Riace Warrior B

Riace Warrior B



We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.


Riace Bronzes from the Greek Art

This is a report that I have prepared for ART110 class. This class can be my favorite because I really love to learn about the history of art.

The Riace Warriors are two naked warrior man sculpture made of bronze. They are made by Greeks in 460-450 BCE, at the end of the archaic period and the beginning of the classical period. They are founded by a tourist on 16 August 1972, in Italy. They were 8 meters underwater. Being made of bronze makes them more unique because we don’t have many bronze sculptures left from that period. At those times, bronze sculptures were produced too but they didn’t left today because people were melting the sculptures and re-using the metal for other purposes. Those sculptures probably survived because of being underwater. Two sculptures are named as Sculpture A and Sculpture B now, they are in a museum named Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia in Italy. They are probably life-size or slightly bigger, one of them is 197 and the other is 198 cm. Their right hands are half-closed like grasping an object but the objects are lost now. Sculpture A is 198 cm and seems younger from the other one.

The style for the time that sculptures are produced is called ‘severe style’. It is the end of the archaic period and the beginning of the classical period. In the archaic period which has ended at 480, Greek art was mostly influenced by Egyptian art so the products were not that original. Seeing the Egyptian conventions like the Egyptian pose and the gaze was still possible and the sculptures were not very detailed, for example, there was no strong feeling of the flesh. And also in Egypt, the sculptures were always made to be seen from the front so the backside of them was not designed. This issue is still being seen in the archaic period. But those conventions have changed in the classical period, for example, the Kritios Boy sculpture is the first sculpture made to be seen from the back as well. The most important thing about the classical period is the balance between naturalism and idealism. Now, the sculpture should be ideally beautiful. The man sculptures, the ‘kouros’, are naked because they want to show the beauty of the body. And also in this period, the sculptures are colored. The Riace Warriors dates back to the 460-450 BCE, which means they are from the beginning of the classical period so they are not fully classical, they do have some effects of the archaic period still. The faces of the sculptures are personal, the impersonal gaze that we see in the archaic period is not here. This is an important change that we see between the archaic and classical periods. Another thing that we don’t see in Egyptian art and also in the Classical period is the details of the backside. This sculpture is didn’t made to be seen just from the front, the back of the sculptures are also designed. Also, the hairs and the beards of the sculptures are very detailed, that much detail is not seen in the archaic period. Additionally, different materials are used for the details of the sculptures. The calcite and rose-colored stone are used for their eyes, copper for the lips, eyelashes, and nipples additionally for the Sculpture A, silver is used for the front row of teeth.

The pose of the sculptures is very similar. Both of their left legs are slightly forward and the faces are slightly turned to the right. The leg is slightly forward, which somehow reminds the Egyptian pose but the impression that the pose gives is very different this time that small movement of the leg gives a more natural impact and creates a relaxed pose. Also, the slight movement of the head makes the naturalistic feeling stronger. That naturalistic feeling is an important feature of the classical period which we don’t see much in archaic times.

The feeling of the flesh is an issue that we don’t see in archaic times and new for the classical period. In these sculptures, we can sense the feeling of flesh but to me, that feeling is not very strong yet. The muscles and the shape of the body are of course more detailed than the Egyptian sculptures but not as detailed as the sculptures that we see in Hellenistic or late classic periods. What impressed me most about these sculptures was the impact that they give with their poses. They are warriors but the impact of them is very different from the warrior sculptures that we have seen before. For example in the head of an Akkadian ruler, what we get from it is the serious look in his eyes and a calm facial expression. There is no place for beauty or such, he is just a serious warrior, nothing else. We can’t talk about the beauty or aesthetic about it. But in Riace Warriors, they are warriors but they are also beautiful, there is aesthetic to talk about. The pose of them, especially the slight movement of their left leg and the relaxed arms give a bit ‘reckless’ and unceremonious impression. To me, also their nakedness which is special to Greek art helps to give that unceremonious impression because people are not used to seeing the naked body of a warrior we are used to seeing them with their war clothes and such. So, thanks to Greek art, being able to talk about beauty and aesthetics by looking at warriors made me feel different. Another impressive thing for me is the material. Greek Art is mostly known with its marble sculptures, at least for me what comes to my mind when somebody says Greek Art was the marble sculptures. So interpreting a bronze sculpture in Greek Art was different for me.


