History : Nov-Dec 2018
28 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 SIZE MATTERS “ALEXANDER THE GREAT,” ROMAN COPY OF A FOURTH- CENTURY B.C . BUST BY LYSIPPUS GRANGER/ALBUM “PRAYING BOY,” SCHOOL OF LYSIPPUS, FOURTH CENTURY B.C ., BERLIN STATE MUSEUMS AKG/ALBUM chares of lindos was the sculptor tasked with creating the Colossus, but all that survives of his work is his name. After the disappearance of the remains of the Colossus in the seventh cen- tury a.d., all trace of his work was lost. He was a pupil of Lysippus, one of the most famous artists in the Greek world, who created busts of Alexan- der the Great (right). Although Lysippus’ original works have also all been lost, later replicas and works made by his disciples shed light on the type of education that his pupil might have received. Lysippus’ bronze pieces are notable for their slenderness. By elongating the body, and slightly re- ducing the size of the head, the art- ist created a sensation of height, a trait seen in the replica of his “Praying Boy” (left). despite the lack of information on the appearance of Chares’s Colossus, his rendering of the god Helios may well have adopted Lysippus’ methods to produce a tall, slender structure rather than a hulking, muscular figure. Chares was used to working on a large scale: Pliny the Elder notes he made a very large head that could be seen on the Capi- toline Hill in Rome. A later story, however, told by the second- or third-century philosopher Sextus Empiricus, claims Chares made a grave error in calculating the price of the material required to build the Colossus, a mistake that prompted him to take his own life. The tale, like so many surrounding the giant statue, is probably a myth: And when [Chares] had named a sum, they asked again how much it would be if they wished to construct it twice that size. And when he asked double the sum, they gave it to him; but he, when he had spent the sum given on the first stages of the work and the preliminary expenses, slew himself. And when he was dead the crafts- men became aware that he ought to have asked not double but eight times the sum.