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It will be observed that in the case of this garment there is
no fastening ; it is held in place by its own weight and by the

It is obvious that a garment of this kind is not adapted to
be worn when the wearer is on any active employment, nor for
walking about in wind and rain. It was like the blanket of the
Indian or the overcoat of the soldier, carried about to be used
for any necessary purpose. It is also obvious that it could be
put on in a great variety of ways, so as to produce a number
of artistic effects. Women would very commonly pass it not
under the arm, but over both shoulders, in which case they
would be warmly wrapped up, but scarcely capable of any
active movement of hand or foot. If we judged by statues,
we should suppose that while women always wore a chiton, or
shirt, under the cloak, the men usually wore no other garment.
But a study of vases corrects this impression. Men are there
very commonly represented as wearing the chiton as well ; and
one sees clearly that the sculptor usually omitted the chiton in
order to display the nude forms of breast and shoulder, just
as in the case of soldiers he usually omits the body armour of
breastplate and backplate, the stiff lines of which would be
in sculpture unpleasing. Occasionally in sculpture, as in the
case of the Bearded Dionysus and Mausolus, we have a male
figure wrapped in ample chiton and himation. This is doubt-
less the state or formal dress which men of mark wore on

The case of women in the great art of Greece after the
Persian wars is much more complicated. Young girls and
the virgin goddesses, Athena and Artemis, usually wore the
Dorian chiton, sometimes with an over-dress. In the middle of
the fifth century we find on vases the Doric and Ionic dresses
freely intermingled in the case of groups of girls. There is
something of the kind on an Attic krater from Ealerii here




figured (Fig. 8).^ But here, as in later art commonly, though
the dress of some of the girls is in principle Ionic, it is in fact
between the two types, as the under-garment is neither sleeveless
nor with sewn sleeves, but has sleeves made by joining the edges
of the garment with brooches. And the over-garment is put on
in the Dorian way ; that is, held by its own weight and not fas-
tened on the shoulder by a fibula. But in other cases the over-

FiG. 8.

garment is fastened with the fibula, and in others we have the
simple Doric chiton, with overfall and kolpos. We may cite as
examples of later quasi-Ionian dress the Fates of the Parthenon
Pediment (where Iris wears the Dorian chiton), Artemisia from
the Mausoleum, figures on the columns of the Artemisium of
Ephesus, and so forth.

It is commonly supposed that the veil of women is a sepa-

1 Furtwiingler and Reichhold, Griechische Vasenmalerei, PI. 17.


rate article of dress. Sometimes it is so. as in the so-called
Giustiniani Vesta; but more commonly the veil is made by
bringing the end of the garment, whether over- or under-gar-
ment, forward over the top of the head.

An outer garment largely used by men, especially young men,
is the chlamys, properly the cloak of the cavalry soldier. This
was an oblong piece of cloth, fastened by a brooch on the right
shoulder, so as to cover the left arm, but to leave the right arm
free. On horseback the left arm would hold the reins, and
needed protection ; the right was wanted for the whip or lance.
The so-called Phocion, and some of the youths of the Parthenon
frieze, wear the chlamys, which is often also worn by the hun-
tress Artemis and Amazons.

I do not propose to examine in more detail the Greek dress
as worn by men and women. ]\Iy purpose is not to write an
account of the actual habits of the Greeks in their daily life
in the matter of dress ; for that the reader must consult some
of the works mentioned in the note at the beginning of the
chapter. I only wish to explain to those who study the works
of Greek art what is the kind of dress represented in it.
It will be seen that, speaking generally, and omitting the Ionic
chiton, the garments depicted in Greek sculpture and paint-
ing are merely square or oblong pieces of cloth cunningly
folded, and so arranged, partly by their own weight and partly
by the aid of fibulae, as to present a beautiful effect. If a
modern costumer is set to produce Greek dresses for a clas-
sical drama, he adapts them with a multitude of tucks and
strings and buttons. He may perhaps be following a neces-
sity of the modern stage with its violent action, but he cer-
tainly does not succeed in producing anything Hellenic or



Greek art was able out of the simplest materials to produce
results of admirable taste and consummate beauty. The
representation of Greek dress has in art a history or evolution
closely parallel to that of the representation of the human
form. AVe can trace from period to period how the stiff
parallel lines and formal zigzags of archaic drapery grow
gradually freer and more varied; how garments, instead of
falling straight by their own weight from the hips or the
shoulders, adapt themselves to the flowing outlines of the
human form, until in the great schools human forms and
the garments which cover them are welded into a harmonious
unity, each throwing emphasis on what is most beautiful in
the other.