The Riace Bronzes: Warriors Rescued From the Sea

‘B’, left, and ‘A,’ right. Close examination shows how pervasively the modeling differentiates the two sculptures.

In a prosaic twist of fate, the magnificent bronze warriors are now referred to as “A” and “B.” We may never know who these over-life-size nudes, permanently exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum in Reggio Calabria, Italy, were intended to represent, or where or by whom they were created, or where they originally were erected. But the Riace (pronounced ree-AH-chay) Bronzes’ chance discovery by an amateur diver off Riace Marina, Calabria, in 1972 marks one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century. Usually dated to around 460 B.C., the two statues exemplify the early Classical style—the first style in the history of art to break the bonds of schematic, pictorially oriented modes of sculpting the human figure in order to present it in lifelike, spatially dynamic terms.

The Classical breakthrough occurred when the Greeks incorporated more realistic facial features into their sculpture, probably early in the fifth century B.C. They also adopted the less static, more naturalistic pose known as contrapposto, used for the Riace Bronzes, in which one leg bears the figure’s weight. The bronzes’ majestic presence reflects the classical aesthetic that shaped the monumental sculpture of Greco-Roman antiquity for 600 years.

The two warriors differ in height by just three inches and are similarly posed, with their weight on their right legs, right arms (which once held spears) at their sides, and left arms (which once held shields) bent at the elbow. Though it’s entirely possible the two statues were designed to complement one another, they are very different. Each testifies to the Greeks’ mastery of both the structural articulation of the human body and technically demanding bronze-casting techniques. The warriors’ ruddy copper lips were cast separately, and their nipples are copper, too. The ends of the copper sheets holding their calcite eyeballs in place were cut to form eyelashes. Warrior A’s gleaming teeth are silver-plated bronze.

The warriors were not conceived as individualized portraits, a later development in Greek art. They could represent either mythical heroes or great generals of recent history, and may originally have belonged to a larger sculptural group that included divinities. The strip circumnavigating A’s elaborate coiffure possibly accommodated a royal diadem, while the back of B’s skull is elongated because he originally wore a raised helmet. B is also missing his left eye.

Warrior A looks off to his right—on the alert, ready for battle, his anatomy taut, breath retracted. The emphatic line running between his pectoral and abdominal muscles and down to the navel, an enduring vestige of archaic linear technique, is thus vertical, while there is a slight convexity to the abdomen’s profile. B, who some consider a later work, represents a counterpoint—and not just in terms of the much simpler treatment of his beard and hair. He reads as a commander after a battle. His body is relaxed as he exhales: hence the conspicuous curve to his pectoral-abdominal line, and the concavity in his abdomen. His head, tilted slightly downward and to his right, indicates a pensive mood, perhaps even weariness, rather than military readiness. While A’s shoulders are tensed on a near horizontal, there is a slope from B’s left to right shoulder, and the arrangement of his left, “free” leg, with his left foot less advanced than A’s, likewise subtly conveys the impression of bodily relaxation. The two figures’ contrasting mental states provide a foretaste of the psychologically variegated treatment of the defeated Gallic warriors portrayed in celebrated Hellenistic group compositions centuries later.


Comments 2

I may have MY feet planted too firmly on the terraferma, but I think the 2 Bronzes are the best! Some of the ‘interpretations are interesting, but cannot ‘hold a candle’ to the originals.
In addition, I do not appreciate the ‘Bronzes’ standing in for the WTC. I’m sure they meant well, ………. BUT !

Point well taken with regard to the WTC. It really shows how different perspectives can be.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Calabria Cultural Tour

Interested in a top-notch trip to Calabria? Spectacular nature, captivating culture and exquisite cuisine. Check out the itinerary of Karen’s Calabria Tour and join us!


The Riace Warriors: Remnants of a sanctuary in Magna Graecia or Roman plunder?

I first learned of the Riace warriors while listening to the Great Courses lecture series "Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome presented by John R. Hale of the University of Louisville. Dr. Hale made them sound so intriguing I had to research them further and see what they actually looked like since I was listening to an audio version of the course while I commuted to work at my university. When I finally saw them I found them absolutely breathtaking, too!

