Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

Manual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions online

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statues, although the accounts are often exaggerated, were of extraordinary size and
truly colossal ; as, for example, the celebrated statue of the god of the sun, placed ot

, the entrance of the harbour of Rhodes, 105 feet in height. Sometimes statues of
brass were gilded in whole or in part, and usually they were varnished to protect
them from the atmosphere and moisture. Even of the precious metals, silver and

' gold, the ancients sometimes formed entire statues ; they were however hollow, like

' those in brass.

See Hirt, in 5r«ije7'» Amallhea (Musee de I'anliqui'e figuree), Dresd. }?2i.—Launay, cited § 161.— Also, on the comprsition
of bronze, Hawkins, as cited 5 27. — Some consider the oricJialcum, or mountain-brass, to have been an artificial product. Cf. An-
thon's Horace ; note on Ep. to Pisos. v. 202.— Comte de Caybis, on the work^ in bronze mentioned by Pliny, Me:n. Acid. Inscr
XXV. 33i. Cf. Pliny, Hist. Nat. xxxiv. 4, 5, IS.— Mongez, sur le bronz Jes anciens, Mem. de Vhut. 01 a s s e d'Bist. et Lit. Anc,
viii. p. 363;— .ilso cf. Classe de Literal, et Beaux Arts, vol. 5th, p. 187, 496.— SmitA, Diet. Antiq. art Bronze.

§ 163. Statues were classified and named variously, accordino^ to size, costum?;
! and attitude. The largest were termed colossal (xoj.o'juol), surpassinor always
the human dimensions; next to these were the statues of gods and heroes, of a
size between six and eight feet ; then, those corresponding to actual life (oU/a?.-
ftara iixovtxd, iTOitlr'pjjra, status icom'cas); and finally, those smaller than life,
(jf which such as were very small went by the name o{ sigilln. — In reference to
costume, the Romans called such as had a Grecian dress, palliatse ; those in the
Rijinan, togafse^ those with the miWl^TV g^rh, pahtrlafae, chlana/dalas, loricafie .
and such as were veiled, velatae. — tn attitude there was stilt greater variety, as
the figures might be either standing, sitting, reclining, or lying at rest, or in


action, &c. There was aiso a distinction between simple statues, and compo-
sites or g-roups, consisting of several fig-ures. Groups, where the parts were
entwined or interwoven with each other, were called symplegmata {ov^TtT^iy/xata).

See Comte Guasco, Essai historique de I'usage de statues chez anciens. Bruxeiles, I76S. 4— Cf. Le Comte Caylus, L'habillemeiit
dcs divinites. Mem. Acad. Insc vol. xxxiv. p. 35.

§ 164. Busts, likewise, almost as frequently as entire figures, were formed by
the ancient artists. They were called by the Greeks Ttpotofidt, ; by the Romans,
imagines, sometimes Ihoraces. They were located, in honor of gods, heroes,
philosophers, and other distinguished men, in public places, such as theatres,
prytanea, gymnasia, galleries, libraries, and the like.

1 u. The bust was chiefly used to represent deceased persons. At Rome the Patri-
cians used to place in their halls^ the busts of their ancestors. Like statues, busts
were of various sizes. They difiered also in respect to the portion of the frame in-
cluded, taking in sometimes the whole breast, sometimes just the shoulders, and
sometimes merely the head. On their supports or pedestals the character or exploits
of the person represented were often inscribed. When busts were formed in relief on
shields, they were termed imagines dypeatce.

« Cf. Polyb. vi. 51. Plin. xxxv. 2.— See Gurlitfs Versuch Uber die Bastenkunde. Magdeb. ISCO. 4.