But Greek representation of dress, no less than Greek
architecture, has the defects of its qualities. In the fourth
century we find the beginnings of a tendency to dwell upon
the beauty of the lines of dress for their own sake, and not
merely because they enhance the beauty of the person to
whom the dress belongs as a whole. Even in the exquisite
figure of Victory fastening her sandal, from the balustrade
of the temple of :N"ike at Athens, one may trace something of
this tendency; the folds of the garment draw away one's atten-
tion from the Victory herself and her relation to the group of
which she is a part. Another tendency, which is visible even
on the frieze from Phigaleia in the British :\Iuseum, but is
more notable in later works like the frieze of the monument
of Lysicrates at Athens, is to use garments or parts of garments
to fill vacant spaces in a relief, using them as a decorative
background, rather than in accordance with their true nature.
This is, in fact, turning garments into drapery. It may per-
haps be regarded rather as a continuation of the old horror
vacui of archaic art than as a new departure. lUit whatever
its historic origin, it represents that tendency of the Greek


mind to mere show, to visible effect, which is embodied in the
case of literature in the rhetorical impulse.

P.S. Since this chapter was put in type I have seen the useful plates
of Greek costume arranged by Dr. Amelung and published by Koehler, of
Leipzig. These are very satisfactory, and if studied will save the student
from many mistakes. Dr. Amelung's nomenclature differs somewhat
from that which I have used. The Dorian chiton he prefers to call the
peplos, a name for which there is some authority.



Whether, in dealing with the grammar of Greek representa-
tive art, we should begin with sculpture or with painting, is
not a question easy to decide. Painting is essentially a freer
art than sculpture, and in all the changes and improvements
by which art progresses toward its zenith, painting naturally
takes the lead. To this general rule Greek art offers no excep-
tion. Polygnotus preceded Pheidias, and the impress which
Pheidias placed upon art was in many respects originated by
the Thasian painter. Painting at Pompeii has reached a de-
gree of freedom and, so to speak, of modernity, which is never
attained by ancient sculpture. Thus, if Greek painting were in
our museums half as well represented as Greek sculpture, we
should certainly prefer to treat first of the art of the brush.
But unfortunately Greek painting is but very imperfectly
known to us. We have to piece together its liistory from the
designs of Greek vases and the frescoes of the Roman age,
whereas we have an abundance of really good sculpture from
all ages of production. Sculpture, therefore, on tlie whole, claims
precedence in our treatment. We shall, to begin with, speak of
Greek art as a whole, and then take up successively sculpture
and painting in their separate and distinctive developments.

In spite of what was said in the introductory chapter as to
the diversity of a search into the character of a nation's art and
the search into the origin of its art, it will be expedient, before



treating of the phenomena of developed Greek art, to make
inquiry into its earliest distinctive forms. For it is possible
that in the infancy of art the national characteristics may
clearly be visible. But we shall only go back to the begin-
nings of the art which is distinctively Greek, not to that of
the Mycenaean age, which is informed by a spirit quite dif-
ferent from the Hellenic.

Considerable light has been thrown on the development of
Greek sculpture and painting in relation to space and perspec-
tive by the writings of Professor Lange of Copenhagen and
Professor Lowy.^ Lange has expounded in detail his theory of
frontality in early art, a theory of which Professor Furtwangler
has observed that its discovery is like that of a law of nature.

