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Diskobolos of Myron

Page history last edited by Kate! 13 years, 5 months ago

A Sara Weiss and Kate Gester Analysis


 As Lucian said the Diskobolos of Myron is “Bent over in the position of the throw, with his head turned back towards the hand that holds the discus, with one leg slightly bent looking as if he would spring up all at once with the cast.” (Cartledge 226 )The Diskobolos of Myron represents the ideal man and athlete. His body is toned; the way his strength is represented is idealistic, however, the physical aspect of strength shown is realistic. His body positioning resembles a coiled spring at the point just before it is ready to spring into action. This statue shows the tensest position of the athlete's action however he remains expressionless, turned away from the crowd, and is focused on the task at hand. (Tansey and Kleiner 145)


This piece is from the last years of the Early Classical Period or the beginning of the Classical Period. Created around 450-400 B.C.E., this piece shows a progression of the style of art from the Archaic Period, and also shows the art style beginning to drift away from the original Archaic style. The Archaic Period was a time of basic human statues with idealistic bodies. This period symbolizes the development of a style of art that would progress through the time periods of Ancient Greece. The Diskobolos of Myron shows one of those stages in the fast moving progression from the original art style of the Archaic Period. The attributes of this statue have some similarities to earlier art pieces, but really has more differences and begins to create a different and more realistic but idealistic look. (Adams 155)


Diskobolos by Myron, marble copy of bronze original of c. 450 BC, h. 1.55 m (Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano); Photo credit: Scala/Art Resource, NY             

              SIMILARITIES                                                                                                DIFFERENCES

              Nudity                                                                                                           Movement is displayed  

              Athletic Body                                                                                                  Realistic and Idealistic

              Similar Facial Features                                                                                      Ideal and more detailed

              Rounded nose                                                                                                Facial Feature Development

              Eyes Close Together and Big                                                                             Circular

              Symmetrical Face                                                                                           Egyptian Influence has Disappeared

              Content Expressions                                                                                        Body Symmetry Disappears

              Use of stones such as Marble                                                                   

 In the Archaic Period the sculptures stood full front, displaying no movement, and a permanent state. As time progressed the sculptors wanted to break from the bondage of permanence. The Diskobolos of Myron is one of the first statues displaying the break from the conventions. Notice how from the top of the arm with the discus to his hand on his knee forms an arc shape, and another arc is shown from the top of his head to his knee. Prior to this sculpture all the shapes had been rectangular. The facial features on the Diskobolos show a progression away the simplified facial features of the Archaic Period. This sculpture's facial features are more developed and more realistic. (Tansey and Kleiner 125,145)



The Diskbolos of Myron shows the progression of the Ancient Greek art away from permanence and simplification to movement and realism. It is a catalyst leading to what we think of what Greek art is today.


Works Cited

1. Adams, Laurie Schneider. Art Across Time: Prehistory to the Fourteenth Century. Boston: McGraw-Hill College, 1999.


2. Cartledge, Paul. The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.


3. Tansey, Richard G., and Fred S. Kleiner. Gardner’s Art Throughout the Ages. Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1996.







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