11.10.16

Πολεμιστές του Ριάτσε / Riace bronzes

The Riace bronzes: found on the morning of August 16 1972 off the coast of Calabria.

Greek (for English move down)
Οι πολεμιστές του Ριάτσε είναι δύο μοναδικά έργα αρχαίας ελληνικής τέχνης μπρούντζινα αγάλματα του αυστηρού ρυθμού τα οποία χρονολογούνται στα μέσα του 5ου αιώνα π.Χ. Bρέθηκαν στο βυθό της θάλασσας ανοικτά του Ριάτσε και φιλοξενούνται στο Εθνικό Μουσείο της Μεγάλης Ελλάδας στο Ρέτζιο Ντι Καλάμπρια με αριθμό καταλόγου 12801 και 12802, που έγιναν σήμα κατατεθέν της πόλης αυτής.

Το καλοκαίρι του 1972, μια μέρα μετά τον δεκαπενταύγουστο, ο ερασιτέχης ψαράς Στεφάνο Μαριοτίνι έκανε κατάδυση 300 μέτρα στα ανοικτά της ακτής, όταν σε βάθος οκτώ μέτρων ανακάλυψε κάτι που έμοιαζε με ανθρώπινο σκέλος. Αμέσως ειδοποίησε δύο συναδέλφους του, και μαζί εντόπισαν τα δύο μπρούντζινα αγάλματα στον πυθμένα της θάλασσας. Ειδοποίησαν τις αρχές, ήρθαν οι καραμπινιέροι και με φουσκωτές συσκευές στις 20 Αυγούστου ανέσυραν τα αρχαιολογικά ευρήματα. Το επόμενο έτος μια ομάδα ερευνητών έψαξε το μέρος αναζητώντας κάποιο ναυάγιο, αλλά βρήκαν μόνο μερικούς μολύβδινους κρίκους και μια μπρούτζινη λαβή μιας ασπίδας.

Αμέσως μετά την ανέγερση, τα δύο αγάλματα ήταν σε άριστη κατάσταση. Παρότι μπρούντζινα δεν είχαν διαβρωθεί, αλλά λόγω των αιώνων ήταν καλυμμένα από στρώμα φυκιών, μυδιών και στρυδιών,όμως ήταν άριστα διατηρημένα τα σημαντικότατα ευρήματα. Μεταφέρθηκαν αμέσως στη Φλωρεντία, όπου τα υποδέχτηκαν οι πιο φημησμένοι αρχαιολόγοι. Τα έπλυναν, τα γυάλισαν, και μετά από πέντε χρόνια επιμελημένης συντήρησης και ακτινολογικής εξέτασης όλων των επιφανειών μπήκαν για πρώτη φορά στην έκθεση του Αρχαιολογικού Μουσείου της Φλωρεντίας, και στη συνέχεια στο Ανάκτορο του Κυρηνάλιου, την επίσημη κατοικία του Προέδρου της Ιταλικής Δημοκρατίας στη Ρώμη. Στη συνέχεια μεταφέρθηκαν στην τελική τους θέση στο Εθνικό Μουσείο της Μεγάλης Ελλάδας στο Ρέτζιο Ντι Καλάμπρια.

Τα αγάλματα είναι χυτά με την τεχνική του χαμένου κεριού. Προέρχονται από Αθηναϊκό εργαστήριο του 5ου αιώνα π.Χ., ενώ η προέλευση του μετάλου είναι από το Άργος. Εκτός από χαλκό χρησιμοποιήθηκαν και άλλα υλικά: άργυρος για τα δόντια, ελεφαντόδοντο για τις κόρες των οφθαλμών. Παρά τις ομοιότητες, η μελέτη αποκάλυψε σημαντικές διαφορές μεταξύ των δύο αγαλμάτων, που αποδίδονται σε δύο διαφορετικούς καλλιτέχνες. Οι λεπτομέρειες του σώματος αποδίδονται με κάθε λεπτομέρεια στους μυς, τις φλέβες, και όλα τα χαρακτηριστικά της ανθρώπινης ανατομίας.
Δικαιολογημένα θεωρήθηκαν εφάμιλλα του Ηνιόχου των Δελφών και του Ποσειδώνα ή του Δία του Αρτεμισίου.

