Paionios (sculptor)

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Nike des Paionios with headboard
Nike des Paionios, drawing 1889

Paionios ( ancient Greek Παιώνιος ) was a Greek sculptor from Mende in the second half of the fifth century BC .

life and work

According to the report of Pausanias, who was completely mistaken on this point, he created the group of figures representing the chariot race between Pelops and Oinomaos , largely recovered in the eastern gable of the Temple of Zeus in Olympia . The marble colossal figure of Nike , imagined as floating down from Olympus , donated by the Messenians and Naupakters around 424 BC and found in 1875 during the German excavations in Olympia, is documented as his work . The figure stood on an 8.5 m high pillar with a triangular base, as can be seen from the base fragments. The foundation of the pillar was in the immediate vicinity, so that it was possible to completely reconstruct the monument, at least in terms of drawings, with the exception of the face of the Nike, which has not been preserved.

The monument is a dedication for a victory in an unspecified battle. Presumably it referred to the battle of Sphakteria , of which Pausanias (5,26,1) also reports. The accompanying inscription also tells us that Paionios had also won the artist's competition to produce the central acrote for the Temple of Zeus.

The free, lively composition of the Nike, the great treatment of the body shapes and the drapery indicate the influence of Phidias , especially the Parthenon sculptures. The statue was created during the Rich Style period. The gable sculptures from the Temple of Zeus, on the other hand, are much stiffer and more self-conscious. Because of these contradictions, Paionios was denied participation in the gable group and his share was limited to the two gilded votive cauldrons or tripods on the gable corners and a gilded Nike on the ridge of the gable roof, a work that has also come down to us from Pausanias.


Web links

Commons : Paionios  - collection of images, videos and audio files