The Golden Ratio in Zeus

Among works for which Aphid’s is famous are three monuments to Athena on the Athenian Acropolis (the Athena Approaches, the Lineman Athena, and the colossal Athena Parthenon for the Parthenon) and the colossal seated Zeus for the Temple of Zeus at Olympia; none of these survives in the original. The first of Aphid’s’ monuments to Athena, the bronze Athena Approaches, was one of his earliest works. It was placed on the Athenian Acropolis in about 456. According to the preserved inscription, it measured about 30 feet (9 m) high. At the time, it was the largest statue yet erected in Athens,

The so-called Lineman Athena was dedicated as an offering by Athenian colonists who were sent to Lemons between 451 and 448. A head of Athena in Bologna and devout statues of Athena in Dressed are thought to be copies, in marble, of Aphid’s’ original work in bronze. The colossal statue of the Athena Parthenon, which Aphid’s made for the Parthenon, was completed and dedicated in 438. The original fork was made of gold and ivory and stood some 38 feet (12 m) high. The goddess stood erect, wearing a tunic, aegis, and helmet and holding a Nikkei (goddess Of victory) in her extended right hand and a spear in her left.

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A decorated shield and a serpent were by her side. Several copies have been identified from this description; among them are the Variation. A Roman copy of about AD 130 (now in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens), and a Hellenic copy, from about 160 BC, made for the main hall of the royal library at Programmer (now in the Statistical Musses Prerequisite Sultriest in Berlin). The ancient writers considered Aphid’s’ Zeus, completed about 430, for the Temple of Zeus at Olympia to be his masterpiece; this colossal statue is now noninsured to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Zeus was seated on a throne, holding a Nikkei in his right hand and a scepter in his left, His flesh was to ivory, his drapery to gold. The throwback rose above his head. Everything surrounding the figure, including the statues and paintings (by Pompanos), was richly decorated. The Olympian Zeus was about seven times life size (or 42 feet [13 m]) and occupied the full height of the temple, Aphid’s’ last years remain a mystery. Prices’ enemies accused Aphid’s of stealing gold from the statue of the Athena Parthenon in 432, but he was able to expressive the charge.

They then accused him Of impiety (for including portraits Of Prices and himself on the shield of Athena on the Athena Parthenon), and he was thrown into prison. Until recently, it was thought that Aphid’s died in prison shortly thereafter; now it is believed that he was exiled to Elis, where he worked on the Olympian Zeus. A “workroom,” thought to be Aphid’s’, has been found in Olympia. It contains a number of terra-cotta molds believed to have been used for the drapery of the Olympian Zeus. Aphid’s and his assistants were also responsible for the marble sculptures that adorned the Parthenon.

Most of these remains (the Elgin Marbles) are now in the British Museum. Several of these sculptures have been attributed to Aphid’s, but none with certainty, From these works one can gain some idea of Aphid’s’ style. Even when movement is represented in some of his relief, a monumental quality is imparted. Though the construction of the human body is perfectly understood, its rendering is restrained and harmonize. In other words, Aphid’s may be called the initiator of the idealistic, classical style that distinguishes Greek art in the later SST and the 4th centuries.


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