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Related to Lysippus: Lysippus of Sicyon


4th century bc, Greek sculptor. He introduced a new naturalism into Greek sculpture



Born probably in the first decade of the fourth century B.C., in Sicyon; died in the last decade of the same century. Ancient Greek sculptor; outstanding representative of late classical art.

Lysippus was the court sculptor of Alexander the Great. His works, which were executed primarily in bronze, have not survived, but an idea of them is given by classical authors and Roman copies. Anticipating Hellenistic art, Lysippus revised the canon of Polyclitus. He depicted small-headed, lean figures moving in three-dimensional space. He portrayed people not “as they are” but “as they seem” (Pliny, Natural History, XXXIV, 8). Lysippus did numerous statues of athletes, including Agias and Apoxyomenos (The Scraper—an athlete cleaning himself after competition). The sculptor’s depictions of gods and heroes are characterized by an intense emotional message that was unusual for classical art.

In antiquity, Lysippus’ most celebrated works were a colossal statue of Zeus at Tarentum, a statue of Helios seated in a chariot at Rhodes, an allegorical figure of Cyrus at Olympia, and numerous depictions of Heracles and his exploits. The Heracles Farnese is the most notable of the statues and statuettes modeled after Lysippus’ originals. Lysippus also executed large sculptural groups, such as the group depicting Alexander’s companions on horseback who had fallen in battle on the Granicus. He did a number of portraits of Alexander the Great, in which he succeeded in rendering both Alexander’s earthly, human nature and the image of a deified ruler (the Istanbul copy is close to the original).


Waldhauer, O. F. Lisipp. Berlin, 1923.
Johnson, F. P. Lysippos. Durham, 1927.
References in periodicals archive ?
Students studying history of art are predominantly subjected to the work of male artists such as the works of lctinos, Lysippus, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, El Greco, Goya, Picasso or Dali during their whole education life.
Parrhasius answered him, "Let it be lawful for Parhasius, O Alexander, to shew a Table wherein he would paint Alexander, if it were not unlawfull, and for others to square Timber, though Lysippus carve it, and for all to cast brasse though Pirgotales engrave it.
Roman copy of a bronze original by the Greek master sculptor Lysippus.
Thanks to the long Peloponnesian war (431-404 BC), a hiatus of a generation intervened between the classical age of Phidias and Polyclitus, from 465, and the appearance of Praxiteles, Scopas and Lysippus.
Apart from its connotations for Leonello's self-image, this theory would have allowed Pisanello to enjoy the self-conscious stature of both a new Lysippus (objects cast in bronze) and a new Apelles (his consistent signature "Pisano the painter"), and have justified the humanists' constant reference to these and other Greek artists in so many of the poems they dedicated to the artist.
This section also considers paintings that can be associated with the neo-Platonic concept of the lover who reflects the image of the beloved like a mirror, even becoming transformed into an alter-ego of the beloved (relevant here would be Renaissance mirror-medals like those of Lysippus the Younger, in which the reflected face of the beloved on one side and the modeled face of his/her "servant" on the other are united in one object).