The Riace Warriors, are two full-size Greek bronzes of naked bearded warriors, cast about 460� BCE that were found in the sea near Riace, Italy in 1972. The bronzes are now in the collections of the Museo Nazionale della Magna Graecia in the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria, Italy. Stefano Mariottini, then a chemist from Rome, chanced upon the bronzes while snorkeling near the end of a vacation at Monasterace. While diving some 200 metres from the coast of Riace, at a depth of six to eight metres, Mariottini noticed the left arm of statue A emerging from the sand. At first he thought he had found a dead human body, but on touching the arm he realized it was a bronze arm. Mariottini began to push the sand away from the rest of statue A. Later, he noticed the presence of another bronze nearby and called the authorities. Surprisingly, no associated wreck site has been identified, but in the immediate locality, which is a subsiding coast, architectural remains have also been found. Authorities also reported a helmet and shield as well as a third statue with open arms but these objects were stolen before the official recovery occurred and it is thought they were sold to a collector abroad.

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. The most popular theory is that two separate Greek artists created the bronzes about 30 years apart around the 5th century BCE. “Statue A” was probably created between the years 460 and 450 BCE, and “Statue B” between 430 and 420 BCE. Some believe that “Statue A” was the work of Myron, and that a pupil of Phidias, called Alkamenes, created “Statue B.” They are considered to be exquisite 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. The eyes of Statue A are formed of calcite (originally supposed to be ivory), 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 thought the two warriors originally formed part of a votive group in a large sanctuary and it has been speculated that they represent Tydeus and Amphiaraus respectively, two warriors from the Seven Against Thebes monumental group in the polis of Argos, as Pausanias noted. Other scholars think they may have originally been part of a monument to the Battle of Marathon. Still others have expressed their opinion the pair may be Erechtheus, son of Athena, and Eumolpos, son of Poseidon. The Greek temples at Olympia, Argos, and Delphi were plundered after the Roman occupation and some scholars have posited that these warriors were being transported to Rome as booty when a storm overtook their ship, but no evidence of a wreck has been found.


The Riace Warriors (Bronzi di Riace) at the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia

The Riace Warriors (also referred to as the Riace bronzes or Bronzi di Riace) are two life-size Greek bronze statues of naked, bearded warriors. The statues were discovered by Stefano Mariottini in the Mediterranean Sea just off the coast of Riace Marina, Italy, on August 16, 1972. The statues are currently housed in the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia in the Italian city of Reggio Calabria. The statues are commonly referred to as “Statue A” and “Statue B” and were originally cast using the lost-wax technique.

Statue A

The discovery of the statues in 1972

Statue A stands 198 centimeters tall and depicts the younger of the two warriors. His body exhibits a strong contrapposto stance, with the head turned to his right. Attached elements have been lost – most likely a shield and a spear his now-lost helmet atop his head may have been crowned by a wreath. The warrior is bearded, with applied copper detail for the lips and the nipples. Inset eyes also survive for Statue A. The hair and beard have been worked in an elaborate fashion, with exquisite curls and ringlets.

Statue B

Statue A (foreground) and Statue B (background), from the sea off Riace, Italy, c. 460-450 B.C.E. (?), Statue A, 198 cm high, Statue B, 197 cm high (Museo Archaeologico Nazionale Reggio Calabria) (photo: Robert and Talbot Trudeau, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Statue B depicts an older warrior and stands 197 centimeters tall. A now-missing helmet likely was perched atop his head. Like Statue A, Statue B is bearded and in a contrapposto stance, although the feet of Statue B and set more closely together than those of Statue A.

Severe style

The Severe or Early Classical style describes the trends in Greek sculpture between c. 490 and 450 B.C.E. Artistically this stylistic phase represents a transition from the rather austere and static Archaic style of the sixth century B.C.E. to the more idealized Classical style. The Severe style is marked by an increased interest in the use of bronze as a medium as well as an increase in the characterization of the sculpture, among other features.

Interpretation and chronology

Statue A, from the sea off Riace, Italy, c. 460-450 B.C.E. (?), 198 cm high (Museo Archaeologico Nazionale Reggio Calabria) (photo: Luca Galli, CC BY 2.0)

The chronology of the Riace warriors has been a matter of scholarly contention since their discovery. In essence there are two schools of thought—one holds that the warriors are fifth century B.C.E. originals that were created between 460 and 420 B.C.E., while another holds that the statues were produced later and consciously imitate Early Classical sculpture. Those that support the earlier chronology argue that Statue A is the earlier of the two pieces. Those scholars also make a connection between the warriors and the workshops of famous ancient sculptors. For instance, some scholars suggest that the sculptor Myron crafted Statue A, while Alkamenes created Statue B. Additionally, those who support the earlier chronology point to the Severe Style as a clear indication of an Early Classical date for these two masterpieces.

