Aristocles (Greek: polytonic|Αριστοκλης) is a name attributed to two sculptors in
Ancient Greece, as well as a nominal hereditary school of sculpture, started by the elder Aristocles, known to us primarily through different passages in Pausanias. [Citation
last = Smith
first = Philip
contribution = Aristocles
editor-last = Smith
editor-first = William
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
volume = 1
pages = 302
place = Boston
year = 1867
contribution-url = http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/0311.html ]
*Aristocles of Cydonia was one of the most ancient sculptors; and though his age cannot be clearly fixed, it is certain that he flourished before Zancle was called
Messene. [ Pausanias, v. 25. § 6] that is, before 494 BC. He was called both a Cydonian and a Sicyonian, probably because he was born at Cydonia and practiced and taught his art in Sicyon.
Sicyonwas the grandson of the above, as well as the pupil and son of Cleoetas, [ Pausanias, v. 24. § 1] and brother of Canachus. He was not much inferior to his father in reputation. This Aristocles had a pupil, Synnoön, who was the father and teacher of Ptolichusof Aegina. [ Pausanias, vi. 9. § 1] We are also told, in an epigram by Antipater Sidonius that this Aristocles made one of three statues of the Muses, [ Greek Anthology, ii. p. 15, no. 35, Jacobs] the other two of which were made by Ageladasand Canachus.
From these passages we infer that these artists founded a school of sculpture at
Sicyon, which secured a hereditary reputation, and of which we have the heads for seven generations, namely, Aristocles the elder, Cleoetas, Aristocles the younger and Canachus, Synnoön, Ptolichus, Sostratus, and Pantias.
There is some difficulty in determining the age of these artists; but, supposing the date of
Canachusto be fixed at about 540— 508 BC, we have the date of his brother, the younger Aristocles, and allowing 30 years to a generation, the elder Aristocles must have lived about 600— 568 BC. Some scholars place him immediately before the period when Zancle was first called Messene, [Bockh, "Corp. Inscrip." i. p. 39] but there is nothing in the words of Pausaniasto require such a restriction. By extending the calculation to the other artists mentioned above, we get the following table of dates:
# Aristocles flourished 600 to
# Cleoetas „ 570—538
# Aristocles & Canachus 540-508
# Synnoön „ 510—478 ,
# Ptolichus „ 480—448 „
# Sostratus „ 450—418 „
# Pantias „ 420—388 „
These dates are found to agree very well with all that we know of the artists.
Karl Julius Silliggives a table which does not materially differ from the above. [ Karl Julius Sillig, "Catal. Art. s.v."] He calculates the dates at 564, 536, 508, 480, 452, 424, and 396 BCrespectively. In this computation it has been assumed that the elder Canachuswas the brother of the younger Aristocles, and that Pantiaswas the seventh in order from the elder Aristocles. Any other supposition would throw the whole matter into confusion. Pausaniasmentions, as a work of the elder Aristocles, a group in bronze representing Heraclesstruggling for a girdle with an Amazon on horseback, which was dedicated at Olympia by Evagoras of Zancle; [ Pausanias, v. 25. § 6] and, as a work of the younger, a group in bronze of Zeusand Ganymede, dedicated at Olympia by Gnothis, a Thessalian. [ Pausanias, v. 24. § 1] The Museby the latter, mentioned above, was in bronze, held a lyre(polytonic|χέλυς), and was intended to represent the Muse of the diatonicgenus of music.
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