Τα δύο αγάλματα που ονομάζονται «ηλικιωμένος» και «έφηβος» ή «Α» και «Β» έχουν και ύψος 2,05 και 1,98 μέτρα αντίστοιχα, πολύ υψηλά για την εποχή τους. Ζυγίζουν 400 kg το ένα. Η κοντραπόστο στάση του σώματος υποδεικνύει ότι κρατούσαν ασπίδα στο αριστερό και σπαθί, δόρυ ή σφενδόνα στο δεξί. Ο ηλικιωμένος φοράει ταινία στα μαλλιά, ενώ ο έφηβος φοράει κράνος στο κεφάλι.

Τα δύο αγάλματα σποδίδονται σε δύο διαφορετικούς καλλιτέχνες. Ο έφηβος χρονολογείται στο 460 π.Χ. και ο ηλικιωμένος στο 430 π.Χ. Ο πρώτος είναι αυστηρού ρυθμού και ο δεύτερος κλασσικού ρυθμού. Αποδίδονται στην σχολή του Πολύκλειτου, ενώ μπορεί και να είναι έργο του Φειδία ή του εργαστηρίου του.

English
The Riace bronzes (Italian Bronzi di Riace [ˈbrondzi di riˈaːtʃe]), also called the Riace Warriors, are two full-size Greek bronzes of naked bearded warriors, cast about 460–450 BC that were found in the sea near Riace in 1972. The bronzes are currently located at the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia in the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The bronzes are on display inside a microclimate room on top of an anti-seismic Carrara marbled platform. Along with the bronzes, the room also contains two head sculptures: “la Testa del Filosofo” and “la Testa di Basilea”, which are also from the 5th century BC.

Although the bronzes were rediscovered in 1972, they did not emerge from conservation until 1981. Their public display in Florence and Rome was the cultural event of that year in Italy, providing the cover story for numerous magazines. Now considered one of the symbols of Calabria, the bronzes were commemorated by a pair of Italian postage stamps and have also been widely reproduced.

The two bronze sculptures are simply known as “Statue A”, referring to the one portraying a younger warrior, and “Statue B”, indicating the more mature-looking of the two. Statue A is 203 centimeters tall while Statue B stands 196.5 centimeters tall.

The most popular theory is that two separate Greek artists created the bronzes about 30 years apart around the 5th century BC. “Statue A” was probably created between the years 460 and 450 BC, and “Statue B” between 430 and 420 BC. Some believe that “Statue A” was the work of Myron, and that a pupil of Phidias, called Alkamenes, created “Statue B”. Statue A portrays a young warrior hero or god with a proud look, conscious of his own beauty and power. Statue B, on the other hand, portrays an older more mature warrior hero with a relaxed pose and a kind and gentle gaze.

The Riace bronzes are major additions to the surviving examples of ancient Greek sculpture. They belong to a transitional period from archaic Greek sculpture to the early Classical style, disguising their idealized geometry and impossible anatomy under a distracting and alluring "realistic" surface. They are fine examples of contrapposto - their weight is on the back legs, making them much more realistic than with many other Archaic stances. Their musculature is clear, yet not incised, and looks soft enough to be visible and realistic. The bronzes' turned heads not only confer movement, but also add life to the figures. The asymmetrical layout of their arms and legs adds realism to them. Archeologists believed that Statue A’s eyes were made of ivory, but researchers have found no organic material present in the eyes during a recent restoration analysis. Instead, the statues' eyeballs are formed of calcite, while their teeth are made with silver. Their lips and nipples are made of copper. At one time, they held spears and shields, but those have not been found. Additionally, Warrior B once wore a helmet pushed up over his head, and it is thought that Warrior A may have worn a wreath over his.

