By Lysippus of Sicyon
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (USA/California)
The subjects of Lysippos' statues were gods, heroes, and athletes like the "Athlete crowning himself" (also known as "Getty bronze", bronze with copper inlays) attributed to his production. The description of this statue, as found on the J. Paul Getty Museum website, offers more details about it:
"A naked youth stands with his weight shifted on his right leg, crowning himself with a wreath, probably olive. The olive wreath was the prize for a victor in the Olympic Games and identifies this youth as a victorious athlete. The eyes of the figure were originally inlaid with colored stone or glass paste and the nipples were inlaid with copper, creating naturalistic color contrasts. Found in the sea off the coast of Italy, this statue is one of the few life-size Greek bronzes to have survived; as such, it provides much information on the technology of ancient bronze casting. The original location of the statue is unknown, but either Olympia or the youth's hometown is possible. Romans probably carried the statue off from its original location during the first century BC or AD, the height of Roman collecting of Greek art. The Roman ship carrying it to Italy then foundered off the coast, preserving the statue for centuries in the sea."
Lysippus, was born in Sikyon (Greece) around 390 B.C., and is one of the most documented of all Greek sculptors. In his youth he worked as a common bronze-smith, teaching himself the art of sculpture and developing his own style, on which Hellenistic sculpture is widely based on. Acclaimed as the leader of the Argos and Sicyon school, Lysippos is said to have made more than fifteen hundreds bronzes, according to Pliny the Elder, but of these many art works no certain original exists, for none has survived. The marble statues considered copies of his bronzes are said not to do justice to his fine achievements, for they probably mutate the Roman neo-classic taste. In reproducing the human figure, Lysippos revised the proportions set by the Polykleitos' canon, also adding a new sense of movement. The sizes of Lysippos' works ranged from small bronzes to a statue of Zeus in Taranto, which is eighteen meters high. In particular he made several portrait busts of Alexander the Great, having been appointed as his personal sculptor.