2 H. There was a peculiar kind of statue or bust, to which was given the name of
Hermes ('Epurii), It consisted of a mere head, or head and breast, or at most head
and chest, and a quadrangular pillar, or one terminating in a point, which served as a
support. It derived its name either from the god Hermes, Mercury, whose image
generally appeared on this kind of erection, yet not always ; or perhaps, as probably,
from the word 'Ep/ia designating the quadrangular pillar sustaining the image ; Suidas
explains the phrase hpfidiog XiOos by the word rt rpdywi'05. These representations were
placed by the highways and streets, in gardens, and among the Greeks in front of
temples and dwelling-houses. Human likenesses were formed sometimes in this
manner ; generally, however, the images represented some deity presiding over
gardens and fields. The Romans employed them to point out the boundaries of lands,
and on that account called them termini. Sometimes the attributes of the god were
indicated on the work; sometimes there were inscriptions, of which, however, such
as may have been preserved are not all genuine. They very seldom had any repre-
sentation of costume. The head and pedestal were not always of the same material.
Two heads were occasionally united on one pillar ; as for instance, in the 'Ep//a6)ji/;?,
Mercury and Minerva united ; the 'Epiir,paK\rjs, Mercury and Hercules ; and 'Epnoirav,
Mercury and Pan.

3. The compound name is also applied where the pedestal commonly bearing the head of
Hermes hns merely the head of some other personage, as in the figure ot" EoitripaKXfjs, given in
Plate XLVII. fiw. 8. In fig. 7, of the same Pluie, is a Hermes. — In the Sup. PI. il, is seen also a
fine Hermes. — The Romans usually represented their Priapus with a body terminating in a pillar
or block ; as seen in Plate XLV. ; or in the Sup, Plate 23 where the pedestal is in the figure of
a bird's claw.

§ 1 65. The ancient artists made a vast number of bas-reliefs {txtvTta, TipoSTfvrta,
avdyT^v^a). These works may be said to hold an intermediate place between
sculpture and painting, in as much as they present a plane for their ground, and
have their figures formed, more or less prominent, by the chisel or by embossing.
The most common material was marble or brass. The Etrurians made use also
of clay hardened by fire.

^ 166 u. The subjects represented by such pieces were drawm from mythology,
history, allegory, and other sources, according to the imagination of the artist. The
purposes for which they were devised were exceedingly numerous ; they often were
separate tablets constituting independent works ; and very often they were formed
upon shields, helmets, tripods, altars, drinking cups, and other vessels and utensils,
tombs, urns, and funeral lamps, arches, and generally upon large structures, particu-
larly the front of buildings. In explaining the meaning of these devices there is need
ol much caution and much knowledge of literature and art ; it is the more difficult,
because in many instances the works are in a mutilated or akered state.

§ 167. Among the varieties of image-work practiced by the ancients must be
mentioned that which is called Mosaic (ixovnhov, opus musivum, tcsse/atum,
vermiculatum), which was very common, and carried to great perfection. It has
its name from its elegance and grace (aorrra). It consists of figures curiously
formed by pieces, in different colors, of clay, glass, marble, or precious stones
and pearls, with which they used to ornament their floors and walls. Separate
tablets or ornamental pieces were aiso formed in the same way.



1 u. The pieces of which this kind of work is composed are so small, that some
times one hundred and fifty are found in the space of a square inch. The art was
most in vogue in the time of the emperor Claudius, and one of the most distinguished
artists" in it was Sosus.

2. One of the earliest notices of this art among the Greeks is in the account of the
magnilicent ship constructed under the direction of Archimedes for king Hiero. The
whole fable of the lUad* was represented by mosaics {i" d(iaKi<jKois) inlaid in the
apartments of the vessel.

• Cf. Plin. Nat. Hist, xxxvi. 23.-6 Cf. SchUl, Hist. Litt. Grecque, vol. vii. p. 447. On mosaics, see references given 5 IS9.

§ 163. Some of the works of the ancient sculptors have inscriptions upon
them, presenting the name of the artist, or explaining the work itself. Such
inscripUons are placed sometimes on the pedestal, and sometimes on the drapery
or other parts of the statue.

