Riace Bronzes

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  • Topic: Riace bronzes, Riace, Bronze
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  • Published : November 26, 2007
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Riace Bronzes

The Riace Warriors were discovered by Stefano Mariottini on August 16, 1972, on the bottom of the Ionic Sea near Riace Marina in Calabria in Italy. The statues have been dated to roughly 450BC. The statues' eyes are inlaid with bone and glass, the lips and nipples are made from copper while the teeth are silver. Both statues at one point held spears and shields; however, those have not been recovered. Both statues stand firmly on the right foot, with the left foot forward and left knee relaxed. The right hip is thrust out with the right hand lowered at the side. The left forearm is raised to hold a shield and the head is angled to the right (Mattusch 1996).

The dating of both statues has been made difficult due to their unique location. Hundreds of years under the salt water have aided in the deteriorating of the statues. Scientists have rather had to rely on the style in which both statues were created to properly determine the time in which they were created. Both of the statues exhibit typical features of a 5th century statue. Beginning in the 5th century the ideals for a perfect statue moved from realistic to a more idyllic form. The statues were created in a symmetrical form with unnatural enhancements. The continuation of the iliac crest to the back of the statue creating a divide along the rear as emphatically as the front was added to be aesthetically pleasing, as was the dimple added on the descent of the spinal cord (Spivey 1996). It is at this same time that Greek scientists and doctors were delving more deeply into the human body, investigating the human form from the inside out to better understand how a person moved and functioned. This newfound knowledge is most certainly applied to the statues which show an advanced understanding of movement (Pedley 2007).

Many possibilities exist as to the origin and creator(s) of both of the Riace Bronzes, however the one thing that scientists agree...
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