IN EARLY GREEK ART
IN EARLY GREEK ART
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN
DUCKWORTH & CO.
3 HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN
PROFESSOR LOEWY'S " Die Naturwiedergabe in
der alteren griechischen Kunst " was published
at the end of 1900, but appears not to be
much known by English students of Greek art.
That an essay of great value should have been
thus neglected is due probably to two causes :
first, the work is a closely reasoned argument,
which can neither be condensed nor given in
excerpts ; second, Professor Loewy's method is
unfortunately strange to us.
A strict scientific discussion is a tonic much
needed by our archaeology. Many of our his-
tories, hand-books, and lectures substitute for
precision of fact and explanation a deal of super-
fluous moral comment and aesthetic make-believe,
so that one whom the beauty of the works attracts
to* study their history is deterred by the method
of study in vogue. Less pretentious, infinitely
more useful, and far more difficult to write would
be a history that should give merely a plain
statement of the formal changes in art, develop-
vi TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE
ment of technique, differences of subject, and
the like : a history whose chapters should be
like the present essay.
In it Professor Loewy traces only the course
of artistic conception of form from the primitive
period to a period of greater freedom. He gives
the artists of even the earliest period the credit
of energy and desire ; he explains their illiterate
attempts by psychological causes, and does not
admit as all-sufficient the current and inadequate
explanations of those who would attribute them
to technical or material constraint, or the re-
striction of civil or hierarchic decree, to con-
vention, and so on. It is this psychological
criterion which is applied with remarkable power
of analysis and synthesis to explain the artistic
phenomena, and the reader will find that it
illuminates the study of not only Greek art but
the art of every nation and period.
The translation may occasionally be found
elliptical because Professor Loewy, writing for
German archaeologists, is content to allude to
points of controversy familiar to them but not
to us. But I trust that only a few lines will
thus disconcert the reader.
TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE vii
Professor Loewy has argued his case so con-
sistently and so honestly that his conclusions
must stand till his principles can be overthrown.
Any trifling objection can be answered, I think,
by the book itself.
I am greatly indebted to Professor Loewy,
Professor Studniczka, Mr. E. P. Warren, and
Mr. John Marshall for their unsparing help in
what I have found a difficult task.
Professor Loewy has slightly amplified the
text in two places (pp. 30, 84), and has added
a few notes and references (brought down to
the summer of 1906). There are twenty illus-
trations which did not appear in the German
edition. Mrs. Strong has kindly helped to
LEWES, May 1907.
TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE . v
ABBREVIATIONS IN THE NOTES . . . xi
DRAWING .... 5
RELIEF . 34
STATUARY ...... 45
DIFFERENTIATION ..... 76
REFERENCES TO ILLUSTRATIONS . . .107
ABBREVIATIONS IN THE NOTES
Ak. Berlin. Sitzungsberichte der kon. preussischen Akademie der
Wissenschaften zu Berlin.
Ak. Milnchen. Sitzungsberichte der philos.-philol. und der histor.-Classe
d. k. bayrischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Ancient Marbles. Description of Ancient Marbles in the British
Annali. Annali dell' Instituto di Corrispondenza archeologica.
Anzeiger. See Deutsches Jahrbuch.
Ath. Mitt. Mitteilungen des kais. deutschen archaologischen Instituts in
Athen (or Athenische Abteilung).
B. B. Brunn-Bruckmann, Denkmaler griechischer und romischer
Bull. Corr. Hell. Bulletin de Correspondance hellenique.
Built. Der schone Mensch im Altertum. H. Bulle.
B. ph. W. Berliner philologische Wochenschrift.
Bull. d. Commiss. Arch. Bullettino della Commissione archeologica
comunale di Roma.
Collignon. Histoire de la Sculpture grecque.
Conze. (When not otherwise stated) Die attischen Grabreliefs. A.
De Ridder. A. de Ridder, Catalogue des Bronzes trouves sur 1'Acropole
Deutsches Jahrbuch. Jahrbuch des kais. deutschen archaologischen In-
stituts, with which : Archaologischer Anzeiger.
xii ABBREVIATIONS IN THE NOTES
tudes Grecques. Revue des Etudes grecques.
/. H. S. Journal of Hellenic Studies.
Michaelis. Der Parthenon. A. Michaelis.
Osterr. Jakreshcfte.]ahieshztte des 6'sterreichischen archaologischen
Institutes in Wien.
P. and C.G. Perrot and Ch. Chipiez. Histoire de 1'Art dans
Praktika. Ilpa/m/co, rijs iv 'AOyvais 'ApxaioXayiKijs 'Eratpcfas.
R. Lined. Atti della R. Accademia dei Lincei, Serie iv, Rendiconti.
Repertoire. S. Reinach, Repertoire de la statuaire grecque et romaine.
Rev. Arch. Revue Archeologique, III e serie.
Rom. Mitt. Mitteilungen des kais. deutschen archaologischen Instituts.
Zentral-Brasilien. Unter den Naturvolkern Zentral-Brasiliens. (K. von
IN EARLY GREEK ART
ALL style in imitative art, i.e. art that represents
real forms, involves an alteration of the appear-
ances presented by reality, or, at least, a selection
from them. In so far, then, as the history of art
is concerned with artistic form itself, its duty is
to determine in each case the relation between
the representation and the thing represented.
In a systematic criticism of Greek art from this
point of view, such as I have repeatedly at-
tempted in my lectures, and may some day
publish in detail, it has seemed imperative to
penetrate beyond the actual phenomena of art to
the causes which gave them rise. This task,
as regards the main principles, is what the
present book endeavours to fulfil for archaic
and, indirectly, for later Greek art also. The
exposition lays no claim to a novel point of
departure ; and, further, I should not feel justified
in publishing it, even by the fact that the explana-
tion has never yet, to my knowledge, been
coherently applied to the entire complex of the
phenomena of archaic art. I wished, however,
to insist upon a fundamental principle, the con-
sistent recognition of which I have often felt to
be wanting in the prevailing manner of reviewing
the beginnings of art, and the relations of art to
nature throughout its history.
In some respects the essay is a sequel to a
lecture published some years ago, Lysipp und
seine Stellung in der griechischen Plastik (1).
That lecture agreed in one cardinal point with
a work published later, namely, Julius Lange's
" Billedkunstens Fremstilling af Menneskeskik-
kelsen " (2), and so in the present essay I have
sometimes cited Lange for observations pre-
viously made by myself (3). For the rest,
conformably to the immediate purpose of my
essay, I have quoted as little as might be,
(1) Hamburg, 1891. Cp. Mitteilungen des oster-
reichischen Museums fur Kunst und Industrie, xix, 1884,
pp. 257 sq.
(2) Memoires de 1' Academic Royale de Copenhague,
1892. A second and third part, ibid.^ 1898 and 1903.
(3) I had written the present essay in July 1899 before
I learnt the full import of Lange's treatises in the German
translation : Darstellung des Menschen in der alteren
griechischen Kunst (Strassburg, 1899), from which I quote.
4 GREEK ART
especially of polemical matter, and out of regard
for readers unacquainted with archaeology, have
given a fair number of illustrations and ample
references to books where more may be
(4) In some cases indeed it would be desirable to refer to
casts or the originals, especially of reliefs. For the common
characteristics of ancient drawing special references seemed
EVEN to the layman there is noticeable in
archaic Greek art a series of peculiarities which
can be formulated as follows :
1. The conformation and movement of the
figures and their parts are limited to a few
2. The single forms are stylised, i.e. they are
schematised so as to present linear formations
that are regular, or tend to regularity.
3. The representation of form proceeds from
the outline, whether this outline is maintained
independent and linear, or, being of the same
colour as the inner surface, combines with it to
make a silhouette (l).
(1) The earliest preserved paintings on stone, and the more
carefully executed ones on terracotta (tablets, sarcophagi, and
even vases), give instances of independent contour along with
6 THE RENDERING OF
4. When colours occur they are uniform, and
are without regard for the modifications of tone
caused by light and shade.
5. As a general rule the figures are shown
to the spectator with each of their parts in its
broadest aspect, as we shall express it for the
6. Apart from a few definite exceptions, the
figures of a composition are spread out over the
Surface of the picture without allowing the main
parts to cross or overlap, so that objects which in
nature would be behind one another are drawn
out and placed alongside of each other in the
7. The representation of the environment in
which the action takes place is omitted, wholly
or for the most part.
To these peculiarities Greek drawing remained
true in all essentials, notwithstanding gradual
an interior of different colour. It has been said more than
once that from the dark-coloured silhouettes of ceramic
painting one must not infer the dark silhouette for painting
proper (Furtwangler, B. ph. W., 1894, col. 112; Pettier,
Etudes grecques, xi, 1898, pp. 378 sqq.); and ceramic paint-
ing itself affords many indications (e.g., Studniczka, Deutsches
Jahrb., ii, 1887, p. 150) that the form began with contour,
thus justifying the above definition.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 7
differences, from the earliest period in which
we can trace a certain and consistent develop-
ment of art upon Greek soil till about the middle
of the sixth century B.C. And it is not the isolated
occurrence of one or other of these traits that
characterises the archaic style, but the steady
and close combination of them all. In all these
characteristics there is one common principle,
namely, an independence of the real appearance
of objects, an independence that not seldom
amounts to open opposition.
The characteristics mentioned are not limited
to Greek archaic art. Julius Lange (2) has
shown that Nos. 3, 4, and 5 appear in every
primitive art of the present as well as of the past.
And there is no need to remind the reader that
the others also (3), only with certain reserves
affecting No. 7 (4), occur at least in the drawing
(2) Lange, pp. xxi sqq.
(3) The strict tectonic character of Greek art, in the
narrow sense (for the Mycenaean period, see page 29 sq.\
allows figures to be placed alongside of one another (No. 6),
for the most part only horizontally. In the Dipylon style,
however, figures placed one above the other are not un-
common, such as are frequent in Egyptian work.
(4) The element of landscape is given more extensive
consideration in Egyptian, and especially in Assyrian art (see
Lange, p. 94, and, below, p. 16, note 13).
8 THE RENDERING OF
of the ancient cultivated races of Egypt and
How does art come by this method of re-
The universal, or, at any rate, wide diffusion
of it (there being no positive reason to admit
the idea of mutual borrowing) rules out of court
any theory in which deliberate intent or purpose
plays a part. Thus it rules out, in the first in-
stance, the usual explanation of the above peculi-
arities as being conventions. Secondly, it rules
out any solution attributing them to a dislike, for
one reason or another, of optical illusion (5) : this
dislike, as some suppose, having led the artist
wittingly to refrain from reproducing the diminu-
tions and foreshortenings as he actually saw
them, and to select from amongst the real
appearances those that were most definite and
easily reproducible, in some cases, completing
the work by adding to it parts of the object
which from his point of view he could not
see (6). But such endeavours towards com-
pleteness and intelligibility are hard to re-
(5) Perrot et Chipiez, i, p. 742 ; Lange, p. xxii.
(6) Perrot et Chipiez, i, p. 744.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 9
concile with the indifference to environment
mentioned above. Deliberate purpose seems
to play no role in the theories which either
derive the typical and stylised forms in archaic
art from a simplification of forms through an oft-
repeated representation (7), or would have them
caused by favourable or unfavourable technical
conditions (8). But the theory of simplifica-
tion, wherever it finds stylisation, must logi-
cally assume a realistic kind of representation
to have previously existed ; and it makes no
account of the most rigid schematism not un-
commonly found in combination with very careful
execution. Further, both these theories (of
simplification and technical conditions) concern
only single phenomena, and do not deal with the
(7) Cf. Conze, Uber den Ursprung der bildenden
Kunst, Ak. Berlin, 1897, pp. 105 sq. ; cf. Collier, Primer of
Art, pp. 10 sf. Here belongs also the influence of picture-
writing as claimed by Perrot, pp. 763 sq. We can only refer
to the importance which this point of view has recently
acquired in theories concerning the origin of ornament (I
am indebted to Prof. G. A. Colini for information concern-
ing the literature).
(8) Cf. Riegl, Stilfragen, p. 30 (who here too, however,
assumes a conscious action); Conze, pp. 98 sqq. ; Balfour,
Decorative Art, p. 88 ; Haddon, Evolution in Art, pp. 75
io THE RENDERING OF
whole complex of facts that go to form the char-
acter of archaic art.
For the groups of phenomena Nos. i and 2,
another explanation has sometimes found a
hearing (9). This is based upon the more and
more fully recognised role which memory plays
in the creation and acceptance of art (10).
As the result of the visual impressions which
we have received from numerous examples of
the same object, there remains fixed in our
minds a memory-picture, which is no other than
the Platonic Idea of the object (11), namely,
a typical picture, clear of everything individual
or accidental. The graphic expression of this
would be a scheme of lines and planes ap-
proaching as nearly as possible simple geomet-
ric forms : this is stylisation. The expression
can certainly become more pronounced and fixed
by stereotyped repetition, as above mentioned,
(9) First spoken of, to my knowledge, by E. Briicke,
Die Darstellung der Bewegung durch die bildenden Kiinste,
Deutsche Rundschau, xxvi, 1881, pp. 43 sq.
(10) Compare Fechner, Vorschule der Asthetik, i, pp.
86 sqq. ; Exner, Physiologic des Fliegens, pp. 13 sqq.
(11) Cf. also Treu, Deutsches Jahrbuch, v, 1890, Anzeiger,
NATURE IN GREEK ART n
and by technical conditions, even as, on the
other hand, stylisation in art may coincide with a
stylisation ready-made in the originals them-
selves for instance, in the hair, beard, and
drapery, in the artificial plaitings of the hair of
animals, and in the training of plants. Similarly
tectonic and decorative requirements may also
help to the result. Yet these are all secondary
factors. In combination with the variety of im-
pressions acting upon the memory (such as the
different aspects of race, dress, and manner of
living), and, further, with the endlessly varied
intensity and quality of the conception of form
according to the individual or racial temperament,
these factors assuredly determine the appearance
of a definite style, but no one of them is indis-
pensable to the production of stylisation itself.
The memory-picture, as we termed it, is, how-
ever, only one, though certainly an important,
element in a psychical process the discussion of
which may, I think, help to explain much else
in art (12).
(12) I suppose that this subject has been treated in
psychological literature, but my limited researches have not
brought to my notice any study of the matter.
12 THE RENDERING OF
Not all the images of objects, even of those
frequently seen, are equally retained by the
memory, which prefers, rather, to make a
selection. We have seen numberless times a
leaf, a wheel, an ear, an eye, an outstretched
hand, and so on, from their every point of view,
but nevertheless so often as we thoughtlessly
picture to ourselves a leaf, a wheel, etc., there
appears in our mind only one image of each,
and in the case of the objects named, the images
will be those in which they show us their
broadest aspect. Breadth is, indeed, not the
determining circumstance ; for instance, we
think of the moon as a crescent and not as a
disc, except when we are thinking purposely of
a full moon. The aspect which is selected by
the memory is that which shows the form with
the property that differentiates it from other
forms, makes it thereby most easily distinguish-
able, and presents it in the greatest possible
clearness and completeness of its constituent
parts : this aspect will certainly be found in
almost every case to be coincident with the
form's greatest expansion. It results that the
mental image of a quadruped, a fish, a rosebud,
NATURE IN GREEK ART 13
takes spontaneously a side view, and that of
a fly, a lizard, a full-blown rose, takes a view
as seen from above. Any other view, if the
memory can recall one at all, would require a
special and conscious effort to bring it to the
mind. If several aspects equally satisfy the
above demands as the side and front, or top,
views of certain animals' heads (oxen, dogs, for
example) there may be several forms of spon-
taneous memory-pictures ; this does not alter the
fact of selection.
Now if we try to call clearly to our minds any
image whatever, we see it isolated and sur-
rounded by a void. To an imagination that is
quite embryonic and, for one reason or another,
wanting in intensity, the image may appear in
one single dimension, i.e. a mere impression of
the direction in which a body is more extended
or most characteristic. The greater the need for
distinctness the more completely the image
requires to be circumscribed, and to be detached
the more cleanly from the abstract ground. Yet
this detached plane offers in itself no hold to
the imagination ; it is only through the line of
demarcation, separating it from the void and
14 THE RENDERING OF
defining the form, that a form can be seized by
consciousness, and it is this line of demarcation,
the contour, that consciousness first seeks.
The unpractised memory, however, is a very
limited one. It embraces, in fact, only the simplest
forms. Most objects, being more or less complex,
leave behind them only an indistinct image of
their general appearance. To make this image
clearer the imagination proceeds as follows: it
brings the component parts one by one into con-
sciousness, and with these familiar elements
builds up the image which it cannot picture
to itself as a whole. In this the imagination
differs from physical reality. The latter unites
and interweaves the parts in accordance with
the principles of the organic formation peculiar
to the object, without concern as to how they
should present themselves to the eye from a
given standpoint. The principle upon which
mental images are built up is that the elements,
viz., the spontaneous single memory-pictures as
explained above, are set up one beside the
other in the order in which they happen to
follow one another into consciousness. Thus
in the mental process the organic whole of the
NATURE IN GREEK ART 15
natural object is resolved into a succession of
images of its parts, each part independent of the
other, and seen in its fullest aspect, in which
process the closeness of combination, the accept-
ance, or rejection of the parts is determined
entirely by the force of association in the
imagination : parts which are essential or-
ganically may be omitted because they are of
indifferent importance to consciousness, whilst
the imagination requires to see in its picture
everything that is inseparable from the clear
consciousness of the object, though the whole
thus put together may be irreconcilable with
any one aspect of reality.