1 u. On the statue of Hercules Farnese, for instance, are the words, rAYKwX
AeHXAIOC EnOIEI; on the Gladiator Borghese, AEACIaC AOC10EOY EifECIOC
EnOlEl; on a Roman statue of the goddess Hope, Q. aqvilivs dionysivs et nonia


2 u. But these inscriptions are not always genuine, being frequently of recent origin,
as is thought to be the case with the tirst of the above mentioned. In judging of them
there is need therefore of much antiquarian skill and research, and a careful apphcalion
of historical and mythological learning. A fine specimen of this critical scruthiy is
found in Lesslng's Laocoon, a work of great value to those who study the arts.

G. E. Leasing, Lankoon, oder aber die Grenzen der Mahlerei und Poesie, in his Sdmmtliche Schriflen. Berl. 1796. ss. 30 vols. 12.
Vol. 9th.— There is a French translation of it by I'anderbourg.

§ 1 69. Although we have no historical account of the origin of the art of sculp-
ture, as has been suggested (§ 156), yet it is certain that the Egyptians were in
possession of it at a very early period. On this account its invention is ascribed
to them by some ancient writers. The Egyptians were not deficient in the
mechanical part of sculpture. Yet their general mode of thinking, their prevalent
taste, the peculiar character of their civilization, and especially the nature of
their religion, were unfavorable to the advancement of this art, and hindered its
attaining among them any true and beautiful perfection. We find in their design,
as well as in their whole execution, a barrenness and uniformity that appears
very unnatural. Owing to the prevalence of animal worship in Egypt, figures
of animals were the most frequent and most successful performances of their
artists, among whom Memnon is perhaps most celebrated.

/. S. Memes (LL.D.), History of Sculpture, Paintiug, and Architecture. Boston, 1834. \2—Giamb. Brocchi, Ricerche sopria la
scultura presso gli Egiziani. Venez. 1792. S.—B6ttiger''t Andeutungen, &c. Qber Arch:iologie. Dresden, 1806. i.—V. Denon.
Voyage dans la basse et la haute Egypte. Par. 1S02. 2 vols, fol., with plates.— Description de I'Egypte. Par. 1S09-1S1?. 9 vols. fol.
with plates : of this work there is also a more recent edition. (Cf § 231. 1 )— In Beck's Grundriss der Archlologie, (Lpz. 1SI6,!
is an account of the artists among ancient na'ions, and of the remaining monuments, and mention of the works pertaining to the
subject.— Respecting Mtrnnon, consult AnthorVs Lempriere.

1 u. In the history of Egyptian art, a distinction must be made between the old
and the later style. The former appears in the earliest monuments down to the con-
quest of Egypt by Cambyses, B.C. 525. The latter belongs to a subsequent period,
in which the Persians and Greeks held supremacy in the land. There is a difference
between the works of art in Egypt, according to which they may be designated re-
spectively as the Old Egyptian, the Persian-Egyptian, the Grecian Egyptian, and the
Roman-Egyptian, or Roman imitations of the Egyptian manner. The uniformity and
stiffness are much greater in the old style ; yet the later performances are deficient in
beauty of design and execution, in cases where there is no drapery, as well as in
others. There are also works, discovered in Italy, ii* Egyptian taste and manner,
which are not really of Egyptian origin, but were made by later Greeks, in Rome,
especially under the reign of Hadrian.

2. The period preceding the time of Cambyses is considered by Memes as the only
period of real Egyptian sculpture. Of its character there are left two sources of
judging, viz. vestiges of ancient grandeur yet existing on their native she, and nume-
rous specimens in European cabinets. These remains may be classed under three
divisions. 1. Colossal figures. 2. Figures about the natural size, single or in groups.
3. Hieroglyphical and Historical rehevos. The colossal remains are very numerous.
Some are figur,.\s of men ; others of animals, chiefly the sphinx. The dimensions
extend from twelve to seventy cubits in height. The largest now known are the two
in the \acinity of Thebes, which are "vulgarly called Shamy and Damy;" one of
.vhirh, from inscriptions still legible, would appear to b*" the famous soundins statue"
of Memnon. In the ruins of the Memnonimi there remiins a prostrate and broken
colossus of vast size, wi;h hieroglvphic in^'^riptions, from wnich it has been supposed
49 ■ 2 K


