Thursday, August 23, 2007

Praxiteles between history and myth
THE GREATEST sculptor of 4th century BC Attica, Praxiteles was the first to capture the female figure in the nude: a full-scale representation of Aphrodite (the so-called Cnidian statue type) modelled after Thespian courtesan Phryne. Another of his breakthroughs was that he liberated Greek sculpture from the grandiose and imposing touch of Pheidias by humanising his subjects - mostly of divine descent - in order to reflect his fascination with life and by working the fine Parian marble to a smooth, silky effect even when it came to the depiction of demonic figures such as satyrs.

A grand exhibition at the Louvre Museum in March traced Praxiteles' myth and history through the display of mainly Roman copies given that a very small number of sculptures have been identified by researchers as Praxiteles' own or as the originals of his workshop.

It's a pretty good article. Some photos of on of the Aphrodite statues can be found here.