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Doryphoros

Date

440 BC

Provenance

Unknown

Material

Marble

Attribution

Polykleitos

Authenticity

Roman marble copy of Greek bronze original

Subject Matter

Warrior carrying spear – possibly Achilles but no specific features to suggest this.

Anatomy

Short, wavy hair cut close to the head.

Severe expression.

Heavy-muscled torso, showing cuirass aesthetique (the statue’s torso looks like a moulded breastplate).

Very harsh, overdone inguinal ridge.

Stocky, well developed anatomy – typical Polykleitan combination of a young man’s face with the developed body of an older man.

The shoulders drop naturally, unlike Kritios Boy or Riace Warriors.

Pattern and Proportion

The statue was made to illustrate Polykleitos’ book “The Canon” which claimed that beauty was of mathematical proportion.

“Ideal unreality”.

Head is larger and limbs are shorter than Riace Warriors.

Pattern is provided by hair and chest muscles.

Pose and Realism

Successful portrayal of the body at rest – e.g. details of veins in the arms.

Relaxed pose with the weight on the right leg and the left leg bent.

Right arm hangs relaxed by the side.

Trailing leg technique (implies he is walking) on the relaxed leg.

Contrapposto on the torso.

One side of the torso is extended (hip down, shoulder up).

One side is contracted (hip down shoulder up).

A taut arm and leg are shown in opposition to a relaxed arm and leg.

The left hand is tensed and raised.

The head is turned in the opposite direction to the relaxed pose.

The use of the contracted versus extended torso creates a balance of opposites – “dynamic equilibrium”.

Drapery

Nude

Emotion

Disengaged look. Looking away from the viewer and lacks individuality (a perfect man, built up by numbers).


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