That which has been said about single
objects has equal bearing upon mental
images of incidents and actions. We may
likewise apply the principle to the relation
between mental image and environment. In
nature the object and its background com-
bine together in one picture : imagination
that is not trained in artistic observation
brings these into consciousness as separate
elements. As a rule, of course (and the more
childlike the recipient imagination is, the more
16 THE RENDERING OF
certain will this be) (13), the attention and, accord-
ingly, the memory are absorbed by the animated
and active features of a scene, and the local back-
ground as such leaves no impression. But where
a local element plays an active part in the scene
it takes its place like every other element in
the evolving of the mental image, i.e. single,
separated from its local bearing, and placed in
that position which is prescribed by the build-
ing up of the mental and not of the material
Finally, in accordance with the same principle,
the imagination, provided it have the elements
at its disposal, can also construct such pictures
as have never been actually seen, or, if seen,
would not be powerful to produce in the memory
a distinct image. To this class belong most of
the moments of movement. That in cases of
movement the mind's eye can grasp only the
(13) Individual and ethnical temperament is indeed also
a factor. The Egyptians, and still more the Assyrians, were
remarkable, as compared with the Greeks, for their interest
in landscape : cf. Wilkinson's Manners and Customs of the
Ancient Egyptians, 2nd ed., I, pp. 365 sqq., 375 sqq. ;
Kohler, Ath. Mitt, viii, 1883, pp. 4 sq. This in connection
with note 4 on page 7.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 17
moments of relative rest (14), is but another
instance of the above-mentioned selection. But
often even these acquisitions of the memory do
not suffice for an exact picture ; they mostly
consist of mere impressions of direction, such as
bowing, bending, undulating, etc. The imagina-
tion endeavours to reproduce these impressions
by seeking to bring the elements, ever in that
shape in which they appear to the mind, into
such order as the moment of motion seized
seemed to present. How far removed from
reality are the results of this process we of the
present day have been made aware by instan-
The process described rules our concep-
tion of images, and the more primitive the
conception the more unlimited is its rule.
Instances of this we can see every day
in the drawings of persons artistically untrained,
not merely in those of children and savages.
Their drawings do not copy a given aspect of
reality (15). These simple draughtsmen, when
(14) Briicke, Deutsche Rundschau, xxvi, i88i,pp. 43, 47.
(15) Cf. Hildebrand, Problem der Form, p. 91 ;
Conze, Ursprung der bildenden Kunst (Sitzungsberichte
der Akademie zu Berlin, 1897), p. 104,
i8 THE RENDERING OF
placed in front of the object itself, would be
for the most part quite incapable of render-
ing it directly (16). For along with the
pictures that reality presents to the eye,
there exists another world of images, living
or coming into life in our minds alone, which,
though indeed suggested by reality, are never-
theless essentially metamorphosed. Every primi-
tive artist, when endeavouring to imitate nature
(17), seeks with the spontaneity of a psychical
function to reproduce merely these mental
images. And so it was with the Greek artist.
Perfect reflections, indeed, of these psychic
(16) Cf. Conze, ibid., p. 104. The apparently adverse
account of Von den Steinen, Zentr.-Brasilien, p. 251, is
really a confirmation.
(17) Ornamental forms that are not figures are not
considered in our present argument. They would come
into consideration only in so far as they can be traced to
representations of real things according to the theories
mentioned on page 9, note 7, which need not be dis-
cussed here. So far as I see, the designs in question are
exactly in accordance with the principles enumerated at
the outset, which, inversely, control also animal and human
forms which spring from mere ornaments (for examples,
Reinach, La sculpture en Europe avant les influences greco-
romaines, L'Anthropologie, v-vii, 1894-96). I may say
the same of the picture-writings that I have been able to
NATURE IN GREEK ART 19
processes we may not hope to find even in the
earliest archaic drawings that have come down
to us. Even in children's drawings we hardly find
them quite unmixed, and this irrespective of the fact
that the child has not complete mastery of his pen-
cil. For the mere translation of the mental image
into graphic form contains a revolutionary germ.
We have spoken of the free manner in which
the mental image omits parts that are organically
indispensable (18); for example, in children's
drawings the pictorial conception of a man often
consists of only a head and legs (19). And when
aware that there is something lacking, the primi-
tive draughtsman will not always find the desired
complement, even after deliberately calling up his
supply of mental images. In like manner a lack
of clearness in the composition and placing of
the parts may produce perplexity, one has
(18) The above applies to the representation of a whole
object by single prominent characteristics, as a serpent by the
pattern on its body (Ehrenreich, Beitrage zur Volkerkunde
Brasiliens, pp. 24 sq. ; Von den Steinen, Zentr.-Brasilien,pp. 258
(19) See C. Ricci, Arte dei Bambini, Fig. 2; cf. ibid.,
Figs. 3 sqq. ; Sully, Studies of Childhood, Fig. 19. For
the head, see also Benndorf, Osterreich. Jahreshefte, i, 1898,
20 THE RENDERING OF
only to think of children's drawings, in which
the arms grow out of the hips (20), and of
pictures by Brazilian savages, where the Euro-
pean's moustache is planted on his forehead (21).
In the mental image there can co-exist elements
where in reality the one would be excluded by
the other, e.g., two eyes in the profile view of a
face (22) ; when drawn these elements dispute
with one another the material space. In the
effort to tell a story graphically there will be
things to be represented for which the memory-
pictures are entirely wanting. Such experiences
would urge the draughtsman endowed with artistic
energy to direct or indirect recourse to nature.
Judging from this point of view, we must
conclude that the art of the ancient peoples,
as far as we can trace it back, is already
well advanced from its most primitive stages.
Not only have manifold practice and experi-
ence lent firmness of line, proportion, and
(20) Ricci,Figs. 8 sq.\ cf. Sully, Fig. 1 5 , 21, and our ^ig. i.
(21) Von den Steinen, pp. 251 sq.
(22) Ricci, Fig. 18; cf. 13, 26; Sully, Figs. 6, 14.
Or, rather, they do not exist in the mind at one and
the same time, but the instantaneous succession of the
images makes them appear to consciousness as if they were
A school-boy's drawing on the wall of a house in
Drawing's by natives of British Xe\v Guinea.
No. 24 (after Hacklon) : Hammer-headed Shark (/.ygac-na).
Xo. 25 (Maddon) : Zebra or Tiger-Shark (Stegostoma tigrinuml)
No. 29 (Haddon) : Sucker-fish (Echincis na iterates}.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 21
adaptation to the space given, but even in
the earliest drawings preserved we can dis-
cover infinite and deliberate observation of
nature transforming the purely mental images.
The more outrageous optical inconsistencies
are avoided, and the full visibility of single
parts is not seldom sacrificed out of con-
sideration for the whole (23). The device
of spreading out the figures one alongside
of the other, in accordance with the mental
process, yields sometimes to a perspective
arrangement suggesting depth. In this way
horses harnessed together, marching soldiers,
and the like, are indicated by the repetition of
a greater or lesser part of the figures, or
even, as in the case of chair-legs, wheels,
wings, horns, and entire bodies of animals, the
one behind is covered by the corresponding one
in front (24). And yet in each of the districts
of art mentioned (ancient Egyptian, Assyrian,
Greek; etc.), we need not go far to find, along
(23) E.g., the foot. An instance of the primary expression
is given in Fig. 2, No. 45.
(24) These phenomena have now been systematically
treated by Delbriickj Beitrage zur Kenntnis der Linienper-
22 THE RENDERING OF
with such proofs of regard for nature, number-
less others which still manifest the most primitive
form of conception. What extreme perversion of
reality, i.e. extreme fidelity to the simple mental
picture, is shown in the Dipylon style (to limit
ourselves to Greek art) (Figs. 3-5) ! For in-
stance, the artist, in combining the separately
conceived elements, has often not succeeded
even in making his figures touch the ground,
nor covered the legs of the charioteer by the
body of the chariot (25) ; and in the draw-
ing of the chariot (26) he has failed to show
the component parts as a connected whole
(Fig. 3). Who will be surprised by the dead
spektive in d. griechischen Kunst. But I do not agree
with Delbriick when he thinks (p. 18) that the further
horse in the Dipylon-vase bigas is placed in front view.
The drawing proceeded from the contour of the further
horse ; the prominent breast is characteristic of the horse's
profile in this style (cf., for example, Annali, 1872, pi. i).
(25) Monumenti, ix, 1872, pi. 40, 3; Historische
und philologische Aufsatze Ernst Curtius gewidmet, p. 355;
P. Girard, Peinture antique, Fig. 67.
(26) Pernice (Ath. Mitt, xvii, 1892, p. 293) has already ob-
served the instructive parallel between our Fig. 3, the earlier,
and Fig. 4, the more advanced solution of the identical
problem however crystallised both may be. Whoever follows
Helbig (Das homerische Epos, 2nd ed., pp. 139 sq.) in sup-
Bigas on " Dipylon "-vases. Athens.
Ship and rowers on " Dipylon "-vase. Paris.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 23
men on these vases (27), lying rigidly on their
sides for the sake of preserving full visibility
in the sense of the mental image, when a con-
siderably later period of painting (Fig. 6), in spite
of what the situation required, draws the com-
panions of Ulysses hanging down, not directly
under the rams, but all on one side ?
And when we proceed to the most advanced
manifestations of archaic drawing : the figures are
still mostly put together from spontaneous memory-
pictures ; bodies appear twisted, faces squint-
eyed, plants look as if they had been pressed
in an album. So the figures are still deployed
in line, and their grouping, even if we include the
rare cases of deliberate representations of crowds,
scarcely goes further than the above-mentioned
method of shifting them like side-scenes, one before Page 21.
the other, of crossing arms and legs of men, and
the necks of animals, and of intersecting a larger
figure by a smaller one, e.g., a man by the hori-
zontal body of an animal, or vice versa. In
posing only one horse to be intended in Fig. 4, must logically
find only one wheel for the chariot (cf. Brunn, Kunst-
geschichte, i, p. 32). For parallel instances see Von den
Steinen, pi. 19, p. 253 ; our Fig. 2.
(27) Collignon, i, 39; Monumenti, ix, 1872, pi. 39, i.
24 THE RENDERING OF
spite of occasional confusions, fidelity to the
contour, that line of demarcation by which
form is circumscribed and evoked from the void,
p age 13 emerges triumphant. The silhouette still tends
to isolation, sharply detached from a neutral
field of contrasting colour, with no environment
Page 13 and no shadows cast. And the drapery, fairly
correct for more restful poses only, is otherwise
an attempt to fix a vague reminiscence of the
Page 16 general direction of movement. Even at this
sq ' stage art is not much more than a mechanic-
ally true transcript of the psychical processes
which we have described. The artist does not
draw in this manner out of capricious disregard
for nature, but because in all these things he has
not yet succeeded in seizing the forms of nature.
Why does art, till the middle of the sixth
century, scarcely ever venture upon a fore-
shortening, the expression of an emotion in
the face (28), or a more active play of the
fingers, than that of a merely extended palm
or doubled fist ? Why does it find such diffi-
culties with the inner drawing of the ear, and
(28) Cf. Girard, Revue des Etudes grecques, vii, 1894,
PP- 337 W, Monuments grecs, 1895-97, pp. 7 sqq.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 25
whence the helplessness in the rare front views
of the cheek outline, nose, knee, and in the
anatomy of the softer parts of the body?
The answer is that there exist no sufficient
memory-pictures of these forms in the primitive
imagination : either by reason of their character
they lie outside that selection of the memory, or Page 12
SO ' m
by being seen in reality for too short a moment,
their details would not be firmly retained (this
applies, I think, to expressions of faces), or
again because they are incompletely defined by
an interior shadow, itself faint, and therefore
escape the comprehension by contour which the
mind requires. This last consideration explains, Page 13
amongst other things, why in every art from the
beginning, the female body, being less marked
and divided by musculature, is less well repre-
sented than the male, the child than the grown
up person ; a further condition was given by the
existing habits of life (29), whether favourable
(29) Lange (pp. 57 sqq.} traces the tendency of archaic
Greek art, which, according to him, is exclusively directed
towards the youthful and masculine, to the then dominant
ideal of athletic youth ; but this exclusiveness, as he himself
recognises, is not confirmed by what we know of the general
feeling of that period. Nor do the works of art sustain his
26 THE RENDERING OF
or adverse to the memory-pictures of the nude.
Of the forms mentioned, for which memory pic-
tures are insufficient, some have always been con-
sidered difficult things to draw, and are so con-
sidered to-day, even when they can be quietly
studied from nature. This difficulty may help
us to estimate how valuable are the accumula-
tions of memory as unconscious preparation for
the representation of what we see. And so we
can understand why quite ingenuous art is incap-
17 able of giving an immediate rendering of nature.
It is worth while to note the manner in which
art, when strong enough to observe, turns to
account its observations of nature. For this it
appears to me specially significant that in the
more developed archaic period, as has often been
noticed, there is a relatively greater conformity to
nature in the representations of objects less com-
monly seen, as of animals rather than of men (30),
thesis. Justice is done to the feminine and to venerable age,
though the character in both is limited generally to the head.
Further, in treating the nude, art was at least as fair to the
grown man as to the youth.
(30) It is generally maintained as an absolute law, and one
particularly applicable to the most primitive art, that animal
representations are superior to those of human figures ; but
the law is confirmed neither by the oldest examples of Greek
NATURE IN GREEK ART 27
particularly those animals with which men are
not daily associated, of men of foreign races
rather than those of their own kind, and so
on. In all these cases the artists had not at
once at their disposal a more or less satisfactory
memory-picture, and so being compelled to ob-
serve nature they imitated her more closely.
But it must not therefore be supposed that these
productions represent pictures made on the spot ;
judged by their entire structure, the typical gener-
alisation of line, the exhibition of the fullest as-
pect and so on, they too betray themselves as
being memory-pictures assimilated to the com-
mon store although consciously acquired.
And this applies in principle to every case of
observation of nature in the period of art with
which we are occupied.
art (for Mycenaean see elsewhere, p. 29 s?.), nor by the drawings
of children and savages (cf. Ricci, Arte dei Bambini, Figs. 1 8
sqq. j Sully, Studies of Childhood, Figs. 43 sqq., 52; Von
den Steinen, Zentral-Brasilien, pi. 16 sqq. and our Fig. 2).
Rather the perfection in the rendering of animal forms is
everywhere in direct proportion to the simplicity of their
construction, i.e. to the ease with which they are committed
to memory. In cave-art also (cf. p. 31) the rare examples
of human figures in drawing, and more especially the more
frequent figures in the round, do not justify the opinion.
28 THE RENDERING OF
There remains to be discussed one more of the
characteristics of archaic drawing enumerated
at the outset, the uniform colouring. In this
also the mental images are copied, and not the
actual originals. Every one will be convinced
after examination that an imagination not specially
schooled to observe colour dispenses spontane-
ously with all the effects of light and shade, even
in freshly received impressions of colour, and
establishes one neutral tone, though the tone
established may have the least share in the
colouring of the original or may be quite lack-
ing there. Whether, or to what degree, the
memory-picture contains colour as something
essential cannot be discussed in detail here ;
certain it is that the greater number of
generic memory-pictures are undetermined in
colour. To determine their colour requires
a special purpose, and since the original con-
ception has no material for it, it follows
that technical, decorative, or otherwise arbi-
trary conditions play here as great a part
as a deliberate recourse to the revival of
reality in the memory. Thus we understand
why archaic colouring is often independent
NATURE IN GREEK ART 29
of nature and bizarre (31), and also why the
outline continues in its integrity even when the
interior is coloured, since this colouring, as a p a ge 5.
secondary addition, was subordinate to the
But is not the whole of this proposition over-
thrown by precisely the very earliest works of
drawing that we meet in Greece? Is not
its very opposite proved by Mycenaean art,
with its wealth of motives showing unprejudiced
observation of nature and grasp of momentary
situations ; with its pronounced tendency to
describe the environment, and the accessory and
casual details in which the action is cast ? Does
not Mycenaean art prove that Greek art set out
with a direct and unconstrained imitation of
nature itself, and only afterwards shrank to
abstractions and typical conventionalities ?
I think not. The description just given of
Mycenaean art does not apply to all Mycenaean
art, which, after all, however incompletely it may
(31) Cf. the examples of polychrome sculpture cited by
Lechat in the Bull. Corr. Hell., xiv, 1890, pp. 552 sqq., 570.
These instances are the more instructive in that they do not
belong to ceramic pottery with its limited palette, practically
the only kind of painting we have to refer to.
