Polykleitos, Polycletus, or Polyclitus pŏlĭklī´təs, –klē´–, –klī– [key], two Greek sculptors of the school of Argos.
Polykleitos, the elder, fl. c.450–c.420 BC, was a contemporary of Phidias. Born either in Sicyon or Argos, he became head of the Argive school. He worked principally in bronze and made a number of statues of athletes. His most famous statue embodied his ideal of physical perfection. This Polykleitos, the younger, worked in the 4th cent. BC Although he was also a sculptor of athletes, his greatest fame was won as an architect. He designed the great theater at Epidaurus.
canon of Polykleitos,which emphasized a counterbalance of tension and relaxation through shoulders and hips, known as chiastic balance, became the standard of proportions for sculptors. It is best known through a copy, the Doryphorus or Spear-Bearer (Naples). Other sculptures representing his athletic, muscular, square-headed type, preserved through copies, are the Diadumenus (National Mus., Athens), a man binding a fillet about his head, and an Amazon. Another of his works praised by ancient writers was a gold and ivory Hera for a temple at Argos now known only from Pausanias' description and from representations on Roman coins. No recognized originals by Polykleitos exist today.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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