This view must be set forth in Lange's own wa}^ He
observes that in all early statues in the round, including those
of Egypt, Assyria, and Greece, down to 500 b.c, a law is observed
to the following effect : " Whatever position the statue may
assume, it follows the rule that a line imagined as passing
through the skull, nose, backbone, and navel, dividing the body
into two symmetrical halves, is invariably straight, never bend-
ing to either side. Thus a figure may bend backward or for-
ward, — this does not affect the line, — but no sideways bending
is to be found in neck or body. The legs are not always sym-
metrically placed ; a figure may, for example, advance one foot
farther than the other, or kneel with one knee on the ground,
the other raised, but nevertheless the position of the legs shows
the same line of direction as the trunk and the head. The
position of the arms presents greater diversity, yet it is strictly
limited by the attitude of the rest of the figure." ^

1 J. Lange, Darstellung des Menschen in der alt. griech. Kunst; E. Lowy,
Die Naturwiedergabe in der alt. griech. Kunst. 2 Lauge, p. xi.


The reader must turn to any representation of a human
figure in the round, whether of Egyptian, Babylonic, or early
Greek work, for illustration of this law. (See next pages.) There
may be a few exceptions, due to exceptional conditions, but in
almost all cases this psychological law holds with a regularity
almost as great as is found in the working of the laws of na-
ture. One finds figures stooping, or kneeling, or in a variety of
other attitudes ; but the frontal law still holds.

The law of frontality is also illustrated by a passage in Dio-
dorus (I., 98), who relates that two sculptors of the sixth cen-
tury, Telecles and Theodorus, of Samos, were set to make a
statue of the Pythian Apollo. " The story runs that one-half of
the statue was made at Samos by Telecles, while the other half
was fashioned at Ephesus by his brother Theodorus, and that
when the parts were fitted together they joined so exactly that
the whole work appeared to be the work of one artist. . . . The
statue at Samos, being made in accordance with the Egyptian
system, is bisected by a line which runs from the crown of the
head through the midst of the body to the groin, dividing it
into precisely equal and similar halves."

When Diodorus says that this manner of representation is
Egyptian and not Greek, he means that it was quite foreign to
the later Greek art with which he was familiar. It does be-
long, as Dr. Lange has shown, to Greek art before 500 b.c.

A comment upon, or indeed an amplification of, the law may
be found in an unfinished statue from Naxos, discussed by ^li\
Ernest Gardner (Fig. 9).^ In this figure any section cut hori-
zontally is oblong in form, the front, back, and sides almost flat,
with little more than a bevelling at the corners. This seems to
show that in producing the statue from an oblong block of
marble, the artist may have proceeded by drawing in outline on
the front and side of the block the front and side aspect of the

1 Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. XI., p. 130.

Fig. 9.


desired statue, and then cutting right through the block, perhaps
with a saw, in both directions, following the two outlines. Out
of the mass thus produced, face, legs, and arms would be roughly
cut, the transition from front to side would be smoothed over,
and the result would be approximately of the form required.
AVhether or not the sculptor actually took this course, it is
the logical way of carrying out his design.

Figures thus worked are clearly thought out in two aspects
only, the front and the side view. We may conceive them as
built about two upright planes which cut each other at right
angles. This is, as I have observed, a further development
of the system of frontality.

In line with this unfinished statue is the further fact that, in
Greek painting and relief, figures are almost always in early
times represented as either full-face
to the spectator or else in profile ; a
three-quarter view is almost unknown.
And very commonly one part of the
figure of animal or man is repre-
sented full-face and another part in
profile, without any proper transition
from the one aspect to the other. Ex-
amples abound. Very characteristic ^^^^ ^^
is the figure of a horse (Fig. 10) from

a vase at Boulogne published by Dr. Lowy : ^ the back part of
the horse is drawn in profile to the right, the head in profile to
the left, while the front legs and forehand are facing the spec-
tator. One of the metopes from Selinus (Fig. 11) will well
illustrate the same rule. Here the upper parts of Perseus and
Medusa, whose head he is cutting off, are full-face, the legs of
both are in profile; the horse Pegasus is entirely in profile;
Athena is full-face, except her feet, which are in profile toward

1 Die Naturwiedergahe , p. 44.




the right. But in no case is there much attempt to mark the
transition from one point of view to the other.

Fig. 11. — Metope of Selinus.