30 THE RENDERING OF
Fi s- 7- still be known to us, conforms incontestably in
the main to the principles which we have
laid down. It applies only, and in a very
limited degree, to a small group of works,
as in particular to the Vaphio cups, the dagger-
blades, and the vase fragment with the siege
of a city (32) ; and who shall answer for the
primitiveness of these ? Why should we not
regard them rather as the most advanced pro-
ducts of a long continued artistic activity the
intermediate steps in which may still fail us
here and there (33)? If the " Mycenaean" and
later Hellenic art belonged to people of the same
race, which I do not think is yet proved, then
they are different boughs of the same tree grown
at different times and in different directions, and
are not to be brought together into one line
of artistic development (34).
(32) The Cups, Collignon, i, Figs. 24, 25 ; Perrot et
Chipiez, vi, Figs. 369 sq., pi. 15; Ephemeris, 1889, pi. 9;
Bull. Corr. Hell., xv, 1891, pi. n sqq. Dagger, Collignon,
i, Fig. 9; Perrot et Chipiez, pi. 17, i ; Ath. Mitt., vii, 1882,
pi. 8. Vase, Perrot et Chipiez, Fig. 365 ; Ephemeris, 1891,
pi. 2, 2.
(33) I have not yet seen any attempt at a history of art
within the Mycenaean period, ceramics excepted.
(34) So too in the history of Greek art in the narrower
Figures of men and animals in different movements, on Mycenrean gems. Athens.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 31
With the same reserve must we regard the
well-known drawings by cave-dwellers of the
quaternary epoch (35). Historically discon-
nected as they present themselves to us, they
give us no absolute evidence of being most
primitive works of art. Examine the much
vaunted naturalism of these drawings and those
of certain uncivilised peoples of to-day (36) with
which they are often readily compared (37).
sense there will have to be a separate consideration of the
Eastern Greek. Reisch has remarked (Verhandlungen der
xlii. Versammlung deutscher Philologen, 1893, p. II2 > note 2 )>
and so Furtwangler (Gemmen, iii, p. 14), and Bohlau (Ath.
Mitt., xxv, 1900, pp. 83 s<?.), that the Mycenaean temperament
apparently broke out afresh in the quicker feeling for nature
of the Greeks of Asia Minor. I call to mind creations such
as the Busiris vase, Monumenti, viii, 1865, pi. 16 sg.;
K. Masner, Vasen und Terracotten in k. k. osterreich.
Museum, No. 217; Furtwangler und Reichhold, Griechische
Vasenmalerei, pi. 51 (where Furtwangler, p. 259, makes the
(35) A rich though somewhat antiquated bibliography : S.
Reinach, Antiquites nationales, i, pp. 149 sqq., 168 sqq. ; cf.
Hoernes, Urgeschichte, pp. 38 sqq.
(36) For the literature (equally behindhand), R. Andree,
Ethnographische Parallelen und Vergleiche, Neue Folge, pp.
(37) Cf. Reinach, Antiquites nationales, p. 170, with
note 3 ; lately especially Grosse, Anfange d. Kunst, pp.
156 sqq., 190 sq.
32 THE RENDERING OF
If naturalism consisted in the masterly compre-
hension of the details of form and its vital
functions, then the Parthenon sculptures would
be one of the summits of naturalistic art.
Figs. 8-9 But if we look in these drawings for individu-
' ality of motive (38), for more than rudimentary
notions of perspective, for foreshortening, cross-
ing, and overlapping of various parts, and a con-
ception of space and environment (39), then, so
far as I have been able to survey the rather
wide field, they are governed throughout by the
principles which we enumerated at the begin-
(38) Fraas (Zeitschrift fur Ethnologic, x, 1878, pp. 241 sqq.)
justly observes that in the reindeer drawings there is
a common treatment and manner, that is to say, a fixed
style. Similarly A. Bertrand, in Archeologie celtique et
gauloise, ii, pp. 85 sq. The same observation would be often
applicable to the art of uncivilised peoples (see the well known
Bushman-picture reproduced by Andree, pi. 3 ; Grosse, pi.
3 ; and compare it with Fritsch, Die Eingeborenen Siid-
Afrikas, p. 426).
(39) I know nothing further about the foreshortenings in
Bushman -drawings mentioned by M. Hutchinson (Journal
of the Anthropological Institute, xii, 1883, pp. 464 sq.).
The reductions in perspective spoken of by Biittner, Zeit-
schrift fur Ethnologic, x, 1878, p. (16), are perhaps differ-
ences of size of the same sort as in the picture reproduced
by Weitzecker (Bollettino della Societa Geografica Italiana,
Serie III, 1890, pp. 334 sqq.). There is, however, no
reason to deny development to Bushman-art.
Reindeers. Painting on the North wall of the grotto of Font-de-Gaunie.
Reindeer and salmon.
Incised drawing on a horn. Lorthet.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 33
ning (40), and all the often surprising observa-
tions of nature in the details are subordinated to
a strictly mental conception, and grafted into the
already existing spontaneous memory-pictures.
On the other hand, where we are able to
follow up an entire development of art, there
we find that its morphological progress is
from the psychical image to the physical,
i.e. to the image on the retina, the objectively
received patch of nature with all its inci-
dental and accessory detail. We should not
be led away from this principle by temporary
retrogressions and collateral tendencies. The
goal of this development can indeed in reality
never be reached, for, having reached it, art
would itself be brought to a finish.
(40) From the existing reproductions (Cartailhac-Breuil,
L'Anthropologie, xv, 1904, pp. 625 sqq., pp. 634 sqq.' y
Alcalde del Rio, Las pinturas y grabados de las cavernas
prehistdricas de la provincia de Santander, pi. ii), I cannot
regard the variation in the tone of colour of the animal-
pictures, discovered in the Altamira grotto, as shaded
THE theory developed in the preceding chapter
applies at once to relief, i.e. low relief, as it
is always understood here. The close con-
nection between antique relief and drawing
(1) is now generally acknowledged, so that
we a^e accustomed to contrast drawing and
low relief as one form of art with sculpture in
the round, that is to say, statuary, and high
relief (2) as another.
The substantial similarity to drawing of the
most common class of reliefs, the low relief
in stone, has been genetically explained by
its direct derivation from drawing. In point
of fact, every antique stone relief starts from
(1) Conze, Das Relief bei den Griechen, Ak. Berlin,
1882, pp. 574 sqq. ; Lange, p. xxiii ; cf. Erman, Agypten,
ii, PP- 530 sq.
(2) For the latter, cf. Koepp, Deutsches Jahrbuch,
ii, 1887, PP- "8 sqq.\ Lange, p. 93.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 35
a drawing thrown upon the even surface of
the slab or block (3), and for a long time
colouring is as common in reliefs as in drawing.
But this explains the origin of only one kind of
relief. Along with the relief in stone, and per-
haps before it, there were other kinds of half-
raised work, such as repousse metal or moulded
clay; jand, in view of their purpose (the mechani-
cal production of elevated forms), we may add
the incised representations of gems, dies for
coins, and so forth.
Thus we see art arriving at relief in very
different ways. At its simplest, in very old
specimens, it presents itself in one uniform
plane as a silhouette sharply circumscribed
and detached from the background. If we
may see in this the earliest form of relief,
not forgetting cases also where in the finished
work one finds the inverse relation between
figure and field (bas-relief en creux), it would
follow that the first impulse of the artist in
making a relief was the special accentuation of
one of the determining elements of the primitive
(3) R. Schone, Griechische Reliefs, p. 22 ; Conze,
PP- S^S, 574-
36 THE RENDERING OF
conception, the contrast, namely, between the
Page 13. silhouette and the neutral background (4).
However, there is always some danger in
reconstructing origins. Therefore we shall hold
in mind only those phases of Greek archaic relief
that can be reviewed with certainty, kindred
phenomena in the art of other peoples being
here, as everywhere in this essay, tacitly in-
cluded. To the properties of drawing al-
ready set forth, relief adds the elevation of
the picture. One would think that art, when
once in the possession of such means, must
have employed it directly for giving expres-
sion to a plastic notion of form corresponding
to nature. Let us see how far the supposition
is confirmed by the facts.
(4) The actual result is that the contours are strengthened,
but this strengthening, even when deliberately continued,
corresponds only to what was said on p. 13. In the relief
cited by Conze, ibid., pp. 568 sq. t pi. 9; Attische Grab-
reliefs, i, No. 240, pi. 60, I would attribute the broader
handling of the chisel in certain passages merely to natural
difficulties in following the ups and downs of the contour.
Where in stone (bone, wood) a contrasting colouring of
ground and figure served the purpose in question, the sinking
of the one portion was at the outset only a subsidiary means,
although now in the examples preserved it seems to us
almost always to be the principal means, the colour having
Horse and rider on grave relief from Lamptrae. Athens.
From Brunn-Bruckmann, Denkmciler griech. -and rom. Sculptur, pi. 65.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 37
Starting again with relief in stone let us take as
an instance the very early work from Lamptrae
(Fig. 10). The two horses must be imagined as
one behind the other, but in the relief they are
merely distinguished by doubling the line of
contour. The artist did not feel any need to
express the relative positions which they occupy
in nature by a difference of planes. But here
perhaps was an incipient art of relief as yet
quite ignorant of its powers. In technique the
diskophoros from the Themistoclean Wall (Fig.
1 1) certainly shows a great development. Yet in
the discus the feeling for unity of plane is so far
wanting that the part of it to the left of the head
is considerably deeper than that on the right.
The head is modelled ; that is to say, it seems to
take account of the planes of nature : yet if we
regard the modelling as an abbreviation of
sculpture in the round, the ear comes too far
from the profile, whereas it is not too far if
the head be regarded as a drawing (5). The
Aristion of the well-known stele (6) treads on
(5) The divergent statement of L. Curtius, Ath. Mitt.,
xxx, 1905, p. 385, is based upon a different notion of the
word " plastic ".
(6) Collignon, i, Fig. 201 ; P. and C., viii, Fig. 72 ; Brunn-
38 THE RENDERING OF
his own foot, so little are the planes of the two legs
diversified, and part of the breast is in higher relief
than the arm hanging down over it. A similar
lack of plastic conception in the Pharsalian stele
representing two girls (7) has been claimed by
Brunn as a peculiarity of Northern Greek art.
It is, however, characteristic of early Greek
relief generally, and the errors pointed out
by Brunn cease to be such if one thinks of the
forms of this relief as merely drawn in outline.
Certain it is that over against such examples are
found numerous others in which the indifference
to nature in the arrangement of planes is less
marked, but we shall find only a few that are
entirely free from inconsistencies of the kind.
If we look for the common factor in all these
peculiarities, it will be found in a certain resist-
ance to the development of depth, every form
demanding for itself the utmost share of the
Bruckmann, Denkmaler, 41 ; Conze, Grabreliefs, i, 2,
pi. 2, i.
(7) Collignon, i, Fig. 134; P. and C, viii, Fig. 76; B. B.,
58. Cf. Brunn, Ak. Miinchen, 1876, p. 329; Kleine
Schriften, ii, pp. 192 sq. Of course I do not mean to say
that the art of North Greece and its treatment of relief had
no special characteristics.
Hero-worship. Relief from Chrysaphn. Berlin.
From Brunn-Bfuckmann, D enkm filer gi'iech. umi rHin. Scul/>tur. pi. 227.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 39
foremost plane, and this plane again, i.e.
(according to common opinion) the original sur-
face of the block from which the relief made its
start, tending to preserve the greatest extension.
Even in parts of the Parthenon frieze (8) a
quite exceptional heaping up of figures does
not bring about a variety of planes corre-
sponding to reality (Fig. 12). There is, indeed,
a slight difference of planes where parts supposed
to be behind one another in reality come in contact
in the relief. Yet the planes further again press
to the front, and the entire depth of the relief
in such places is not greater than where the
figures are in juxtaposition, as in the West
There are, it is true, some reliefs in which
a methodical gradation of planes undoubtedly
proves the artist to have been aware of the facts
of nature, viz., the two big hero reliefs from
Chrysapha (Fig. 13) and Sparta, also a later
relief of the same kind and provenience,
one in I nee Blundell Hall, and the Albani
(8) Especially so on the N. and S. friezes; for example,
Michaelis, pi. 10, Figs. 8 sq. t 15, 24 sq., 28, 30 sq., 35 sq.;
pi. 12, slab xviii; B. B., in sq. t 114. W. frieze, Michaelis,
40 THE RENDERING OF
" Leukothea " (9). But not only are these
works quite singular, however early the first two
may be (10), but the severe arrangement of
planes in so many distinct layers (which, more-
over, in the last-named reliefs is appreciably
moderated by reason of that aversion to depth
referred to above) shows, in its very exaggeration
of reality, that its source is mental abstraction,
not direct imitation of nature.
To give the impression of the round, there must
further be movement of the surfaces in them-
selves. Here again similar things are notice-
able. Besides the silhouettes with even surface
and sharply-cut contour, we find indeed quite
early a rounded chamfering of the edges,
which, beginning apparently with the outer
contours of the silhouette, as on the Spartan
pillar (Fig. 14) (11), is in further development
(9) The second greater hero relief, Ath. Mitt., ii, 1877,
pi. 22. The later, P. and C, viii, Fig. 74 ; B. B., 227^ ; Ath.
Mitt, ii, 1877, pi. 24. Ince, Arch. Zeitung, xxxii, 1874,
pi. 5. Leukothea, Collignon, i, Fig. 141 ; P. and C., viii,
Fig. 75; B. B., 228.
(10) Cf. Milchhofer, Ath. Mitt, ii, 1877, pp. 451 sq.
(11) Other examples: Collignon, i, Fig. 87; P. and C.,
viii, Fig. 152 ; B. B., 23 la (the Samothracian relief) ; P. and C.,
viii, Fig. 156 ; Bull. Corr. Hell., xxiv, 1900, pi. 16 (Thasos);
Base of a stele. Sparta.
Front BruttH-Bruckmann, Denktnaler griech. vnd rom. Sculpting pi. 226.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 41
employed also upon the contours inside the
silhouette. The modelling of a great portion of
archaic reliefs can be traced in the main to this
mode of procedure, which varies only according
to the number and kind of contours thus treated ;
as examples take the Harpy monument, the
Thasian relief of the Nymphs, and the Giustini-
ani stele now in Berlin (12). At the same time
there is only a modest attempt towards emancipa-
tion from a leading contour by a movement of
planes varying in height and depth (13).
Throughout the archaic period art does not
advance very far in this direction (14). On the
Annual of the British School at Athens, v, 1898-99, pi. 9
(12) Harpy monument: Collignon, i, Figs. 129-32; P.
and C., viii, Figs. 145-48; B. B., 146 sq. Nymphs relief:
Collignon, i, Figs. 138-40; P. and C., viii, Figs. 153-55;
B. B., 6 1 ; cp. Osterr. Jahreshefte, vi, 1903, pp. 159 sqq.
Giustiniani stele, now in Berlin: B. B., 417^; Antike
Denkmaler, i, 33, 2.
(13) The beginning of this tendency can be observed in the
reliefs, just mentioned ; others better carried out are Lycian
(for example, Collignon, i, Fig. 133 ; B. B., 102), Attic (Col-
lignon, i, Fig. 195 ; P. and C., viii, Fig. 334; Nuove Memorie,
pi. 13, i), etc. Quite at the end of the archaic time the
Ludovisi Aphrodite reliefs : Bulle, 43 sq.\ Antike Denkmaler,
ii, 6 sq. ; Petersen, Rom. Mitt., vii, 1892, pi. 2, pp. 54 sq.
(14) It seems unnecessary to show that the Delphic reliefs
42 THE RENDERING OF
contrary, whilst the first method in the earliest
examples sets in with a tolerably high relief (15),
there follows a later period of standstill and
even of retrogression. Then relief delights more
and more in that peculiar style characterised by
its flattened planes with contours often sharply
cut. The fine sense of line shown in the con-
tours, and the light and delicate touch in the
play of surfaces e.g., among the many instances,
the steles of Aristion and Alxenor (Fig. 44), the
youth from Pella (Fig. 16), and many parts of
the Parthenon frieze (16) suggest that the
artist purposely avoided approaching nature
by a really plastic treatment of planes. Nay,
this set purpose cannot be doubted. For, to
pass over the above-mentioned Lakonian hero
reliefs (Fig. 13), in works like the stele of Philis
(Fig. 15), the artist has put in a good deal of
do not contradict this (Fouilles de Delphes, iv, Sculpture,
pis. 3 sq. t 7 sqq.\ P. and C, viii, Figs. 160 sq. y 163-77;
227-30; cf. Furtwangler, Berl. Phil. Wochenschrift, 1894,
(15) Cf. Fig. 14; the Samothracian relief: Collignon, i,
Fig. 87; P. and C, viii, Fig. 152; B. B., 2310, and
(16) Aristion, p. 37, note 6 ; Parthenon, p. 39,
Grave-relief of a woman (Philis), from Thasos. Paris.
Warrior, Grave-stele from Pella. Constantinople.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 43
modelling on the foreshortened sides of the face,
breast, and left hand, whilst on the chief surfaces,
viz., those facing the spectator, he has gone so
far in the suppression of movement as to give in
places a polished smoothness, and delicately to
pick out the detail by incised design.
Thus relief is ever resisting the invasion of
modelling conformable to nature. At first sight
this resistance seems naturally explained by the
facts mentioned above : as relief started from a Page 34
drawing sketched upon the surface of the stone,
it means to depart from this drawing as little as
may be (17), and its further development re-
mains possessed by the principles of drawing.
