Chapter Five
SKOPAS IN TEGEA

The Tegean temple apparently took quite a long time to build, perhaps as long as thirty years, and must, it seems, belong within the period between c. 370 and c. 340; the design of the building fits best in the earlier part of the period, and the style of the sculptures in the later part. However, from Pliny and others (Appendix 1, nos. 34 and 35) we know for sure that Skopas was in Asia for at least part of that time, around 353-351; there is a problem here, and, to point the way towards a solution, a few remarks on what being an ἀρχιτέκτων in the ancient world really involved would seem to be in order.

Greek architecture was a highly conservative and traditional craft, not an experimental science as today. By the fourth century, the design and building of a temple took place according to a well-tried and quite closely defined system; as (to a certain extent) in sculpture, the individual craftsman knew fairly well what was expected of him on any particular job and how to go about achieving it himself, given certain basic information. The scope for originality and individual enterprise on the part of the architect was thus limited more or less to those features which lay outside the sphere of pure craftsmanship: the plan of his temple, its proportions, and its decoration .1

Presented with the decision by the Tegean demos that he should design their new temple, Skopas' primary task would have been to draw up a description (συγγραφή) of his building, embodying precisely these points, and including the major dimensions (which would, of course, determine the proportions). Only one such 'plan' of this kind has survived from antiquity, the description by Euthydomos and Philo of their arsenal in Piraeus, 2 built c. 330, but from stray references in other inscriptions we can infer that this was the normal procedure, at least after c. 450. This, in its turn, would enable specifications for materials to be determined and contracts 3 (of which many examples have come down to us) 4 to be advertised and let out as building went along; the architect would supply models (παραδείγματα), 5 or engage others to do so under his direction, for decorative details such as the Corinthian capitals, simas and so on.

Euthydomos' part in the arsenal project would seem to have stopped at the planning stage, before actual building commenced. Philo, however, was still required, as was Theodotos on the temple of Asklepios at Epidaurus and Philagros on the Prostoon at Eleusis. The question is, was Skopas?

Since a priori it seems unlikely that such a promising young sculptor as Skopas would have remained out of sight and out of mind in Tegea for very long (and we know of only one other work of his in Arcadia), 6 and since, as already noted, it is likely that the building of the Tegean temple took a long time, perhaps as much as fifteen years, and its sculptures even longer, the answer, at first sight at least, would seem to be no. The difficulty is that normally the architect was required to be on hand to give instructions (ἀναγραφεῖς) 7 for the solution of specific problems that could only have been tackled on-site, of which perhaps one of the most important at Tegea would have been the co-ordination of the gross length of one unit (1 triglyph + 1 metope) of the frieze of the peristyle with the inward lean of the columns on the façades and the disparity between the intercolumniations here and on the flanks. 8

At Tegea, and very unusually, Skopas seems to have made every effort to ensure that adjustments were unnecessary: although the standard façade inter-

-80-

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Skopas of Paros
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations (at End) ix
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction: Methods of Approach 1
  • Part I: the Tegea Sculptures 5
  • Chapter One - Technique 39
  • Chapter Two - Composition 48
  • Chapter Three - Iconography and Interpretation 59
  • Chapter Four - Style 70
  • Chapter Five - Skopas in Tegea 80
  • Part Ii: Skopas 85
  • Chapter Six - Antecedents 85
  • Appendix 90
  • Chapter Eight Skopas in Asia 101
  • Chapter Nine Late Works 110
  • Part Iii: Documentation 126
  • Appendix 1 the Literary Sources 126
  • Notes 135
  • Appendix 2 Classical, Hellenistic and Roman Representations of the Calydonian Hunt 136
  • Appendix 3 the Arcadian Dynasty 138
  • Appendix 4 Copies of Major Works Considered in Chafters 7-9 139
  • Appendix 5 Proportions of the Los Angeles Herakles, Lansdowne Herakles and Meleager (cf. Plates 31, 42 and 44) 147
  • Select Bibliography 149
  • Notes 152
  • General Index 177
  • Index of Sources 183
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