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Apollo Sauroktonos

Date

350-330 BC

Provenance

Unknown – only copy survives

Material

Originally bronze

Attribution

Praxiteles

Authenticity

Marble and bronze copies of a Greek bronze original.

Subject Matter

Humanising the Gods

Anatomy

Long, wavy hair tied up in a headband.

Dreamy expression and deep set eyes – used in 4th century BC.

Young, undeveloped body, very smooth and lean.

Very faint inguinal ridge.

Pattern and Proportion

Pattern sources: hair, knots and branches on the tree.

Head is quite large relative to body (but appropriate for a young boy).

Pose and Realism

Relaxed pose with tilted hip.

Contrapposto – accentuated by outstretched left arm.

A sinuous S bend in the body which is trademark of Praxiteles.

Weight on the right leg, which is usual of Praxiteles.

Uses Polykleitos’ trailing leg technique.

Drapery

Nude apart from headband.

Emotion

Dreamy expression which is typical of the 4th century BC.

Eyes set deep.

Humanising the Gods.

If holding an arrow, it shows Apollo’s role as an archer.

Boardman suggests he is holding a string in his hand, therefore he has the lizard on a lead.


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