(Athens, h. 490 BC.-?, 431 BC) Greek sculptor. He was the most famous artist of the classical world, and the teacher who took the sculpture to the highest level of perfection and harmony. The biography of Phidias is mostly unknown. Just nothing is known of its formation, although it is believed that he had experience as an engraver, painter and repujador. He lived in the time of Pericles, a statesman determined to make a majestic sign of the greatness of the city, which became the main protector of Phidias, who basically worked in and for Athens from the Acropolis of Athens.
Reliefs of Phidias, the Parthenon
Phidias stood out both exempt sculpture and relief. The first work that is known of him is the Lemnian Atenea, a statue of the goddess to the Acropolis of Athens, of which two partial copies are preserved: a bust at the Archaeological Museum of Bologna and a nearly complete figure in the Dresden Albertinum.
The Atenea Partenos, the work which meant him fame was enshrined in 438 BC. The patron saint of Athens is represented in this statue of nine meters of height as a warrior goddess, with shield and helmet, prepared for the defense of the city. The work, lost, much less is known through copies of size.
In addition to the Athena for the Parthenon, Pheidias made another chryselephantine statue, to the sanctuary of Olympia: the image of Zeus, including by the ancient among the seven wonders of the world. It was a seated statue of the God, of twelve meters in height, that distilled greatness and Majesty; It is known through reproductions in coins and jewelry.
Reliefs of Phidias, the Parthenon
But so great is the name of the artist already in its time and has kept unchanged its fame through the centuries are the sculptures of the Parthenon. After the construction of the temple, Phidias and his workshop dealt with sculptural decoration, which included a frieze in bas-relief of a hundred and sixty meters in length, two Gables decorated with ninety-two metopes and free-standing figures in high relief.
Although he designed the whole, believed that Phidias ran a very small part, in spite of which this work is an indisputable sign of his genius. Parts that remain are mostly in the British Museum. They enjoy particular celebrity group the three fates and fragments of the Panathenaic procession, especially the Group of the gods of Olympus, where is admire the masterly treatment of fabrics, which attach to the body and draw its contours, a creative facet that has decisively contributed to the fame of the fidiaco art; also horses, powerful and dynamic, and his fierce horsemen denote the mastery of the sculptor.
The remaining works attributed to Phidias, known for copies, including Apolo Parnopios, bronze statue erected on the Acropolis of Athens; the Anadumeno of Olympia, in bronze, which is identified as the Farnese of marble of the British Museum in London; the Amazons of Ephesus, created in competition with Policleto and Kresilas; and the Anacreon, who has been identified with the Copenhagen Borghese statue.
The last years of the life of Phidias are wrapped in mystery. To the fall of his protector, Pericles, the sculptor was accused of embezzling gold intended for the statue of Athena, and weigh to prove his innocence, was imprisoned so pretext of wickedness, for having included his portrait and that of Pericles in the coat of arms of the goddess Athena. According to some chroniclers, Phidias died in prison; in the words of others, he managed to escape and went into exile in Olympia, enclave where the remains of his workshop were excavated in 1954-1958. His influence extended to coetaneous vessel painting and sculpture of the following centuries.