Of course sculpture, even in the latter part of the sixth cen-
tury, did not always represent figures as merely standing, and
made curious compromises in the attempt to represent them in



various attitudes. It will be found generally that when fig-
ures in the round are represented as running or reclining, they
are intended to be seen only from front or side ; for example,
the Nike from Delos (Fig. 12) and the dying warriors of
the Aeginetan pedi-
ments. The transi-
tion in them from
full-face to profile
is managed not with
the same abruptness
as in relief, but still
with a certain sacri-
fice of correctness.
To show how long
this tradition lasted,
I add an engraving
of the Discobolus of
Myron (Fig. 13) ,i
showing that even
this masterpiece, for
its age one of the
most wonderful of
human works, is
really calculated for

the two aspects only: the legs are in profile, the chest and
face are full, and the transition between the two is imperfect.
As regards the basis and origin of these laws of frontality,
there have been various views. The question is one of psy-
chology, and well worthy of consideration, as it goes deep into
the roots of our artistic and aesthetic faculties. It might be

Fig. 12. — Nike of Delos.

1 This photograph is taken from a cast made up of the Massimi head and
the Vatican body, a reconstruction made at the Museum of Muuich, and thence




thought that it is merely the result of the greater easiness and
simplicity of representing an erect as compared with a curved

attitude. But
this view does
not go to the
root of the mat-
ter : we require
a fuller explana-

Prof. Lowy has
endeavoured to
explain the phe-
nomena which
meet us in early
Greek art on
grounds. He
thinks they all
arise out of in-
evitable tenden-
cies of the human
mind, anthro-
pological laws
which we may
trace alike in
the procedure of
partly civilized
peoples and the artistic efforts of children. I will repeat his
views in my own words, and with illustrations.

(1) Primitive representations of objects in Greek art are
based, like those of all peoples in the same early stage of civili-
zation, not on any attempt directly to imitate a model, but on
a sort of memory picture, based on repeated observation.

Fig. 13, — Discobolus of Myron.


(2) This memory picture does not equally reproduce all the
views of an object which are in the artist's experience, but onl}''
those views which are more typical; and these, generally speak-
ing, are those in which objects appear in their broadest aspects.
For example, the memory picture of a quadruped, a fish, a
rosebud, will naturally represent them in profile; the memory
picture of a fly, a lizard, a full-blown rose, will represent them
as seen from above. And they will be detached from all back-
ground. Thus the full view and the profile view are the views
most natural.

(3) The memory picture being in itself weak is strengthened
by the putting together of striking and characteristic features
of the object. These, however, are put together not in the
organic fashion of nature, but rather as they successively
impress the observer. Hence the art type will represent not
so much a natural object as a mental construction. A good
example of this will be found in the well-known fact that the
sculptured man-headed bulls of Assyria have each five legs.
The sculptor puts together the front view, in which two legs
are visible, and the side view, in which four legs are visible, but
one leg serves in both views, so that there are five in all. In
a paper in the Journal of Hellenic Studies,^ Mr. ^Murray gives
parallel examples from Greece — birds and sphinxes with one
head and two bodies, and helmets with two crests, instead of
one crest seen in two positions.

(4) Of groups and scenes the same rules hold good. If any
part or element of background belongs to the action of the
group, it is introduced, but by no means necessarily in objec-
tive place and connection. When we proceed, in chapter XII., to
speak of the set schemes usual in vase-paintings, we shall find
abundant examples. The group as there depicted is the group
not as it objectively exists or existed, but as it is supposed by

1 For 1881, p. 318 ; PI. XV.


the mind to be. When, for example, on a fine Corinthian vase,^
Amphiaraus' departure on the expedition against Thebes is
depicted, the artist wishes to express the fact that Eriphyle, the
wife of the hero, had been bribed by the gift of the necklace of
Harmonia to induce him to take a part in the expedition ; and
this he does by placing a necklace very conspicuously in the
hand of Eriphyle. As a matter of fact, the necklace would be
at the moment the thing she would be most anxious to conceal;
but it is part of the mental furniture of the scene.

