The Art of Classical Greece (ca. 480–323 B.C.)

MycenaeGreek artists of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. attained a manner of representation that conveys a vitality of life as well as a sense of permanence, clarity, and harmony. Polykleitos of Argoswas particularly famous for formulating a system of proportions that achieved this artistic effect and allowed others to reproduce it. His treatise, the Canon, is now lost, but one of his mostimportant sculptural works, the Diadoumenos, survives in numerous ancient marble copies of the bronze original. Bronze, valued for its tensile strength and lustrous beauty, became the preferred medium for freestanding statuary, although very few bronze originals of the fifth century B.C. survive. What we know of these famous sculptures comes primarily from ancient literature and later Roman copies in marble.