32 Classical Greek Sculpture

In the Classical period, Greek sculptors would break off the shackles of convention from the Archaic era and achieve what no-one else had ever before attempted. They created life-size and life-like sculpture which glorified the human and especially nude male form. Greater attention is paid to the facial countenance, though a stoic expression still typifies the sculpture from this era. Clothes too become more subtle in their rendering and cling to the contours of the body in what has been described as ‘wind-blown’ or the ‘wet-look’. Quite simply, the sculptures no longer seemed to be sculptures but were figures instilled with life and verve. The material of choice for early Greek sculpture was marble with the other favored material being bronze. Unfortunately, because bronze was always in demand for re-use in later periods, marble sculpture has better survived for posterity.(6)


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