had given it. They drink the water in which it has been
    infused, and think it a remedy for all diseases. The mistletoe
    is a parasitic plant, and is not always nor often found on the
    oak, so that when it is found it is the more precious."

    The Druids were the teachers of morality as well as of religion.
    Of their ethical teaching a valuable specimen is preserved in the
    Triads of the Welsh Bards, and from this we may gather that their
    views of moral rectitude were on the whole just, and that they
    held and inculcated many very noble and valuable principles of
    conduct. They were also the men of science and learning of their
    age and people. Whether they were acquainted with letters or not
    has been disputed, though the probability is strong that they
    were, to some extent. But it is certain that they committed
    nothing of their doctrine, their history, or their poetry to
    writing. Their teaching was oral, and their literature (if such
    a word may be used in such a case) was preserved solely by
    tradition. But the Roman writers admit that "they paid much
    attention to the order and laws of nature, and investigated and
    taught to the youth under their charge many things concerning the
    stars and their motions, the size of the world and the lands ,
    and concerning the might and power of the immortal gods."

    Their history consisted in traditional tales, in which the heroic
    deeds of their forefathers were celebrated. These were
    apparently in verse, and thus constituted part of the poetry as
    well as the history of the Druids. In the poems of Ossian we
    have, if not the actual productions of Druidical times, what may
    be considered faithful representations of the songs of the Bards.

    The Bards were an essential part of the Druidical hierarchy. One
    author, Pennant, says, "The bards were supposed to be endowed
    with powers equal to inspiration. They were the oral historians
    of all past transactions, public and private. They were also
    accomplished genealogists."

    Pennant gives a minute account of the Eisteddfods or sessions of
    the bards and minstrels, which were held in Wales for many
    centuries, long after the Druidical priesthood in its other
    departments became extinct. At these meetings none but bards of
    merit were suffered to rehearse their pieces, and minstrels of
    skill to perform. Judges were appointed to decide on their
    respective abilities, and suitable degrees were conferred. In
    the earlier period the judges were appointed by the Welsh
    princes, and after the conquest of Wales, by commission from the
    kings of England. Yet the tradition is that Edward I., in
    revenge for the influence of the bards, in animating the
    resistance of the people to his sway, persecuted them with great
    cruelty. This tradition has furnished the poet Gray with the
    subject of his celebrated ode, the Bard.

    There are still occasional meetings of the lovers of Welsh poetry
    and music, held under the ancient name. Among Mrs. Heman's poems
    is one written for an Eisteddfod, or meeting of Welsh Bards, held
    in London May 22, 1822. It begins with a description of the
    ancient meeting, of which the following lines are a part:

    "----- midst the eternal cliffs, whose strength defied
    The crested Roman in his hour of pride;
    And where the Druid's ancient cromlech frowned,
    And the oaks breathed mysterious murmurs round,
    There thronged the inspired of yore! On plain or height,
    In the sun's face, beneath the eye of light,
    And baring unto heaven each noble head,
    Stood in the circle, where none else might tread."

    The Druidical system was at its height at the time of the Roman
    invasion under Julius Caesar. Against the Druids, as their chief
    enemies, these conquerors of the world directed their unsparing
    fury. The Druids, harassed at all points on the main-land,
    retreated to Anglesey and Iona, where for a season they found
    shelter, and continued their now-dishonored rites.

    The Druids retained their predominance in Iona and over the
    adjacent islands and main-land until they were supplanted and
    their superstitions overturned by the arrival of St. Columba, the
    apostle of the Highlands, by whom the inhabitants of that
    district were first led to profess Christianity.


    One of the smallest of the British Isles, situated near a ragged
    and barren coast, surrounded by dangerous seas, and possessing no
    sources of internal wealth, Iona has obtained an imperishable
    place in history as the seat of civilization and religion at a
    time when the darkness of heathenism hung over almost the whole
    of Northern Europe. Iona or Icolmkill is situated at the
    extremity of the island of Mull, from which it is separated by a
    strait of half a mile in breadth, its distance from the main-land
    of Scotland being thirty-six miles.

    Columba was a native of Ireland, and connected by birth with the
    princes of the land. Ireland was at that time a land of gospel
    light, while the western and northern parts of Scotland were
    still immersed in the darkness of heathenism. Columba, with
    twelve friends landed on the island of Iona in the year of our
    Lord 563, having made the passage in a wicker boat covered with
    hides. The Druids who occupied the island endeavored to prevent
    his settling there, and the savage nations on the adjoining
    shores incommoded him with their hostility, and on several
    occasions endangered his life by their attacks. Yet by his
    perseverance and zeal he surmounted all opposition, procured from
    the king a gift of the island, and established there a monastery
    of which he was the abbot. He was unwearied in his labors to
    disseminate a knowledge of the Scriptures throughout the
    Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and such was the reverence
    paid him that though not a bishop, but merely a presbyter and
    monk, the entire province with its bishops was subject to him and
    his successors. The Pictish monarch was so impressed with a
    sense of his wisdom and worth that he held him in the highest
    honor, and the neighboring chiefs and princes sought his counsel
    and availed themselves of his judgment in settling their

    When Columba landed on Iona he was attended by twelve followers
    whom he had formed into a religious body, of which he was the
    head. To these, as occasion required, others were from time to
    time added, so that the original number was always kept up.
    Their institution was called a monastery, and the superior an
    abbot, but the system had little in common with the monastic
    institutions of later times. The name by which those who
    submitted to the rule were known was that of Culdees, probably
    from the Latin "cultores Dei" worshippers of God. They were a
    body of religious persons associated together for the purpose of
    aiding each other in the common work of preaching the gospel and
    teaching youth, as well as maintaining in themselves the fervor
    of devotion by united exercises of worship. On entering the
    order certain vows were taken by the members, but they were not
    those which were usually imposed by monastic orders, for of
    these, which are three, celibacy, poverty, and obedience, the
    Culdees were bound to none except the third. To poverty they did
    not bind themselves; on the contrary, they seem to have labored
    diligently to procure for themselves and those dependent on them
    the comforts of life. Marriage also was allowed them, and most
    of them seem to have entered into that state. True, their wives
    were not permitted to reside with them at the institution, but
    they had a residence assigned to them in an adjacent locality.
    Near Iona there is an island which still bears the name of "Eilen
    nam ban," women's island, where their husbands seem to have
    resided with them, except when duty required their presence in
    the school or the sanctuary.