The art historian B. S. Ridgway presents a dissenting view, contending that the statues should not be assigned to the fifth century B.C.E., arguing instead that they were most likely produced together after 100 B.C.E. Ridgway feels that the statues indicate an interest in Early Classical iconography during the Hellenistic period.

In terms of identifications, there has been speculation that the two statues represent Tydeus (Statue A) and Amphiaraus (Statue B), two warriors from Aeschylus’ tragic play, Seven Against Thebes (about Polyneices after the fall of his father, King Oedipus), and may have been part of a monumental sculptural composition. A group from Argos described by Pausanias (the Greek traveler and writer) is often cited in connection to this conjecture: “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…” (Pausanias, Description of Greece 2.20.5).

A conjectural restored view of the two warriors / By Leomonaci121198, Wikimedia Commons

The statues have lead dowels installed in their feet, indicating that they were originally mounted on a base and installed as part of some sculptural group or other. The art historian Carol Mattusch argues that not only were they found together, but that they were originally installed—and perhaps produced—together in antiquity.

Additional Resources

J. Alsop, “Glorious bronzes of ancient Greece: warriors from a watery grave” National Geographic 163.6 (June 1983), pp. 820-827.

A. Busignani and L. Perugi, The Bronzes of Riace, trans. J. R. Walker, (Florence: Sansoni, 1981).

C. H. Hallett, “Kopienkritik and the works of Polykleitos,” in Polykleitos: the Doryphoros and Tradition, ed. by W. G. Moon, pp. 121-160 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995).

C. C. Mattusch, “In Search of the Greek Bronze Original” in The Ancient Art of Emulation: Studies in Artistic Originality and Tradition from the Present to Classical Antiquity (Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, supplementary volumes, vol. 1), edited by E. K. Gazda, pp. 99-115, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002).

P. B. Pacini, “Florence, Rome and Reggio Calabria: The Riace Bronzes,” The Burlington Magazine, volume 123, no. 943 (Oct., 1981), pp. 630-633.

B. S. Ridgway, Fifth Century Styles in Greek Sculpture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981).

B. S. Ridgway, “The Riace Bronzes: A Minority Viewpoint,” in Due bronzi da Riace: rinvenimento, restauro, analisi ed ipotesi di interpretazione, vol. 1, ed. by L. V. Borelli and P. Pelagatti, pp. 313-326. (Rome: Istituto poligrafico e zecca dello stato, 1984).

G. B. Triches, Due bronzi da Riace: rinvenimento, restauro, analisi ed ipotesi di interpretazione (Rome: Istituto poligrafico e zecca dello Stato, 1984).


Classical Greek Sculpture Analysis

Classical Greek Sculpture Analysis Riace Bronzes (Statue A) This classical Greek sculpture is titled the Riace Bronzes. The Riace statues are two life-size bronze statues each weighing nearly a ton. Statue A which is depicted above is of a young warrior, while statue B which is not depicted is of an older warrior wearing a helmet. In this analysis I will be concentrating on Statue A. The sculptor of this statue remains unknown however most experts attribute this statue to Polyclitus, an expert Greek sculptor and mathematician, or one of his many disciples.

The Riace is from the early Classical Period, made around 445 BCE. It was unexpectedly discovered in the Ionian Sea along with an ancient shipwreck off the coast of southern Italy in 1972. It was restored to its present condition. It once held a lance or spear like weapon in its right hand and a shield strapped to its left forearm. Possessions of weapons such as a shield and spear have earned the statue the title of warrior-hero.

Jennifer Henrichs of Louisiana State University the statue “exhibits a visible headband thought to be the crowning base for a victory wreath typically reserved for champions” (Henrichs 15), implying that the statue might be of that of an Olympic athlete instead of a warrior. The statue is poised for action but still relaxed, trying to represent physical perfection. This potential energy presented is typical of Greek Classical Period art. The Riace shows that the Greeks valued athleticism and had a warrior culture.

They admired men that possessed strong physical qualities and took care of their bodies. The most significant lines in the Riace are of course the long vertical lines, especially of the legs which were made to be as long as the upper torso, thus making the sculpture very symmetrical, an attribute which was highly valued by Greek society. Also there is a strong division separating the upper and lower torsos by diagonal lines in the form of abdomen muscles. The shape is definitely not geometrical but naturalistic.

