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Art of Ancient Greece. High and Late Classic period

The room features casts of artistic monuments created in the Ancient Greece during the Classic period.

The most famous of all statues exhibited here are Diadumenos and Doryphoros dated back to about 440 and 420 years BC and attributed to Polyclitus (situated on both sides from the entrance to the big hall). The development of new sculptural forms, a canon, on which an ideal human figure should be based, was the main motif of Polyclitus' art. These ideas were expressed by him in Doryphoros and mastered in Diadumenos. Unlike Myron, he did not attempt to capture the moment, but created a harmonious image separated from action. The posture of Doryphoros' figure is a balanced contrapposto, "motion in stillness", that would soon become a standard for the whole ancient plastic art. The same feature can be seen in the statue of Heracles attributed to Praxiteles (on the right from the entrance, near the window). The young disciple of the great master slightly altered the proportions of Polyclitus' figure, making it lighter and longer. This was the first sign of the upcoming changes in the spatial vision of Hellenic masters.

However, a single-standing figure has never dominated the classic sculpture. Many masters searched for artistic means to express climactic emotional states of their characters – passions, urges, or despair. A part of the sculpture group located to the right from the entrance shows the suffering of the children of Niobe wounded by the arrows of Apollo and Artemis. In the middle of the room there is a reduced-size copy of a maenad statue by Scopas created in the middle of the 4th century BC. The woman is depicted in the middle of an ecstatic dance.

The exhibition also features the portraits of historical persons from the Classic period, poets and philosophers Aeschyus, Sophocles, and Menander. The extant sculptures are represented by Roman copies or made after the Greek "historical portraits" that, in line with the tradition, depicted reality rather idealistically.

The art of the Classic period showed the life and afterlife of a person not in a realistic, but in a metaphoric way. This is proven by numerous toms steles exhibited in the next room.