Hermes of Praxiteles

Hermes of Praxiteles

This group by the famous Athenian sculptor Praxiteles was found inside the temple of Hera in the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia. The statue is made of Parian marble. Hermes is depicted naked wearing only sandals. He is juvenile and robust. His body is supported on his right leg? his relaxed left leg is extended to the left and bent. His left forearm rests on a tree trunk and supports little Dionysus. His left hand probably held his stick, the herald’s staff, which is not preserved. His raised right hand, which is also lost, may have held a bunch of grapes, towards which Dionysus’s little Hands and glance are directed. Hermes’s head, which was crowned with an ivy wreath, is turned to the left? this contrasting movement (contraposto) also affects his torso. On the god’s left, a tree trunk was carved as a support, which also holds his richly pleated garment. Groups consisting of an adult and a child were popular in large-scale sculpture, particularly in the 4 th century BC. The sculptor brought out the beauty of the figure by expressing the Olympian serenity of the god’s face and the harmony of his body. The highly polished surface adds to the graceful and soft characteristics of the art of Praxiteles. 330 BC L: 2,13m.

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