In the early classical, or transitional, period (c.480–450 B.C.) a new humanism began to find its aesthetic expression in terms of a perfect balance between verisimilitude and abstraction of form. The largest surviving single group of sculpture is from the temple of Zeus at Olympia. Although certain conventions in rendering hair and draperies persist from the archaic period, the magnificent marble figures from the pediments reveal a new kind of insight into the structure of the human figure. Rare surviving works in bronze are the famous Charioteer (museum, Delphi) and the Zeus or Poseidon found in an ancient shipwreck off Cape Artemision (National Mus., Athens).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.