The soft S-shaped lines form a realistic human form giving it a graceful but still powerful human figure. The high definition of the pectorals and the abdominal muscles are indicative of someone who is in prime physical condition and aware of a fine-toned body. The firm grip of the left hand and the outward gaze convey energy and alertness to his surroundings. He is standing in a Contrapposto stance, meaning that most of his weight is balanced on one leg, in this case the right leg is behind the left. His physique is however, an exaggeration.

In his book How Art Made the World, Nigel Spivey writes about the Riace Bronze, “Division between top and bottom has been exaggerated by a crest of muscle across the waist that is more defined that can ever be on a real person” (Spivey). He also states how the “central channel of the spine is deeper than you will ever see on a real person and to improve the line of its back this man has no coccyx bone at the base of its spine” (Spivey). This shows that the sculptor, whoever he was lived in a time where human perfection was heavily admired.

Even though the statue is naturalistic, it is unrealistic due to the incredible symmetry and perfection being displayed. The median used for this sculpture was bronze. The only part of this sculpture that was not bronze was its teeth that were made out of silver. The Riace however was hollow and not made of solid bronze, which is essential for a piece of art that was meant to be moved. Bronze is usually more durable than heavy marble sculptures because the heavy limbs of marble statues fall off due to their weight, especially if that limb happens to be an arm that is raised or held away from the body.

The Riace has kept all his limbs due to its lightweight design. The scale of the statue also attests to the flexibility of the medium with it measuring nearly seven feet in height. The bronze is finely finished on all sides, so we can be sure he was made to be viewed from all sides. Since he is nude, the color and surface qualities of bronze have a special importance. With the awareness that the statue was intended to be viewed in the nude, a more genuine affinity to the human form could be obtained in bronze, especially since colored inlays further enhanced the appropriateness of the metal.

The Riace is an open work meant to be seen and admired from all sides. It is a man who is relaxed but ready for action at anytime, a warrior, perhaps an Olympian athlete, someone that the Greeks obviously admired. It is an exaggerated sculpture with its perfect body but the Greeks found this exaggeration more entertaining and pleasing to the eye than boring realistic statues. The Riace statues were probably created to admire warriors or athletes. No one really knows for sure.

One thing that is for sure is that the Greek culture of games and exercise contributed greatly to the statue’s physique. The statue reflects the values the ancient Greeks had around the Classical Period. They were a philosophical people but also a warlike people and used to war. Admiration for warriors or athletes therefore came as no surprise. However, warriors were also to be graceful, not just stone wall looking objects like in ancient Egypt and the archaic period of ancient Greece. A warrior had to be poised for action but still relaxed or “more human than human” (Spivey).

The main difference between this Classical Period statue and those of the archaic Greek and ancient Egyptian’s is movement. Thought the Riace Bronze is not moving, it looks like it’s about to. It has what scientists call an action potential. It is free standing and can be admired from all sides. It’s like someone took a photograph of a perfect warrior in the midst of movement. These types of statues owe a lot to mathematicians like Polyclitus, because an essential understanding of mathematics was needed to create such illusions of movement.

Also the intrinsic details especially of the face come in sharp contrast to the mass produced looking statues of the Egyptians. The Riace Bronze with its naturalistic but unrealistic symmetry and human perfection, its Contrapposto pose with one side in motion while the other is at rest is a quintessential example of a Greek Classical Period statue. Depicting not a god or high priest but an athlete, a warrior, an everyday guy blessed with unrealistic muscularity and proportion. The Greeks loved the human body and wanted to see its perfection without robes or clothes to hide it.

Poses became more naturalistic instead of the rigid kouros of the archaic period and the cookie cutter sculptures of the pharaohs. We may not know who exactly made the Riace Bronze or why was it made, but one thing is for sure, it is an incredible sculpture that was ingeniously made and represents classical Greece. Works Cited Henrichs, Jennifer. The Riace Bronzes: A Comparative Study In Style And Technique. Louisiana State University, 2005. Spivey, Nigel. How Art Made the World. London: Basic Books, 2006.


The Riace Bronzes- Physical Perfection!

