HELLENISTIC SCULPTURE - MAIN POINTS • This period dates from the conquests of Alexander up to the1st century BC.

So it covers a lengthy time period and a vast geographical range. • Again, the theme is increased realism, in modelling, movement, expression and especially in the wide range of subjects which broadens out considerably from the idealised, often expressionless figures of earlier periods. Now we begin to see old age, tiredness, youth, despair, anger and other more individual and expressive features in the sculptures. • There are a few distinguishable styles. One is the "sfumato" or Alexandrian style of sculpture. With delicacy, softness and radiance it has a serene quality, see Ariadne (p.169) and the Sleeping Eros (p.177). • Much of the sculpture of the Hellenistic era continues in the Classical tradition of Pheidias, Polykleitos and Lysippus. In statues such as the Niobid and the Crouching Aphrodite (p,168), the Aphrodite of Melos and the Poseidon (p.170) you see a continuation of similar styles of male and female figures, but often with a twist, something a little more restless or individual that makes them a little new. • Most distinctive of all Hellenistic sculpture is the Pergamene style which is often described as baroque. It is full of lively action, very emotional and expressive and dramatic. It has an "animated, almost theatrical quality" (Richter). Best examples of this style are the Nike of Samothrace (p.170) with her swooping figure and swirling drapery; the Dying Gauls (pp.172-173) showing all of the suffering and pathos of war victims; the splendid frieze of the Great Altar of Pergamon (p.174 see separate handout) and the contorted and tortured figure of Laocoon and his sons (p.175). All are highly expressive and vigorously mobile in composition. • Not surprisingly this era also sees developments in portrait sculpture which becomes more realistic, more personal and more expressive of personality and mood. A fine example is that of Demosthenes (p.179) showing his

tension in clenched jaw and furrowed brow. (See also heads p180).

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