TLW's Sculptorscope™ (Sculptor Historyscope)
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: Oct. 18, 2016. Last Update: May 14, 2017.
Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to sculptor history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.
About 750 B.C.E. the Greek Dark Ages (begun -1150) end, and the Greek Archaic Period begins (ends -480); having lost their knowledge of the surrounding seas, the Ionian Greeks begin exploring and colonizing Asia Minor and founding cities in Pontus (isolated rocky S coast of the Black Sea); by -650 abstract geometric patterning is replaced by naturalistic art, incl. nude dangly Kouroi (Gr. "male youth") statues.
In 472 B.C.E. the Doric Temple of Zeus in Olympia, Greece is begun (finished -456), complete with a giant 40-ft.-tall 22-ft.wide seated Statue of Zeus at Olympia (finished -435) by Phidias (Pheidias) (-480 to -430), which is later copied in the Abraham Lincoln Memorial in the U.S.; it is paid for by funds from the Elean defeat of Pisa; the architect is Libon of Elis.
About 450 B.C. the bronze sculpture The Discobulus (Gr. "discus thrower") is finished by Greek sculptor Myron of Eleutherae, becoming famous and spawning Roman copies, which is good since the original is lost; in 1781 the Discobulus Palombara, a 1st cent. C.E. copy is discovered on the Esquiline Hill in Rome; in 1937 it is acquired for 5M lire by Adolf Hitler, who displays it in the Glyptothek in Munich, Germany until the end of WWII, after which it is returned in 1948; in 1790 another copy is discovered in Hadrian's Villa.
In 438 B.C.E. the Parthenon (begun -447) on the Athenian Acropolis, dedicated to Athena Parthenos is completed; the statue of Athena by Phidias (Pheidias) (-480 to -430) is dedicated; there are few straight lines, all the steps are of different sizes, and the distance between each of the Doric (baseless) columns in the peristyle varies, all to give an illusion of strict balance.
About 436 B.C.E. reek sculptor Agoracritus (Agorakritos) (born on Paros) becomes the favorite pupil of Phidias, their work later being confused; he sculpts the colossal Nemesis of Rhamnus, starting with a statue of Aphrodite which loses a contest with rival Alcamenes.
In 435 B.C.E. the Statue of Zeus at Elis is completed by the sculptor Phidias (Pheidias) (-480 to -430).
Late in the 5th cent. B.C.E. (-410?) the Etruscan bronze Mars of Todi statue is sculpted.
In 350 B.C.E. the 7.3' nude dangly Apollo Belvedere statue is sculpted of white marble by Greek sculptor Leochares, showing Apollo after having shot an arrow; a Roman copy is made about 130 C.E., which is discovered in 1489 in Anzio, Italy, and ends up in the hands of Pope Julius II (Giuliano della Rovere); in 1755 German art historian Johann Joachim Wincklemann calls it the best example of the Greek aesthetic ideal, after which it becomes an icon of the Enlightenment; in 1796 Napoleon steals it from the Vatican, which gets it back in 1815 after his fall.
In 330 B.C.E. the Red Figure Period of Greek art ends, and the Hellenistic Period of Greek Art (ends -31) begins, spreading with Alexander's conquests, only to be stopped by the Romans with the defeat of Cleopatra VII at Actium; the statue of Hermes of Praxiteles (Olympia) and the Infant Dionysus is finished, and so is he; rediscovered in 1875 C.E. - this stupid knife dispenser is stuck?
In 220 B.C.E. the flaccid, er, reclining Statue of the Dying Gaul is erected by Attalus I in Pergamon about this year to commemorate the big V against them in -241.
In the 1st cent. B.C.E. the 6.7' (203 cm) statue of Venus de Milo on the Greek volcanic island of Milo (Melos) (most SW island of the Cyclades) is sculpted; discovered in 1820 C.E.
In 52 B.C.E. Pompey is elected consul, and tries to gain popularity by putting on bigger shows in the arenas, building the first stone theater in Rome, and a public garden inside a square of new public bldgs., incl. the Roman Curia, a meeting hall for the Senate featuring a larger-than-life Statue of Pompey the Great playing Alexander the Great, but retaining Pompey's unique "curly quif" of hair at the center of his forehead?
In 1408-15 Italian Florentine early Renaissance sculptor Donatello (Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi) (1386-1466), Clothed Statue of David (marble sculpture) (1408-9); commissioned to be mounted on top of Florence Cathedral, it proves to small to be seen from the ground, and is taken back to the workshop until 1416, when it is mounted in Palazzo della Signoria. In 1408-15 he produces St. John (sculpture). In 1433 he finishes his Nude Statue of David (bronze statue) (begun 1425), the first freestanding nude male sculpture made since antiquity, and first unsupported standing bronze work cast during the Renaissance; a nude dangly statue with David sporting a strange gay hairstyle and bonnet; stands in the center of the Medici Palace courtyard until 1440; not really finished until the 1440s?
