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Phidias
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{{For|the Australian artist who used the pseudonym "Phidias" in radio talks|Jeffrey Smart}}
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- 1868 Lawrence Alma-Tadema - Phidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to his Friends.jpg -
Phidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to his Friends (1868) by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Phidias or Pheidias ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|f|ɪ|d|i|É™|s}}; , Pheidias; {{circa}} 480 â€“ 430 BC) was a Greek sculptor, painter, and architect. His statue of Zeus at Olympia was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Phidias also designed the statues of the goddess Athena on the Athenian Acropolis, namely the Athena Parthenos inside the Parthenon, and the Athena Promachos, a colossal bronze which stood between it and the Propylaea,Birte Lundgreen, "A Methodological Enquiry: The Great Bronze Athena by Phidias" The Journal of Hellenic Studies a monumental gateway that served as the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens. Phidias was the son of Charmides of Athens.Not the Charmides who participated in the tyranny at Athens. The ancients believed that his masters were HegiasNot to be confused with Hegias the neoplatonic philosopher. and Ageladas. {{Citation needed|date=September 2017|reason=which authors say this?}}WEB,weblink Ageladas {{!, Greek sculptor|website=Encyclopedia Britannica|language=en|access-date=2019-02-24}} PlutarchPlutarch. Life of Pericles, 31. discusses Phidias' friendship with the Greek statesman Pericles, recording that enemies of Pericles tried to attack him through Phidias – who was accused of stealing gold intended for the Parthenon's statue of Athena, and of impiously portraying himself and Pericles on the shield of the statue. The historical value of this account, as well as the legend about accusations against the 'Periclean circle', including Aspasia and Anaxagoras, is debatable, but Aristophanes mentions an incident with Phidias around that time.JOURNAL, Filonik, Jakub, 2013, Athenian impiety trials: a reappraisal,weblink Dike, 16, 26–33, 10.13130/1128-8221/4290, Phidias is often credited as the main instigator of the Classical Greek sculptural design. Today, most critics and historians consider him one of the greatest of all ancient Greek sculptors.PhidiasBertrand Russell, The History of Western Philosophy, Chapter 10, Protagoras, page 95Image:Charles Béranger - Replica of The Hémicycle - Walters 3783.jpg|thumb|In this replica painting by artist Charles Béranger, located in the Walters Art Museum, Phidias is depicted in the center of the auditorium.WEB, The Walters Art Museum The Walters Art Museum

Works

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- Attica 06-13 Athens 50 View from Philopappos - Acropolis Hill.jpg -
The Acropolis of Athens
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- NAMA Athéna Varvakeion.jpg -
A Roman period, 2nd century AD sculpture found near the Varvakeion school reflects the type of the restored Athena Parthenos presently in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens
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- Statue of Zeus.jpg -
A reconstruction of Phidias' statue of Zeus, in an engraving made by Philippe Galle in 1572, from a drawing by Maarten van Heemskerck
Although no original works exist that can be attributed to Phidias with certainty, numerous Roman copies of varying degrees of fidelity are known to exist. This is not uncommon. Almost all classical Greek paintings and sculptures have been destroyed, and only Roman copies or notes of them exist, like the passages of Plato that ascribe Phidias' works to him. The ancient Romans frequently copied and further developed Greek art. In antiquity Phidias was celebrated for his statues in bronze and his chryselephantine works (statues made of gold and ivory). In the Hippias Major, Plato claims that Phidias seldom, if ever, executed works in marble, though many of the sculptures of his time were executed in marble. Plutarch writes that he superintended the great works ordered by Pericles on the Acropolis.BOOK,weblink Understanding Greek sculpture : ancient meanings, modern readings, Spivey, Nigel, 1996, Thames and Hudson, 0500278768, New York, 154, 36645523, Ancient critics take a very high view of the merits of Phidias. What they especially praise is the ethos or permanent moral level of his works as compared with those of the later so called "pathetic" school. Both Pausanias and Plutarch mention works of his depicting the warlike Athena Areia. Demetrius calls his statues sublime, and at the same time precise.{{Citation needed|date=September 2017}}Of his life we know little apart from his works. His first commission created a group of national heroes with Miltiades as a central figure. In 447 BC, the Athenian statesman Pericles commissioned several sculptures for Athens from Phidias to celebrate the Greek victory against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon during the Greco-Persian Wars (490 BC). Pericles used some of the money from the maritime League of Delos,The Delian team was an association of approximately 150 Greek city-states under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire. to rebuild and decorate Athens to celebrate this victory. Inscriptions{{Citation needed|date=January 2009}} prove that the marble blocks intended for the pedimental statues of the Parthenon were not brought to Athens until 434{{nbsp}}BC, which was probably after the death of Phidias. It is therefore possible that most of sculptural decoration of the Parthenon was the work of Phidias' workshop including pupils of Phidias, such as Alcamenes and Agoracritus.The golden ratio has been represented by the Greek letter varphi (phi), after Phidias, who is said to have employed it.{{Citation needed|date=September 2017}} The golden ratio is the irrational number {{math|{{sfrac|1 + {{radic|5}}|2}}}}, approximately equal to 1.618, which has special mathematical properties.

