The Ancient Library

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ly ancient writers, and as still visible in a very similar and nearly contemporaneous work of the very same school, the frieze of the choragic monu­ment of Lysicrates, which is also preserved in the adjoining room (the Elgin Room*) in the British Museum. The decided inferiority of both these works to the Panathenaic frieze of the Parthenon only proves the inferiority of the later Attic artists to those of the school of Pheidias ; an inferiority which was not likely to be properly appreciated by judges who, in the kindred art of dramatic poetry, preferred Euripides to Sophocles. The part of the frieze of the Mausoleum executed by Scopas was that of the eastern front; the sculptors of the other three sides were Bryaxis, Leochares, and Timotheus (or, as others said, Praxiteles), all of them Athenians ; and Pliny tells us that the works were in his time considered to vie in excellence with each other : — hodieque certant manus (II. N. xxxvi. 5. s. 4. § 9).

II. Having thus noticed the works of Scopas in architecture and architectural sculpture, we proceed to the single statues and groups which are ascribed to him, classifying them according to their connec­tion with the Greek mythologj'-. The kinds of mythological subjects, which Scopas and the other artists of his school naturally chose, have already been mentioned under praxiteles, p. 519, b.

Nearly all these works were in marble, the usual material employed by the school to which Scopas belonged, and that also which, as a native of Paros, he may be supposed to have preferred and to have been most familiar with. Only one bronze statue of his is mentioned ; and some critics would erase his name from Pliny's list of statuaries in bronze (H.N. xxxiv. 8. s. 19).

1. Subjects from the Mythology of Aphrodite.— Pliny (H. JV. xxxvi. 5. s. 4. § 7), after mentioning Scopas as a rival of Praxiteles and Cephisodotus, tells us of his statues of Venus, Pothos (Desire), and Phaethon, which were worshipped with most solemn rites at Samothrace. (Respecting the true reading of the passage, and the mythological con­nection of Phaethon with Aphrodite, see Sillig's edition of Pliny ; Hesiod. Theog. 986—991 ; and Welcker, in the Kunsiblatt, 1827, p. 326).

A little further on, Pliny mentions a naked statue of Venus, in the temple of Brutus Callaicus,at Rome, as Praxiteliam illam antecedens, which most critics suppose to mean preceding it in order of time; but Pliny appears really to mean surpassing it in excel­lence. It would, he adds, confer renown on any other city, but at Rome the immense number of works of art, and the bustle of daily life in a great city, distracted the attention of men ; and for this reason also, there was a doubt respecting the artist of another statue of Venus, which was dedicated by Vespasian in the Temple of Peace, and which was worthy of the fame of the ancient artists. Another Avork mentioned by Pliny as doubtful, is the Cupid holding a thunderbolt, in the Curia of Octavia. Pausanias (vi. 25 § 2) mentions a bronze group by Scopas, of Aphrodite Pandemos, sitting on a goat, which stood at Elis, in the same temple with Pheidias's chryselephantine statue of Aphro­dite Urania. The juxtaposition of these works of the two Attic schools must have furnished an in­teresting comparison. In the temple of Aphrodite

* The Budrum Marbles are in the Phigaleiari Room, perhaps only temporarily.


at Megara was Scopas's group of marble statues of Eros, Himeros, and Pothos, in which he showed the perfection of his art by the distinct and charac­teristic personified expression of ideas so nearly the same (Pans. i. 43. § 6). The celebrated statue of Aphrodite as victorious (Venus Victrix\ in the Museum at Paris, known as the Venus of Milo (Melos), is ascribed, by Waagen and others, to Scopas, and is quite worthy of his chisel. It is one of the most beautiful remains of ancient art. (Waagen, Kunstwerke u. Kunstler in Paris; Nagler, Kunstler* Lexicon; Muller, Denkmaler d. alien Kunst, vol. ii. pi. xxv. No. 270.)

2. Subjects from the Mythology of Dionysus.— Muller thinks that Scopas was one of the first who ventured to attempt in sculpture a free unfettered display of Bacchic enthusiasm (Archaol. d. Kunst, § 125). His statue of DiomTsus is mentioned by Pliny (H. N. xxxvi. 5. s. 4. § 5) ; and his Maenad, with flowing hair, as %i,uoupo<i>oj/os•, is celebrated by several writers (Callist. Imag. 2 ; Glaucus, Ep. 3, ap. Brunck. AnaL vol. ii. p. 347, A nth. Pal. ix. 774 ; Simonides, Ep. 81, ap. Brunck. Anal. vol. i. p. 142, Anth. Planud. iv. 60, Append, in Anth. Pal. vol. ii. p. 642, Jacobs). There are several reliefs which are supposed to be copied from the work of Scopas ; one of them in the British Mu­seum. (Muller, Arch. I.e. n. 2, Denknialer, vol. i. pi. xxxii. No. 140 ; Townley Gallery, vol. ii. p. 103.) Respecting his Paniscus^ see Cicero (de Div. i. 13).

3. Subjects from the Mythology of Apollo and Artemis. — Scopas embodied the ideal of the Py­thian Apollo playing on the lyre in a statue, which Augustus placed in the temple which he built to Apollo on the Palatine, in thanksgiving for his victory at Actium ; whence it is called by Pliny Apollo Palatinus, and on various Roman coins Apollo Actius or Palatinus (Eckhel, Doct. Num. vol. vi. pp. 94, 107, vol. vii. p. 124 ; comp. Tac. Ann. xiv. 14 ; Suet. Nerv. 25). Propertius de­scribes the statue in the following lines (ii. 31, 10 —14): —

" Deinde inter matrem deus ipse interque sororem

Pythius in longa carmina veste sonat. Hie equidem Phoebo visus mihi pulchrior ipso Marmoreus tacita carmen hiare lyra."

These lines, and the representations of the statue on the coins, enable us easily to recognise a copy of it in the splendid statue in the Vatican, which was found in the villa of Cassius (Mus. Pio-Clem. vol. i. pi. 16 ; Musee Franq. vol. i. pi. 5 ; Muller, Archaol. § 125, n. 4, Denkmaler, vol. i. pi. xxxii. No. 141). There was also a statue of Apollo Smintheus by him, at Chrysa in the Troad (Strab. xiii. p. 604 ; Eustath. ad II. i. 39). Two statues of Artemis are ascribed to Scopas ; the one by Pausanias (ix. 17. § 1), the other by Lucian (Lexiph. 12, vol. ii. p. 339).

But of all his works in this department, by far the most interesting is the celebrated group, or rather series, of figures, representing the destruc­tion of the sons and daughters of Niobe. In


Pliny's time the statues stood in the temple of Apollo Sosianus, at Rome, and it was a disputed point whether they were the work of Scopas or of Praxiteles. The remaining statues of this group, or copies of them, are all in the Florence Gallery, with the exception of the so-called Ilioneus, at Munich, which some suppose to have belonged to

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