One of the highlights of an exciting road trip through southern Italy was a visit to Reggio Calabria (the toe of the boot) to see the Riace Bronzes at Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Reggio Calabria. They are truly a magnificent example of physical perfection! These bronze masterpieces laid at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea for an estimated 2000 years. On August 16th, 1972, a recreational scuba diver, Stefano Mariottini, discovered the Riace Bronzes in the Ionian Sea, off the coast of Riace, Italy.

Artists skillfully worked to beautifully bring the statues back to their former glory. After about two years of restoration, they revealed the marvelous skill and craftsmanship that went into making them. These statues are displayed in a controlled environment at the museum. Every person who enters the viewing room must first enter an airlock. Viewers must pass through a high-tech cleansing process before entering the room to see the great statues. It’s quite an interesting process but once you actually get close to these well-respected works of art, you’ll appreciate all the precautions taken.

The Riace Bronzes (or Warriors) are referred to as Statue A and Statue B they are 6 1/2 and almost 6 3/4 feet tall, respectively. These two breathtakingly impressive Bronzes are mesmerizing. How amazing to think that these statues were crafted by Greek sculptors 2,500 years ago!

Yes, 2500 years ago! Experts estimate that statue A dates back to around 460 to 450 BC and Statue B, between 430 and 420 BC.

What impressed me most, aside from the obvious physical perfection, is the attention to detail of their hair and beards on these statues, especially Statue A.

Look at the great detail in the hair and beard it’s incredible. Remember, this is bronze!

The time taken to carve each lock of hair shows the dedication that these artists had for their craft. This task is extremely time-consuming, especially considering it was done so very long ago. It’s absolutely fascinating to see.

Copper was used to making their lips and nipples, silver was cast for their teeth and their eyes were probably made of either ivory or glass and set in pronged settings as in jewelry. Absolutely fascinating!

Even though he’s missing one eye, you can see how perfectly the eye socket was crafted to hold the glass eye.

I studied Sculpture in college while pursuing a degree in Mathematics, so I appreciate the workmanship that it takes to sculpt bronzes of this magnitude.

We used the lost wax process at my college. The students would sculpt a statue in wax first. We had to add a “funnel” to the top of the wax piece where we would pour the molten bronze. We attached “vents” (thin wax tubes) at all the low points so that the air could escape. This way, there weren’t any air pockets or empty spaces in the final product.

Already you can see the amount of care and attention to detail that goes into a work of art like this. We would create a mold using plaster of Paris. The plaster molds were baked in a kiln where the wax would evaporate, essentially lost. That mold was cast, in our foundry, by carefully pouring hot, liquid bronze into the “funnel”, then left to cool completely.

At this point, we would chip away at the plaster mold, destroying it, to uncover the bronze statue. The vents and funnel were sawed off and the piece was sanded and polished to finish. This is an incredibly labor-intensive process but it creates captivating works of bronze artwork that will last for ages are created.

The process used to create the breathtaking lifelike Riace bronzes was a little different but just as much a labor of love. Statues of this magnitude were hollow (like a chocolate Easter bunny) and usually sculpted on a clay-based sculpture. Rods added support to the structure. The artist applied wax to the base sculpture and carved out the very fine details. Then, he carefully covered the base with another layer of clay or plaster to retain the detail. The wax had to be melted away (lost) and the molten bronze would fill in the area between the two pieces of clay.

Riace Bronze (Statue A) The end!

The sculptor had to make the statues in sections, then put the bronze pieces together. The process is quite laborious even with modern technology I am in awe of the artists who were able to create such magnificent works of bronze art. How fortunate we are that they have passed along their techniques and knowledge! I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to visit the Warriors!

I highly suggest visiting the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Reggio Calabria even if just to see the Riace Bronzes. If you are a sculptor and/or have ever worked with bronze, you definitely won’t want to miss this opportunity to get up close to such ancient life-like bronze artwork with enormous attention to details.


Riace Warrior B - History

Bethan Hunter /Sacred / May 2019 / Collage / A3

Bethan Hunter / Don’t Look Back / April 2020 / Collage / A5

Bethan Hunter / We Are Doomed / 2020 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Escape / April 2020 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Watchful / July 2020 / Collage / 20 x 30 cm approx

Bethan Hunter / Classics / June 2020 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Dreams of a Boy / March 2020 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Crying / April 2020 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Sunday Leisure / May 2020 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Cyanotype of Fire Collage / April 2019 / Cyanotype Ink on paper / A4