But as there are other sorts of low relief, we
ought not to generalise straightway from what
we have observed in stone reliefs only. These
other sorts I have not been able to examine
very thoroughly (18), but even an imperfect sur-
(17) Conze, Das Relief bei den Griechen, Akad. Berlin,
1882, p. 573.
(18) To give only a few examples. Reliefs in terracotta :
A. Salzmann, Necropole de Camiros, pi. 26 ; Milchhofer,
Anfange, Fig. 48; Berichte der sachs. Gesellschaft, 1848,
p. 123. The Melian terracottas, e.g., British Museum, pi. 19,
B 3 6 3> 3 6 7; pl- 20, B 3 66 > 37 2 , 375- Bronze reliefs:
Collignon, i, Figs. 45, 108 ; Olympia, iv, 696, 717, pis. 38, 40.
44 THE RENDERING OF NATURE
vey shows that in all essentials the phenomena
seen in stone relief appear in them too ; and
(since relief in bronze or clay is certainly not so
dependent upon drawing as in stone relief) the
doubt arises whether the explanation mentioned
is quite accurate. However, one could argue
that these other kinds of relief also do to a
certain extent start from an original sketch, and
so regard their similarity to stone relief as a
further confirmation of the close relationship
between low relief and drawing and of their
separation from sculpture in the round.
We shall see later whether this opinion can
Coins: Gardner, Types, pi. i, 10 sq. ; 3, 13 ; Head, Guide,
pis. 4, 2-5, 7; 7, 8, 12; 8, 14 sq., 17, and so on. For
gems it is enough to look through vol. i of Furtwangler's
FROM another point of view, that of composition,
relief and sculpture in the round are in obvious
opposition. Drawing and low relief, though
attached to the profile view (1), as has often
been observed, soon become relatively free in
the movement of figures (2), whilst statuary in
its principal task, the representation of the human
form, is for a long time bound by the law of
" Frontality " which Julius Lange laid down for
the primitive sculpture of all peoples (3).
Is this opposition compatible with the ex-
(1) Cf. Perrot, i, p. 742 (also the author's Lysipp,
pp. 1 6 sg.).
(2) Cf. Lange, p. xx.
(3) Lange, p. xi. The law may be thus formulated : an
imaginary plane taken through the top of the head, nose, back-
bone and breast-bone, navel and crotch, so as to divide the
body into two symmetrical halves, remains always unchanged,
without bending or turning in any direction. Cf. the author's
Lysipp, pp. 1 7 sqq.
46 THE RENDERING OF
planation which we are following ? That expla-
nation is in no way determined by external,
and consequently not by technical conditions ;
if correct, it must be applicable to sculpture in
the round as well.
Now, it cannot in any way be proved that draw-
ing or low relief necessarily demands the profile
view. With animal forms, such as quadrupeds,
the profile is adopted in accordance with the
Page 12 principles evolved above. The same holds good
sqq ' in the human form with regard to the legs (4) ;
and when, inversely, the front view of the trunk
is more consistent with those principles, we
find it often enough retained in primitive art
(in the Egyptian, for instance) (5), even when
all the rest of the figure is in profile. Finally,
of the head. Here neither the side view nor
front view was a priori postulated in the sense
that the spontaneous memory pictures of all
its single parts would concur quite harmoni-
ously in one or the other view ; a com-
promise would have to be made in every case ;
and, even in drawing, this compromise did not
(4) For the foot cf. p. 21, note 23.
(5) Cf. Lange's observations, p. xxiv.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 47
always favour the profile, as is proved by the
Gorgoneion of the Greeks, as well as by the
works of several primitive peoples (6). But
the head of all parts of the body is the most
expressive of one man's relation to another :
we imagine it in full face or in profile, according
as we think of a person in relation to ourselves
or to another. We might, then, ask why in
primitive drawing and relief the profile of the
human head predominates. One reason may
well be that the prevailing theme of such art is
the representation of several figures grouped
together in some common action, and thus
turned towards one another. Another reason
is, certainly, that though in the drawing of the
face in the front view the aspect of all the other
features would be satisfactory, they being seen
in the greatest expansion that of the nose
would be unsatisfactory, for its most expanded
view is in profile. But a nose in profile drawn
in a v full face is one of those inconsistencies
with reality which the primitive mind must
have noticed almost immediately. In the profile
(6) Examples: Von den Steinen, Zent.-Brasil., pis. 16 sqq.,
p. 253 ; Grosse, Anfange der Kunst, pp. 159, 161, 170.
48 THE RENDERING OF
view of the whole head this inconsistency is
In sculpture in the round, the earliest repre-
sentations of men were images of gods, statues for
graves, or for offerings which were usually set up
in direct relation to the spectator, whence followed
the full -fronted position. When, however, a
relation to others is to be supposed (figures in
an attacking posture, for instance), then archaic
sculpture too employs the side view (7). How
obstinately the habit of seeing images of gods in
full view sometimes dominated the artist's idea
of the deity himself is expressively illustrated by
pictures and reliefs, where even though the
thrones and bodies of the gods may face the
worshippers in the picture, the gods' faces look
towards you. In the Spartan hero - reliefs
(Fig. 13) (8) one could explain this by sup-
(7) Compare the Zeus in Fig. 26, and Olympia, iv, 43
sq., pis. 7 sq. t pp. 18 sq. ; P. and C, viii, Fig. 349, and Fig.
239. Warrior from Dodona : Collignon, i, Fig. 166; Bulle,
27; Arch. Zeit., xl, 1882, pi. i. Athena: Collignon, i,
Fig. 177 ; P. and C., viii, Fig. 308; Ephemeris, 1887, pi- 7-
(8) Cf. page 40, note 9. In the later relief of
the same composition the contrast is felt and avoided. I
will not contend that technical reasons do not play a part
here ; but the phenomenon came about in spite of them.
Cf. also the relief in Bull. Corr., xiii, 1889, pi. 14.
Worship of the goddess Istar. Babylonian cylinders. (Fig. 18 Paris.)
NATURE IN GREEK ART 49
posing that the relief itself was the actual object
of worship ; but similar figures on Babylonian
cylinders (Figs. 17-18) invalidate the explanation.
But in sculpture in the round the law of
" Frontality " (9) finds its limit just where it
would come in conflict with the principles which
we propose. Lange himself excludes certain
cases, all of which (animals, figures lying down
or attacking) (10) are covered by our theory.
In an upright human figure turned to the
front the combination of head and body in full
view with the legs in profile would correspond
to the purely mental conception, but it is so
obviously unnatural and unsteady that it would
not be a matter for wonder if, long before our
earliest examples, the discrepancy had been
avoided by the subordination of the legs to the
rest : and yet instances of even this combination
do occur in standing or striding figures (11).
(9) For what follows I can refer to Bulle (B. ph. W.,
1900, col. 1038 sqq.), whose criticism of the theory of
frontality partly coincides with the above principles.
(10) Lange, p. 62 sq. Motives of attacking: above,
p. 48, note 7.
(11) Compare, besides high reliefs such as the Selinuntian
Metopes (Collignon, i, Figs. 118 sq. ; P. and C., viii, Figs.
246 sq.] B. B., 286), the bronzes, Monumenti Lincei, vii,
50 THE RENDERING OF
Far more tenaciously does the profile view of
legs in motion stick to the imagination ; run-
ning legs especially are spontaneously thought of
as in profile only. And when the sense of legs
in motion combines in one and the same con-
ception with the not less firmly rooted sense
of relation to the spectator, we have such
dissonances as the well-known Delian Nike
(Fig. 19), or the Gorgon of the Selinuntian
Metope (12). These examples are perfectly good
1897, col. 351 sqq., pi. 9, i ; P. and C., viii, Fig. 345; De
Ridder, 760, pi. 5; Reinach, Repertoire, ii, 518 sq. The
Athena of the .^Eginetan West pediment may be included
(Collignon, i, Fig. 143; Bulle, 32; B. B., 23). If we may
here ascribe the phenomenon to the constraint of space,
this constraint (which, by the way, is in no wise proven) has
not invented anything, but has at best preserved what already
existed. Another solution: De Ridder, 706-10, 712 sq.,
725 sqq., etc. (cf. also Collignon, i, Fig. 5; P. and C., vi,
33 2 )-
(12) Gorgon : Collignon, i, Fig. 118 ; P. and C., viii, Fig.
246; B. B., 286 b. Delian Nike restored: Studniczka, Die
Siegesgottin, Neue Jahrbiicher, i, 1898, pi. 2, 7. Others:
Collignon, i, Fig. 70 ; De Ridder, 800 sqq. ; P. and C., viii,
Fig. 126; Reinach, Repertoire, ii, 389 sqq. For us, who
are used to a naturalistic manner of observation, these figures
seem to fly past whilst looking at us. The problem is not
quite solved even in the Nike on the hand of the Parthenos
(Collignon, i, Fig. 273; B. B., 39 sq.\ Neue Jahrb., pi. 4,
24 sq.), which in every respect takes an intermediate position.
Winged goddess (Nike), from Delos. Athens.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 51
proof that sculpture in the round depends as much
upon the mental picture as do drawing and low
relief, although apparently drawing and low relief
preceded them with the same combination (13).
In other instances the solution follows easily
enough, as when in the primitive mind the figure
of the rider readily assumes the side view in
adapting itself to the side view required for the
It avoids the contrast of direction between the upper and
lower portions of the body, without, however, abandoning the
profile aspect of the legs to show the movement. Paionios
was the first to harmonise movement and relation to the
spectator; his Nike (Collignon, i, Fig. 239; Bulle, 104;
B. B., 444 sq. ; Neue Jahrb., pi. 5, 28-31) comes flying
(13) I cannot think that archaic art borrowed its well-
known running and flying motive from the striding jump (S.
Reinach, Rev. Arch., third series, ix, 1887, pp. 106 sq. ; Stud-
niczka, Nike, pp. 381 sq.). How could it come into the mind
of the artist to substitute for running such a completely
different movement? We must maintain that the motive
signifies running until it can be proved that it was originally
employed for flying, in which case the interchange would be
a little more intelligible, though not entirely so. (Cf. Kalk-
mann, Deutsch. Jahrb., x, 1895, pp. 56 sqq.) The chance
resemblance to moments of jumping (Exner, Physiologic
des Fliegens, pp. 3 1 sqq., Reinach) can prove nothing for the
above derivation, even though photography need not have
been necessary in order to catch the moment, as Reinach
thinks. I consider the scheme to be a purely mental con-
struction of the kind noticed on page 17.
52 THE RENDERING OF
horse. Conversely, if we may admit that when
a group comprising a quadriga or biga was set
up, the team was as a rule exhibited in full front
(14), then in the memory-pictures drawn from
such works there may lie, perhaps, an explanation
of the surprisingly early occurrence of chariots
seen from the front, not only in high relief, but
in low relief and drawing (15). It should, how-
ever, be said that we occasionally see fairly
advanced draughtsmanship still labouring to con-
struct such chariots from spontaneous memory-
pictures (Fig. 20) (16).
But the peculiar domain of statuary is the
rendering of the round in the round.
(14) Cf. Homolle, 1'Aurige de Delphes, Mon. Plot, iv,
1897, p. 175-
(15) High Relief: Collignon, i, Fig. 117 ; P. and C., viii,
Fig. 245 ; B. B., 2870; Winter, Deutsch. Jahrb., viii, 1893,
pp. 136 sq.) Nos. 1-6. Drawing, etc. : see Delbriick, Beitrage,
p. 22 (the gem, ibid.^ pp. 18 sq. ; Furtwangler, Gemmen,
pi. 4, 46, admits also another opinion); Olympia, iv, 706,
pi. 39 ; J. H. S., xiii, 1892-93, pi. 8; Kekule, Terr. Sicil.,
pi. 54, i, and others. Representations of horsemen in
full front (e.g., Ant. Denkm., ii, 19) may have been in-
fluenced by this circumstance, or even by statues of riders,
if Winter be right in his theory of how they were set up
(Winter, p. 155 sq. t but cp. also p. 139, No. 9).
(16) Cf. further J. H. S., xix, 1899, pi. 9, pp. 267 sq.',
Loeschcke, Bonner Studien, p. 254.
Selene (the moon) diving into the ocean. Vase drawing. Berlin.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 53
The forms to be represented by statuary, in
consequence of the possession of three dimen-
sions, show more than one view to the spectator :
they are plurifacial. Can the primitive concep-
tion figure to itself, at the same time, more than
one view ? Can it include the plurifacial in one
act ? To a certain extent we can trick out the
mental images with elements not at one and
the same time visible, though they will remain
vague and ambiguous ; but we cannot imagine
simultaneously various images, and the various
views of one object are really various images.
The sculptor, when conceiving a statue, pictures
it in his mind in one aspect only, just as would
a draughtsman or a painter. To obtain pluri-
faciality, he must by special acts of the imagina-
tion supply those views which were not in-
cluded in the original conception. The com-
plete conception is thus strictly a secondary
one, the primary imagination excluding pluri-
This enables us to understand a class of very
archaic figures (17), which we cannot suppose
(17) Examples. In terracotta : Collignon, i, Figs. 52 sq.
(cf. Figs. 54 sq.) j Deutsch. Jahrb., iii, 1888, pp. 343^.,
54 THE RENDERING OF
to have been fixed to a ground (appliques) (18),
though in spite of that they very obviously
lack depth. To this class belong, not only
little figures of men and animals cut out of,
or otherwise modelled in, metal, stone, or
clay, but also big statues, as the votive figure
of Nikandre (Figs. 21-23). This undoubtedly is
a class of sculpture in the round, which is content
Fig. 26 (cf. Figs. 27 sq.) ; Mon. Piot, i, 1894, p. 32;
Winter, Die Typen der figiirlichen Terracotten, i, pp. 8, 4 ;
9, 1-3, etc. ; Terracottas in British Museum, pi. xvi,
B 57 sq. (the " Pappades "). Bronze: De Ridder, 691-93;
Olympia, iv, 232 sq., pi. 15 (men); De Ridder, 490, 492 ;
Olympia, iv, 731-33, pi. 41 (animals). This formation is
especially familiar in Etruscan art; see Martha, pp. 502 sq.
In pre-Hellenic art compare the leaden idol, Collignon,
i, Fig. 3 ; P. and C., vi, Fig. 295, and the numerous " Island-
idols " (Collignon, i, Figs. 2, 5 ; P. and C., vi, Figs. 325 sqq. ;
Winter, i, p. 10). Some of the above, through the want of
single parts of the body, show an absolutely primitive stage
of conception (p. 19), such as the earliest draughtsmanship
of which we have record had long left behind.
(18) These works, as they stand, would certainly not differ
in many cases, so far as technique is concerned, from those
made to be affixed (cf. on the one hand the leaden figures
from the Menelaion described by Tsountas, Praktika, 1900,
p. 80, 2, and on the other hand those that Furtwangler cites,
Olympia, iv, p. 108, Nos. 731 onwards). These last could
be denned as reliefs on a separate ground ; between them and
relief proper come forms such as the Olympian bronze plate
(Collignon, i, Fig. 108; Olympia, iv, 717, pi. 40).
Female figure. Votive offering of Nikandre,
from Delos. Athens.
Back and side view of the votive figure of Nikandre (cf. Fig. 21).
NATURE IN GREEK ART 55
with giving only one view. Whatever mass gives
depth to it is there because other reasons prac-
tical use, for instance required the work to
be substantial, or even only because the material
and means suggested such procedure : artisti-
cally the sides and back are meaningless. Even
where the artist has enriched them with detail
and rounded off the transitions from the front
to the sides, this is no sufficient indication that
the statue was intended for more views than
one. A sight of the sides, so far from pro-
ducing the illusion of a real figure, would rather
have diminished it. And if the sides were not
meant to be seen, neither was the back (19).
That the back exists at all is but the material
consequence of the cutting out of the contour
of the front view ; like the sides, it owes the
working of its surface only to the well-known
" horror vacui." The rounding off of the transi-
tions is certainly an important step towards the
rendering of bodily form, since it introduces the
movement of planes, of which we shall speak
later. But so far it does not remove it only
(19) In the Nikandre figure the back (Fig. 22) is partly
56 THE RENDERING OF
subserves the unifacial aspect in which the
conception of such figures is exhausted.
Even a depth corresponding to nature does not
exclude unifaciality. In the head of a goddess
from the Olympian Herseum, for instance, the
depth is sufficiently developed (Figs. 24-25), but
that the sculptor nevertheless had in mind only
the front view is shown by the inorganic frontal
attachment of the ear, done according to mental
abstraction. And though the space-filling details,
as we might call them, in the diadem and hair
are continued on the sides, the artist has, never-
theless, expended all his efforts to render the form
of the face upon the front view, and the sides serve
merely to furnish mass.
Unifaciality is not necessarily incompatible even
with all-round modelling and correct depth.
Figures like the well-known Zeus throwing the
thunderbolt (Figs. 26 ; 33), and even to a high de-
gree the Tyrannicides (20), require to be seen in
only one aspect wherein all essential features will
be found united ; in any other view, either some of
the essential features are out of sight, or the
silhouette shrinks together, and thereby loses its
(20) Collignon, i, Fig. 189 ; Bulle, 49 sq. ; B. B., 326 sq.
