Praxiteles ( - )

Praxiteles Praxiteles was one of the greatest Athenian sculptors who flourished during the 4th century BC. He was the first to sculpt the nude female form.

His life remains a mystery to us. The only thing we know about Praxiteles was that his father, Cephisodotus, was also a sculptor, and that he had two sons. There is a belief that two sculptors named Praxiteles existed; one was a contemporary of Phidias and the other was his grandson. The subjects of his sculptures were either humans or less popular gods and goddesses, such as Apollo and Aphrodite, rather than Zeus and Poseidon.

One of his most famous sculptures is Hermes and the Infant Dionysus; Hermes is depicted carrying the child Dionysus to the nymphs that looked after him. It is located at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia. There is a claim that the statue, which was found where Pausanias had seen it during the 2nd century AD, is not real, but a Roman copy; this remains a possibility, as it was common for Romans to copy Greek sculptures, as they had adopted a huge part of Greek culture. His sculpture Aphrodite of Cnidus is the most famous of all, as it was the first time that a full-scale female figure was portrayed nude. Other sculptures by Praxiteles are Apollo Lykeios, Capitoline Satyr, Artemis of Antikyra and the Leconfield Head.

What is evident in all statues by Praxiteles is their graceful form and charm. They are also characterized by delicate touches and incredible surface finish.

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