Bethan Hunter / Holy Light / April 2020 / Collage / A5

Bethan Hunter / Rolling / April 2020 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Ritual / January 2019 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Cyanotype of Riace Warrior / April 2019 / Cyanotype print of a 2018 collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / The King / September 2019 / Collage / A4 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Chuffed / February 2019 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Red + Blue / February 2019 / Collage / A4 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Single & Ready to Mingle / 2019 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Humble / 2019 / Collage / A5

Dunes / May 2019 / collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Spaceman / May 2019 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / TV / February 2019 / Collage / A6 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Church Wedding / February 2019 / Collage / A5

Bethan Hunter / Red Barn / March 2019 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Dinner Time / March 2019 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Saturday Night / September 2019 / Collage / A4 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Witches of Eastwick / March 2019 / Collage / A4 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Siblings / September 2019 / Collage / A5

Bethan Hunter / Conference / January 2019 / Collage / A5 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Flame / January 2019 / Collage / A5

Evil / May 2019 / collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Take Care / September 2019 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / How To Enjoy Our Summer / September 2019 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Suburbia / February 2019 / Collage / A5

Bethan Hunter / Missing / February 2019 / Collage / A5

Bethan Hunter / Nuclear / July 2019 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Where Are We? / September 2019 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter /Yellow Ochre (Fascists) / October 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter /Double Edged Sword / March 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / New American Gothic / August 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Sunday Paddle / September 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / The Conquest / September 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Waiting For Your Call / June 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter /Unknown #1 / August 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Fire / September 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Riace Warrior / September 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Timberline / March 2018 / Collage / A5

Bethan Hunter / Silicon Valley / June 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Separated Figures / March 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Beastie Boys / September 2018 / Collage / A4 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Wave Lengths / November 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter /The Boxer / September 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / The End / May 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Rhythm / March 2018 / Collage + FIneliner pen on paper / A5

Bethan Hunter / Waving / March 2018 / Collage / A5

Bethan Hunter / Sinking Sailor / March 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Frames / March 2018 / Collage, Fineliner pen + Acrylic Paint / A5

Bethan Hunter / Space vs America / November 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Problems In Paradise / March 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Stepping In / March 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Riace Warrior In Space / September 2018 / Collage / 12 x 20 cm

Bethan Hunter / Material Wealth / September 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Pool Reading / March 2018 / Collage / A5

Bethan Hunter / Windswept / August 2018 / Collage / 16 x 10 cm

Bethan Hunter / Underwater / September 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Catalonia / September 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / House / Spetember 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Team / October 2018 / Collage / A4 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Bison / June 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / This Is Our Land / February 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Mountain Circle / March 2018 / Collage / A4 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Hair / August 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Boat / September 2018 / Collage / A5 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Cowboy / October 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Mountain Wedding / September 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Putin / August 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Tennis Courts / October 2018 / Collage / A4 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Bronze / August 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / White Wedding / March 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Preaching / September 2018 / Collage / A5 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Chapel / August 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Marble / August 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Coral / August 2018 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Cube / 2018 / Collage / 10 x 10cm

Bethan Hunter / Boyhood / 2017 / Collage / A4

Bethan Hunter / Spring / 2018 / A4

Bethan Hunter / Man In Space / June 2017 / Collage / A5

Bethan Hunter / History / June 2017 / Collage / A4 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Cap / June 2017 / Collage / A4 (ish)

Bethan Hunter / Catholic Procession / October 2018 / Collage / A4


Abbot Suger & Saint-Denis

Abbot Suger is thought to be the pioneer behind Gothic Architecture. (Abbot is not the man's first name but a title within the Church) In the 1140, Suger set out to refurbish phase 1 of his Abbey Church, Saint-Denis.

He decided to reconstruct the eastern end of the Abbey and designed a choir where as much light as possible would be able to enter. This contrasted to the previous Romanesque abbeys due to their small windows and solid round walls surrounding the chapels behind the alter. The enlargement of the East end of the Abbey also enabled pilgrims to walk around the shrine of Saint Denis and the housed relics.

He used pointed arches as opposed to the round Roman versions to raise the roof of the Abbey as they required thinner walls to support the structure. This was mainly due to the fact that pointed arches pushed most of its weight downwards rather than out. A round arch would have had to have thick walls to support the weight going outwards and therefore end up blocking light.


Watch the video: Riace bronzes, Museo nazionale della Magna Grecia, Reggio Calabria, Calabria, Italy, Europe