Skopas the Parian

Information for the architect and sculptor of ancient times Scopas the Parian

An important architect who hails from Paros

One of the greatest architects and sculptors of the ancient times (4th century BC), Skopas the Parian, was born in Paros. His father was the sculptor Aristandros. Skopas left Paros when he was young and travelled around many places of Greece and Asia Minor, where he left many works of art.

Skopas is considered to be one of the most important artists of his kind in ancient Greece, along with Phidias, Praxiteles and Lyssipos.

Skopas the Parian

One of his most important works, in 395 BC, was the temple of Athena Alea at Tegea in Arcadia, one of the most beautiful temples of Peloponnese.

He also decorated and constructed in cooperation with other artists the mausoleum of Halicarnassus. He also created the statue of Dionysus for the city of Knidos. Skopas also worked in Samothrace and he is considered to be the creator of the statue of Nike (Victory), which is now housed in the Louvre Museum and is made of Parian marble.

According to Pausanias, Skopas created the most beautiful statue complex of the Nereids, which represented Poseidon, Thetis and the Nereids carrying Achilles' dead body to bury it.

However, Skopas the Parian was famous mainly for the architectural sculptures of the temples in Epidaurus and in Tegea. He is also believed to be the creator of statues of Eros (Cupid), Pothos and Himeros that he created for Megara.

The copies of his works, such as the Maenad, which is housed at the museum of Munich and the statue of Meleager, the mythical hero of the Aetolians, are characterized by expressions of violent passion. This expression is also stamped on the heads of Meleager and Achilles. The lips are set, the eyes are hollow, the eyebrows are thick and the bones of the forehead are quite prominent.

In general, his works are characterized by strong expressiveness, such as the representations of Hermes that he co-created with Lyssipos.

Among his most famous works is "Meleager", the copper statue of "Aphrodite", the head of goddess Hygieia, daughter of Asclepius (4th century BC, statue housed at the Archaeological Museum).

In Paros, Skopas designed the temple of Hestia, which was constructed at the ancient market of the city, which lies probably under the streets of the market of Parikia, the capital of Paros.

In June 2011 an International Conference was held in Paros about the personality and work of Skopas the Parian, in collaboration with the Municipality of the island and the Cultural Association "Archilochus".

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