    Campbell, in his poem of Reullura, alludes to the married monks
    of Iona:

    " -----The pure Culdees
    Were Albyn's earliest priests of God,
    Ere yet an island of her seas
    By foot of Saxon monk was trod,
    Long ere her churchmen by bigotry
    Were barred from holy wedlock's tie.
    'Twas then that Aodh, famed afar,
    In Iona preached the word with power.
    And Reullura, beauty's star,
    Was the partner of his bower."

    In one of his Irish Melodies, Moore gives the legend of St.
    Senanus and the lady who sought shelter on the island, but was

    "Oh, haste and leave this sacred isle,
    Unholy bark, ere morning smile;
    For on thy deck, though dark it be,
    A female form I see;
    And I have sworn this sainted sod
    Shall ne'er by woman's foot be trod.

    In these respects and in others the Culdees departed from the
    established rules of the Romish Church, and consequently were
    deemed heretical. The consequence was that as the power of the
    latter advanced, that of the Culdees was enfeebled. It was not,
    however, till the thirteenth century that the communities of the
    Culdees were suppressed and the members dispersed. They still
    continued to labor as individuals, and resisted the inroads of
    Papa usurpation as they best might till the light of the
    Reformation dawned on the world.

    Ionia, from its position in the western seas, was exposed to the
    assaults of the Norwegian and Danish rovers by whom those seas
    were infested, and by them it was repeatedly pillaged, its
    dwellings burned, and its peaceful inhabitants put to the sword.
    These unfavorable circumstances led to its gradual decline, which
    was expedited by the supervision of the Culdees throughout
    Scotland. Under the reign of Popery the island became the seat
    of a nunnery, the ruins of which are still seen. At the
    Reformation, the nuns were allowed to remain, living in
    community, when the abbey was dismantled.

    Ionia is now chiefly resorted to by travellers on account of the
    numerous ecclesiastical and sepulchral remains which are found
    upon it. The principal of these are the Cathedral or Abbey
    Church, and the Chapel of the Nunnery. Besides these remains of
    ecclesiastical antiquity, there are some of an earlier date, and
    pointing to the existence on the island of forms of worship and
    belief different from those of Christianity. These are the
    circular Cairns which are found in various parts, and which seem
    to have been of Druidical origin. It is in reference to all
    these remains of ancient religion that Johnson exclaims, "That
    man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force
    upon the plains of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer
    amid the ruins of Iona."

    In the Lord of the Isles, Scott beautifully contrasts the church
    on Iona with the Cave of Staffa, opposite:

    "Nature herself, it seemed, would raise
    A minister to her Maker's praise!
    Not for a meaner use ascend
    Her columns or her arches bend;
    Nor of a theme less solemn tells
    The mighty surge that ebbs and swells,
    And still between each awful pause,
    >From the high vault an answer draws,
    In varied tone, prolonged and high,
    That mocks the organ's melody;
    Nor doth its entrance front in vain
    To old Iona's holy fane,
    That Nature's voice might seem to say,
    Well hast thou done, frail child of clay,
    Thy humble powers that stately shrine
    Tasked high and hard but witness mine."


    We have seen throughout the course of this book how the Greek and
    Norse myths have furnished material for the poets, not only of
    Greece and Scandinavia, but also of modern times. In the same
    way these stories have been found capable of artistic treatment
    by painters, sculptors, and even by musicians. The story of
    Cupid and Psyche has not only been retold by poets from Apuleius
    to William Morris, but also drawn out in a series of frescoes by
    Raphael, and sculptured in marble by Canova. Even to enumerate
    the works of art of the modern and ancient world which depend for
    their subject-matter upon mythology would be a task for a book by
    itself. As we have been able to give only a few illustrations of
    the poetic treatment of some of the principal myths, so we shall
    have to content ourselves with a similarly limited view of the
    part played by them in other fields of art.

    Of the statues made by the ancients themselves to represent their
    greater deities, a few have been already commented on. But it
    must not be thought that these splendid examples of plastic art,
    the Olympian Jupiter and the Athene of the Parthenon, represent
    the earliest attempts of the Greeks to give form to their myths
    in sculpture. Our most primitive sources of knowledge of much of
    Greek mythology are the Homeric poems, where the stories of
    Achilles and Ulysses have already taken on a poetic form, almost
    the highest conceivable. But in the other arts, Greek genius
    lagged behind. At the time when the Homeric poems were written,
    we find no traces of columned temples or magnificent statues.
    Scarcely were the domestic arts sufficiently advanced to allow
    the poet to describe dwellings glorious enough for his heroes to
    live in, or articles of common utility fit for their use. Of the
    two most famous works of art mentioned in the Iliad we must think
    of the statue of Athene at Troy (the Palladium) as a rude carving
    perhaps of wood, the arms of the goddess separated from the body
    only enough to allow her to hold the lance and spindle, which
    were the signs of her divinity. The splendor of the shield of
    Achilles must be attributed largely to the rich imagination of
    the poet.

    Other works of art of this primitive age we know from
    descriptions in later classical writers. They attributed the
    rude statues which had come down to them to Daedalus and his
    pupils, and beheld them with wonder at their uncouth ugliness.
    It was long thought that these beginnings of Greek sculpture were
    to be traced to Egypt, but now-a-days scholars are inclined to
    take a different view. Egyptian sculpture was closely allied to
    architecture; the statues were frequently used for the columns of
    temples. Thus sculpture was subordinated to purely mechanical
    principles, and human figures were represented altogether in
    accordance with established conventions. Greek sculpture, on the
    contrary, even in its primitive forms was eminently natural,
    capable of developing a high degree of realism. From the first
    it was decorative in character, and this left the artist free to
    execute in his own way, provided only that the result should be
    in accordance with the highest type of beauty which he could
    conceive. An example of this early decorative art was the chest
    of Kypselos, on which stories from Homer were depicted in
    successive bands, the reliefs being partly inlaid with gold and

    >From the sixth century before Christ date three processes of
    great importance in the development of sculpture; the art of
    casting in bronze, the chiselling of marble, and the inlaying of
    gold and ivory on wood (chryselephantine work). As early Greek
    literature developed first among the island Greeks, so the
    invention of these three methods of art must br attributed to the
    colonists away from the original Hellas. To the Samians is
    probably due the invention of bronze casting, to the Chians the
    beginning of sculpture in marble. This latter development opened
    to Greek sculpture its great future. Marble work was carried on
    by a race of artists beginning with Melas in the seventh century
    and coming down to Boupalos and Athenis, the sons of Achermos,
    whose works survived to the time of Augustus. Chryselephantine
    sculpture began in Crete.

