Athena and Marsyas by Miron

Athena and Marsyas by Miron
Athena and Marsyas by Miron

Voyeur is one of the best-known artists of marble sculptures from the classical period of Greek Art, that is, the middle of the 5th century BC. And yet, in his time, what was especially praised about him was his ability to make bronze sculptures, which unfortunately none have survived to this day. That is why we know her art thanks to the marble copies that were made during the times of Imperial Rome, at which time copies of this sculptural group of Athena were made and Marsyas, as well as Myron's most famous work, which is none other than his Discobolus.

Athena and Marsyas by Myron

Myron's Athena and Marsyas

In this life-size group that can currently be seen on display in the museums of the Vatican City, we see on one side the figure of Marsyas, who is a satyr who wants to grab from the ground the flute thrown at him by the goddess Athena. We can see that Marsyas is naked, which allows us to appreciate his anatomical form in detail, since the artist has worked the whole body in great detail.

On the other hand, the position of the satyr is a true innovation, since like other sculptures of the classical period we are presented with a frozen movement, which in this case consists of a gesture that makes him go back but that implies the next step he is going to takeforward.

As for the figure of Athena, in this case the goddess appears dressed, following the line of the statues of peplos (the female tunic) of the first classicism, where the skirt recalls the grooves of the columns, although that rigidity of previous works of the so-called Severe Style such as the relief of the thinking Athena or the sculpture of the Charioteer of Delphi, here it disappears, due to the posture of the goddess, and especially her left knee that makes that stiffness break.

With that posture, he presents the goddess to us as a very relaxed character, but at the same time in a subtle movement, which in some way is the ideal counterpart to the gesture that the satyr Marsyas is making next to her. Unfortunately, the entire sculptural group has not survived to our time, but surely if we could contemplate it in its entirety, the result would be one of great harmony, achieving an absolute balance between the postures, gestures and expressions of both mythological figures.

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