It is not impossible that the statues were on their way to a local destination. Further explorations undertaken in 2004 by a joint Italian-American team of archaeologists identified the foundations of an Ionic temple on this slowly subsiding coast. Undersea explorations by robotic vehicles along the submerged coastline from Locri to Soverato are providing a more detailed picture of this coast in Antiquity, although no further bronzes comparable to those of Riace have been found.

Attributions of such spectacular works of art to famous sculptors have followed traditional lines: "all the 'big' names of Classical times have been proposed in this connection", Brunilde Sismondo Ridgeway writes, noting that she finds it encouraging that at least a few scholars are willing to consider a non-Attic, even a 'colonial' workshop of origin, as contrasted with "the dominant Athenocentrism of previous years."

While it is certain that the bronzes are original works of the highest quality, it has also been argued that their torsos have been produced from a single model, which was then altered with direct modifications to the wax before casting, so that they may be seen as types.

In December 2009, the Riace Bronzes were transported to the Palazzo Campanella before restoration work began on the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia. Early 2010, expert art restorers Cosimo Schepis (also known as Nuccio Schepis) and Paola Donati began restoration work on the Riace bronzes. Restoration work on the two bronze sculptures was completed in 2011

There is no clear testimony in ancient literature to identify the athletes or heroes depicted by the bronzes. It seems that the two nudes originally formed part of a votive group in a large sanctuary. It is conjectured that the bronze sculptures may represent Tydeus and Amphiaraus respectively, two warriors from the Seven Against Thebes monumental group in the polis of Argos, as Pausanias noted. However, they may also be Athenian warriors from Delphi, part of the monument to the Battle of Marathon, or they may come from Olympia. Argos, Delphi and Olympia were three prominent Greek sites for dedicated sculpture of the highest quality, and all three were vulnerable to official plundering following the Roman occupation. Perhaps the bronzes were being transported to Rome as booty when a storm overtook their ship, although no evidence of a wreck has been found. Salvatore Settis and Vinzenz Brinkmann identify the warriors as Erechtheus, son of Athena, and Eumolpos, son of Poseidon.

Source/Photo/Bibliography
Kleiner, p. 107.
Mariottini went on to become a researcher for the Sovraintendenza Archeologica della Calabria, through a cultural association, KODROS.
Mariottini interview in How Art Made the World (BBC television, 2005).
Muzzupappa, M.; Gallo, A.; Mattanò, R. M.; Ruggiero, C.; Bruno, F.;
Spivey 2005
Corriere Della Calabria. Sviluppo Editoria Calabria S.r.l.
Pedley
"The study of Greek Sculpture in the Twenty-First Century", read 15 November 2003 before the American Philosophical Society, published in their Proceedings 2005.
Fame di Sud
Pausanias, Description of Greece 2.20.5: "A little farther on is a sanctuary of the Seasons. On coming back from here you see statues of Polyneices, the son of Oedipus, and of all the chieftains who with him were killed in battle at the wall of Thebes. These men Aeschylus has reduced to the number of seven only, although there were more chiefs than this in the expedition, from Argos, from Messene, with some even from Arcadia. But the Argives have adopted the number seven from the drama of Aeschylus, and near to their statues are the statues of those who took Thebes: Aegialeus, son of Adrastus; Promachus, son of Parthenopaeus, son of Talaus; Polydorus, son of Hippomedon; Thersander; Alcmaeon and Amphilochus, the sons of Amphiaraus; Diomedes, and Sthenelus. Among their company were also Euryalus, son of Mecisteus, and Adrastus and Timeas, sons of Polyneices."
Michael Siebler: Verrate uns deinen Namen, Krieger. Die beiden Bronzen von Riace gelten als Meisterwerke der Antike – und als ein großes Rätsel: Wen haben sie dargestellt? In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2. Mai 2015, S. 11.
Giuseppe Forti, Claudio Sabbione: Die Bronzestatuen von Riace in Reggio. Pawlak, Herrsching 1989, ISBN 3-88199-550-1
Paolo Moreno: Les Bronzes de Riace (Le maitre d'Olympie et les Sept à Thebes). Gallimard, Paris 1999, ISBN 978-2-070-11631-7.

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