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(both: fĭd`ēəs), c.500–c.432 B.C., Greek sculptor, one of the greatest sculptors of ancient Greece. No original in existence can be attributed to him with certainty, although numerous Roman copies in varying degrees of supposed fidelity exist. However, the estimates of ancient writers, their descriptions of his statues, and his influence on all later sculpture have secured his fame. His greatest achievements were the Athena Parthenos at Athens and the Zeus in the temple of Olympia, both colossal figures of chryselephantine workmanship (draperies of beaten gold, flesh parts incrusted with ivory). The Athena (dedicated in the ParthenonParthenon
[Gr.,=the virgin's place], temple sacred to Athena, on the acropolis at Athens. Built under Pericles between 447 B.C. and 432 B.C., it is the culminating masterpiece of Greek architecture. Ictinus and Callicrates were the architects and Phidias supervised the sculpture.
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 c.447–439 B.C.) was the chief treasure of Athens. It was destroyed in antiquity, but several copies are preserved (National Mus. of Antiquities, Athens). It was also represented on coins and gems. The Zeus (c.435 B.C.), counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the WorldSeven Wonders of the World,
in ancient classifications, were the Great Pyramid of Khufu (see pyramid) or all the pyramids with or without the sphinx; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, with or without the walls; the mausoleum at Halicarnassus; the Artemision at Ephesus; the
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, was a majestic bearded figure seated upon a magnificently ornamented throne and wearing a mantle strewn with sculptured decorations. Terra-cotta molds, found in 1955–56 at Olympia on the site identified as Phidias' workshop, showed that the gold for the drapery had been hammered into the molds and then further decorated with glass inlays. Works of the master's younger years include a colossal bronze Athena (called the Promachos), the Athena Lemnia for the Acropolis, and a chryselephantine Athena for Pellene. Phidias has traditionally been credited with having been in charge of the Parthenon sculptures and other great works on the Acropolis, done for Pericles; but it is probable that they were made by pupils and assistants. Part of the frieze is now in the British Museum (see Elgin MarblesElgin Marbles
, ancient sculptures taken from Athens to England in 1806 by Thomas Bruce, 7th earl of Elgin; other fragments exist in several European museums. Consisting of much of the surviving frieze and other sculptures from the Parthenon, a caryatid, and a column from the
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See study by C. Walston (1885, repr. 1971).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a Greek sculptor who lived in the second and third quarters of the fifth century B.C.; one of the greatest masters of Greek art in the high classical style.

Phidias’ works are known only from descriptions by ancient authors and from copies. His most renowned non-extant works are the colossal bronze statue of Athena Promachos (the Warrior), erected on the Acropolis about 460 B.C. in honor of the Greek victories over the Persians, and two majestic chryselephantine statues—Olympian Zeus in the temple of Zeus in Olympia, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and Athena Parthenos (the Maiden) in the Parthenon in Athens.

The best suggestion of what the work of Phidias was like is provided by the sculptural décor of the Parthenon, which was executed between 438 and 432 B.C. under the master’s guidance and probably with his personal participation. The remnants of the décor, done entirely in marble, are now housed in the British Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris, and the Acropolis Museum in Athens. Permeated with a profound humanism, the sculpture exalts the greatness of the Athenian polis and its citizens and depicts the struggle of Athens against its enemies. The sculpture of the Parthenon, together with its architecture, constitutes one of the finest examples of the synthesis of the arts. The sculpture is distinguished by the exceptional richness of its rhythms and compositional techniques, the subtlety of its modeling, the virtuosity of its chiaroscuro, and the overall unity of its plastic masses.


Niuberg, S. N. Fidii. Moscow, 1941.
Langlotz, E. Phidiasprobleme. Frankfurt am Main [1947].
Bendinelli, G. Sulle tracce di opere fidiache andate perdute. Turin, 1954.
Gavela, B. Fidija. [Novi Sad, 1974.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Greek sculptor (468–432 B.C.), epitome of classical art. [Gk. Art: Benét]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


5th century bc, Greek sculptor, regarded as one of the greatest of sculptors. He executed the sculptures of the Parthenon and the colossal statue of Zeus at Olympia, one of the Seven Wonders of the World: neither survives in the original
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Well before the culminating sequence for Ammannati, Laura expresses her wifely affection in the First Book with a trio of sonnets centered on her "Phidias." In the first, likening herself allusively to the bride in the Song of Songs, she arises at daybreak filled with desire for her beloved, whom she loves as a "new bright sun." In the third, a mythologically coded prayer, she asks Phoebus (Apollo-Christ) as god of medicine to bring his curative powers to "the one who has the better part of me," that is, to Ammannati, who has fallen ill.
THE PRESIDENTS of the two chambers of commerce Fikri Toros and Phidias Pilides, who were both guests on a show on Bayrak station, spoke about the big economic benefits that a settlement of the Cyprus problem would bring.
CIPA President Phidias Pilides said that apart from promoting foreign investment in Cyprus, and assisting the state to improve the legal framework and infrastructure, the Agency aims at helping investors and solving difficulties they may face.
"It is a brilliant example of what can be achieved with the cooperation of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot businesspeople and the extent to which cooperation will grow following the right settlement of the Cyprus problem," Phidias Pilides, chairman of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), said in a telephone interview today.
According to CIPA President Phidias Pilides the breakfast was held in order to discuss issues of concern to the German business community in Cyprus, "either related to shipping or tourism or even other sectors of the economy".
Cyprus Chamber of Industry and Commerce boss, Phidias Pilidis, and the head of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry Fikri Toros told Turkish Cypriot Bayrak that the cooperation between the two chambers had played an important role towards building peace on the island.
President of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency Phidias Pilides, addressing the Forum said that the agreement between Cyprus and Russia to avoid double taxation will give a new impetus in the financial cooperation between the two countries and is expected to increase flow of investment.
The Phidias Lab allows students from across the school to enjoy and showcase work in virtual design disciplines, with high performance visualisation and motion capture resources.
Intensive efforts are being made towards the linking of the two sides' mobile telephony networks, the Greek Cypriot co-president of the technical committee on economic and commercial matters, Phidias Pilidis, told the Cyprus News Agency on Friday.
The greatest sculptor of ancient Greece, Phidias, around 440 bc made the statues that to this day, 2,400 years later, still stand on the roof of the Parthenon in Athens.
Echoing the same arguments, CNP Insurance CEO Takis Phidias said Cyprus is in need of a GHS which will act as a safety net for vulnerable groups of society, but it will not affect insurance companies.
The sculptor Phidias was the primary designer, and Ictinus and Callicrates were the primary builders.