The University of Wisconsin Press

Classical Studies / Archaeology / Art History


Polykleitos, the Doryphoros, and Tradition
Edited by Warren G. Moon

Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Richard Daniel De Puma and Barbara Hughes Fowler, Series Editors

“This is a work of unusual importance; neither in scope nor in depth is there any comparable study of an individual Greek artist. Much exceptionally careful and thoughtful scholarship has been published on Polykleitos in recent years, but this volume nonetheless represents a major advance.”
—Steven Lattimore, University of California, Los Angeles

Polykleitos of Argos, who flourished between 450 and 420 BC, is one of the most celebrated sculptors of classical Greece. A philosopher and theoretician as well as a sculptor, Polykleitos sought to capture in his statues the ideal proportions of the human body, and his work was frequently copied by later artists. This richly illustrated volume of superb essays by art historians, classical scholars, and archaeologists discusses Polykleitos’ life and influence, his intellectual and cultural milieu, and his best-known work, the Doryphoros, or “Spearbearer.”

Polykleitos, the Doryphoros, and Tradition displays an impressive range of approaches, beginning with commentary on the artistic and philosophical antecedents that influenced Polykleitos’ own aesthetic, as well as the role of contemporary Greek anatomical knowledge in his representation of the human form. Many of the essays offer extended analysis and detailed illustration of his surviving sculptures, later copies of his work, and reflections of his style in sculpture, paintings, coins, and other art in Greece, Italy, and Asia Minor. Several essays offer an extended discussion of Polykleitos’ original bronze Doryphoros, its pose, its relation to other spearbearer sculptures, and the fine Roman marble copy of it now at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

The volume as a whole is a visually and intellectually appealing work that will interest not only specialists but general readers interested in the art of ancient Greece. This volume resulted from a 1989 symposium held at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Warren G. Moon (1945–1993) was professor of art history and classics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is the editor of Ancient Greek Art and Iconography, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press, and co-editor, with Louise Berge, of Greek Vase Painting in Midwestern Collections.

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Polykleitos statue standing on cover

July 1995

LC: 94-030288 NB
600 pp.   9 x 10   5/8
4 color plates, 468 halftones

ISBN 978-0-299-14310-7

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