Head of a goddess (Hera).
From the Temple of Hera at Olympia.
Profile view of Fig. 24.
Zeus throwing the thunderbolt. Bronze
statuette (n cm., reduced). Olympia.
Cf. fig- 33-
NATURE IN GREEK ART 57
clearness. The other sides, then, although they
were completed, have no part in the original con-
ception. Thus these works, morphologically, still
represent, in a certain sense, the most primitive
type of plastic expression.
The Apollo of Tenea is done in the round, in Page 53.
the sense that it is plurifacial (21). But here, too,
the number of aspects is limited as compared with
nature. The figure, as has been frequently re-
marked, is composed of four views, front and back
and the two sides, which are set up at right angles
to one another, with a greater or lesser degree of
rounding off where they meet, the whole thereby
acquiring the appearance of excessive depth.
The Apollo of Tenea is, of course, no first
essay, but the sum of artistic work of genera-
tions ; yet it still clearly illustrates what has been
said regarding the development of the figure in
(21) Collignon, i, Fig. 96 ; P. and C., viii, Figs. 187 sq.;
Bulle, 23; B. B., i. The present argument is in no
wise affected by the fact that the type, like others (cf.
the iorso from Eleutherna, referred to in the following
note), had been already given by Egyptian art. The Greek
artist approached these originals of a foreign art exactly as
he approached nature, i.e. he worked from them by a process
of memory, and assimilated them only within the limits of
his power of conception.
58 THE RENDERING OF
the round from the two-dimensional image by
adding other views or facets to the original one
Page 53. (22). Each view came independent and entire
into the artist's mind, and presents itself now in-
dependent and entire in the completed work.
We have already accounted for the rounding of
Page 55 the edges (which is in the Apollo more developed
on the front side) when speaking of plastic
figures intended for one view only. In order to
explain the choice of just the four aspects in
question it might be urged that these four, front,
back, left, right, are those of which we are most
aware in our own bodies an explanation (be it
noted) which so far coincides with my theory
that it implies the artist to have started, not from
the observation of nature, but from his own con-
sciousness. But the aspects are also those which
we note in others, and which are most early and
most deeply impressed on our memories, ever
(22) If it should be necessary to show intermediary stages
of development by which plurality of aspect could be
acquired by art, there are, on the one hand, the head from
the Heraeum and the upper part of the Nike of Delos
(Figs. 24 sq. and 19), and, on the other, the torso of Eleu-
therna (P. and C., viii, Figs. 208 sq. ; Rendiconti Lincei, vii,
1891, p. 602 A; Rev. Arch., xxi, 1893, pi. 3 sq.); see also
p. 59, note 24.
Back view of the so-called Apollo from
NATURE IN GREEK ART 59
ready to neglect that which is unaccentuated and
merely intermediate. It may be questioned
whether the back is rightly included among the
four views. But it was materially given by the
existence of the other three sides : from the
modelled contours of the two contiguous sides,
at least where they bordered upon it, the back
had already taken partial form, and the com-
pletion of the connecting surface followed natur-
ally (23). And if I am not mistaken, even in the
Apollo of Tenea it is still observable that in
interest and execution the sides took precedence
of the back (Fig. 27). Thus here a representa-
tion in the round has resulted from a conception
which was no more than trifacial. For many
forms, quadrupeds for example, two aspects only
were sufficient to give it (24).
The above exposition does not harmonise
(23) I have sometimes wondered whether the pillar at
the back of the Egyptian statues might not be the schematis-
ing of the mass behind originally left unworked.
(24) Examples are among those cited on p. 53, note 17.
A division cannot, of course, always be made between a
unifacial conception that was completed in the execution,
and an original bifacial one. Moreover, there are not lack-
ing instances where it is permitted to conjecture that there
were statues of human figures set up with two aspects ; thus
60 THE RENDERING OF
with the prevailing doctrine, which attributes
the facts to constraint imposed by the shape
of the material, to which pre-existing shape
artistic thought had been subordinated, and
maintains that the artistic form thus produced
in one material coerced the artist's purpose
even when transferring it into another material.
I do not dispute all influence of technique upon
form, nor the influence of one technique upon
another. But can we imagine that artistic
energy would thus resign itself to slumber for
centuries? Is it not illogical to suppose that
the artist should have worried out of the new
material the forms dictated by the material first
chosen despite the different conditions of the
the Mycenaean "Astarte", especially interesting since the
same figure exists as a single- viewed relief-applique (p. 54,
note 18); P. and C, vi, Figs. 293 sq.\ Schuchhardt's
Schliemann, Figs. 188 sq., and, still in advanced archaism, the
well-known Athena, Collignon, i, Fig. 197; P. and C, viii,
Fig. 39 ; B. B -> 8l ; Ephemeris, 1887, pi. 4. Perhaps the
double view played a still more important role as the first
step towards plastic treatment. The face of the Eleutherna
torso, for example (p. 58, note 22), and apparently also the
bronze, De Ridder, 697, raise the question whether the artist
was not aiming to achieve the effect of the round by setting
together the two profiles, and in the figure from Eleutherna
flattening the forehead.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 61
new (25) ? And how far, in point of fact, is the
shape of the working material a fixed one (26) ?
Mr. E. A. Gardner (27) has already pointed
out that for wood (28) the four-sided baulk
(25) The analogy of forms from building, furniture, and
vases is not pertinent ; for in these cases there is no natural
prototype to control the artistic form.
(26) Thiersch (Epochen der Kunst, notes, p. 6, 14) has
clearly shown that there is no connection between the
worship of natural objects, meteoric stones, tree trunks,
poles, columns, etc., and the beginnings of plastic art.
The like is true, at least for Greek art, as regards fetish
idols decked out with real clothes, hair, etc. ; the herm,
which might be considered the descendant of them (Winckel-
mann, Geschichte der Kunst, Part I, chap, i, 5 sqq.\ is
explained more satisfactorily by what was said on p. 19
(cf. also p. 54, note 17, end). Personal ornaments, im-
plements, and parts of implements are enlivened by giving
them human or animal shapes (see Reinach, L'Anthro-
pologie, v, 1894, p. 305), and chance resemblances in
natural objects are tricked up (Collier, Primer of Art, pp.
13 sqq. ; Balfour, Decorative Art, pp. 85 sqq.\ These
processes go on at all times side by side with the direct
imitative tendency. But theories which regard them
as the starting points of actual sculpture ought to demon-
strate the various stages by which they developed into
(2?) J. H. S., xi, 1890, pp. 132 sqq. Cf. also Winter,
Deutsch. Jahrb., xiv, 1899, p. 76.
(28) Clay, as technically indolent, does not come into
consideration. Furtwangler (Olympia, iv, pp. 38, 42)
seems to suggest that the flat and sharply outlined forms
found in metal may be explained by the hammering of metal
62 THE RENDERING OF
was in no wise the self-evident shape, and as
much at least can be said of the board shape. On
the other hand Mr. Gardner has remarked how
natural it is for stone to be cut into even surfaces.
But this will not explain the want of depth in the
Nikandre figure (Figs. 21-23), f r instance. Even
where the depth of the statue is correct, in order
to account for the selection of just a parallele-
piped material we must assume, as Mr. Gardner
does, that the conception of the human form as
four-sided already previously existed in the mind
of the artist. And if so, the constraint of the work-
ing material does not hold good. For if the artist
had in mind a conception that corresponded with
the actual rounding of the human body with the
correct relation of depth and breadth, he would
have found no technical difficulty in cutting
his block of stone into as many sides to suit.
He knew how to do this when blocking out
columns. Indeed, we possess sculptured works
that remind us forcibly of columns, such as the
plates. This indeed is possible, but what is to explain the
identical formation we find in clay (see Furtwangler himself,
p. 43) and stone ?
NATURE IN GREEK ART 63
Samian Xoanon (29), the votive offering of
Cheramyes. But it is infinitely significant that
however such productions are to be explained
(30), they remain isolated (31) and sterile (32).
(29) Collignon, i, Fig. 73 ; P. and C, viii, Fig. 79; B. B., 56.
(30) Brunn (Kunstgesch., ii, pp. 82 sqq.) t as is well
known, thought that they originated from the tree-trunk ;
Winter (Deutsch. Jahrb., xiv, 1899, pp. 76 sq.) conjectured
they were shaped after hollow-cast statues, for which the
hollow tube suggested what was technically the simplest
method of forming the figures. I consider the formations
in question and others analogous (see the following note) to
be results of an already awakened sense of roundness in single
cases (as, for instance, the woman's gown), though here also
the roundness conceived is merely abstract (cf. p. 98, note 39).
(31) Holleaux (Mon. Piot, i, 1894, pp. 21 sqq.) refers to
only three bell-shaped Boeotian terracotta figures (Winter,
Figiirliche Terracotten, i, p. 6, 2-4), over against numerous
board-shaped "Pappades" (p. 53, note 17). Further rare
exceptions are found in other round terracotta types of
high antiquity. So far as they are not anthropomorphic,
they are explained by note 30. The rounding of the
Apollo of Orchomenos (P. and C., viii, Fig. 260; B. B.,
770), referred to by Gardner (p. 132), I do not myself see ;
the rounding of the Apollo of the Pto'ion (Collignon, i,
Fig. 92; P. and C, viii, Fig. 263; B. B., 12^; Bull.
Corr. Hell., x, 1886, pi. 4), and, as I may add, of the
Delian torso (Collignon, i, Fig. 63), appears to me, judging by
illustrations in both cases, not to lie in the original plan, but
to result from a more advanced working of the transitions,
so specially in the Apollo. It is clear that this can give the
appearance of a structural roundness, especially to the smaller
surfaces in stone sculpture and much more in terracotta.
(32) The replica of the Cheramyes figure found on the
6 4 THE RENDERING OF
Look farther for a moment beyond the
field of archaic art. What tectonic constraint
was there in wax or clay freely modelled (per via
di porre) for a statue that was to be cast in
bronze, e.g. for a type like the "Woman in
Peplos," which, if not invented in cast bronze,
was at least essentially transformed in that
material, and thus made independent of the
stone and wood tradition ? And yet from the
oldest examples (33) of this type to the two
Athenas of Pheidias (Fig. 28), and down to the
Eirene of Kephisodotos (34), the treatment of
the figures is, contrary to nature, four-sided : that
is to say, the front and side views of the drapery
form even planes, unbroken save by the bent
knee, and meeting one another at right angles
Acropolis (Collignon, i,Fig. 74; P. and C. , viii, Fig. 120; Ephe-
meris, 1888, pi. 6) has a pronounced quadrate plan: Lechat,
Bull. Corr. Hell., xiv, 1890, p. 140. In the Samian example
itself the rounding extends by no means to all sides and parts.
(33) Namely, those published by Furtwangler, Ak.
Miinchen, 1899, pi. i, pp. 571 sqq. ; P. and C, viii, Fig. 225.
Others: Bull. d. Commiss. Arch., xxv, 1897, pis. 12, 14,
pp. 169 sqq.
(34) Athena Parthenos : Collignon, i, Fig. 273; B. B.,
39 sq. Eirene: Collignon, ii, Fig. 86; Bulle, 144; B. B.,
43 (the question of chronology I may discuss elsewhere).
Statue of Athena, after Pheidias.
Dresden (the head in Bologna).
Charioteer. Bronze statue. Delphi.
Bronze figure of Apollo.
From the sea near Piombino. Paris.
Fioin Brunn-Brucktnann, Denkmtiler griech und rom. Sculptur, pi. 78.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 65
(35), with generally only the corners chamfered.
That no schematising of the copyist has caused
this quadrature, is proved, in spite of a somewhat
different type of dress, by an original work, the
Charioteer of Delphi (Fig. 29). And so not only
nude male figures of mature archaic date like the
Apollo of Piombino (Fig. 30), but still later
the Doryphoros of Polykleitos, are "quadrate,"
even in horizontal section. If the relation in
the Doryphoros between depth and breadth is
nearly correct, yet even there each of the four
views of the trunk and thighs seems to resist
that blending with the contiguous sides by which
they would lose their reciprocal independence.
Nay, even in the Praxitelean trunk there are
traces of this resistance, and it is not until
Lysippos that it is quite overcome (36).
(35) The same phenomenon is not foreign to high relief:
cf. the Parthenon Metope, Michaelis, pi. 4, Nord, xxxii.
(36) Archaic examples will be superfluous (at any rate cf.
De Ridder, 734, 737 sq., pi. 2, and the Poseidon, Ephemeris,
1899, pi. 5). Doryphoros (mostly unfavourable) : Collignon,
i, pi. 12 (cf. Fig. 260); Bulle, 115; B. B., 273. For
Praxiteles and Lysippos, see pp. 84 s<?., 87 sq., and cf. Furt-
wangler, Masterpieces, pp. 227, 312; Sellers, Gaz. d. Beaux-
Arts, xviii, 1897, pp. 136 sq. (It will be easily seen where I
disagree with these in what I have stated above.)
66 THE RENDERING OF
The phenomenon discussed is closely accom-
panied by another. Where a statue has a
view that is intended to be seen exclusively or
at least principally (in plurifacial statues this
Pa ge 53- answers to the primary conception), that view
remains remarkably flat. Quite primitive uni-
facial figures often exhibit a perfectly even plane
upon which, when the arms and so forth lie
across the body, they are not expressed in relief
but only by drawing, or, may be, by painting,
and the plane continues uniform to the edges,
where it may, or may not, be rounded off (37).
But even where modelling exists there appears a
distinct aversion to depth. If a flat board were
laid against the face of the Olympian Hera
it would, save for the nose (and how far that
projected is not known), exactly or very nearly
touch throughout; this applies also to the
bodies and other parts of very archaic figures.
Later, indeed, art employs a more drastic round-
ing out, and more variation of planes for the
single parts, but the general scheme of the whole
figure (of seated figures that of the chief divisions)
is for a long while confined within two parallel
(37) Examples among those cited on p, 53, note 17.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 67
planes, before and behind, through which even
advanced archaic art hardly ever ventured to
break with more than the fore-arm or lower leg
and accompanying part of the thigh.
With this we have touched a second factor
in representing the round. The facts just
mentioned argue that the initial stage of
statuary was quite flat. If that conclusion
be true is it conformable to our principles ?
In other words : according to us, the more
primitive the art, the more true is the render-
ing of the mental image ; is then this mental
image flat in the sense that it takes no account
of differences of plane? or, since there cer-
tainly does exist in primitive art a rendering
of form which is purely linear, is the un-
tutored imagination susceptible of two kinds of
spontaneous images, the flat and the solid, one
that suggests drawing, the other sculpture ?
Many, perhaps, consulting their own feelings,
would at least incline to the latter alternative.
We can all easily summon to our minds any
images we like, modelled with light and shade.
And yet it would be wrong to mistake such
deliberate memory-pictures formed in imagina-
68 THE RENDERING OF
tions already much influenced by works of art
for images independent and spontaneous. These
latter do not preserve one individual and con-
crete impression, but only that which is common
and permanent in numerous visual impressions,
dismissing everything peculiar and accidental :
and what is more accidental and changeable than
light ? It follows directly that the primitive
memory-picture, being without light and shade,
is also without modelling ; and this corresponds
Pages 6, with the above-mentioned uniformity of colour
in early painting, which is nothing else than the
memory's spontaneous rejection of light and
shade. But the spontaneous memory-picture,
Page 14 as we have shown, has also a repugnance to
sq ' depth. An arm that is extended forward is in-
tolerable to it, since the elementary imagination can
apprehend a form, and retain it, only when seen
in its fullest and most comprehensive aspect ;
and neither here nor elsewhere will it endure any
surfaces that, by being turned away and fore-
shortened, partly escape apprehension. In the
mind's eye every form must be expanded and
smoothed out : the spontaneous mental image
cannot be other than flat.
FIGS. 31, 32.
Bronze votive statuettes. Delphi.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 69
The most easily apprehended element of form,
viz., the contour, and especially the general outline Page 13
of the whole figure, is that which is first seized by
the awakening consciousness of plasticity (38) ;
and it is according to the varying strength of
this consciousness (39) that certain parts begin
straightway, and others hesitatingly, to project
from the principal plane (Figs. 23, 31 sq.) (40).
(38) For the contour shown in still undiminished sharp-
ness, see besides the leaden idol, p. 54, note 17, and primi-
tive terracottas, the fragment from the Ptoion (Collignon,
i, Fig. 6 1 ; P. and C., viii, Fig. 81 ; Bull, Corr. Hell., x, 1886,
pi. 7), and parts of the limestone figure: P. and C, viii, Fig. 85 ;
Rev. Arch., xvii, 1891, pi. n. For rounding that follows
the contours, compare island-idols and Pappades (cf. p.
54, note 17; examples: Collignon, i, Figs. 2, 5, 53, 55),
our Figs. 21 sq.) the Delian torso (p. 63, note 31), and
(39) Our discussion has not given a very great share in
the making of the primitive conception of form to the sense
of touch. This has not resulted from a prejudice in favour of
the visual memory-image, but quite inductively on the basis
of observation of actual phenomena which certainly seem to
prove the pre-eminent position held by the memory-image.
