Praxiteles (Greek Πραξιτέλης, * around 390 BC in Athens; † around 320 BC ) is considered one of the greatest sculptors of ancient Greece. He starred with Scopas and Lysippus in the epoch of the Late Classic.


Praxiteles was a student and probably a son Kephisodotos the Elder and father Kephisodotos the Younger, who was also an important sculptor. He was a contemporary and rival of Scopas and is the most important representative of the younger Attic school.

Ancient writers praised him as one of the greatest sculptors. His works combine naturalness and psychologically fine expression. In addition, his sculptures are characterized by mastery in the surface treatment of balance in the body rhythm and a graceful form of. He created several statues of Parian marble.

He was the creator of youthful ideals gods ( Dionysus, Aphrodite, Eros, Apollo, Artemis) and overcame the sublime austerity of Phidias.

Ancient writers mention about 50 products derived from the works. Especially famous were the Aphrodite of Knidos, the Eros Thespiai, the lizard -slayer Sauroktonos Apollo and the satyr resting. A number of the most beautiful preserved Satyrstatuen are considered replicas of his works from later periods, especially the copies of a young satyr pouring from the collected jug of wine into a drinking horn. A dancing satyr was salvaged in 1998 before the Tunisian coast from the sea and is issued in the summer of 2007 at the Louvre. Also from the Sauroktonos statue replicas are obtained. The Cnidian Aphrodite is a marble statue closest to which is now in the Vatican Museums.

Whether a large group of Niobe and her children was created by Praxiteles or Scopas of, was in ancient times contentious.

An original work of Praxiteles, the Hermes mentioned by Pausanias with the Dionysus boy, has been found in 1877 in Olympia ( see Hermes of Olympia). The masterful marble treatment and the grace and softness of morphogenesis confirm the praise of ancient writers who call Praxiteles and Scopas a par with Phidias.

Works (selection)

  • The einschenkende Satyr (2nd Quarter 4th century BC)
  • Aphrodite of Knidos (c. 340 BC ), ( arguably the best of the many copies of it in Rome, Vatican Museums )
  • Hermes of Olympia ( v. 340 BC, Marble, Museum Olympia).