The Ancient Greek art has a great impact on the civilizations from all over the world, especially in the facets of painting, sculpture, and architecture. Greek art history was shaped in the Greek-speaking regions around 1000 BC to 100 BC. The Greek contained the richest civilization in the ancient world regarding art and architecture. They contained numerous magnificent painters and sculptors. In reality, they were the craftsmen who mastered their work. Still, some of these great painters and sculptors got to be admired and well-known. The Ancient Greek arts always have portrayed their imperial, amazing illustration with elegance and no other civilizations in the ancient could have a comparison with them. After the Hellenistic period, the artists got a social recognition and created the sculptures of gods, goddesses, and emperors. Some of their artworks are still present in different parts of the world and their great work admired by the modern world. Here is the list of 20 Great Ancient Greek Statues.
The Victorious Youth is a Greek Bronze sculpture, made between 300 and 100 BCE. It is present in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, California. This sculpture was found in the see off Fano, on the coast of Italy, in 1961. Maybe, the status was the part of the crowd of statues of victorious at Greek sanctuaries such as Olympia and Delphi. His right hand is touching the winner’s olive wreath over his head. The head of sculpture was cast separately from the lithe body. The eyes were once inlaid with bone, and his nipples are made of copper. The Government of Italy has made claims for the returning of the Victorious Youth’s sculpture, which the museum’s administration has rejected as unfounded.
The Lady of Auxerre is the relatively small limestone Cretan sculpture, present at the Louvre Museum in Paris. It is considered as the sculpture of an Ancient Greece Goddess of c. 650 – 625 BC. A Louvre curator, Maxime Collignon, discovered the statue in a storage vault in the Museum of Auxerre, which is an east city of Paris, in 1907. No one knows how this sculpture reached a provincial French Museum. It is assumed that the archaic sculpture dated from the 7th century BCE when Greek was uprising from its Dark Age. Her stiff hair suggests that it is an Egyptian Art. It’s secret, the serene hint of a smile is characterized as the “archaic smile. The sculpture is 75 cm high and left side of the head is damaged. It is also believed that may be; it is a Kore, perhaps a votary and not the maiden Goddess Persephone herself.
The Artemision Bronze is an ancient Greek sculpture that was discovered from the sea off Cape Artemision, north to Euoea. The sculpture represents either Poseidon or Zeus, is slightly over lifesize at 209cm. The sculpture is unknown and present in the collections of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. According to analysts, Zeus is fighting with his arm raised in the same position as the Artemision Bronze. The empty eye-socket were inset with bone, as well as the eyebrows, the nipples, and the lips (with copper). The sculpture was founded in 1926 and further excavated in 1928. The statue’s head is now an icon of Hellenic culture.
The Antinous Mondragone is the unique colossal marble example of the iconographic type of the deified Antinous. The statue can be identified as him from the somber expression, the striated eyebrows, full lips, and the head’s twist down and to the right. The smooth skin and center-parted hair mirror those of Hellenistic images of Apollo and Dionysus. It became the part of a colossal acrolithic cult status for the worship of Antinous. Thirty-one holes of three different sizes have been drilled to attach a head-dress in melta. It also lost ivory, colored stone or eyes in metal. Antinous Mondragone found between 1713 and 1729 at Frascati. The statue displayed at their Villa Mondragone as part of the Borghese collection. It brought for Napoleon with a large part of the Borghese collections in 1807. A brown layer of wax was added to provide an opaque finish, along with plaster around the neck to give it more beautiful look. Both additions have been removed in recent cleaning. Now this statue is present at the Louvre Museum, Paris.
Hermes of Praxiteles, also known as the Hermes of Olympia or the Hermes and the Infant Dionysus, is an ancient sculpture of Hermes and the infant Dionysus. This statue discovered in 1877 in the ruins of the Temple of Hera, Olympia, Greece. This statue is dated to the 4th century and attributed to Praxiteles. It is believed that Hermes of Praxiteles is the part of Praxiteles’ famous work. It is made of best quality Parian Marble and measures 2.10/2.12 m, 3.70 m with the base. The right foot is integral with a section of the base. The torso and face of Hermes are striking for their glowing surface, which John Boardman attributed to the generation of female temple workers. Nowadays, it is considered as one of the most original Masterpieces of great Sculptor Praxiteles. Currently, Hermes of Praxiteles is housed in the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, Greece.
The Antikythera Ephebe is a bronze statue of a young man. It was found in 1900 by sponge-divers in the area of the ancient Antikythera shipwreck. It is from the series of Greek bronze sculptures that Mediterranean and Aegean yielded up in the twentieth century. The sculpture which is 1.94 meters high, was retrieved in many fragments. The first restoration was revised in 1950. It does not correspond to any similar model, and there are no known copies of Antikythera Ephebe. He has a spherical object in the right hand. Antikythera Ephebe, dated to about 340 BC, is one of the greatest products of Peloponnesian bronze sculpture. The character and individuality it shows have encouraged speculation on its sculptor. Maybe it is the creation of great sculptor Euphranor. Currently, Antikythera Ephebe is present in the National Archeological Museum of Athens.
Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander II of Macedon, was the king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. He succeeded his father, to the throne at the age of twenty. He spent most of his life ruling on an unprecedented military complain through northeast Africa and Asia. Alexander the Great created the largest Empire of the Ancient world, at the age of thirty, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeatable king and considered as one of the most successful military commanders in history. The statue of Alexander discovered inside the Pella Palace in Greece. The statue was coated with marble patina and created with bonded marble. That statue was created in 280 BC to honor the Great Alexander. The statue is now present among the Greek Art Collections of the Archaeological Museum of Pella.
Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the great warrior of Homer’s Iliad. The immortal nymph Thetis was his mother and his father the Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons. The most notable feat of Achilles was the slaying of the Trojan hero Hector outside the gates of City. According to sources, he was killed by Paris, who shot him with an arrow in the heel near the end of Trojan War. He died from a small wound in the heel. In the statue of Achilles Wounded, he is laying down and pulling out the arrow from the heel. His belt and sword are present beside him.
Winged Victory of Samothrace, also known as the Nike of Samothrace, is a marble Hellenistic sculpture of Nike that was created in 2nd century BC. It was prominently displayed at the Louvre in 1884. Winged Victory of Samothrace is one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world. It was discovered in 1863 and was made to celebrate a naval victory in 190 BC. This sculpture is eight feet high and was created not only to honor the goddess, but also to honor a sea battle. The outstretched right wing is a symmetric plaster of the original left one. The figurehead has never been found. A restoration effort was started to improve the appearance of the statue in 2013. The restoration has the aim to restore the marble to its original hue which has been tarnished by time.
Dying Gaul, also known as The Dying Galatian or They Dying Gladiator is an ancient Roman marble copy of Hellenistic sculpture. The original was made of bronze and lost many years ago. The original statue has been commissioned between 230 and 220 BC by Attalus I to celebrate his victory over the Celtic, the Galatians, or Gaulish people of parts of Anatolia. The identity of the original sculptor is unknown. The Dying Galatian have been rediscovered in the early 17th century. The statue depicts a wounded slumping Celt with remarkable pathos and realism, especially as regards the face. A bleeding sword puncture is shown in his lower right chest. It is the statue of a Celtic warrior with a mustache and characteristic hairstyle and has torc around his neck. He is on his fallen shield, while his belt, sword, and curved trumpet lie beside him.
King Leonidas was a worrier king of the Greek city-state of Sparta. He was the third son of Anaxandridas II of Sparta and husband of Gorgo. He had a notable participation in the Second Persian War. He led the Greek forces to the last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae. The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states and the Persian Empire of Xerxes for the three days. A Greek force of more than 7,000 men marched toward the north to block the important pass in the middle of 480 BC. The Persian Army had more than one million men. King Leonidas was killed by Persian Army when he was trying to defend the pass from the invading Persian Army. A monument was erected at Thermopylae in 1955. It comprises a bronze statue of King Leonidas. Film 300 by Gerard Butler was based on the story of King Leonidas I.
The Statue of Lacoon and His Sons, also known as the Lacoon Group was one of the most famous ancient sculptures. This statue was excavated in Rome 1506 and was placed in the Vatican as a public display, where it remains. The group is a little over 2m in height, displaying the Trojan priest Locoon and his songs Thymbaeus and Antiphantes being attacked by sea serpents. In Western art, the statue has been “the prototypical icon of human agony.” However, the group is missing many parts, and some analysts suggest that in ancient times, the statue was remodeled many times after its construction. Now, Lacoon and His Sons statue is present in the Museo Pio-Clementino, a part of the Vatican Museums.
The Discus Thrower of Myron is a Greek Sculpture that was completed at the end of the severe period, circa 460-450 BC. The term Discobolus has been applied to a standing figure holding a Discophoros, which Ennio Quirino identified as the Discobolus of Naukydes of Argos. The original is lost but the work is known through many Roman copies. The first copy of famous sculpture was discovered in 1781. It is a first century AD copy of original bronze. The second copy of The Discus Thrower of Myron was excavated, at Hadrian’s Villa in 1790 and sold to the art dealer established in Rome, Thomas Jenkins. Many other copies of marble found in later years.
The Great Trojan Horse is a tale from the Trojan War. Greeks use this subterfuge to enter the city of Troy and won the war. After a fruitless war of 10-years, the Greeks built a huge wooden horse and hid their best commandos inside it. The Greek army pretended to sail away, and the people of Troy took the horse to the City as a trophy of victory. At midnight, Greek commandos came out of the horse and opened the city gates for the rest of the army. The Greek force entered the Troy and destroyed the whole city. The primary ancient source of the story is the Aeneid of Virgil, a Latin poem from the Augustus time. According to the Greek traditions, the Trojan Horse is called the “Wooden Horse.” Thirty Achaeans best worriers were in the Trojan horse’s belly, and two worriers were in its mouth.
The Colossus of Rhodes was the statue of the Greek titan-God of the sun Helios. It was one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World and was created to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the Antigonus, ruler of Cyprus, whose son besieged Rhodes in 305 BC unsuccessfully. According to different descriptions, the Colossus of Rhodes stood 77 cubits, or 33 meters high approximately. It is approximately equal to the height of the modern Statue of Liberty from feet to crown. That’s why it was the tallest statue of the Ancient World. Colossus of Rhodes was destroyed during the earthquake of 226 BC. The great statue snapped at the Knees and fell over onto the ground. Now, there are plans to rebuilt Colossus of Rhodes. However, the actual location of the original statue remains in dispute. At the end of 4th century, Rhodes allied with Ptolemy I of Egypt for the War against their common enemy, Antigonus.
The Diadoumenos, together with the Doryphoros, are the two popular figural types of the sculptor Polyclitus. They formed a basic pattern of Ancient Greek Sculpture to show a representation of young male athletes in a naturalistic manner. The Diadoumenos was the winner of an athletic contest. The statue shows that he is still nude after the game and lifting his arms to knot the diadem. The diadem is a ribbon band that shows the winner. The statue stands in contrapposto with weight on his right foot, his head inclined to the right, seeming to be in his thought. This figure is present in National Archaeological Museum of Athens.