statue motion attic
MYRON, one of the chief sculptors of the older Attic school, was born at Eleutherm on the borders of Bceotia and Attica, and flourished in the middle of the 5th century B.C. He was, like Phidias, a pupil of Ageladas of Argos. He worked almost exclusively in bronze ; the only known exception is his wooden statue of Hecate at Agina. He made some statues of gods and heroes, but these were not the works on which his fame rested. The ancient critics, as quoted by Pliny, censured his inability to represent the feelings of the mind; hence the lofty ideals of Phidias and the Attic school in general were beyond the scope of his art. His works seemed to live and move before the spectator; but lie could make an athlete hurling the discus, not a Zeus hurling the thunder. His most famous works were the Cow, the runner Ladas, and the Discobolus. Of the first, which was esteemed his greatest work, no copy is known, and, though thirty-six epigrams celebrate the realism and the life of this animal, which might be mistaken for a living cow, none of them give any information as to the attitude in which it was represented. The statue of Ladas is also unrepresented in modern museums ; no imitation has yet been found. Ladas, an Argive runner, died from over-exerting himself in the long race at the Olympic games. To judge from two epigrams, Myron represented him in the moment of his supreme effort, with flanks contracted as if the last breath had gone out from them and was still hovering on the open lips. Tile copies that have been preserved of two other works of Myron make it easier to realize the qualities that the ancient critics praise in him. The Discobolus is known from several copies, the best being a life-size statue in the Massimi palace at Rome. The athlete is represented at the moment when, after swinging the discus (five pounds in weight) back to the full stretch of his arm, he is quickening every sinew to begin the forward motion, and to employ in delivering the discus the full strength of every muscle and the whole weight of the body and the impetus acquired by the longest possible swing of the arm.
A similar moment, the critical point when one motion is suddenly transformed into its opposite, was seized in another work, of which several copies remain. Its discovery is due to the penetration of Brunn, and, though his ingenious combination has not yet found universal acceptance, it will probably be confirmed by future discovery. He compared a relief on the Acropolis of Athens, described by Pausanias without the artist's name with the words of Pliny, (Myron feeit) Satyrum admirantem tibias et Minervam, and recognized imitations of this scene on an Attic coin, a vase-painting, and an Attic relief, in which Marsyas is represented starting back with outstretched arms before the goddess Athena. He also recognized the figure of Marsyas alone in a marble statue of the Lateran museum, which has been restored as a dancing satyr ; and a bronze statue in the British Museum has since been recognized as a slight variation of the same subject. None of these works agree completely with the words of Pausanias or with one another, but the general resemblance is so striking that they must be free imitations of a single work. Marsyas is surprised either by the sight of the flute which Athena has thrown away or by the threatening action of the goddess ; his forward motion is suddenly checked, but he has not begun a retrograde motion. His hands, the parts which the mind commands most quickly, are thrown wide apart without any definite object in their motion, and the body is poised between the preceding action and the new action that will begin immediately. Pliny mentions a competition between Myron and Pythagoras of Rlieg,ium, in which the Paneratiast of the latter was adjudged superior.