Yet it will sufficiently appear, I hope, from my entire context
that I do not leave out of consideration all the other facts
that determine the simple conception of form as here, for in-
stance, the plastic consciousness derived from our own bodies.
(40) Cf. also terracottas, such as Collignon, i, Fig. 52
sq. (54 sq.)-, P. and C, vi, Fig. 343; viii, Fig. 95 ; Winter,
Figiirliche Terracotten, i, pp. 4, i, 4 5, 4 ; 9, 2 , etc.;
Heuzey. Terres cuites, pis. 13, 1-3; 17, !- 3 ; Deutsches
70 THE RENDERING OF
Forms, indeed, such as the face (first of all the
nose), breasts, fore-arms, and the like, were early
prominent ; other parts followed slowly. Yet for
a long while all approach to the plastic imitation
of nature is confined to details. Each part in
itself separately acquires relief or rounded
shape, but there is still wanting the power to
coordinate them all in one plastic whole ;
and therefore the artist continues still to piece
together a figure with single parts, each part
made for the full view, though itself modelled
throughout ; and these parts (they would in any
case be the trunk, head, upper arms, and thighs)
he spreads out one alongside of the other in the
Page 14 usual manner. The test of the parallel planes
could be applied equally well to high reliefs, such
as the Olympian Metopes, and to statues like the
Jahrbuch, iii, 1888, p. 343, Figs. 26 (27 sg.). Bronzes, De
Ridder, 697, 694; P. and C, viii, Fig. 90; Mon. Piot, ii,
1895, pi. 15; Olympia, iv, 238 s#., 279, pi. 15 sqq.\ Bull.
Corr. Hell., x, 1886, pi. 8. Many " island " idols are espe-
cially good examples. Mycenaean, P. and C., vi, Figs. 330,
341 sq., 344 ; Winter, Figiirliche Terracotten, i, pp. 2,1; 3, 2,
etc. Cypriote, Collignon, i, Fig. 4; P. and C, iii, Fig. 396;
Heuzey, pi. 9, i ; Winter, p. 18, 4. From Syria, American
Journal of Archaeology, 2nd Ser., iv, 1900, pi. 2 sq. Italic
(conservative in type), Martha, L'Art etrusque, Fig. 217.
Zeus throwing the thunderbolt.
Bronze statuette. Olympia. Cf. Fig. 26.
Bronze statuette of a warrior from Dodona. Berlin.
Aristogeiton (from the Tyrannicides group). Naples.
Hercules taming the Bull. Metope of the temple of Zeus at Olympia.
Paris (one piece in Olympia).
NATURE IN GREEK ART 71
Zeus with thunderbolt (Fig. 33) (41), or (since
in the Zeus convenience for casting might be
alleged) the Tyrannicides (Fig. 35) (42), and
even the dying Amazon at Vienna. As if the
figures were thus compressed between the two
planes, we find the Hercules in the Metopes of
the Bull (Fig. 36) and Cerberus (43), twisted,
and the Amazon (44), in defiance of all
anatomical possibility, bent sidewise instead of
backwards or forwards. But the movement, if
anatomically wrong, is yet true to the images in
our minds. Not a detail is withdrawn from
sight by being slanted away, foreshortened, or
(41) See also page 48, note 7. In this motive pro-
gress can be followed in detail. The whole composition
of the Zeus is so flat that the raised right arm lies in the
same plane with the head, which would be the first thing
hit by the thunderbolt. In the Athena of the Acropolis
(Collignon, i, Fig. 177 ; P. and C, viii, Fig. 308 ; Ephemeris,
1887, pi. 7) the arm is already correctly brought forward,
yet the shield is still shown in its full breadth. The warrior
of Dodona (Fig. 34; cp. Collignon, i, Fig. 166; Bulle, 27;
Arch. Zeit, xl, 1882, pi. i) holds also the shield at an angle
corresponding with reality. The same thing may be seen
in the various Kriophoroi and Diadumenoi.
(42) See p. 56, note 20. The restorations do not
(43) Olympia, iii, pi. 43, No. n.
(44) B. B., 418.
72 THE RENDERING OF
in shadow ; each part lies before the sight,
full, entire, and clear, just as it lay before
Let us look back. What we have observed
in sculpture in the round, we found also in
relief. Statuary even after rounding off the
contours, still endeavours to keep the given
view of the object as free as possible from fore-
shortened curves, and shows an incapacity to
subordinate the movement of planes to a com-
prehensive plastic conception of the figure : the
cause of this is the same which prevented figures
from being quite plastically rendered in relief,
though there the manner was perhaps continued
Pages; of set purpose (45). Confronted with the above
7 ' facts a merely genetic formula, such as the
43 derivation of relief from drawing (46), appears
(45) For drawing further parallels I add only a few refer-
ences. Take p. 69 with p. 40 ; the Selinuntian Metope, p.
50, note 12, with pp. 37 sq. ; the sculptures cited on p. 69,
note 38 (the first part) with the reliefs, Fig. 13, p. 40,
note 9 (against their derivation from wood-sculpture see
Conze, Das Relief bei den Griechen, Ak. Berlin, 1882,
(46) Even to stone relief this is not always applicable.
In the Alxenor stele, for example (Fig. 44), which seems
made to support the usual opinion (p. 43), the rigid uniform
NATURE IN GREEK ART 73
too narrow, and, for the same reason, all
groupings and distinctions between the repre-
sentative forms of art become fundamentally Page 44.
surface of the figures lies considerably below the original
surface of the block, as the foot seen in front-view and the
side pillars prove.
(47) The question whether and in what order the single
branches of art have sprung from one another is, as Balfour
remarks (Decorative Art, p. 78), not to be answered by
history. I cannot test the observations of Piette (L 'Anthro-
pologie, v, 1894, pp. 129 sqq., vi, 1895, pp. 129 sqq.) regard-
ing the successive appearance of sculpture in the round,
" cut-out " relief, and engraved drawing in several stages of
the cave-period. Granted that they are correct for these
particular provinces, the proof is still wanting of the absolute
novelty of every subsequent procedure (cf. also p. 31). Riegl,
Stilfragen, pp. i sqq., 20 sqq., and Hoernes, Urgeschichte, pp.
49 sq. (cf. Collier, Primer, p. 13; Balfour, p. 79) maintain
that sculpture in the round is the oldest form of art on
account of the lower degree of abstraction required for it: the
same criterium according to our views could be applied with
the opposite result. Indeed, it would be tempting to con-
struct a course of development in the order of line, surface, and
solid body such as would lead from the most primitive indica-
tion of form as expressed in merely one line (see p. 13 and
Fig. i ; also partly Ricci, Arte dei Bambini, Figs. 3 -3 ; Sully,
Childhood, Figs, i, 2, 7), to the picture of a figure in outline
(intermediate forms, Von den Steinen, Zentral-Brasilien, pi.
1 6 sq., p. 254; Sully, Fig. 12), thence to painted figures, and
further to those in raised relief or in sunken (basrelief en creux)
(p. 35 ; also P. and C, viii, Fig. 216 ; Bull. Corr. Hell., xxiii,
l8 99> P- 599 ; P. and C, vi, Fig. 360; Collignon, i, Fig. 16),
74 THE RENDERING OF '
In each of its branches art begins by being
flat like a drawing, and spread out in relief
fashion, because the unprejudiced mental image
(the faithful reproduction of which constitutes
all primitive art with whatever material means
it may work) is unplastical, lacking in depth in
every sense, and spread out to its fullest and
most comprehensive visibility. Only according
as art breaks away from the dominion of the
mental image do its means expand their powers
in different directions.
No one acquainted with history will suppose
that this emancipation of art, viz., the discovery
of nature, was made by sudden revelation all
down the line. But, fortunate in our inherit-
ance from all previous generations, we underrate
the length and labour of the struggles that had
to be undergone before, for the first time in
from these with the removal of the field (p. 53, note 1 7 ; p. 54,
note 1 8 ; Collignon, i, Fig. 49 ; P. and C., viii, Figs. 198 sqq. ;
Terracottas in the British Museum, pi. xx, B 376) to the
flat single- viewed figure, and finally (p. 58, note 22; p. 59,
note 24) to the full plastic form with plurality of aspect.
I have not made such an evolutional point of view the
leading one in our discussion, because I think that, even
in the case of its being tenable, the principle underlying it is
the one discussed in the text.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 75
history, artistic form took its law directly from
nature. Therefore, and to emphasise what has
been said already, let us glance at the de-
cisive stages of this process of transformation
SOON after the middle of the sixth century B.C.,
we meet something new in the drawing (in the
stricter sense) of the Greeks. They begin to
take a marked interest in the trunk of the
human figure. They present it in aspects
never seen till now, obliquely and in back
view, making it bend or twist, and fitting it out
amply with anatomical details. At the same
date, and often applied to the same problems
of drawing, there appears a more striking inno-
vation foreshortening (1).
The new interest and the new method are
related. It is easy to understand that we of
to-day are relatively ignorant of the forms
of the nude human trunk, but there were also
good reasons for the same ignorance in the
primitive art of the ancients. In every scene of
which we are spectators our attention is called
(1) Hart wig, Meisterschalen, pp. 154 sqq.\ cf. p. 365;
Delbriick, Beitrage, pp. 27 sqq.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 77
first and foremost to the acting or speaking parts
of the body, to the limbs or head respectively,
and of the mere intermediary trunk itself there
remains at best a vague memory-picture. Thus
it is that in the earliest productions of art the
drawing of the trunk oscillates between the front
view and the profile ; its forms are uncertain and
ill understood. There was almost no occasion
at all to exhibit the back of a body when figures
were systematically juxtaposed (2). The intelli-
gent interest in the trunk, then, is a sign of an
increased observation of nature which is making
energetic progress towards such images as were
unknown to the unschooled imagination ; and
such an increased observation is required for
(2) In the well-known archaic fighting scheme (ex. the
Euphorbos plate in the British Museum, A 268 ; Roscher,
Lexikon der Mythologie, ii, 2, col. 2781 sq. ; Salzmann,
Necropole de Camiros, pi. 53), and its variant, the hunt
(Frangois Vase, Monument! dell' Istituto, iv, pi. 54 sq.,
Furtwangler-Reichhold, Griechische Vasenmalerei, pi. 13),
one of the exactly corresponding warriors or huntsmen shows
the spectator his back (clothed or cuirassed) ; but in these
cases the design of the back is scarcely different from the
front. For this scheme translated to the nude, cp. the kylix
of Glaukytes and Archikles (Monumenti dell' Istituto, iv,
pi. 59; Wiener Vorlegeblatter, 1889, pi. 2, 2).
;8 THE RENDERING OF
Every one knows the importance of fore-
shortening in drawing as the opening up of
the third dimension. Its fundamental value in
the present connection can be expressed as the
first breaking away from the primary method of
working entirely from the mental image. All pre-
vious deliberate observation of nature, of which
there is an incalculable amount, had been em-
ployed merely for improving the details of the
images already existing in the mind. With the
introduction of foreshortening (and so also of the
back view) art goes outside the province of primi-
tive conception for its subject and now draws its
pictures direct from nature. This too, indeed,
it had done occasionally heretofore; but such
novel images were always conducted through the
memory in the usual way, and assimilated in their
entire structure to the spontaneous memory-
pictures. With foreshortening the artist set to
work for the first time upon a principle that
conflicts with the primitive conception, and is
derived from physical reality. It is a novelty,
both morphologically, and as showing a new
relation between art and nature.
We say this, indeed, with certain reserves.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 79
Much earlier than this we found single instances
of perspective, though they were of a different Page 21,
kind from the above ; and just as they remained
very limited, and without influence upon the
construction of the figures in general, so also
the new foreshortening was confined to a small
sphere of problems, and appears to be an achieve-
ment characteristic rather of individuals than of
the art of the time considered as a whole. And,
what is still more important : how many of the
instances are delusive or imperfect, how few bear
comparison with the real aspect of things, and
can be traced to the immediate observation of
nature ? No, they too are for the most part
reminiscences ; and as we see the artist welding
them inorganically together, and not seldom
grafting them on forms of the old type (Figs.
37 sg.), we understand how difficult he still finds
it to free himself entirely from the habitual
To foreshortening there was soon to be added
another change. In part Polygnotos and his
school (3) worked on existing lines ; the body
(3) Perhaps owing to special racial endowment (cf. p. 30,
note 34). On Polygnotan painting, see Benndorf, Heroon
8o THE RENDERING OF
had been already emancipated from the two
canonical views, front and side : this emancipa-
tion was now extended to the head ; rigidity
already overcome in the body is now overcome
in the expression of the face ; the exclusiveness of
the silhouette is further invaded by more elaborate
grouping, that is to say, by a combination of ele-
ments instead of the single figure. But something
essentially new in Polygnotan art is the awakened
sense of locality, though, indeed, the conception
of it is far from being thorough. The elements
that mark the environment are conceived only
in their dependence upon the figures ; the silhou-
ettes of the figures are placed on different levels,
in order to indicate their position as being one
behind another in space ; yet they are not given
in different sizes, and, moreover, although figures
are occasionally overlapped by the lines of the
landscape, they still, in principle, stand out
Page 13. from a merely neutral field. Till now all
efforts to render a body in the round had been
v. Gjolbaschi - Trysa, especially pp. 245 sqq. ; Schone,
Deutsches Jahrbuch, viii, 1893, pp. 187 sqq ; Milchhofer,
Deutsches Jahrbuch, ix, 1894, pp. 73 sq.\ Robert,
Marathonschlacht, pp. 82 sqq. ; Girard, Mon. Grecs,
1895-7, PP. i? W"> 46 sqq.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 81
made only through linear suggestions of depth.
It was Apollodoros, the " shadow painter," who
completed the plastic effect by shading his Page 66
figures, and perhaps suggested space by letting^
them cast shadows.
For a certain time, it would seem, shading and
linear contour, the representatives of two con-
trasting principles in art, existed peaceably to-
gether (4), until Parrhasios (if our literary
evidence can be so interpreted) (5) drew the
conclusion and banished the linear contour, the
peculiar creation of the mental vision. But just
here the monuments fail us altogether. Later
wall-paintings and mosaics (6) prove that Greek
art knew the composition of larger groups of
figures, a low horizon, a continuous environment,
and an " illusionistic " manner of colouring inde-
pendent of any notion of outline.
(4) Cf. Girard, Peinture antique, Fig. 122 sq.\ Winter,
Attische Lekythos des Berliner Museums, pp. 3, 6, and plate.
An indirect proof is the picture of Aphrodite from the house
near the Farnesina, unsatisfactorily reproduced, Monu-
menti, xii, 1885, P ls - T 9> 2I - Mau's observations on this -
seem to me just (Annali, 1884, pp. 319 sq.\ 1885, pp.
(5) Berl. Phil. Wochenschrift, 1898, col. 1422.
(6) Studies of these have been prepared.
82 THE RENDERING OF
The development of statuary can be followed
more closely. In this, at a vej*y early period,
the edges were rounded (i.e. the contours were
suppressed) and more than one view was pre-
Pages 69, sented : the figures were no longer unifacial.
7 ' Nature had obtained its first success. The
rounding of the edges was common to statuary
and relief, but plurality of view separates the
former from both relief and drawing. Sculpture
in the round rested upon the laurels of this
achievement for a long while. In no other
branch, perhaps, is it so evident how art, with
infinite pains and surprising keen-sightedness,
collects its observations of nature only to place
them obediently in the service of the usual mental
method of conception. In this manner, viz., by
an ever-increasing number of reminiscences of
nature, some traditional, others first hand in
this manner, I maintain, there could be and was
achieved whatever anatomical perfection appears
in the ^Eginetan pediments and in the charioteer
of Delphi (7). But even if the use of the living
(7) The ^ginetans : Collignon, i, Figs. 144-49, P^ 4>
B. B., 23-28; Furtwangler, ^Egina, pis. 95 sq. } pp. 176 sqq.
Charioteer: the best in Mon. Piot, iv, 1897, pis. 15 sq. ;
Fouilles de Delphes, iv, Mon. Fig., Sculpt, pis. xlix-1.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 83
model could be proved for these works (8),
the role which he played was so evidently
subordinated to established types as to confirm
what I have said. For the use of the model
would seem to have remained limited to the mere
perfecting of forms and motives that had been
already often employed by art (9), and just
where the artist abandoned the usual forms for
an innovation as in the turning of the upper
part of the charioteer's body, and the twisting
of the dying warrior in the East pediment (10)
there he pieced on the novelty according to
the subjective imagination, and nature remained
For how long a time plurality of aspect re-
(8) Such is the supposition for the ^Eginetans : Schrader,
Ath. Mitt., xxii, 1897, pp. 98 sq. the opposite view: Lange,
p. 70. See also Wagner's remarks upon their anatomy, ^Egin.
Bildw., pp. 96-101.
(9) It would be exactly the same with the earlier
painting, if what Perrot (i, p. 742), and especially Pettier
(Revue des Etudes grecques, xi, 1898, pp. 355 sqq.\ sup-
pose regarding its systematic study of shadow is correct.
