One of the distinctive developments of Greek Art in the era after the Fall of Athens is seen in the work of the sculptors Cephisodotus and Praxiteles--father and son.

Rather than strive for the poised moment of dynamic action (rhythmos) or the expression of intense suffering (pathos), these artists focus on the stable bond of sentimental affection, especially in the famous 'family groupings', 'Peace and Wealth' (Eirene and Ploutos) and Hermes with the infant Dionysus.


The former,work of the father Cephisodotus (ca. 375 BC) represents the mother Peace doting on the chubby infant Wealth. It is an allegory of prosperity suitable to post-revolutionary times when commercial enterprise and social stability were paramount concerns. (shown here in a Roman copy)


Click here for Closeup and Closer still image of Eirene's Face


The work of the son Praxiteles is even more famous. A good surviving example is this pairing of Hermes (the ideal of male beauty) with his younger brother Dionysus as an infant in arms.

We are to imagine the older brother, the archetypal Trickster, playfully dangling a clump of grapes to entice the infant Bacchus (already showing his predilection). A faint smile of fraternal amusement perhaps flickered on the face of the original.

Click here for Close-up.   And here for another view... and close up.


[artistic development continues]