to be the statue of Osymandyas^ or Sesostns. Of figures about the natural size there
are also many remains. Many are found in the excavations of Philoe. Elephantis,
Silsihs, and at EI Malook in the tombs of the Theban Kings. These e.xcavations are
often suites of magnificent chambers hewn from the hard and white calcareous rock.
A singular pecuharity marks these statues ; a pilaster runs up behind each the whole
heighf, not only v/hen the statue was connected with the surface of a wall, but also
when it is wholly detached. Relievos are found in great abundance, occupying often
the entire walls of the temples. In these there is much skill in the mechanical work-
manship, but they are very deficient in merit as performances of an ; proportion and
perspective seem to have been utterly unknown.

a Cf. p. n. § ~i.—Letrcrnne, La statue de Meninon, dans ses Rapports avec I'Egypt et la Grece ; in the Mem. de VInstiiut, Classe
d'Hist. et Lit. Anc. vol. x. p. 249.— I" Letronne, Sur le monument d'Osymandyas, &c. in the Man. de Vbist. as just cited, vol. ix.
p. 317.

§ 170. In the formation of these works, four kinds of materials are employed ; one
soft, a species oi saiidslone ; and three very hard, viz., a calcareous rock, out of which
the tombs, with their sculptures, are hewn ; basalt or trap, of various shades from black
to dark gray, the constituent generally of the smaller statues ; and granite, more
commonly of the species named ruhescens. Colossal figures are uniformly of granite,
in which also is a large portion of the relievos. Statues of wood have been discovered
by modern travelers. Metal appeal's to have been sparingly used ; at least only very
small figures have been found, of a composition similar to the bronze of modern times.
In the tombs small images of porcelain and terra cotta are trequent.

§ 171. Among the other ancient nations of southern and eastern countries,
sculpture did not receive so much attention, and our knowledge of their use of
the art is derived from historical testimony rather than from any existing monu-
ments. The art was evidently esteemed by the Hebrews, but chiefly as an
auxiliary and ornament to architecture; of this we have evidence in the temple
of Solomon, in the construction of which, however, Phoenician artists were
ohipfly employed. The commerce and wealth of the Phoenicians were favorable
to the arts ; there exists no genuine and proper statue as a specimen of their
sculpture; the same is true respecting the Persians and Parthians, who were
advanced to a considerable degree of civilization, and whose views of propriety
required that the figures should be clothed in some sort of drapery ; such monu-
ments as we have, however, in the sculptured architectural ornaments which
have been preserved, give us no occasion to mourn our loss.

On the general tharacier of the sculptured monuments of the eastern nations, see HLcrcn's Ideen Uber die Politik, den Verkehr and
den Handel der vornehmsten Volker der alten Welt. Gott. 1S2G. 6 vols. S. Trans!, into Eag. Heeren, Hist. Researches ii^to tha
Politics and Commerce of the Carthaginians, &c Oxf. 183C. 2 vols. 8.— Hock's Veteris M&lis et Persis Monumen'a. Gott. 1818. 4.
Cf. Memes, HL\. &c. (as cited § 169), p. 32.

In our PI. XXXIIIare two specimens of Persian sculpture: fig. 3, a JMedo-Persian, from sculp-
tures at Persepolis ; bearing a sort of hammer or battle-axe, probably a token of some military
rank, perhaps, however, of some civil office ; the two hands of another are seen beariiigthe same
token : fig. 4 is another officer with a sword and other accouterments, from the same sculp-

§ 172. The Etrurians or Etruscans are more worthy of notice in the history
of this art. In a very early period they occupied the upper part of Italy, and
attended much to sculpture. With them the art seems to have been of native
origin, not introduced or acquired from Egypt, although their intercourse with
Egypt and with Greece no doubt contributed to the improvement of their arts.
Five periods may be pointed out in the history of Etruscan art : the first charac-
terized by a rude and uncultivated state; the second by works in the Grecian
and Pelasffic style; the third by works bearing an Egyptian and mythological
stamp; the fourth by a higher degree of excellence, yet confined wiihin the
limits of the older Grecian fictions; the fifth by a still fuller perfection accord-
ing to the more refined models of the Greeks.