(10) Collignon, i, pi. 4; Bulle, 38, 2; B. B., 28; Furt-
wangler, ^Egina, pi. 95, Fig. 41. Cf. also Lange, p. 70.
(11) Cf. also the observations on animal representations by
Frankel, Deutsch. Jahrb., i, 1886, pp. 52 sq. ; Winnefeld, Alt-
griech. Bronzebecken aus Leontini, pp. 14-17, and others.
84 THE RENDERING OF
mained strictly limited we saw, by anticipation,
Page 64 in another place. Even when we no longer
' find angular shapes in head and extremities, and
when even the trunk (as in the most developed
work of Praxiteles) (12) has lost the last relic of the
merely four-sided horizontal section, at least the
front plane of the trunk still makes a certain effort
to maintain its independence, still shows a certain
resistance to roundness (13). So, too, the flat
expansion of the whole figure is retained long
Page 70 after the archaic period. Assuredly from the
sq * Delphic charioteer to the Munich oil-pourer (14),
and so on, there are not wanting progressive
attempts to dissolve the uniformity of the front
plane by giving the upper part of the body a
different turn from that of the legs, and the
head from the body, or by bringing out the
arms, etc. ; sometimes even the upper part of
the body bends forward, as in the squatting
figure in the Eastern Pediment of Olympia
(12) Collignon, ii, pi. 5 ; Bulle, 156; B. B., 466.
(13) See, in addition to note 36 on p. 65, Furtwangler,
Masterpieces, p. 330.
(14) Collignon, i, Fig. 249; Bulle, 112; B. B.,
132, 1 34 fl - The statue seems to me important in several
respects as a forerunner of Lysippean tendencies.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 85
(15). But these attempts appear isolated. To
the great majority of the works of the pre-
decessors of Praxiteles and to his own (16) we
can apply the test of the parallel planes. An ex-
ception is to be made for one class only : figures
meant for the profile view. In them the artist at
a fairly early period was not afraid to give the
extremities a greater projection, occasionally, also,
to bend and twist the trunk, and even, though
timidly, to round it off: examples of these are
the ^Eginetan figures and the Tubingen Hoplito-
drome (17). Nevertheless, both phenomena
the rule, as well as the apparent exception
spring from the same inner cause. Figures
seen in front view would have been less
exposed if bending, turning or projecting
(18). Profile figures in these actions would
(15) B. B., 450 ; Olympia, iii, pi. 14, No. i.
(16) Cf. p. 84, note 13, and Collignon, ii, Figs. 131-49;
Bulle, 150, 154, iSS^B- B -> 2 34, 37i, 376, 377- The
Ganymede of Praxiteles' contemporary Leochares (Collignon,
ii, Fig. 1 60 ; B. B., 158) seems rather to elude the constraint
than to break through it.
(17) The ^Eginetans, see p. 82, note 7. Hoplitodrome :
Collignon, i, Fig. 152; B. B., 35 1; Deutsches Jahrb., i,
1886, pi. 9.
(18) So also Bulle, Berl. Phil. Wochenschr., 1900, col. 1040.
86 THE RENDERING OF
not be less exposed, and art soon made use
of its freedom. Yet even such figures tend
for a long time to show to the spectator
the utmost expanse of the trunk, and some-
times more than what was anatomically pos-
sible (19). If any one would ascribe this
tendency in pediment figures (20), where, in-
deed, it is most common, to constraint of
space, or other special reasons, let him look
at Myron's " Diskobolos " (Fig. 39). Even this
is still bound by the primary conception, though
(19) See, after Fig. 19, Collignon, i, Fig. 165; P. and
C, viii, Fig. 348, Id., Fig. 307; De Ridder, 780, pi. 8;
Ephemeris, 1887, p. 134; Olympia, iv, 46, pi. 7; the
Artemis " Laphria", Collignon, ii, Fig. 345; Bulle, 30 ; B. B.,
356; Rom. Mitt., iii, 1888, pi. 10; Studi e Materiali di
Archeologia, i, 1899, pi. 3; the repeatedly mentioned
Zeus (Fig. 26) and the Tyrannicides (p. 56, note 20);
the Penelope, Collignon, i, Fig. 210; B. B., 175; Ant.
Denkmaler, i, 31, and others. The Barberini "Suppliant"
(B. B., 415), and even the poising Diskobolos (Collignon,
ii, Fig. 60; B. B., 131) still show traces. There needs
no further proof that dependence upon prototypes from design
or relief is not a sufficient explanation of this phenomenon.
The translation of a composition from relief or drawing into
sculpture in the round did not compel the artist to forgo his
conception of the round if he had any.
(20) So still in the Parthenon, Collignon, ii, Figs. 10,
2i, pi. 3; Bulle, 94; B. B., 189 sq., 192; Michaelis,
pis. 6, G, M; 8, B. Cf. Treu, Deutsches Jahrb., x, 1895,
pp. 12 sq.\ Schrader, Ath. Mitt., xxii, 1897, p. 98.
Myron's Diskobolos. Set up in plaster from two marble copies in Rome
(the left arm is modern).
Youth tying his sandal. Lysippean. Paris.
From Brunn-Bruckmann, Denkmiiler griech. und rom, Sculptur, pi. 67
NATURE IN GREEK ART 87
it may certainly be considered its most daring
venture. It is, in the broader sense defined
above, a unifacial figure (21); in spite of the Page 56
partial contortion of the upper parts of the body, sq
the general scheme is compressed between the
two parallel planes, and each part of it seeks
to exhibit itself to the spectator in a full and
It was in the work of Lysippos (22) that
sculpture truly fulfilled all the conditions, In
the natural rounding of his forms there flow in
and out of one another endlessly different views
(Fig. 40) ; there is no reserve, no perceptible
division between one view and another. In thep a ge6s.
front view, also, Lysippos freely exhibits fore-
shortened aspects, not only in the trunk, that Page 76.
bends and turns in every direction, but in the
(21) Cf. Lange, pp. 75 sq. Illustration of the narrow
view, Jahrb., x, 1895, p. 49.
(22) Cf. Collignon, ii, Figs. 218 sq., 252, in my opinion
also Fig. 124; Bulle, 163, 167, 169, 171, 150; B. B.,
243, 281-83, 388. Here and elsewhere I use the artists'
names as landmarks in the history of art, which from the
nature of our sources is all that most of them can be.
I have pointed out in my Lysipp (p. 12) that a portion
of the progress spoken of above possibly belongs to Skopas
(cf. also Furtwangler, Masterpieces, pp. 302, 394). More
than that possibility I cannot concede even yet.
88 THE RENDERING OF
whole figure, which throws its arms and legs
vigorously into space. Here there can be no
longer any question of consideration for a corn-
Page 86. pleting background, even an imaginary one. So
with this the specific perfection of statuary is
achieved ; the direct contact with nature has
been reached in all essentials.
This can be said, however, only of single
figures, not groups ; for it is clear that in
groups, we must judge the stage of develop-
ment, not by the single parts of the group,
but by the composition of the whole. A group
can be put together of figures perfectly rounded
out, and offering foreshortened aspects, and yet
as a whole it may be conceived for one point of
view only, in which view all its parts maintain
their respective full visibility. A statuary
group that goes a step further than most primi-
tive combinations (such as rider and horse,
mother and child, animals fighting, or associated
with men as attributes and so on) we see for the
first time in the West pediment of the Temple
of Zeus at Olympia. Here indeed, and even
more so in the Parthenon Pediments (23), there
(23) Olympia: Collignon, i, Figs. 234-37, pis. 9, 10;
NATURE IN GREEK ART 89
is still a timidity in bringing together the elements.
Nevertheless the degree of combination here
reached was not surpassed until the Hellenistic
period, and, if we leave out of account the
not very frequent representations of wrest-
ling motives (24), was never surpassed at all
by the antique group. Jealously guarding their
material independence, the figures allow them-
selves to come into contact with one another
only in subordinate parts, and where there is
least possible expanse of surface to be covered.
We do not maintain that this in every case would
be untrue to the situation, but, as cumulative
evidence, the phenomenon gives us a standard
by which to measure the artist's dependence
upon the primitive form of conception. Thus
when in most of the groups the masses are in
B. B., 45!-55 ; Olympia,iii, pis. 18-21, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32 ;
Parthenon: Collignon, ii, Figs. 8, 9, n, 17, 18, 21, pi. 3;
B. B., 186-92; Michaelis, pis. 6-8.
(24) For example, the Uffizi Wrestlers (Fig. 42). Pitti
Aritseus group: Reinach, Repertoire de la Statuaire, i, 472;
cf. ii, 234, 4 ; 539, 3 sq. ; De Ridder, 747. Boy with goose :
Collignon, ii, Fig. 319; Bulle, 201 ; B. B., 433. Over against
these compare Reinach, Repertoire, ii, 233, 8; 538, i,
5 sq.\ Deutsches Jahrb., xiii, 1898, pi. ii, p. 178; Rev.
Arch., xxxv, 1899, pi. 18.
90 THE RENDERING OF
the main put one over against the other so that
Lange could reduce the arrangement, at least of
archaic groups, to simple geometrical relations
(25), we find the psychological cause of it in two
facts : on the one hand, the imagination composes
only piece by piece ; on the other hand, the
silhouette always endeavours to preserve for
itself the greatest possible isolation. This is at
once clear in groups where the figures are spread
out in a straight line, and it is not difficult to
detect in those where they converge at an oblique
angle : even in the Ludovisi group of the Gaul and
his wife (26), in spite of all foreshortenings in the
figures themselves, the portions of the figures
that are covered are very few, and can be easily
supplied by the spectator. But also where the
elements of the group are composed at right
angles to one another so that the masses cross
(here we are concerned for the most part with
combinations such as an adult and child, man
and animal), the portions covered by one another
are almost always of secondary importance. In
(25) Cf. Lange, p. xii : his theory is always based upon
the " median plane " (p. 45, note 3).
(26) Collignon, ii, Fig. 259 ; B. B., 422. For the restora-
tion of the arm, see note 31 on p. 93.
Upper part of Praxiteles' Hermes with the infant Dionysos. Olympia.
Wrestlers. Marble Group. Florence. (The heads do not belong. )
From Brunn-Bruckmann, Denkmaler gricch. undrom. Sculptur, pi. 431.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 91
the Praxitelean group (Fig. 41), for instance, it
is a little and insignificant part of the silhouette
of Hermes that is taken up by the infant Dionysos
held out to the side. We can remark the same in
the Silenos nursing the child Bakchos, in the
Niobe and her daughter, and even in the boy with
the goose, and other wrestling groups (27). The
Florentine Wrestlers (Fig. 42), to the intricate
composition of which Lange's geometrical defini-
tions fail to apply, are the only exception known
to me, in groups of two or more than two
This spreading out of the elements in a group
corresponds to the aversion to foreshortening in
the single statue, which was one of the ob-
stacles in the way of a rendering of the round
as it is in nature. In the most complicated p age 66
kind of art, the statuary group, antiquity over- sq '
(27) Silenos : Collignon, ii, Fig. 301 ; B. B., 64.
Niobe: Collignon, ii, Fig. 278; B. B., 311. Wrestler
groups : p. 89, note 24.
(28) For example, the Graces : Reinach, Repertoire, i,
346. The marble group (variously named) in Naples :
Reinach, Repertoire, i, 427. Laokoon : Collignon, ii, Fig.
285; B. B., 236. Farnese Bull, Collignon, ii, Fig. 277;
B. B., 367 ; Zeitschr. fur bild. Kunst, N. F., xiv, 1903,
pp. 171 sqq. Nile: Collignon, ii, Fig. 287; B. B.,
92 THE RENDERING OF
came this dislike in isolated cases only, Did
Page 53 it succeed better with plurality of aspect ?
' In groups composed in one plane as if they
were reliefs for instance the Laokoon, Pan
and Olympos, and others (29), pediments
of course included in such groups it is self-
evident that only one view was intended.
But the other groups also, however they be
arranged, and however freely exhibited, invari-
ably allow, so far as I see (30), only a slight
deviation of standpoint to right or left if essential
parts are not to be hidden or distorted. One
view there is, however, in each of them which
(29) Laokoon: see precedent note (also the Graces). Olym-
pos: Reinach, Repertoire, i, 407, 413. For the Borghese
Amazon see the remarks of M. Mayer, Deutsches Jahrb.,
ii, 1887, pp. 82 sq. Mayer explains the composition by assum-
ing that the artist had to arrange it for a definite background,
an explanation which may be correct in certain single cases.
If, however, a flat scheme were always evidence of it, then
nine-tenths of extant statues must have been worked for
setting up against a wall. If ever a group was made like a
relief, to be seen from only one aspect, the Vatican Nile
(foregoing note) is such an one, and yet the representations
on the plinth prove that it was to be seen from all sides.
(30) I have been able to test, in original or cast, only a
part of what exists. The limits of development laid down in
the text may have been reached in a few other cases and
even exceeded ; but in principle such instances would be of
NATURE IN GREEK ART 93
combines the essential features in full number
and in full clearness in respect of the motive.
In this view, then, the original invention is com-
prehended ; any further elaboration is made for
material completeness (31), but adds nothing to
(31) For example, in the Ludovisi group of the Gaul and
wife (p. 90, note 26) such a view would be that taken
from the middle of the plinth (near the point of the man's
left foot) about as in Brunn-Bruckmann (the face of the man
is covered only by the wrong restoration of the right arm).
The group of Menelaos with the dead Achilles should be
looked at as it is now reproduced in the Zeitschrift fiir
bildende Kunst, N. F., xiv, 1903, p. 178 (approximately so in
Reinach, Rep. Stat, ii, 508, i). For the turning of the
head of Menelaos, cp. Von der Launitz in Urlichs, Pas-
quino, p. 22; Donner, in Annali dell' Istituto, 1870, pp.
85 sq. \ for the plinth, Donner, ibid., p. 78; for the setting
up which is too high, Amelung, Fiihrer, p. 9. A like test
could be applied to the boy with the goose, and so on. For
the Dioscuri of Monte Cavallo, which apparently deviate
from this rule (see, moreover, p. 52, note 15), compare
Petersen, Rom, p. 92 ; for those of the Capitol steps,
Michaelis, Rom. Mitt., vi, 1891, pp. 43 sq., and his repro-
duction of Michael Angelo's drawing in Zeitschrift fiir bild.
Kunst, ii, 1891, p. 188. No one will be surprised that in
plastic representations of the round-dance the natural circular
form was carried out even in primitive art (for example,
Olyrtipia, iv, 263, pi. 16). Yet these groups are not,
therefore, exceptions. For, looked at from whatever point,
the view remains fundamentally the same, viz., all-embracing.
If a figure be added in the middle (P. and C., iii, Fig. 399,
p. 586, 2 ; Winter, i, p. 12, 8), this will determine what is the
94 THE RENDERING OF
what was already given by the one view. In
other words those groups stopped at the first stage
Page 54 of plastic conception. I know only one antique
group which goes further, the " Wrestlers"
at Florence (Fig. 42) (32). These show the
spectator two views, each of which contains a
certain distinct motive. It would seem that the
Farnese Bull (33) was a still further advance,
since to obtain a complete view of it, we have
to look at it from several points. In this work
antique art would not only have reached the
highest perfection for a group in the round, but
would have gone even further than perfection
allows ; for, not satisfied with composing a pluri-
facial group, it attempts also to force the actual
space between and around the figures into the
composition, by adding scattered figures, the
Antiope, the mountain god, and the dog
(32) The Wrestlers may thus be considered (cf. also what
we have said above, p. 91) as the highest developed group
that antiquity has left us. Of the other groups cited on
p. 89, note 24 (cf. also the precedent note), the Antaeus
of Palazzo Pitti, and so too, e.g., Clarac, Musee de Sculpture,
672, 1735 ; Reinach, Repertoire de la Statuaire, ii, 459, 8,
etc., have certainly one aspect only. This is probably true
of most of the rest, according to the illustrations.
(33) P. 91, note 28.
The punishment of Dirke by Zethos and Amphion (" the Farnese Bull").
Marble Group. Naples.
From. Prof. Studniczka's article (Zeitschr.filr bild. Knnst> xiv, 1903, pp. 171 sgq., Fig. 13).
NATURE IN GREEK ART 95
(34). But if we disregard these figures just on
account of their detachment from the principal
group, we find that for the principal group there
is only one, and that again an exhaustive point of
view (Fig. 43) (35).
We can well avoid discussing how in all
particulars and minor parts of musculature, hair,
eyes (36), drapery, and so on, the plastic repre-
sentation advanced from the draughtsman's to the
sculptor's methods (37), from the arrangement
of elements one alongside of another to a just
(34) Cf. Hildebrand, Problem der Form, p. 97 sq. Cf.
also Studniczka, Zeitschrift fur bild. Kunst, N. F., xiv, 1903,
pp. 171 sqq.
(35) See the comparison made by Sogliano (II Sup-
plizio di Dirce, Accad. Napoli, xvii, 1895, No. 7, p. 5)
between the group and the newly discovered wall-painting
(ibid.) the plates; Deutsches Jahrb., x, 1895, Anz., p. 120).
I do not think the group is the original of this or any other
painting, but the reverse : it is copied from a painting.
