presents the aloof majesty of divine figures
shows a nation emerging to power, strong, confident
at the beginning in static poses,
later in free, balanced stance (eg Zeus/Poseidon)
with all anatomical problems solved
fully developed treatment of torso, stomach muscles
realistic knee joints.
Weight evenly distributed.
Gods still a favourite theme; their power recognised (eg Apollo on Olympia pediment, Athena Parthenos); order triumphs over chaos, civilisation over barbarism
(eg battles of Centaurs and Lapiths, Olympia sculptures).
Drapery of female figures is now perfectly understood and more naturally treated,
not merely as pattern (eg Parthenon pediments-, Erechtheion caryatids).
Gaiety of Archaic sculpture has gone (archaic smile), replaced by a new earnestness
and national consciousness with a sense of high calling, citizens fighting
for a free country; victory a sign from on high, merited by trial and
exertion (eg the Charioteer). Statues are now constructed "from within"
and appear to move organically and naturally (cf Archaic "from without").
Motion in body is interrelated -one part cannot move without the others.
(Interest of philosophy in problems of motion is related to this achievement)
Progress of medicine increased anatomical knowledge; the body is explained
in mechanical terms (stress and strain in Olympia pediments).
Finest works henceforward in bronze (more plastic).
Roman copies of 5thC statues are often pale shadows of originals with a different surface and coldness.
Characteristics of 4thC sculpture
expressions on faces still serene; stances have easy balance; drapery has transparency + heavier,more agitated folds. The impersonal ideal begins to be supplanted; more human quality emerges, soft graciousness, dreamy gentleness.
poses more sinuous (5 shape); drapery increasingly natural, treated as an accessory in a group; melting gaze (Praxiteles); marble tenderly modelled, softness/purity; colour scheme pastel-hued, highlights of eyes painted in. Artistic forms more complex, scope more diverse; casual, relaxed play of forms; specified states of body and soul; limbs elongated, heads reduced; the female studio model had been unusual up to this period.
Dreamy remoteness giving way to individualised portrait, but there is still hesitation over probing too deeply into the individual personality.
Increasing emotion, passion and defiance (Scopas is typical);
successful portraiture is beginning -increased interest in this;
search for new poses produced twisted forms, seated figures bent over (boxer) crouching (eg Aphrodite)
Roman copies are mostly our only evidence for this period, thus the surface modelling is impossible to judge and the chosen material or varying technique
of execution alters the original achievement. The issue is also confused by deliberate archaism, ie choosing an older style.
[3rdC characteristics continue these trends]