    Among the earliest of the Greek sculptors whose names have come
    down to us was Canachos, the Sicyonian. His masterpiece was the
    Apollo Philesios, in bronze, made for the temple of Didymas. The
    statue no longer exists, but there are a number of ancient
    monuments which may be taken as fairly close copies of it, or at
    least as strongly suggestive of the style of Canachos, among
    which are the Payne-Knight Apollo at the British Museum, and the
    Piombino Apollo at the Louvre. In this latter statue the god
    stands erect with the left foot slightly advanced, and the hands
    outstretched. The socket of the eye is hollow and was probably
    filled with some bright substance. Canachos was undoubtedly an
    innovator, and in the stronger modelling of the head and neck,
    the more vigorous posture of the body of his statue, he shows an
    advance on the more conventional and limited art of his

    As Greek sculpture progressed, schools of artists arose in
    various cities, dependent usually for their fame on the ability
    of some individual sculptor. "Among these schools, those of
    Aegina and Athens are the most important. Of the former school
    the works of Onatus are by far the most notable.

    Onatus was a contemporary of Canachos, and reached the height of
    his fame in the middle of the fifth century before Christ. His
    most famous work was the scene where the Greek heroes draw lots
    for an opponent to Hector. It is not certain whether Onatus
    sculptured the groups which adorned the pediments of the temple
    of Athena at Aegina, groups now in the Glyptothek at Munich, but
    certainly these famous statues are decidedly in his style. Both
    pediments represent the battle over the body of Patroclus. The
    east pediment shows the struggle between Heracles and Laomedon.
    In each group a fallen warrior lies at the feet of the goddess,
    over whom she extends her protection. The Aeginetan marbles show
    the traces of dying archaism. The figures of the warriors are
    strongly moulded, muscular, but without grace. The same type is
    reproduced again and again among them. Even the wounded scarcely
    depart from it. The statues of the eastern pediment are probably
    later in date than those of the western, and in the former the
    dying warrior exhibits actual weakness and pain. In the western
    pediment the statue of the goddess is thoroughly archaic, stiff,
    uncompromisingly harsh, the features frozen into a conventional
    smile. In the eastern group the goddess, though still
    ungraceful, is more distinctly in action, and seems about to take
    part in the struggle. The Heracles of the eastern pediment, a
    warrior supported on one knee and drawing his bow, is, for the
    time, wonderfully vivid and strong. All of these statues are
    evidence of the rapid progress which Greek sculpture was making
    in the fifth century against the demands of hieratic

    The contemporary Athenian school boasted the names of Hegias,
    Critios, and Nesiotes. Their works have all perished, but a copy
    of one of the most famous works of Critios and Nesiotes, the
    statue of the Tyrannicides, is to be found in the Museum of
    Naples. Harmodius and Aristogeiton killed, in 514 B.C., the
    tyrant-ruler of Athens, Hipparchus. In consequence of this
    Athens soon became a republic, and the names of the first rebels
    were held in great honor. Their statues were set up on the
    Acropolis, first a group by Antenor, then the group in question
    by Critios and Nesiotes after the first had been carried away by
    Xerxes. The heroes, as we learn from the copies in Naples, were
    represented as rushing forward, one with a naked sword flashing
    above his head, the other with a mantle for defence thrown over
    his left arm. They differ in every detail of action and pose,
    yet they exemplify the same emotion, a common impulse to perform
    the same deed.

    At Argus, contemporary with these early schools of Athens and
    Aegina, was a school of artists depending on the fame of the
    great sculptor Ageladas. He was distinguished for his statues in
    bronze of Zeus and Heracles, but his great distinction is not
    through works of his own, but is due to the fact that he was the
    teacher of Myron, Polycleitos, and Pheidias. These names with
    those of Pythagoras and Calamis bring us to the glorious
    flowering time of Greek sculpture.

    Calamis, somewhat older than the others, was an Athenian, at
    least by residence. He carried on the measure of perfection
    which Athenian sculpture had already attained, and added grace
    and charm to the already powerful model which earlier workers had
    left him. None of his works survive, but from notices of critics
    we know that he excelled especially in modelling horses and other
    animals. His two race-horses in memory of the victory of Hiero
    of Syracuse at Olympia in 468 were considered unsurpassable.
    However, it is related that Praxiteles removed the charioteer
    from one of the groups of Calamis and replaced it by one of his
    own statues "that the men of Calamis might not be inferior to his
    horses." Thus it would appear that Calamis was less successful
    in dealing with the human body, though a statue of Aphrodite from
    his hand was proverbial, under the name Sosandra, for its grace
    and grave beauty.

    Pythagoras of Rhegium carried on the realism, truth to nature,
    which was beginning to appear as an ideal of artistic
    representation. He is said to have been the first sculptor to
    mark the veins and sinews on the body.

    In this vivid naturalness Pythagoras was himself far surpassed by
    Myron. Pythagoras had seen the importance of showing the effect
    of action in every portion of the body. Myron carried the
    minuteness of representation so far that his Statue of Ladas, the
    runner, was spoken of not as a runner, but as a BREATHER. This
    statue represented the victor of the foot-race falling,
    overstrained and dying, at the goal, the last breath from the
    tired lungs yet hovering upon the lips. More famous than the
    Ladas is the Discobolos , or disc-thrower, of which copies exist
    at Rome, one being at the Vatican, the other at the Palazzo
    Massimi alle Colonne. These, though doubtless far behind the
    original, serve to show the marvellous power of portraying
    intense action which the sculptor possessed. The athlete is
    represented at the precise instant when he has brought the
    greatest possible bodily strength into play in order to give to
    the disc its highest force. The body is bent forward, the toes
    of one foot cling to the ground, the muscles of the torso are
    strained, the whole body is in an attitude of violent tension
    which can endure only for an instant. Yet the face is free from
    contortion, free from any trace of effort, calm and beautiful.
    This shows that Myron, intent as he was upon reproducing nature,
    could yet depart from his realistic formulae when the
    requirements of beautiful art demanded it.

    The same delight in rapid momentary action which characterized
    the two statues of Myron already mentioned appears in a third,
    the statue of Marsyas astonished at the flute which Athene had
    thrown away, and which was to lead its finder into his fatal
    contest with Apollo. A copy of this work at the Lateran Museum
    represents the satyr starting back in a rapid mingling of desire
    and fear, which is stamped on his heavy face, as well as
    indicated in the movement of his body.

    Myron's realism again found expression in the bronze cow,
    celebrated by the epigrams of contemporary poets for its striking
    naturalness. "Shepherd, pasture thy flock at a little distance,
    lest thinking thou seest the cow of Myron breathe, thou shouldst
    wish to lead it away with thine oxen," was one of them.