From the painted original, itself perhaps an amplification of
a simpler composition, the artists of the group could have
taken the suggestion of landscape details as well as the acces-
sory figures. The same view is also given by the Naples
gem and the coins, Arch. Zeit., xi, 1853, pis. 56, i ; 58, i
sq. -, ^Zeitschrift fiir bild. Kunst, xiv, 1903, p. 182, Fig. 12.
(36) About this see Conze, Uarstellung des mensch-
lichen Auges, Ak. Berlin, 1892, pp. 47 sqq.
(37) There are some observations about this by Winter,
Deutsches Jahrbuch, viii, 1893, p. 137 ; Osterr. Jahreshefte,
hi, 1900, p. 84.
96 THE RENDERING OF
comprehension of mass. The end in view was
always the same : only the rapidity and degree
of approach to nature that was granted to antique
art vary in proportion to the obstacles to be over-
come. So it results that a single moment of
time, taken in any period, will yield morpholo-
gical dissimilarities, even within the same branch
The third form of representation, relief, re-
mains to be considered. We recognised that
the characteristics of low relief and sculpture
in the round at their beginnings are referable
Page 72. to the same cause. Whilst, however, we
followed the course of low relief in stone beyond
the bounds of the archaic period, we found not
only a standstill in its development, but even a
deliberate rejection, as it were, of that measure
Pages of plasticity over which contemporary statuary
40 sqq. had already sure command. To explain this fact
the general principles which we have evolved
do not suffice. Perhaps explanation can be
found in what follows. Any distribution and
movement of planes in relief to imitate nature
must lead to a high and even full relief. Now,
low relief on stone, as we know it in archaic art
NATURE IN GREEK ART 97
(and this applies to other kinds of relief where Pages
like phenomena occur), was accompanied by de-
finite tectonic conditions, be it on a stele, archi-
tectural frieze, or the like. With surface decora-
tion that was merely painted, or that required only
a slight relief, the body and mass of the piece
remained, on the whole, unchanged. High
relief, on the contrary, could have been attained
only by weakening the structural element, or
by a disproportionate increase of the entire mass.
It would seem as if art, aware of this danger,
had wished to obviate it by a conscious per-
severance in low relief. Where those conse-
quences were structurally admissible in metopes,
for instance there, indeed, we find high-relief
(38) also at an early period.
(38) We can accept the suggestion of Koepp, Deutsches
Jahrbuch, ii, 1887, pp. 121 sqq., that it was derived from
statues originally placed in open metopes. Similarly the
high reliefs of Dermys and Kitylos (Collignon, i, Fig. 91;
P. and C, viii, Fig. 270; Ath. Mitt., iii, 1878, pi. 14) are
plainly substitutes for grave-statues. On the other hand,
low relief, and even painting, seem to have been used
at the same periods as high relief for the decoration
of metopes, to judge by those of Selinus and Delphi
(P. and C, viii, Fig. 248; B. B., 288; Monumenti
Lincei, i, 4, 1892, Sculture di Selinunte, pi. i sqq.\
P. and C., viii, Figs. 228, 230; Bull. Corr. Hell., xx, 1896,
98 THE RENDERING OF
So long as the primary stage prevails through-
out in art, relief and drawing remain closely
united, though, perhaps, the former favours for
the human figure the side direction even more
Page 47 exclusively than the latter. The front view of
the head would have occasioned a greater
difference of planes (39), owing to the dif-
ferences of elevation, of which even the primitive
mind was here, of course, early conscious. The
two arts diverge at the moment when drawing
takes a new road with foreshortening. Low
relief undertook the attempt, at least, to follow
drawing in this, as the Alxenor stele (Fig. 44)
(40) attests ; but a few such experiments were
enough to prove the incompatibility of the fore-
pi. 10 ; Fouilles de Delphes, iv, Sculpture, pi. 3), and those
of Thermos (Ephemeris, 1903, pis. 2-6), and a like freedom,
we may suppose, was used in the decoration of pediments.
(39) So, in fact, in the Laconian hero reliefs (p. 39),
and on coins, in the heads of animals, and the Gorgoneion,
which last, indeed, as flat-nosed, is compatible also with
low relief. The unusual height of relief of certain very
ancient coin types, as vases, shields, tortoises, does not
contradict but confirms the above. The primitive conception
does almost at once full justice to objects that are quite
spherical (see p. 63, note 30).
(40) Here, again, racial endowment for acutely seizing
the situations of nature may have contributed.
Grave relief of a peasant, from Boeotia.
By Alxenor of Naxos. Athens.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 99
shortening motives with the low relief steadily
And so it will no longer surprise, that to
defend its flat character, relief went to the
extremes noticed above. Yet, all the even- Page 42
ness of the Philis stele (Fig. 15), all the com-^'
pression and considerately fitted motives of
the warrior of Pella (Fig. 16) do not wholly
conceal a desire to get by stealth that which
the tyranny of low relief does not allow direct,
namely, rounding and depth in the Philis, by
the careful modelling of the sides ; in the youth,
(41) In fact, the Naples replica (Collignon, i, Fig. 125;
P. and C., viii, Fig. 73 ; B. .,416) avoids the foreshortening,
at least, of the foot. It is instructive to compare this with
certain characteristics which appear in several places in Italian
quattrocentro reliefs, where flattened planes, and often sharply
cut contours, forcibly recall the manner described on p. 42.
To give Florentine examples only, I would cite the Cantorie
of Donatello, or the well-known Madonnas ascribed to him
or to his influence (Bode, Italienische Bildhauer der
Renaissance, pp. 33 sqq., 47 sqq. Beschreibung der Bild-
werke der christlichen Epoche, pp. 42, 70, and elsewhere).
Here the equalisation of relief and drawing is carried out
in the motives to the last degree, and by this very fact the
true limits of both are made evident. The relief being flat
and unplastic, whilst the drawing is not sparing in fore-
shortening, the eye is offended by the contradiction between
appearance and reality. How far Greek originals may have
influenced this manner of relief cannot be examined here.
ioo THE RENDERING OF
by the calculated inclination of planes from left
and right to the centre.
But there arise new difficulties. Primitive
relief and drawing spreading out figures the
one alongside of the other, can obtain an in-
timate connection of a large number only in the
form of juxtaposition, especially when obliged
to give them a sideward direction. And when
they meet, by no contrivance of heads turned
back or seen in full front can more than two
figures be brought into direct relation of action ;
the rest must have a secondary share in the scene,
as spectators or followers. This prevalence of
the sideward direction continues still in the Par-
thenon frieze (42). Here, it is true, the subject
itself is a procession, and the bipartition of the
group of gods on the East frieze looks like the
deliberate choice of the artist, for by this arrange-
ment the gods face towards each procession
making its way up the sides to the entrance, and
Zeus and Athena, the Royal Father, and the
Lady of the Festival, did not need to contest the
foremost place. But the desire to represent a
(42) P. 39, note 8. East frieze : Collignon, ii, Figs.24-26 ;
B. B., 1 06- 10 ; Michaelis, pi. 14.
FIG 45 .
Attic funeral relief. Paris.
Attic funeral relief. Athens.
Attic funeral relief. Athens.
Attic funeral relief. Mantua.
Attic funeral relief. Athens.
Attic funeral relief. Athens.
NATURE IN GREEK ART 101
more varied and intimate relationship could not
be suppressed. The "three-figure reliefs" (43)
are evidence of the endeavour, as also of the im-
possibility of quite satisfying it with the methods
hitherto employed ; the close combination of two
figures upon a low relief implied the isolation of
the third, however admirably this isolation in the
reliefs in question might harmonise with the
characters and situations represented.
The desire became more eager with every
fresh attempt to impart now to relief whatever
naturalness was possessed by drawing. We find Page 79
three-quarter views of head and legs (as in the
Parthenon frieze), of the trunk (as in the friezes
of the Theseum and Temple of Nike) (44),
figures in such action as demands greater depth,
and suggestions of environment as occur some-
what timidly upon the Theseum and Temple of
Nike, and more completely, with tendencies
(43) The Eleusinian: Collignon, ii, Fig. 68; B. B.,
7. Orpheus, Peirithoos, Peliads : Petersen, Rom, Figs.
99-101 ; cp. Collignon, ii, Fig. 69 ; B. B., 341. Votive
reliefs : Le Bas, Monuments figure's, 49, i, and others.
(44) Theseion : Collignon, ii, Figs. 40-42 ; B. B.,
406-408; Sauer, Theseion, pis. 3 sq. Nike frieze: Col-
lignon, ii, Figs. 48-50; B. B., 117 sq. ; Ross, Tempel
der Nike, pis. n sq. ; Ancient Marbles, ix, pis. 7-10.
102 THE RENDERING OF
towards perspective, upon the friezes of Trysa and
Xanthos, where there reappears the old Oriental
love of landscape (45). All these developments
were finally to loosen the rigidity of low relief,'
to suggest a full and plastic elevation, a richer
graduation of planes. We see this at Phigaleia ;
still more advanced on the Nike Balustrade (46),
and in the Erechtheum frieze (47). In the last-
named (where the sculpture is only attached and
leaves quite integral the structural mass) there
are figures seated approximately in front view
and others grouped together and overlapping one
another. Yet we still find low relief defending
itself on all sides; and along with the heaping
up, rounding out, and prominence of the figures
that were imposed upon it, it endeavours to
(45) Trysa: Collignon, ii, Figs. 100 sq. B. B., 486;
Benndorf and Niemann, Heroon von Gjolbaschi-Trysa, pis.
12 sq.) 1 6. Nereid Monument: Collignon, ii, Figs. 103-
109; B.B.,2i8^.; Monumenti, x, 1875, pis. 13-18; Annali
dell' Istituto, 1876, pis. D, E.
(46) Phigaleia: Collignon, ii, Figs. 77-80; B. B., 86-
91; Ancient Marbles, iv, pis. 1-23. Balustrade: Col-
lignon, ii, Figs. 51-54; B. B., 34 sq.\ R. Kekule, Reliefs
an der Balustrade der Athena Nike, pis. 1-6.
(47) Collignon, ii, Figs. 45 sq.; B. B., 31-33; R.
Schone, Griechische Reliefs, pis. 1-4; Antike Denkmaler,
NATURE IN GREEK ART 103
maintain its character as much as possible by
expanded, even forms and motives, by sharply
cut contours (48), by a deploy of the figures in
single file, and above all by a unity in the high-
est plane of elevation. Tectonic exigencies, and
the tradition of the frieze assist it in this.
In sepulchral reliefs, also, the desire arose to
develop in the ever-widening space of the stele
a fuller family picture. Here, where intimate
connection was especially needful, the want of a
form of composition that should bring into rela-
tion more than two persons was bound to be
felt. To make such a closely connected group,
first of three figures, at least, there was a means
which, though not for this purpose, had long
been employed, viz., the use of the free field, in
this case the space between the two figures that
are opposite one another clasping hands. But
in order that the figure thus interposed should
not appear indifferent or disturbing, nor, again,
push out of action one of the original figures, it
was not enough merely to put it in full front :
(48) The Parthenon frieze, for instance, often shows a
ack of uniformity in the use of these : the intention was
evidently to avoid a multiplicity of planes.
104 THE RENDERING OF
a difference in plane was necessary it was
necessary to introduce a middle distance, and
thus to increase also the depth of the old relief
(Figs. 45-50) (49). With this innovation (and
I do not say it was only in sepulchral relief
that it occurred) fell the barrier which hitherto
had checked the entrance of nature into relief
the regulation of the elevations by a common
ideal front plane, entailing the juxtaposition
of the figures in single line, and the ignoring
of depth and space according to the purely
Page 70. mental procedure. A new real high relief had
Page 97. arisen, not that pseudo-relief of the Metope,
but one that had come by an organic growth,
having command over plurality of planes, and
approaching free sculpture without being quite
merged in it.
With this development, however, relief, as
low relief, found its end (50).
(49) Cf. for other examples (in the order of progression
indicated by the hyphens) : Conze, Grabreliefs i, No. 434,
pi. 102, No. 329, pi. 82; No. 327, pi. 81, No. 293,
pi. 69, ii, No. 718, pi. 141; i, No. 465, pi. 109; No.
322, pi. 80; No. 304, pi. 72.
(50) Of course in every province of art forms belonging
to a more primitive stage of development continue to
NATURE IN GREEK ART 105
And yet it is just this branch of art
oscillating between sculpture in the round
and drawing which we select as most typi-
cal of the antique (51). We saw that no
quality characteristic of relief (i.e. of low relief)
was really peculiar to it, but that low relief
for its self-preservation had to retain longer
and more conspicuously than the sister arts
that which is primordial in all art. Insepar-
ably dependent upon the simple abstract con-
conception, it becomes the truest exponent of
Certainly much that is called "relief-like"
was kept in Greek art, and that not only in
the province of relief itself. It would be no
useless undertaking to determine how far the
principles we have enumerated at the out-
set remained still in force at the close of
exist at more evolved periods, especially when there is com-
pulsion from external circumstances.
\51) See Hildebrand, Problem der Form, especially
p. 66. In what we have written above, it will be seen how
far Hildebrand's precepts, founded on physiological premises,
agree with historical conclusions reached from a different
io6 GREEK ART
antiquity, and thereby to sum up the develop-
ment of antique art from the point of view of
form. No art, indeed, has yet entirely delivered
itself from those principles.
REFERENCES TO ILLUSTRATIONS
To face page
Fig. i. From a tracing by the author . . 20
Fig. 2. Alfred C. Haddon, The Decorative Art of
British New Guinea (Royal Irish Academy,
"Cunningham Memoirs," No. x, 1894),
pi. Hi . . . . .21
Figs. 3, 4. Helbig, Das homerische Epos, 2nd
edition, p. 138, Fig. 32; p. 139, Fig. 33. 22
Fig. 5. Monuments grecs, publics par 1' Associa-
tion pour 1'encouragement des Etudes
grecques, ii, No. 11-13, P- 44> Fig. i . 22
Fig. 6. Mitteilungen des kaiserl. deutschen archao-
logischen Instituts, Athenische Abtei-
lung, xxii, 1897, pi. 8 . .23
Fig. 7. 'E^jy/xepf? 'ApxcuoAoytKT/, 1888, pi. 10 . 30
Fig. 8. Capitan et Breuil, Grotte de Font-de-Gaume,
pi. ii, Fig. 4. Revue de 1'Ecole d'Anthro-
pologie de Paris, xii, 1902. . . 32
Fig. 9. L'Anthropologie, xv, 1904, p. 160,
Fig- S3 3 2
Fig. 10. See the plate . . . . 37
Fig. ii. From a cast ... 37
Fig. 12. Photograph from the original . , 39
Fig. 13. See the plate . . 39
io8 THE RENDERING OF
To face page
Fig. 14. See the plate . . . . 40
Fig. 15. From a cast . . . . 42
Fig. 1 6. From a cast . . . .42
Figs. 17, 1 8. J. Menant, Recherches sur la
Glyptique orientale, i, p. 164, Fig. 101 ;
p. 163, Fig. 100 . . . .49
Fig. 19. Photograph from the original - . . 50
Fig. 20. E. Gerhard, Griechische und etruskische
Trinkschalen, pi. viii, Fig. 2 . ' . 52
Fig. 21. Photograph from the original . .54
Figs. 22, 23. From a cast . . . .54
Figs. 24, 25. From a cast . . . 56
Fig. 26. Olympia, Tafelband iv: Die Bronzen,
pi. vii, Fig. 45 56
Fig. 27. From a cast . . . 59
Fig. 28. From a cast . . . .64
Fig. 29. Fouilles de Delphes, iv, Monuments figures,
Sculpture, pis. xlix-1, Fig. 3 . '65
Fig. 30. See the plate . . . -65
Figs. 31, 32. Fouilles de Delphes, v, Petits Bronzes,
pi. i, Figs. 8 and 10 . . .69
Fig. 33. From a cast . . . .71
Fig. 34. From a cast . . . .71
Fig. 35. From a cast . . . . 71
Fig. 36. Olympia, Tafelband iii : Die Bildwerke
in Stein und Thon, pi. xxxvi, Fig. 4 . 71
Fig. 37. p. Hartwig, Griechische Meisterschalen
NATURE IN GREEK ART 109
To face page
aus der Bliitezeit des strengen rotfigurigen
Stiles, Text, p. 109, Fig. 15 79
Fig. ^ 8. A. Conze, Vorlegeblatter fur archao-
logische Ubungen, Serie vi, pi. v . 79
Fig. 39. From a cast . . . .86
Fig. 40. See the plate . 87
Fig. 41. From a cast . . 9 1
Fig. 42. See the plate ... 9 1
Fig. 43. From a cast in the Leipzig University
collection . . . -95
Fig. 44. From a cast . .98
Fig. 45. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, i,
pi. Ixxxvii, No. 348 . . .104
Fig. 46. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, i,
pi. xcv, No. 384 . . . .104
Fig. 47. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, ii,
pi. cxxxii, No. 701 . . .104
Fig. 48. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, i,
pi. Ixxvii, No. 332 . . .104
Fig. 49. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, i,
pi. cviii, No. 454 . . .104
Fig. 50. A. Conze, Die attischen Grabreliefs, i,
pi. Ixxxv, No. 337 . . .104
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