Greece Minor Arts Part 4

For the sec. IV we know the name of an excellent toreuta, Mentor, and perhaps Mie dates back to the same century; but it is especially in the Hellenistic age, in the courts of the Diadochi, in Alexandria, in Pergamum, in Macedonia, in Syria, as well as in the republican Rhodes, that famous toreutes work, mostly from Asia Minor (Boetus of Chalcedon who was also sculptor, Stratonicus of Cyzicus, Tauriscus, Posidonius of Ephesus, Myrmecides of Miletus), but also of other parts (Callicrates Spartan, Ariston and Eunicus of Mytilene, Pasitele of Magna Graecia, who was also a sculptor) or of uncertain origin (Calamide, Hecateus, Zopiro). The immense congeries of golden and silver pottery were piled up in the major centers of the Hellenistic world and then in Rome; and from Rome it spread to Italy and the provinces.

Three finds are of special importance for the knowledge of this toreutic, especially applied to silver, and in some relics that came out of them, the graft of Hellenism into Roman culture can be felt. These are the findings of Hildesheim, of Boscoreale, and the recent one of the so-called house of Menander in Pompeii. While the cup with the allegorical bust of the Ptolemaic capital and the two tassels with figures of skeletons, of Epicurean allegory, can be ascribed to Alexandria, it seems that the most ancient pieces of pottery from Hildesheim date back to Asia Minor, including the cup with the figure of Athena sitting, and the cantaro with storks.

According to THENAILMYTHOLOGY, the Hellenistic jewels are also rich: diadems, crowns, earrings with various pendants with figurines, pins, necklaces, serpentine-shaped bracelets. The earrings, the pins, the necklaces are mostly adorned with precious stones.

Coinage is part of the toreutics: it will be dealt with in part further on; but above all the reflections that we find of great art in the monetary types should be remembered here. In the archaic series the stater of Cyzicus has a current Níkē figure similar to the Níkē of Delos, and all the Thracian-Macedonian coinage clearly reveals the influence of Ionian-Asiatic art. The Argive coins minted after the Peace of Nicias (412 BC) bear a beautiful head of Hera, in which is the living memory of the chryselephantine masterpiece of Polykleitos. But the primacy belongs to Magna Graecia and especially to Sicily and, in Sicily, to Syracuse. Famous are the Syracusan decadrammi signed by Eveneto and Cimon, coined after the defeat suffered by the Athenians: marvelous forms, both in the face of Persephone or Arethusa in the right, and in the fiery quadriga on the reverse. In this Syracusan production the strong Fidiac influence is undeniable, as is clear the direct reflection of the great sculptural art in all this splendid production between 450 and the first times of the century. IV. This is the period in which masterpieces of coins signed by artists swarm in Sicily: Eveneto, Cimone, Evarchida, Euclida, Frigillo in Syracuse, Eveneto again, Coirone and Procle in Catania. Eveneto again and Exacestida in Camarina, Procle again in Naxos, Frigillo again in Turî. They are not innovators, but they are perfecters of certain types, to which each one makes its own contribution. Thus in the Syracusan decay, Eveneto resumes, but with sublime art, the themes treated in the archaic Damarete ī a.

During the sec. IV is reflected in the coins the art of the great sculptors, especially those of Scopa, Praxiteles and Lysippos. The faces of Elio on the golden states of Rhodes, and of Apollo on the tetradramas of Clazomenes, which have a voluptuous swan on the reverse, are moved, almost foretelling the passionate passion. And scopadeo looks like the face of Zeus graduated on the tetradrams of Philip II of Macedon, while on the golden states of the same king the beautiful face of Apollo recalls the Praxitelean conceptions. The benevolent serenity of Phidias Olympian Zeus acquires an accent of sweetness in the very fine head of the deity in the Olympia tetradramas of the mid-4th century. A reflection of the naturalistic, indeed veristic, art of the sculptors Demetrius of Alopece and Silanione seems to emanate from the faces of coins minted on the outskirts of the Hellenic world, that is, for example, from the head of bearded Dionysus of the silver staters of Sibrita (Crete) and from the Silenic head almost in front of the golden states of Panticapeus (Bosphorus Cimmerian). Finally, the Lysippean psychic agitation seems to show through the face of the beardless Heracles of the coins of Alexander the Great.

After is the beginning of the coinage of the Diadochi with the representation in the right of a portrait of a prince and with symbols and divine figures on the reverse. Among these representations of the reverses, the most common are those of Níkē (eg Pirro), of Athena Nik ē fóros sitting (eg Lysimachus king of Thrace), of Athena Prómachos of archaic style (eg. Ptolemy I Soter), of Posidon who throws the trident (eg. Demetrius Poliorcete), of Zeus on a throne (eg. Seleucus I Nicator), of Apollo seated on the omfalo (eg. Antiochus I Sotere), of Apollo leaning on a tripod (eg Seleucus II Callinicus). This last figure is especially beautiful, undoubtedly reproducing a sculptural original; so also the figure of Apollo himself sitting on the prow of a ship on the tetradramas of Antigono Gonata. The reproduction of statuary works is evident in some of these Hellenistic coins: as in the figure of Nikē playing a trumpet on the prow of a ship remembering the victory of Samothrace, in the coins of Demetrius Poliorcete, as in the Posidone leaning on the trident in the coins of Demetrius himself and evoking the Posidone Istmium of Lysippos.

Greece Minor Arts 4