    The value and originality of Myron's contributions to the
    progress of Greek sculpture were so great that he left behind him
    a considerable number of artists devoted to his methods. His son
    Lykios followed his father closely. In statues on the Acropolis
    representing two boys, one bearing a basin, one blowing the coals
    in a censer into a flame, he reminds one of the Ladas, especially
    in the second, where the action of breathing is exemplified in
    every movement of the body. Another famous work by a follower of
    Myron was the boy plucking a thorn from his foot, a copy of which
    is in the Rothschild collection.

    The frieze of the Temple of Apollo at Phigales has also been
    attributed to the school of Myron. The remnants of this frieze,
    now in the British Museum, show the battle of the Centaurs and
    Amazons. The figures have not the calm stateliness of bearing
    which characterizes those of the Parthenon frieze, but instead
    exhibit a wild vehemence of action which is, perhaps, directly
    due to the influence of Myron.

    Another pupil of Ageladas, a somewhat younger contemporary of
    Pheidias, was Polycleitos. He excelled in representations of
    human, bodily beauty. Perfection of form was his aim, and so
    nearly did he seem to the ancients to have attained this object
    that his Doryphoros was taken by them as a model of the human
    figure. A copy of this statue exists in the Museum of Naples
    and represents a youth in the attitude of bearing a lance, quiet
    and reserved. The figure is rather heavily built, firm,
    powerful, and yet graceful, though hardly light enough to justify
    the praise of perfection which has been lavished upon it.

    A companion statue to the Doryphorus of Polycleitos was his
    statue of the Diadumenos, or boy binding his head with a fillet.
    A supposed copy of this exists in the British Museum. It
    presents the same general characteristics as the Doryphorus, a
    well-modelled but thick-set figure standing in an attitude of

    What Polycleitos did for the male form in these two statues he
    did for the female form in his Amazon, which, according to a
    doubtful story, was adjudged in competition superior to a work by
    Pheidias. A statue supposed to be a copy of this masterpiece of
    Polycleitos is now in the Berlin Museum. It represents a woman
    standing in a graceful attitude beside a pillar, her left arm
    thrown above her head to free her wounded breast. The sculptor
    has succeeded admirably in catching the muscular force and firm
    hard flesh beneath the graceful curves of the woman warrior.

    Polycleitos won his chief successes in portraying human figures.
    His statues of divinities are not numerous: a Zeus at Argos, an
    Aphrodite at Amyclae, and, more famous than either, the
    chryselephantine Hera for a temple between Argos and Mycenae.
    The goddess was represented as seated on a throne of gold, with
    bare head and arms. In her right hand was the sceptre crowned
    with the cuckoo, symbol of conjugal fidelity; in her left, the
    pomegranate. There exists no certain copy of the Hera of
    Polycleitos. The head of Hera in Naples may, perhaps, give us
    some idea of the type of divine beauty preferred by the sculptor
    who was preeminent for his devotion to human beauty.

    Polycleitos was much praised by the Romans Quintilian and Cicero,
    who nevertheless, held that though he surpassed the beauty of man
    in nature, yet he did not approach the beauty of the gods. It
    was reserved for Pheidias to portray the highest conceptions of
    divinity of which the Greek mind was capable in his statues of
    Athene in the Parthenon at Athens, and the Zeus of Olympus.

    Pheidias lived in the golden age of Athenian art. The victory of
    Greece against Persia had been due in large measure to Athens,
    and the results of the political success fell largely to her. It
    is true the Persians had held the ground of Athens for weeks, and
    when, after the victory of Salamis, the people returned to their
    city, they found it in ruins. But the spirit of the Athenians
    had been stirred, and in spite of the hostility of Persia, the
    jealousy of neighboring states, and the ruin of the city, the
    people felt new confidence in themselves and their divinity, and
    were more than ever ready to strive for the leadership of Greece.
    Religious feeling, gratitude to the gods who had preserved them,
    and civic pride in the glory of their own victorious city, all
    inspired the Athenians. After the winter in which the Persians
    were finally beaten at Plataea, the Athenians began to rebuild.
    For a while their efforts were confined to rendering the city
    habitable and defensible, since the activity of the little state
    was largely political. But when th leadership of Athens in
    Greece had become firmly established under Theistocles and Cimon,
    the third president of the democracy, Pericles, found leisure to
    turn to the artistic development of the city. The time was ripe,
    for the artistic progress of the people had been no less marked
    than their political. The same long training in valor and
    temperance which gave Athens her statesmen, Aristides and
    Pericles, gave her her artists and poets also. Pericles became
    president of the city in 444 B.C., just at the time when the
    decorative arts were approaching perfection under Pheidias.

    Pheidias was an Athenian by birth, the son of Charmides. He
    studied first under Hegias, then under Ageladas the Argive. He
    became the most famous sculptor of his time, and when Pericles
    wanted a director for his great monumental works at Athens, he
    summoned Pheidias. Artists from all over Hellas put themselves
    at his disposal, and under his direction the Parthenon was built
    and adorned with the most splendid statuary the world has ever

    The Parthenon was fashioned in honor of Athene or Minerva, the
    guardian deity of Athens, the preserver of Hellas, whom the
    Athenians in their gratitude sought to make the sovereign goddess
    of the land which she had saved. The eastern gable of the temple
    was adorned with a group representing the appearance of Minerva
    before the gods of Olympus. In the left angle of the gable
    appeared Helios, the dawn, rising from the sea. In the right
    angle Selene, evening, sank from sight. Next to Helios was a
    figure representing either Dionysus or Olympus, and beside were
    seated two figures, perhaps Persephone and Demeter, perhaps two
    Horae. Approaching these as a messenger was Iris. Balancing
    these figures on the side next Selene were two figures,
    representing Aphrodite in the arms of Peitho, or perhaps
    Thalassa, goddess of the sea, leaning against Gaia, the earth.
    Nearer the centre on this side was Hestia, to whom Hermes brought
    the tidings. The central group is totally lost, but must have
    been made up of Zeus, Athene, and Vulcan, with, perhaps, others
    of the greater divinities.

    The group of the western pediment represented Athene and
    Poseidon, contesting for the supremacy of Athens. Athene's
    chariot is driven by Victory, Poseidon's by Amphitrite. Although
    the greater part of the attendant deities have disappeared, we
    know the gods of the rivers of Athens, Eridanas and Ilissos, in
    reclining postures filled the corners of the pediment. One of
    these has survived, and remains in its perfection of grace and
    immortal beauty to attest the wonderful skill that directed the
    chiselling of the whole group.

