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n.1.(Fine Arts) A spear bearer; a statue of a man holding a spear or in the attitude of a spear bearer. Several important sculptures of this subject existed in antiquity, copies of which remain to us.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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Led in part by the Achilles Painter and Phiale Painter, who were trained in the Berlin Painter's own workshop, contemplative figures come to dominate classical art--think of Polyclitus's Doryphoros or Diadoumenos.
From Kritios and Nesiotes' threateningly advancing musclemen Harmodius and Aristogeiton, known as the Tyrannicides or tyrant killers (477-476 B.C.), and Polykleitos's athletically balanced Doryphoros in contrapposto (450-400 B.C.) to Myron's unnatural but compellingly dynamic discuss throwing Diskobolus (460-450 B.C.) and Lysippos' monumental leaning Hercules, known to us as the Farnese Hercules (4th century B.C.), Classical Greek sculpture embraced movement to the extent that it sought to blur the lines between bronze and flesh.
I refer to the very prominent iliac crest and to the shape, protuberance and exaggerated ridge of the lower abdomen, well illustrated by Polykleitos' Doryphoros, or "Spearbearer" (Fig.
As in the case of the Doryphoros, one's attention is drawn to the very distinctive overhang of the iliac crest and the continuation of this ridge in a smooth and sinuous contour marking off the groin area from the upper thighs.
To argue for this Haselberger relates the use of entasis in a column to the human figure, specifically to the use of contrapposto as seen in the Doryphoros of Polykleitos.
In the court of the Pompeii palaestra, a marble replica of the Doryphoros by Polykleitos stood on a base over one meter high, sufficient enough to prove the sculpture's new stature of oeuvre d'art(20); at Herculaneum, in the small square peristyle of the so-called Villa of the Pisones, a bronze herm of the work stood beside a bust of one of the Amazons, also by one of the great masters of the fifth century; and a marble herm of the same Doryphoros also came from Herculaneum.
Pollitt is honest enough to admit that Roman copies of Polykleitos' Doryphoros have been shown to owe more to Augustan ideology of ideal youth than whatever may have been laid down in the (lost) fifth-century `Canon' of Polykleitos.
Some of the most famous classical bronzes such as the Doryphoros ('Spear Bearer') by Polykleitos and the Diskobolos ('Discus Thrower') by Myron were identified in Roman copies.
The history of the fortune of Graeco-Roman sculptures has been masterfully related by Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny in Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500-1900,(1) even if it would no doubt be worthwhile to give further consideration to the critical fortune of materials used for reproduction, and particularly to the particular prestige attached to bronze--from the Mantuan works of Antico(2) to the reconstitutions of Greek Urbilder in bronze, instead of the plaster used earlier, which were executed at the beginning of the twentieth century, such as the two Doryphoros that Georg Romer realized from various ancient marble copies of Polyclitus's athlete.(3) But, in fact, it was not only in modern Europe that copies were made in bronze.
Moon (ed.), Polykleitos, the Doryphoros, and Tradition, Madison, WI 1995, pp.
This is good news for aficionados of Roman art, -- but dismaying to those Greek enthusiasts who would, for instance, set callipers on a Roman `copy' of the Doryphoros in a vain attempt to reconstruct the Polykleitan Canon.