Map of Sciyon


Lysippus was a Greek Sculptor born in ~395 BCE in Sicyon (present-day regional unit of Corinthia). Lysippus was active from ~375 – 355 BCE, Originally a worker in metal, he taught himself the art of sculpture by studying nature and the Doryporus (“Spearbearer”) of Polyclitus (as shown below), whose cannon of ideal male proportions he modified by creating a smaller head and a slimmer body that increased his figure’s apparent height (as shown in Aproxyomenos), in his works below you can see the great attention to detail emphasized on the human body. Lysippus is said to not be the student of anyone, it is also said that he is one of the greatest sculptors of the late Classical period as well as the head of the Sicyon School. Lysppus’s worked flourished from 370 BCE – 300 BCE primarily around the time when he became the official sculptor of Alexander the Great.

Doryporus (“Spearbearer”) of Polyclitus 


Lysippus and Alexander The Great

Lysippus was the official sculptor for Alexander The Great until Alexander’s death in 323 BCE (336 – 323 BCE). Alexander is depicted beardless in all his statues, his was his choice, he wanted to depict a more youthful (youthfulness of Apollo, as shown in the frist picture below) unlike the past political leaders which shows wisdom and venerable nature as you can see on the image at the bottom of Philip of Macedon. Lysippus sculpted Alexander the great from boyhood to adulthood. It is said that Alexander the Great would have no other sculptor portray him.

Alexander by Lysppius

Ivory portrait head identified as Philip, c. 350-325 bc, from a tomb


It was said by Pliny the Elder (1st Century AD), that Lysippus has more than 1,500 works, all said to all be in bronze. His works include the following:


      • Sixty-foot high Zeus at Taranto
      • Zeus at Sikyon
      • Zeus Nemeios at Argos, taken from Nemea?
      • Zeus and the Muses, Megara
      • Poseidon at Corinth
      • Dionysos on Mt. Helikon
      • Helios in his chariot at Rhodes, later taken to Rome
      • Eros in Thespiae
      • Kairos at Sikyon, later in the Lauseion at Constantinople


      • Seated Herakles at Taranto, later taken to Rome, then to Constantinople
      • Herakles at Sikyon
      • Herakles conquered by Eros
      • Herakles Epitrapezios, later in Rome (T 130)
      • Herakles’ Labors, at Alyzia (N.W. Greece), later in Rome


      • Aesop and the Seven Sages
      • Alexander portraits ‘from boyhood’
      • Alexander(s) with the lance
      • Alexander on horseback, later in Rome (converted to Caesar)
      • Alexander and the companions fallen by the Granikos, at Dion in Macedonia, later in Rome
      • Alexander and Krateros hunting lions, dedicated by Krateros at Delphi (with Leochares)
      • Hephaisteion
      • Pelopidas, dedicated by the Thessalians at Delphi
      • Praxilla, later in Rome
      • Pythes of Abdera, at Olympia
      • Seleukos, later in Rome
      • Sokrates, in the Pompeion at Athens


      • The boxer Agias, at Pharsalos
      • The boxer Cheilon of Patras, at Olympia
      • The boy-boxer Kallikrates of Magnesia, at Olympia
      • The boy pankratiast Korveidas of Thebes, at Thebes
      • The pankratiast Poulydamas of Skotoussa, at Olympia
      • The charioteer Troilos of Elis, at Olympia
      • The pankratiast Philandridas of Stratos, at Olympia
      • An Apoxyomenos, later in Rome 


      • A dedication (nude male) at Corinth
      • Another dedication at Corinth
      • A dedication at Lindos
      • A statue dedicated by Theramenes at Megara
      • A statue at Thermon, later converted to one of Paidias of Herakleia
      • A drunken flute girl
      • A satyr at Athens
      • A fallen lion at Lampsakos, later in Rome
      • A high-stepping horse
      • Chariot groups

Dubious and misattributed works

    • Timoxenos son of Timoxenos, in the Asklepieion at Kos. By Lysippos II?
    • An ox, later at Rome. Also given to Pheidias
    • The Samian Hera, later in the Lauseion at Constantinople with (9). Supposedly in collaboration with Boupalos of Chios but more likely the attribution refers to an Eros from Myndos there
    • Myrrilini (Myrrhina?), later in Rome. Dubious
    • A copy of the Farnese Herakles in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence. Forged signature
    • A statue with a dolphin (Aphrodite or Poseidon?) discovered at Siena between 1334 and 1348, and reburied in 1357. Fanciful attribution by Ghiberti after a Lorenzetti drawing

Works by Lysippus

The Farnese Heracules
Marble Copy 211-217 AD by the Roman Glycon of Athens of a lost bronze statue of a work of Lysippus
10 feet 5 inches high, found in the ruins of the baths of Caracalla in rome in

A Roman copy of Eros Stringing the Bow

The Boxer of Thermon

Although most of the modern works used to study the greek Sculpture from the Hellenistic period is derived from Roman replicas. A bronze sculpture known as The Boxer of Thermon (said to be the only surviving work of Lysippus) was discovered in 1885 on the Quirinal hill while building the teatro Drammatico Nazionale. It was the original site of the Constantine Baths. Dates back to ~340 BCE. This Scuptor is essentially complete, except for the missing eyeballs. The nose and the cheeks bear evidence of being badly “punished” and the mustache is clotted with blood.  The Lips, wounds and scars on his face were originally in laid with cooper and further copper inlays are used for drops of blood on his bruised body. The fingers were worn from being rubbed by passers-by in ancient times. This sculpture depicts the agony that is portrayed on the Boxer’s face as well as the emphasis that was used to depict the muscles and details of the human body (More pictures can be seen here:

The Boxer of Thermon

The Boxer of Thermon
Gloves and hands

Works Cited:

•Britannica. 25 Sep 2008. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 20 Oct 2013.
•Ancient Greek Cities. 6 Apr 2013. Ellen Papakyriakou/Anagnostou. 20 Oct 2013
•Hellenistic Art. 20 Oct 2013
•Theoi Project. 2000- 2001. Aaron Atsma. 20 Oct 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s