    Although the gable groups have suffered terribly in the historic
    vicissitudes of the Parthenon, still enough remains of them to
    show the dignity of their conception, the rhythm of composition,
    and the splendid freedom of their workmanship. The fragments
    were purchased by Lord Elgin early in this century and are now in
    the British Museum.

    The frieze of the Parthenon, executed under the supervision of
    Pheidias, represented one of the most glorious religious
    ceremonies of the Greek, the Pan-Athenaic procession. The
    deities surround Zeus as spectators of the scene, and toward them
    winds the long line of virgins bearing incense, herds of animals
    for sacrifice, players upon the lute and lyre, chariots and
    riders. On the western front the movement has not yet begun, and
    the youths and men stand in disorder, some binding their mantles,
    some mounting their horses. The frieze is noteworthy for its
    expression of physical and intellectual beauty which marked the
    highest conceptions of Greek art, and for the studied mingling of
    forcible action and gracious repose. The larger part of this
    frieze has been preserved and is to be seen at the British

    The third group of Parthenon sculptures, the ornaments of the
    metope, represents the contest between centaurs and the Lapithae
    with some scenes interspersed of which the subjects cannot now be
    determined. The frieze is in low relief, the figures scarcely
    starting from the background. The sculptures of the metope, on
    the contrary, are in high relief, frequently giving the
    impression of marbles detached from the background altogether.
    They were, moreover, colored. Or course, Pheidias himself cannot
    have had more than the share of general director in the
    sculptures of the metope; many of them are manifestly executed by
    inferior hands. Nevertheless, the mind of a great designer is
    evident in the wonderful variety of posture and action which the
    figures show. Indeed, when we consider the immense number of
    figures employed, it becomes evident that not even all the
    sculptures of the pediments can have been executed entirely by
    Pheidias, who was already probably well advanced in life when he
    began the Parthenon decorations; yet all the sculptures were the
    work of Pheidias or of pupils working under him, and although
    traces may be found of the influence of other artists, of
    Myron, for example, in the freedom and naturalness of the action
    in the figures of the frieze, yet all the decorations of the
    Parthenon may fairly be said to belong to the Pheidian school of

    The fame of Pheidias himself, however, rested very largely on
    three great pieces of art work: The Athene Promachos, the Athene
    Parthenos, and the Olympian Zeus. The first of these was a work
    of Pheidias's youth. It represented the goddess standing gazing
    toward Athens lovingly and protectingly. She held a spear in one
    hand, the other supported a buckler. The statue was nine feet
    high. It was dignified and noble, but at the time of its
    conception Pheidias had not freed himself from the convention and
    traditions of the earlier school, and the stiff folds of the
    tunic, the cold demeanor of the goddess, recall the masters whom
    Pheidias was destined to supersede. No copy of this statue
    survives, and hence a description of it must be largely
    conjectural, made up from hints gleaned from Athenian coins.

    Pheidias sculptured other statues of Athene, but none so
    wonderful as the Athene Parthenos, which, with the Olympian Zeus,
    was the wonder and admiration of the Greek world. The Athene
    Parthenos was designed to stand as an outward symbol of the
    divinity in whose protecting might the city had conquered and
    grown strong, in whose honor the temple had been built in which
    this statue was to shine as queen. The Olympian Zeus was the
    representative of that greater divinity which all Hellas united
    in honoring. We may gain from the words of Pausanias some idea
    of the magnificence of this statue, but of its unutterable
    majesty we can only form faint images in the mind, remembering
    the strength and grace of the figures of the pediments of the
    temple at Athens. "Zeus," says Pausanias, "is seated on a throne
    of ivory and gold; upon his head is laced a garland made in
    imitation of olive leaves. He bears a Victory in his right hand,
    also crowned and made in gold and ivory, and holding in her right
    hand a little fillet. In his left hand the god holds a sceptre,
    made of all kinds of metals; the bird perched on the tip of the
    sceptre is an eagle. The shoes of Zeus are also of gold, and of
    gold his mantle, and underneath this mantle are figures and
    lilies inlaid."

    Both the Olympian Zeus and the Athene were of chryselephantine
    work offering enormous technical difficulties, but in spite of
    this both showed almost absolute perfection of form united with
    beauty of intellectual character to represent the godhead
    incarnate in human substance. These two statues may be taken as
    the noblest creations of the Greek imagination when directed to
    the highest objects of its contemplation. The beauty of the
    Olympian Zeus, according to Quintilian, "added a new element to

    In the works of art just mentioned the creative force of the
    Greeks attained its highest success. After the death of Pheidias
    his methods were carried on in a way by the sculptors who had
    worked under him and become subject to his influence; but as
    years went on, with less and less to remind us of the supreme
    perfection of the master. Among these pupils of Pheidias were
    Agoracritos and Colotes in Athens, Paionios, and Alcamenes. Of
    Paionios fortunately one statue survives in regard to which there
    can be no doubt. The Victory erected to the Olympian Zeus shows
    a tall goddess, strongly yet gracefully carved, posed forward
    with her drapery flattened closely against her body in front as
    if by the wind, and streaming freely behind. The masterpiece of
    Alcamenes, an Aphrodite, is known only by descriptions. The
    pediments of the temple at Olympia have been assigned, by
    tradition, one to Alcamenes, one to Paionios. They are, however,
    so thoroughly archaic in style that it seems impossible to
    reconcile them with what we know of the work of the men to whom
    they are attributed. The group of the eastern front represented
    the chariot races of Oinomaos and Pelops; that of the western,
    the struggle of the Centaurs and Lapithae. In the latter the
    action is extremely violent, only the Apollo in the midst is calm
    and commanding. In both pediments there are decided approaches
    to realism.

    In Athens, after Pheidias, the greatest sculptures were those
    used to adorn the Erechtheion. The group of Caryatids, maidens
    who stand erect and firm, bearing upon their heads the weight of
    the porch, is justly celebrated as an architectural device. At
    the same time, the maidens, though thus performing the work of
    columns, do not lose the grace and charm which naturally belongs
    to them.

    Another post-Pheidian work at Athens was the temple of Nike
    Apteros, the wingless Victory. The bas-reliefs from this temple,
    now in the Acropolis Museum at Athens, one representing the
    Victory stooping to tie her sandal, another, the Victory crowning
    a trophy, recall the consummate grace of the art of Pheidias, the
    greatest Greek art.

