A tribute to the renowned sculptor and his much-emulated style over the centuries

The Praxiteles exhibition which opens on July 26 has been condensed compared to what was on display at the Louvre, where many more works were crowded together, including a number of more recent works. «This exhibition contains fewer works,» said museum director Nikos Kaltsas. «But the best-known statue types attributed to Praxiteles are represented, although with a small number of Roman copies.» Kaltsas wanted the public to see works from other Greek museums that are related not only to the work of the famed sculptor, but to work by members of his family, his father and two sons, who were also sculptors in the 4th and early 3rd centuries BC. The 79 exhibits are from the Louvre, the British Museum, the Vatican Museums, the Capitolio in Rome, the State Museum of Dresden, the Musee de l’Arles et de la Provence antiques, the Bibliotheque National de France, the Museo Archeologico Regionale Antonio Salinas, as well as from the museums of the Ancient Agora, Elefsina, Vravrona, Thebes, Kos, Rhodes, Corfu, Corinth, Iraklion and Patras, and the Numismatic and Benaki museums in Athens. Among the objects on display are statue bases bearing the signatures of Praxiteles, his father Cephisodotus the elder, and his sons, Cephisodotus the younger and Timarchus, as well as a cast of the Hermes from Olympia. Spread out over four rooms, the exhibition starts with four statue bases bearing the signature of Praxiteles, coins depicting statues identified as works by the sculptor, and the Ephebe of Marathon. The second group comprises the few 4th century BC sculptures associated with the renowned sculptor or with his studio, such as the plaques from Mantineia. Then come the Roman-era statues in styles attributed to Praxiteles, and some works of disputed authorship. The last group includes works linked to Praxiteles’ family, «so visitors can learn about the art of sculpture in the 4th century BC and see a sample of Praxiteles’ technique,» explained Kaltsas. «They can also understand the difficulties of researching his work and style.»

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