Myron was a mid-5th century Greek sculptor who worked mainly with bronze and experimented with movement and the depiction of motion. Many ancient writers viewed Myron as transitional, between the Early and High classical periods, because he followed the path towards realism of the anatomy, hile avoiding the expression of emotion (Pedley 1993: 218). Myron had a reputation for sculpting figures caught in the instant of action, such as a runner on tiptoes or the Diskobolos (Boardman 1993: 95).

The Diskobolos was created about 450-440 B.C., and it completely represents the style of the Classical period. The style and purpose of classical art was an idealized treatment of the human body. The Diskobolos is the classical model of male beauty; he has a chiseled figure, perfect muscular form and is well-proportioned . In addition, classical sculpture had a psychological component as well. The discus thrower’s face shows no strain, and the facial features are calm. lassical sculpture intended to portray noble simplicity and calm grandeur (Artoutthere, Classicism: accessed 11/1/01).

The Diskobolos of Myron has been described by Lucian,a 2nd century author, as “an athlete stooping in the pose of one preparing to throw, turning towards the hand with the discus and gently bending the otherknee, as ready to rise and cast.” This description is helpful to archaeologists because the original bronze no longer exists, and they are able to use this description as a method by which to identify copies of Myron’s original (Pedley 1993: 218). The original was believed to have stood in a group with Athena on the Acropolis in Athens (Cavazzi, Sculpture of Greece: accessed 11/1/01). Currently, one can view copies of this sculpture in Rome at the Museo Nazionale delle Terme, the Musei Vaticani, Sala della Biga, the Louvre in Paris, as well as, a plaster cast in the Wilcox Collection in Lippincott Hall. The special cast is composed of a copy of a marble head placed on a copy of a marble body-version of the original.

i. Head: Rome, Museo Nazionale delle Terme
ii. Body: Rome, Musei Vaticani, Sala della Biga.; Louvre

Select Bibliography

Boardman, J., ed. 1993. The Oxford History of Classical Art. New York: Oxford University Press 1993.

Haskell, F. and N. Penny. 1981. Taste and the Antique. Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500-1900 (New Haven and London), pp. 199-202, cat. 32.

Pedley, J.G. 1993. Greek Art and Archaeology. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1993.

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