    Agoracritos left behind him works at Athens which in their
    perfection could scarcely be distinguished from the works of
    Pheidias himself, none of which have come down to us. But from
    the time of the Peloponnesian war, the seeds of decay were in the
    art of Hellas, and they ripened fast. In one direction
    Callimachus carried refined delicacy and formal perfection to
    excess; and in the other Demetrios, the portrait sculptor, put by
    ideal beauty for the striking characteristics of realism. Thus
    the strict reserve, the earnest simplicity of Pheidias and his
    contemporaries, were sacrificed sacrificed partly, it is true,
    to the requirements of a fuller spiritual life, partly to the
    demands of a wider knowledge and deeper passion. The legitimate
    effects of sculpture are strictly limited. Sculpture is fitted
    to express not temporary, accidental feeling, but permanent
    character; not violent action, but repose. In the great work of
    the golden age the thought of the artist was happily limited so
    that the form was adequate to its expression. One single motive
    was all that he tried to express a motive uncomplicated by
    details of specific situation, a type of general beauty unmixed
    with the peculiar suggestions of special and individual emotion.
    When the onward impulse led the artist to pass over the severe
    limits which bounded the thought of the earlier school, he found
    his medium becoming less adequate to the demands of his more
    detailed and circumstantial mental conception. The later
    sculpture, therefore, lacks in some measure the repose and entire
    assurance of the earlier. The earlier sculpture confines itself
    to broad, central lines of heroic and divine character, as in the
    two masterpieces of Pheidias. The latter dealt in great
    elaboration with the details and elements of the stories and
    characters that formed its subjects, as in the Niobe group, or
    the Laocoon, to be mentioned later.

    These modern tendencies produced as the greatest artists of the
    later Greek type Scopas and Praxiteles.

    Between these, however, and the earlier school which they
    superseded came the Athenian Kephisodotos, the father, it may be
    supposed of Praxiteles. His fame rests upon a single work, a
    copy of which has been discovered, the Eirene and Ploutos. In
    this, while the simplicity and strictness of the Pheidian ideal
    have been largely preserved, it has been used as the vehicle of
    deeper feeling and more spiritual life.

    Scopas was born at Paros, and lived during the fist half of the
    fourth century. He did much decorative work including the
    pediments of the temple of Athena at Tegea. He participated also
    in the decoration of the Mausoleum erected by Artemisia to the
    memory of her husband. In this latter, the battle of the
    Amazons, though probably not the work of Scopas himself, shows in
    the violence of its attitudes and the pathos of its action the
    new elements of interest in Greek art with the introduction of
    which Scopas is connected. The fame of Scopas rests principally
    on the Niobe group which is attributed to him. The sculpture
    represents the wife of Amphion at the moment when the curse of
    Apollo and Diana falls upon her, and her children are slain
    before her eyes. The children, already feeling the arrows of the
    gods, are flying to her for protection. She tries in vain to
    shield her youngest born beneath her mantle, and turns as if to
    hide her face with its motherly pride just giving place to
    despair and agony. The whole group is free from contortion and
    grandly tragic. The original exists no longer, but copies of
    parts of the group are found in the Uffizi Gallery at Florence.

    The Niobe group shows the distinction between Scopas and
    Praxiteles and the earlier artists in choice of subject and mode
    of treatment. The same distinction is shown by the Raging
    Bacchante of Scopas. The head is thrown back, the hair loosened,
    the garments floating in the wind, an ecstacy of wild, torrent-
    like action.

    Of the work of Praxiteles we know more directly than of the work
    of any other Greek sculptor of the same remoteness, for one
    statue has come down to us actually from the master's own hand,
    and we possess good copies of several others. His statues of
    Aphrodite, of which there were at least five, are known to us by
    the figures on coins and by two works in the same style, the
    Aphrodite in the Glyptothek, and that of the Vatican. The most
    famous of all was the Aphrodite of Cnidos, which was ranked with
    the Olympian Zeus and was called one of the wonders of te world.
    King Nicomedes of Bithynia offered vainly to the people of Cnidos
    the entire amount of their state debt for its possession. Lucian
    described the goddess as having a smile somewhat proud and
    disdainful; yet the eyes, moist and kindly, glowed with
    tenderness and passion, and the graceful lines of the shoulders,
    the voluptuous curves of the thighs, are full of sensuous
    feeling. The goddess, as represented in coins, stood beside a
    vase, over which her drapery is falling, while with her right
    hand she shields herself modestly. The head of Aphrodite in the
    British Museum, with its pure brows, its delicate, voluptuous
    lips, and sweet, soft skin, is, perhaps, the nearest approach
    which we possess to the glorious beauty of the original.

    Other Aphrodites, the draped statue of Cos among them, and
    several statues of Eros, representing tender, effeminate youths,
    illustrate further the departure which Praxiteles marks from the
    restraint of Pheidias. Another of his masculine figures is the
    graceful Apollo with the Lizard. The god, strong in his youthful
    suppleness, is leaning against a tree threatening with his darts
    a small lizard which is seeking to climb up. Still another type
    of masculine grace left us by Praxiteles is his statue of the
    Satyr, of which a copy exists in the Capitoline Museum. The
    Satyr, in the hands of Praxiteles, lost all his ancient
    uncouthness, and became a strong, graceful youth, with soft, full
    form. In the Capitoline representation the boy is leaning easily
    against a tree, throwing his body into the most indolent posture,
    which brings out the soft, feminine curves of hips and legs. In
    fact, so thoroughly is the feminine principle worked into the
    statues of the Apollo, the Eros, and the Satyr, that this
    characteristic became considered typical of Praxiteles, and when,
    in 1877, was discovered the one authentic work which we possess
    of this artist, the great Hermes of Olympia, critics were at a
    loss to reconcile this figure with what was already known of the
    sculptor's work, some holding that it must be a work of his
    youth, when, through his father, Kephisodotos, he felt the force
    of the Pheidian tradition, others that there must have been two
    sculptors bearing the great name of Praxiteles.

    The Hermes was found lacking the right arm and both legs below
    the knees, but the marvellous head and torso are perfectly
    preserved. The god is without the traditional symbols of his
    divinity. He is merely a beautiful man. He stands leaning
    easily against a tree, supporting on one arm the child Dionysus,
    to whom he turns his gracious head with the devotion and love of
    a protector. The face, in its expression of sweet majesty, is
    distinctly a personal conception. The low forehead, the eyes far
    apart, the small, playful mouth, the round, dimpled chin, all
    bear evidence to the individual quality which Praxiteles infused
    into the ideal thought of the god. The body, though at rest, is
    instinct with life and activity, in spite of its grace. In
    short, the form of the god has the superb perfection, as the face
    has the dignity, which was attributed to Pheidias. Nevertheless,
    the Hermes illustrates sensual loveliness of the later school.
    The freedom with which the god is conceived belongs to an age
    when the chains of religious belief sat lightly upon the artist.
    The gds of Praxiteles are the gods of human experience, and in
    his treatment of them he does not always escape the tendency of
    the age of decline to put pathos and passion in the place of
    eternal majesty.