See ffeyne's Versnch einer nilhern Bestimmung der Klassen und Zeiten fir die Etr. Kunstiverke, in A^ Bill. d. sck. IViss. B. XIX.
.tX. ; also in IVijickelmann, Histoire, &c. (cited § 32), vol. i. p. 633. — /.. Lanzi, Saggio di Lingua Etrusca e di altre antiche
d'ltalia, &c. Rom. 1789. 3 vols. 8.— F. liighirami, jMonumenti Etruschi, illustrati, kc. Fiesole. IS20.

§ 173. There are many remains of Etruscan art, although their resemblance
to Grecian performances often makes it difficult to decide their true origin. That
Grecian artists had a great share of agenc}' in Tuscan works is evident from
inscriptions and other monuments. Independent of a large number of statues
in bronze and marble, there are many works in half relief, which are, not vvith-
Dut grounds, considered as Etruscan remains. There is also a great variety of


vases, remarkable both for the beauty of their form and for the paintinors on them,
which have been called 'I'uscan and Campanian, but may be with more proba-
bility considered as old Grecian, and as monuments of Greek colonies, which
were in the vicinity of Cuma, Naples, and Nola.

i u. Learned men and amateurs have taken much pains in collecting, portraying,
and describing these remains. The most beautitul collection of the kind is that made
by Wm. Hamilton ; it is now in the British Museum, London. — Wedgewood and
Bentley have made imitations of several of these vases, in terra cotta, amono- which
the Vase of Barberini, or the Portland Vase, as it is also called, is th'e most

An acrount of the collection of Sir Wm. Hamilton was published by Chevalier d' Hancaraille, with the title, A Collection of
Eiru^can, Greek, and Rman J},itiqv.itia, &c. Naples, 1766-1779. 4 vols, fol.— A later work is, Recueil des Gravures des raset
antiques, tirees du Cabinet de M. le Chev. d'Hamilton, eravees par Tischbeir.. Naples, 1793. 3 vols, fol.— .See also respecting these
vases, A. F. Garii Museum Etruscum. Flor. 1737. 2 vols. fol.—/. B. Passerii Picturae Etruscorum in vasculis, &c. Rome, 1767-75.
3 vols, fol— Pein lures des Vases antiques, vulgairement appellees Etriisques, gravees par C&ner, accompanees d'explications par
Mitlin. Par. 1S08. 2 vols. fol.—/. Millitigen, Peintures antiques de vases de la collection de Sir/. Coghill. Rome, 1S17. fol.—
Lanzi, De Vasi antichi dipinti vulgarmente chiamata Etruschi. 1806. 8. with plates.— Of. § 223.

2. " The Porlland Vase, now in the British Museum, was found in the 16th cen-
tury inclosed in a marble sarcophagus, in the sepulchral chamber called Monte del
Grano, on the road from Rome to Frascati." — " It is a semi-transparent urn of a deep
blue color, with brilliant opaque white ornaments upon it in bas-rehef, cut by the
lapidary in the same manner as the antique cameos on colored grounds. I\Ir. Parks
states, " that several of the nobihty and gentry, being desirous to possess a copy of
this beautiful specimen of ancient art, engaged Mr. Wedgewood to attempt an imita-
tion of it ; and he actually produced a vase of porcelain, which for elegance was
considered fully equal to the original." The height of the vase is ten inches, its di-
ameter at the broadest part only six inches. It has two curiously wrought handles,
one on each side. The sculpture is in the greatest perfection ; the "figures full of grace
and e.xpression ; every stroke as fine, sharp, and perfect as any drawn by a pencil." —
'• The body of this vase, which for a long time was erroneously supposed to be
formed of porcelain, is made of deep blue glass."

