Abstract: Individuality and Innovation in Greek Sculpture


After briefly examining the ancient and modern scholarship on this problem, I offer a few cautionary remarks about craftsmanship and the limitations it imposed on individual initiative in ancient Greek sculpture. Then I turn to some test cases from the fifth century B.C., in order to show what individual achievement could amount to in that golden century. Included are the Tyrannicides by Kritios and Nesiotes; the sculptures of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia; Polykleitos's Doryphoros; Pheidias's Athena Parthenos, and Paionios's Nike at Olympia.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Burford, A. 1972. Craftsmen in Greek and Roman Society. Ithaca, N.Y.

Carpenter, R. 1960. Greek Sculpture: A Critical Review. Chicago.

Furtwängler, A. 1895. Masterpieces of Greek Sculpture. London. (Repr. Chicago, 1964)

Sennett, R. 2008. The Craftsman. New Haven.

Stewart, A. 1990. Greek Sculpture: An Exploration. New Haven.

Stewart, A. 2006. Classical Greece and the Birth of Western Art. Cambridge.


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