    The influence of Scopas and Praxiteles continued to be felt
    through a number of artists who worked in sufficient harmony with
    them to be properly called of their school. To one of these
    followers of Praxiteles, some say as a copy of a work of the
    master himself, we must attribute the Demeter now in the British
    Museum. This is a pathetic illustration of suffering
    motherhood. There is no exaggeration in the grief, only the calm
    dignity of a sorrow which in spite of hope refuses to be

    Another work of an unknown artist, probably a follower of Scopas,
    is the splendid Victory of Samothrace, now in the Louvre. The
    goddess, with her great wings outspread behind her, is being
    carried forward, her firm rounded limbs striking through the
    draperies which flutter behind her, and fall about her in soft
    folds. Vigorous and stately, the goddess poises herself on the
    prow of the ship, swaying with the impulse of conquering daring
    and strength.

    Another statue which belongs, so far as artistic reasoning may
    carry us, to the period and school of Praxiteles, is the so-
    called Venus of Milo. The proper title to be given to this
    statue is doubtful, for the drapery corresponds to that of the
    Roman type of Victory, and if we could be sure that the goddess
    once held the shield of conquest in her now broken arms we should
    be forced to call the figure a Victory and place its date no
    earlier than the second century B.C. However this may be, the
    statue is justly one of the most famous in the world. It
    represents an ideal of purity and sweetness. There is not a
    trace of coarseness or immodesty in the half-naked woman who
    stands perfect in the maidenly dignity of her own conquering
    fairness. Her serious yet smiling face, her graceful form, the
    delicacy of feeling in attitude and gaze, the tender moulding of
    breast and limbs, make it a worthy companion of the Hermes or
    Praxiteles. It seems scarcely possible that it should not have
    sprung from the inspiration of his example.

    The last of the great sculptors of Greece was Lysippos of Sikyou.
    He differed from Pheidias on the one hand and from Polycleitos on
    the other. Pheidias strove to make his gods all god-like;
    Lysippos was content to represent them merely as exaggerated
    human beings; but therein he differed also from Polycleitos, who
    aimed to model the human body with the beauty only which actually
    existed in it. Lysippos felt that he must set the standard of
    human perfection higher than it appears in the average of human
    examples. Hence we have from him the statues of Heracles, in
    which the ideal of manly strength was carried far beyond the
    range of human possibility. A reminiscence of this conception of
    Lysippos may be found in the Farnese Heracles of Glycon, now in
    the Museum of Naples. Lysippos also sculptured four statues of
    Zeus, which depended for their interest largely on their heroic

    Lysippos won much fame by his statues of Alexander the Great, but
    he is chiefly known to us by his statue of the athlete scraping
    himself with a strigil, of which an authentic copy is in the
    Vatican. The figure differs decidedly from the thick-set, rather
    heavy figures of Polycleitos, being tall, and slender in spite of
    its robustness. The head is small, the torso is small at the
    waist, but strong, and the whole body is splendidly active.

    The changes in the models of earlier sculptors made by Lysippos
    were of sufficient importance to give rise to a school which was
    carried on by his sons and others, producing among many famous
    works the Barberini Faun, now at the Glyptothek, Munich. The
    enormous Colossus of Rhodes was also the work of a disciple of

    But from this time the downward tendency in Greek art is only too
    apparent, and very rapid. The spread of Greek influence over
    Asia, and later, in consequence of the conquest of Greece by
    Rome, over Europe, had the effect of widening the market for
    Greek production, but of drying up the sources of what was vital
    in that production. Athens and Sikyou became mere provincial
    cities, and were shorn thenceforth of all artistic significance;
    and Greek art, thus deprived of the roots of its life, continued
    to grow for a while with a rank luxuriance of production, but
    soon became normal and conventional. The artists who followed
    Lysippos contented themselves chiefly with seeking a merely
    technical perfection in reproducing the creations of the earlier
    and more original age.

    At Pergamon under Attalus, in the last years of the third
    century, there was something of an artistic revival. This
    Attalus successfully defended his country against an overwhelming
    attack of the Gauls from the north. To celebrate this victory,
    an altar was erected to Zeus on the Acropolis of Pergamon, of
    which the frieze represented the contest between Zeus and the
    giants. These sculptures are now to be found in Berlin. They
    are carved in high relief; the giants with muscles strained and
    distended, their bodies writhing in the contortions of effort and
    suffering; the gods, no longer calm and restrained, but
    themselves overcome with the ardor of battle. Zeus stretches his
    arms over the battle-field hurling destruction everywhere.
    Athene turns from the field, dragging at her heels a young giant
    whom she has conquered, and reaches forward to the crown of
    victory. The wild, passionate action of the whole work remove it
    far from the firm, orderly work of Pheidias, and carry it almost
    to the extreme of pathetic representation in sculpture shown by
    the Laocoon.

    The contests with the Gauls, the fear inspired by the huge forms
    of the barbarians, seem to have influenced powerfully the
    imaginative conceptions of the sculptors of the school of
    Pergamon. One of the most famous works which they have left is
    the figure long known as the Dying Gladiator, of which a copy
    exists in the Capitoline Museum. This represents a Gaul sinking
    wounded to the ground, supporting himself on his right arm. It
    is remarkable for its stern realism. The pain and sense of
    defeat comes out in every feature. Moreover, the nationality of
    the fallen warrior is clearly expressed in the deep indentation
    between the heavy brow and the prominent nose, in the face,
    shaven, except the upper lip, in the uncouth, fleshy body, in the
    rough hands and feet. Usually the artist preferred to hint at
    the race by some peculiarities of costume. Here nothing but
    uncompromising realism of feature will satisfy the sculptor. A
    companion piece to the Wounded Gaul, though less famous, is the
    group of the Villa Ludovisi, which represents a Gaul, who has
    slain his wife, in the act of stabbing himself in the neck.

    In addition to inspiring the sculptures at Pergamon, Attalus
    dedicated to the gods of Athens a votive offering in return for
    the help which they had given him. This was placed on the
    Acropolis at Athens. It consisted of four groups, representing
    the gigantomachia or giant combat, the battle of the Amazons, the
    battle of Marathon, and the victory of Attalus. Figures from
    these survive, a dead Amazon at Naples and a kneeling Persian at
    the Vatican being the best known.

