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480 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

pencil. The plastic art of the Greek rose to a pitch of excellence which pictorial

representation never could attain. Whatever competition the painters of modern times-

notably those of the fifteenth and the sixteenth century-may claim with the painters of

Greece, competition with the Greek sculptors there is and can be none. It is safe to set

the names of Phidias and Praxiteles in a category by themselves; for none others have to

an equal degree won the admiration of mankind. Like the painting of the Greeks, sculpture

followed in the wake of the useful arts. Literary culture preceded it. Only when

refinement and leisure had been attained by the industrial pursuits, only when war had

aroused and poetry had soothed the spirit of Hellas, did she begin to give form to fancy

and make her thought imperishable in marble.

Sculpture had its rude beginnings. The early Greek exercised his skill in carving wood and

hammering metal. The art of casting in bronze, said to have been first practiced by two

Samians, RHOICUS and THEODORUS, also preceded the carving of stone. At the first,

sculpture was employed almost exclusively for temple decoration, but it was not long in

being freed from such thraldom. The human form became the model. The gymnasia had taught

the lesson of natural modesty, and imparted to the naked body all the exquisite grace and

beauty of which it is susceptible. To reach out after this ideal of loveliness was the

passion which seized the sculptors of Greece and gave them inspiration. So, beginning in

AEgina, a class of artists arose who with consummate skill began to chisel in stone the

beautiful lineaments of the human form.

At the first there was much that was rude and conventional, but the artist more and more

threw off his fetters, until, by the middle of the fifth century, perfect freedom had been

achieved. Then MYRON and POLYCLETUS arose, the one with his great works in bronze, and the

other with his beautiful marbles. Myron it was who produced the Ladas, a victor in a foot

race who died at the goal. The last gasp is on his lips. He pants. He is dead. The

masterpieces of Polycletes were the Doryphorus, a young and beautiful spearman; the

Diadumenus, a boyish figure, bound as to his brows with a wreath of flowers; and the

Canephora, or maidens with their baskets.

PHIDIAS was the chief glory of the administration of Pericles. To him was committed the

work of making the Parthenon sublime. From his studio went forth trophy after trophy to

adorn the crowning glory of the Acropolis. Indeed, it is not conceivable that one mind

should have designed, much less one hand executed, the multitude of works which are

ascribed to Phidias. It is more likely that a group of great artists, working under his

direction and inspiration, contributed in keenest rivalry the wonderful decorations of the

Parthenon. Around the Cella was a frieze four hundred feet in length covered with bas-

reliefs. The metopes were occupied with ninety-two sculptures representing the Combats of

the Centaurs. The work on the frieze presents the great procession of the Panatheneea-a

living panorama of the scenes which appealed most strongly to the imagination of the

Greeks.

In statuary proper Phidias, if possible, surpassed the sublimity of his reliefs. His

statues of Athene and the Olympian Zeus were regarded as the master works of antiquity-the

latter being classified as one of the Seven Wonders of the world. Both this and the Athene

were done in that magnificent style of art called chrys- elephantine, that is, wrought in

ivory and gold. It was a revival and glorification of one of the most ancient artistic