Early works

The earliest of the works of Phidias were dedications in memory of Marathon, celebrating the Greek victory. At Delphi he created a great group in bronze including the figures of Greek gods Apollo and Athena, several Attic heroes, and General Miltiades the Younger. On the Acropolis of Athens Phidias constructed a colossal bronze statue of Athena, the Athena Promachos, which was visible far out at sea. Athena was the goddess of wisdom and warriors and the protector of Athens. At Pellene in Achaea, and 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

For the ancient Greeks, two works of Phidias far outshone all others, the colossal chryselephantine Statue of Zeus ({{circa}} 432{{nbsp}}BC) which was erected in the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece, and the Athena Parthenos (lit. "Athena the Virgin"), a sculpture of the Greek virgin goddess Athena, which was housed in the Parthenon in Athens. 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.BOOK,weblink Understanding Greek sculpture : ancient meanings, modern readings, Spivey, Nigel, 1996, Thames and Hudson, 0500278768, New York, 154, 36645523, Philochorus, however, says that Phidias went to Elis, where he worked on the colossal Statue of Zeus at Olympia.BOOK,weblink Understanding Greek sculpture : ancient meanings, modern readings, Spivey, Nigel, 1996, Thames and Hudson, 0500278768, New York, 158, 36645523, It seems that the embezzlement charge was politically motivated; a result of his friendship with Pericles, who had many enemies in Athens.BOOK, Clayton, Peter A, Price, Martin, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World,weblink 2013, Routledge, 978-1-136-74810-3, 62-63, From the late 5th century BC, small copies of the statue of Zeus found on coins from Elis, which give a general notion of the pose and the character of the head. 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. His head was of somewhat archaic type: the bust of Zeus found at Otricoli, which used to be regarded as a copy of the head of the Olympian statue, is certainly more than a century later in style.According to geographer Pausanias (1.28.2), the original bronze Athena Lemnia was created by Phidias ({{circa}} 450–440{{nbsp}}BC) for Athenians living on Lemnos. He described it as "the best of all Pheidias's works to see". Adolf Furtwängler suggested that he found a copy of the Athena Lemnia in a statue of which the head is located in Bologna and the body is at Dresden. Some 5th-century{{nbsp}}BC torsos of Athena have been found at Athens. The torso of Athena in the École des Beaux-Arts at Paris, which has unfortunately lost its head, gives some idea of what the original statue may have looked like.

Phidias' workshop rediscovered

(File:Workshop of Phidias.jpg|thumb|Photo (2005) of the workshop of Phidias at Olympia)A significant advancement in the knowledge of Phidias' working methodology came during 1954–58 with the excavation of the workshop at Olympia where Phidias created the Statue of Zeus at Olympia. Tools, terracotta molds and a cup inscribed on the bottom "Φειδίου εἰμί" (Pheidíou eimí) – "I belong to Phidias"; literally: "of Phidias’ [Genitive: Φειδίου] I am [εἰμί]", placing the more important word first) were found here, just where the traveller Pausanias said the statue was constructed. "Phidias", Oxford Dictionary of Art, e-Notes.comK. Kris Hirst, " A Walking Tour of Olympia, Greece," about.com"Olympia, Workshop of Pheidias{{Dead link|date=July 2018 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}," Perseus Building Catalog, about.com The discovery has enabled archaeologists to re-create the techniques used to make the statue and confirm its date.

Death

There are discrepant accounts of Phidias' death. According to Plutarch, he was made an object of attack by the political enemies of Pericles. His workman Menon is said to have been at least partially responsible for his downfall: Plutarch states that Menon sat in the market-place begging for protection in exchange for bringing charges against Phidias. He was subsequently provided with safety by the state and exempted from public duties. Phidias was imprisoned and died in prison at Athens.Plutarch, The Life of Pericles, 31.According to Philochorus, as quoted by a scholiast on Aristophanes, Phidias was put to death by the Eleans after he had completed the Statue of Zeus for them.EB1911, Pheidias,

Gallery

File:Aphrodite Sappho Chiaramonti Inv1459.jpg|Head of Aphrodite. Phidian styleFile:Zeus.in.Olympia.representation.on.coin.drawing.jpg|Zeus in Olympia, representation on coinFile:Head Pnyx Athena NAMAthens 3718.jpg|A copy of a work by Phidias or one of his pupils: head of Athena, found around Pnyx, now in the National Archeological Museum of AthensFile:Lemnia torso04 pushkin.jpg|Reconstruction of Athena Lemnia, DresdenFile:Testa di Minerva S.Giulia Brescia.JPG|Head of Athena, Roman copyFile:Amazzone ferita - Wounded Amazon - Phidias - Musei Capitolini Roma.jpg|Wounded Amazon copy in the Musei Capitolini, Rome; head is after PolykleitosFile:Apollo ivory mask.jpg|Ivory head of Apollo, perhaps carved by Phidias, looted in 1995 by Pietro Casasanta and repatriated to Italy in 2003

See also

References and sources

References
{{reflist|2}}
Sources
  • {{EB1911|wstitle = Pheidias|volume=21}}
  • Andrew Stewart, One Hundred Greek Sculptors: Their Careers and Extant Works, Part III of Stewart's Greek Sculpture, (Yale University Press) (on-line text at Perseus{{Dead link|date=July 2018 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}).
  • Pía Figueroa, "on Phideas{{dead link|date=December 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}," (PDF file) English translation with references

External links

{{Phidias}}{{Acropolis of Athens}}{{Authority control}}

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