.Si7Ziman's Journal of Science, &c., vol. xxvi., on Porcelain, &c., p. 243, with a drawing of the vase— Cf. Lardncr's Cabintl
Cyclof'isJia, article Glas<i.—See also /. Wedgewood, Description of the Portland Vase. Lond. 1790. 4.— Graf (i. e. Count) Vm
Vdtheim, Abhandlun; Uber die Barberini jetzt Portland Vase. Helmst. 1791. 8.—/. Millingen, on the Portland Vase, in the Trans-
actions of the Royal Lit. Society of the United Kinsdom, vol. i. pt. 2d, p. 90. Lond. 1829.—/. G, King, on the Barberini Vase,
Archxologia (as cited § 32. 5), vol. viii. p. 307, with drawmgs of the whole device upon it— Class. Joum. xix. 226.

In one of the barrows called Bartlow Hills (cf. P. III. $ 341), there was found, in 1835, a
beautiful bronze vessel ornamented with enamels of different colors. The cavities in which the
enamels are inserted seem to have been finished with the chisel. "The enamels are true
glasses. The colors are three ; blue, red, and green." A fac-simile is given in the Mrchaolo^ia
(as cited $ 32. 5), vol. x.wi. p. 300.

3. Many of the remains of Etruscan art have been found in repositories for the dead,
in which the people were accustomed to niter with the body various articles of metal
and clay. At VolaterriE (Volterra) were vast sepulchral chambers. Similar structures
have been discovered in the vicinity of Viterbo. In these sepulchers are found urns of
stone or of baked clay, about two feet in height, which contained the ashes of bodies
after burning. Painted vases also are found in the same repositories ; likewise the en-
graved paterce. The latter are numerous and curious. They are shallow dishes of
brass or bronze, with a rim slightly raised, and a handle. On the bottom inside there
is usually engraved some mythological subject, of simple design, expressed in a few
bold lines. The use of these vessels is not known. Some have considered them as
employed in sacrificing, others as designed for mirrors.

Since about 1825, many remains have been disinterred from the hypogaea in Etruria. In 1S28
one of these sepulchral chambers was accidentally discovered, not far from Volcium, the ancient
capital of the Volcientes (Plin. H. N. iii. 8.) called "OuoX/cot by Ptolemy. This occasioned ex-
aminaiion and extensive excavations, and led to the discovery of numerous other receptacles, in
a large plain, called from a neighboring abbey Piano dell'Abbadia, on the banks of the Arminia.
From these were taken monuments in gold, br.-^ss, and ivory. More than two thousand painted
vases were collected; bearing devices illustrative of a great variety of subjects ; often with
the name of the manufacturer and the painter, and sometimes with whole sentences, inscribed
on them.

See .IrchiBnlogia U' cited § 32. 5), vol. xxiii. p. 130, acatalngue of vases and other Etruscan antiquities discovered in 182? and
1829, by the Prince of Canino;— specifying 200 articles, with remarks.—/. Millingen. on late Discoveries of ancient Monuments in
£!ruria; in the Transact, of the Royal Soc. of LUeralure, &c. vol. ii. p. 76. Lond. 1S34.— Illustrazioni die due vasi fittili recente-
mcnt trouvati in P<«to, &c. Rom. 1*09. (al.— Menus, History of Sculp'ure, &c. (cited i 169), p. ll—Anthm's Lempriere, under
Uetruria.—! gliirnmi. cited § \12—Kestner, as cit..d P. HI. § 341. 5.-Mrs. Hamilton Gray, Tour to the Sepulchres of Etruria.
in 1839 Lond. 1*40, with plates. Cf. Lond. Quart. Rev. March, 1S41, p. 202.— Ediiib. Reo. A[>r. 1841, p. 64.

§ 174. The hicfhest rank in the history of ancient art unquestionably belonors
to the Greeks. The first idea of imagre-work arnonor them was without doubt
derived from abroad, from the Egyptians more probably than from the Phceni-


Clans, perhaps in some degree from both (cf. § 42). The opinion, that theii
earliest notions came from the Egyptians, agrees well with the whole character
of their mythology, the fountain and source of their arts, and with the style

Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 79 of 153)