(5) In the memory images and the art representations of
motion, those attitudes are most impressive and are usually
reproduced which are of longer duration. This rule applies
widely in art, as must be evident to those who have studied
instantaneous photographs, which constantly represent men
and animals in attitudes on which the mind never dwells, and
which are absent from art. The ordinary representations of
trotting and galloping horses in the art of all nations do not
accurately represent the horses at any moment of their course ;
but are, in fact, based upon a construction which results from a
number of successive optical impressions.

These interesting observations of Professor Lowy furnish an
explanation of the phenomena of frontality and of planes of
working of which I have s]ooken, as well as of other phenomena
with which I shall deal when speaking of early vase-x)aintings.
The law of frontality is not strictly observed in Greek art after
the Persian wars. Through the fifth and the fourth centuries
B.C. one may trace its gradual decay. Before the middle of the
fifth century the line drawn from the head of a figure to a spot
between the feet bisecting the body is no longer quite straight,
but somewhat curved, and the curve departs with time more
and more from the straight line. The first result is to throw
more of the weight of the body on one leg than the other, so
1 Mon. deir Inst. X., 4; Vienna Vorlegebldtter, 1889, PI. X.



that one finds what the Germans call a Standbein, or leg wliich
supports the body, and a SpieWein, or leg which is ])ent at the
knee and free from most of the weight. In different schools

Fig. 14. — Diadumeiius, Argive.

this balancing is carried out on different plans ; for example, the
solutions of the problem adopted in the Parthenon frieze and
the Attic school are quite different from those accepted by
Polycleitus and perpetuated in his statues of the Doryphorus
and Diadumenus. With the Diadumenus of Polycleitus (Fig. 14)




we may well compare a contemporary Diadiimeniis (youth
tying a fillet round his head) of the Attic school (Fig. 15), the
difference in the attitudes of the legs being striking.

Professor Lange, with
many other writers, is mis-
taken in too definitely asso-
ciating this change with
Polycleitus. As I have al-
ready observed, it proceeds
during the fifth century in
all schools, and the merit of
Polycleitus does not lie in
his being the first to attempt
the problem, but in the par-
ticular solution which he
discovered. The words 2wo-
j)rium ejus est uno crure ut
insisterent signa excogitasse
have, in fact, been misinter-
preted as meaning that it
was the great merit of Poly-
cleitus to have invented
a plan whereby the main
weight of the body was
thrown on one leg. This,
however, as Michaelis has
pointed out, would require
the dative case, uni cruri.
Uno crure insistere must mean to move forward with one foot
in advance, and in fact the most noted statues of Polycleitus
are thus represented in actual motion.

The statues of the Praxitelean class — the Hermes of Olym-
pia, the Satyr of the Capitol, the Apollo Sauroctonus, and the

Fig. 15. — Diadumenus, Attic.


Cnidian Aphrodite — are all similar in pose, and exactly alike
ill being all intended for view of the body from the full front,
in which aspect alone they display their full beauty. Stand-
ing before them, one notices in eacli case three things: (1)
that the face is turned so as to show in the three-quarter face
position; (2) that the line which in arcliaic statues is quite
straight from head to groin is greatly curved, so that the
figures seem even to lounge ; (3) that tlie tree-trunk, or other
support necessary to a figure in marble, is worked in as part
of the group. These facts give to most of the Praxitelean
statues in our museums a certain family likeness.

Dr. Lowy has pointed out that there are no standing Greek
statues which seem really thought out in three dimensions
nntil we come to the well-known figure of the Apoxyomenus,
wiiich is usually regarded as a copy of a bronze statue of
Lysippus, the court sculptor of Alexander the Great, but
which more ])robably belongs in fact to the beginning of the
third century.^ The more direct imitation of nature, which
came in in the school of Lysijipus, though it did not much
affect the work of that master himself, would naturally have
the effect of which I speak.

Eeturning to the consideration of archaic art, we see in
the progress of sculpture the gradual victory of practice and
determination. The line of attainment, of successful grap})ling
with the difficulties of execution, mounts gradually in the human
body, passing from the easier parts of it to those which are
more difficult. In the statue found at Tenea, and sometimes

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