Today, Sculpture Saturday advances about 100 years from the sculptures of Kleobis and Biton in last week’s post to present The Charioteer, one of the best preserved examples of ancient Greek classical bronze sculptures.
The sculpture depicts a winner of the Pythian Games chariot race at the moment when he presents his chariot and horses to the spectators in recognition of his victory. The demeanor encapsulates the recognition of eternal athletic and moral stature with abundant humility.
The Charioteer represents an advancement from the archaic style used in creating kouroi like Kleobis and Biton to classical ideals. The Charioteer exemplifies the style known as Early Classical or Severe.
It is believed that this sculpture was created around 470 BC to honor the victory of Polyzalus of Gela in Sicily and his chariot in the Pythian Games which were held every four years at Delphi.
The figure of the charioteer was part of an ensemble of statues that included his four horses, one or two attendants, and the chariot upon which he stood. Small parts of the horses and the reins that were also recovered hint at the grandeur of the complete composition.
The Charioteer is exhibited at the Sanctuary of Delphi in the Delphi Archeological Museum.
I hope you like these ancient Greek sculptures. There will be more of them.
Sculpture Saturday is a challenge hosted by Susan Kelly at No Fixed Plans.