In 1498 workaholic Italian Florentine sculptor Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564) finishes the marble sculpture Pieta (Pietà) in Rome; larger-than-life-sized, it depicts the lifeless Christ in the lap of the mourning Virgin Mary; sculpts himself as Nicodemus; after hearing a group of sightseers erroneously attribute his work to another sculptor, he chisels his name into it, but regrets it later and never signs another work - I'll never be a cicerone? In Jan. 1504 after working day and night since 1501 under dripping water, rarely taking his shoes off, Michelangelo finishes sculpting his dangly 16'4" Carrara marble Statue of David (most famous penis in history?), and unveils it to the Florentines, who adopt it as a symbol of their city and its republican aspirations, and make it the first statue displayed on a plinth since Roman times (they are young, beautiful David with the big slingshot and pouch of smooth stones at the ready, and the Medicis are big bad dumb Goliath?); the hard work doesn't seem to shorten Big Mike's lifespan any?
In 1676 French sculptor Nicolas Coustou (1658-1733) moves from Lyons to Paris, and goes on to work his way up to #1 sculptor along with his brother Guillaume Coustou the Elder (1677-1746) and his son Guillaume Coustou the Younger (1716-77), creating a school that cranks out the marble people; too bad, many of them are destroyed in the 1789 French Rev.
In 1880 French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) produces The Thinker (sculpture); original name "The Poet"; supposed to be a portrait of poet Dante in front of the Gates of Hell pondering his Divine Comedy; starts out as small plaster statue, then is cast full-size in bronze in 1902; in 1922 it is moved to the Hotel Biron in Paris, which becomes the Rodin Museum; in 1880 he also produces The Gates of Hell (La Porte de l'Enfer) (sculpture) (unfinished); supposed to be a portal to the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. In 1882 he produces The Kiss, a sculpture of Paolo and Francesca da Ramini inspired by Dante's "Inferno" (Circle 2, Canto 5); Paolo holds a copy of "Lancelot and Guinevere"; the lovers' lips do not touch because Paolo's brother Giovnni Malatesta (Francesca's hubby) murders them; shows the woman as an active partner, not totally submissive, outraging Victorian society; displayed at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, and at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Ill. in a guarded chamber; many copies are made by Rodin in bronze, terracotta, and plaster; the sculpture supposedly brings the era of classical art to an end; Rodin calls it "complete in itself and artificially set apart from the surrounding world." In 1889 he produces The Burghers of Calais (Les Bourgeois de Calais) (sculpture) (1884-9), about the humiliating terms of surrender to the English in the 1347 siege of Calais.
On Oct. 24, 1881 new U.S. minister to France (since Mar. 2) Levi Parsons Morton (1824-1920) hammers the first rivet into the Statue of Liberty in Paris, driving it into the big toe of her left foot; Colmar, France-born sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) got the idea from his friend, French jurist Edouard Rene Lefevre (Édouard René Lefèvre) de Laboulaye (1811-83). On Oct. 28, 1886 (Thur.) the 305' 1" 225-ton (heaviest in the world) "harbor chick" Statue of Liberty (AKA Liberty Enlightening the World), built by Dijon-born Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (Bonickhausen) (1832-1923) and designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) of Alsace (a recycled version of "Egypt Bringing Light to Asia", once planned for the entrance to the Suez Canal, with the Roman goddess Libertas robed as an Egyptian fallaha peasant) is dedicated at Liberty (formerly Bedloe's) Island in New York Harbor "beside the golden door"; the base is an 11-pointed star constructed from the remains of Ft. Wood; the seven spikes in the crown signify the seven seas and continents; the right hand of the 152-ft. steel-reinforced copper-clad Lady Liberty on a 150-ft. pedestal holds a torch aloft, while her left hand carries a book inscribed "July IV MDCCLXXVI"; the sonnet The New Colossus, by Jewish-Am. poet Emma Lazarus (1849-87) is engraved on a tablet inside the pedestal, cementing the purpose as the welcoming of er, white immigrants; "Give me your tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,/ The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,/ Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,/ I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"; on Oct. 29 the first-ever ticker tape parade is held for Lady Liberty in New York City, with workers spontaneously throwing ticker tape out of brokers' windows, while Pres. Grover Cleveland accepts the statue for the U.S.
On Aug. 23, 1913 the 4.1' (1.25m) 385 lb. Statue of the Little Mermaid (begun 1919), mounted on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade in the harbor of Copenhagen, Denmark, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is unveiled, sculpted by Edvard Eriksen (1876-1959), whose wife (since 1900) Eline Vilhelmine Eriksen (nee Moeller) (1881-1963) is used as the body model, with ballerina Ellen Price (Ellen Juliette Collin Price de Plane) (1878-1968) modeling for the head, becoming the nat. symbol; on Apr. 24, 1964 vandals steal the head, followed by many more episodes; every time somebody steals something, they replace it using a copy made with the original mold.
In 1936 Chicago, Ill. sculptor Sylvia Shaw Judson (1897-1978) produces the 50" (130cm) Bird Girl (bronze sculpture), which is featured on the cover of the 1994 novel "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", making it famous.