    Another state which became famous in the declining days of Greek
    art was the republic of Rhodes. The Rhodian sculptors learned
    their anatomy from Lysippos, and caught their dramatic instinct
    from the artists of Pergamon. Two of the most famous sculpture
    groups in the world were produced at Rhodes, the Laocoon, now
    at the Vatican, and the Farnese Bull, now at Naples. The former
    was the work of three artists, given by Pliny as Agesandros,
    Athanodorus, and Polydorus. It has been accepted as one of the
    masterpieces of the world, but as we shall see, it is manifestly
    a work of a time of decadence.

    The Laocoon illustrates excellently the extreme results of the
    pathetic tendency. The priest Laocoon is represented at the
    moment when the serpents of Apollo surround him and his two sons,
    born through their father's sin, and bear them all three down to
    destruction. The younger son, fatally bitten, falls back in
    death agony. The father yields slowly, his desperation giving
    way before the merciless strength of the serpents. The elder son
    shrinks away in horror though bound fast by the inevitable coils.

    The Laocoon shows the pathetic tendency at its utmost. The
    technical difficulties have been overcome with astonishing
    success, and though the combination of figures is impossible in
    life, it is marvellously effective in art. But the group
    depends for its interest purely on the accidental horror of the
    situation. There is no hint in the sculpture of the motive of
    the tragedy, no suggestion of ethical significance in the
    suffering portrayed. It does not connect itself with any
    principle of life. In this way the work became a superb piece of
    display, a TOUR DE FORCE of surprising composition but with
    little serious meaning.

    The same judgment may be extended to the Farnese Bull, the work
    of Apollonius and Tauriscos, artists from Tralles who lived at
    Rhodes. This group represents the punishment of the cruel Dirke
    at the hands of the sons of Antiope. The beautiful queen clasps
    the knee of one of the sons praying for grace, while the other
    boy is about to throw over her the noose which is to bind her to
    the bull. Antiope stands in the background, a mere lay figure,
    and scattered about are numerous small symbolical figures. Like
    the Laocoon the Farnese Bull exhibits surprising mastery of
    technical obstacles, but, like the Laocoon, it falls short of
    true tragic grandeur. In a greater degree than the Laocoon it
    trenches upon the province of painting. It is more complicated
    in its subject-matter; and the appearance in the group of many
    small subsidiary figures, which in a painting might have been
    given their proper value, being in the marble of the same relief
    and distinction as the major characters, give a somewhat absurd
    effect. The little goddess who sits in the foreground, for
    instance, is smaller than the dog. Again, there is less of the
    motive shown than in the Laocoon. The group is seized at the
    moment preceding the frightful catastrophe, but that moment is as
    full of agony as the succeeding ones, and in addition there is
    the feeling of suspense and oppression that comes from the
    unfinished tragedy. Altogether, the group, in spite of the
    marvellous technical skill shown in details, is a failure when
    judged on general lines. Its interest lies in momentary and
    apparently ummotived suffering, not in any truly serious
    conception of life.

    With the conquest of Greece by Rome, the final stage of Greek art
    begins. But the vigor and originality had departed. The
    sculptors aimed at and attained technical correctness, academic
    beauty of form, sensuous feeling, perfection of details, but they
    lost all imaginative power. A good example of the work of this
    period is found in the Apollo Belvidere now in the Vatican. This
    famous statue is an early Roman copy of a Greek original. It
    represents the god advancing easily, full of vigor and grace. It
    is marvellously correct in drawing, but quite without feeling of
    any kind.

    Another work of this period is the sleeping Ariadne of the
    Vatican. This represents a woman reclining in a studied
    sentimental attitude, her arms thrown about her head, her body
    swathed in its protecting drapery. To the same period also
    belongs almost the last notable work of Greek art, the degenerate
    and sensuous conception of the Venus de Medici. In this statue
    the goddess stands as if rising from the sea, her attitude
    reserved, yet coquettish and self-conscious. The form is
    technically perfect, graceful, and soft in its refinement, but
    compared with the earlier Aphrodites it is an unworthy successor.

    Still another famous statue is the Borghese Gladiator, of Agasius
    of Ephesus, now in the Louvre. The statue is merely a bit of
    display, an effort to parade technical skill and anatomical
    knowledge. The gladiator throws his weight strongly on his right
    leg, and holds one arm high above his head, giving to his whole
    body an effect of straining. The figure is strong and wiry.
    Agasius was distinctly an imitator, as were most of the artists
    of this age, among whom must be reckoned the skilful sculptor of
    the crouching Venus, also in the Louvre. The goddess is shown as
    bending down in graceful curves until her body is supported on
    the right leg, which is bent double. The form is strong and
    healthy, graceful and easy in its somewhat constrained posture.

    During all of this final period Greek art was very largely
    influenced by the relations which existed between Greece and
    Rome. About the year 200 B.C. the Roman conquest of Greece led
    to an important traffic in works of art between Rome and the
    Greek cities. For a time, indeed, statues formed a recognized
    part of the booty which graced every Roman triumph. M. Fulvius
    Nobilior carried away not less than five hundred and fifteen.
    After the period of conquest the importation of Greek statues
    continued at Rome, and in time Greek artists also began to remove
    thither, so that Rome became not only the centre for the
    collection of Greek works of art, but the chief seat of their
    production. At this time the Roman religious conceptions were
    identified with those of Greece, and the Greek gods received the
    Latin names by which we now know them. The influence of the
    Greeks upon Rome was very marked, but the reflex influence of the
    material civilization of Italy upon Greek art was altogether bad,
    and thus the splendor of classical art went out in
    dilletantism and weakness.

    The destruction of the Roman Empire by the barbarians makes a
    break in the artistic history of the world. Not for many
    centuries was there a vestige of artistic production. Even when
    in Italy and France the monks began to make crude attempts to
    reach out for and represent in painting and sculpture imaginative
    conceptions of things beautiful, they took their material
    exclusively from Christian sources. The tradition of classical
    stories had nearly vanished from the mind of Europe. Not until
    the Renaissance restored the knowledge of classical culture to
    Europe do we find artists making any use of the wealth of
    imaginative material stored up in the myths of Greece. Then,
    indeed, by the discovery and circulation of the poets of
    mythology, the Greek stories and conceptions of characters,
    divine and human, became known once more and were used freely,
    remaining until the present day one chief source of material and
    subject-matter for the use of the painter and sculptor.

    Chapter 34
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