CHARIOTEER OF DELPHI
I had previously posted a photo from Delphi, Center of the World, along with an extensive background note on this genuinely significant historical site in Central Greece. As a sequel to that image, I now submit this image from the Archaeological Museum in Delphi, and dedicate it to my friends Danos, Hercules and Kostas.
The magnificent life-size bronze statue, "Charioteer of Delphi," is the unrivaled gem of the Archaeological Museum in Delphi. Crafted in 470 BC, it is a life size statue (1.80 meters or 511 tall), cast in Bronze, and highlighted in silver (head band), copper (eye lashes) and onyx (eyes). With a state of preservation that is extraordinary for its age of 2500 years, the Charioteer is one of the best know of ancient Greek statues.
Art historians characterize the Charioteer as an example of the "Severe" style. This young man, head held high, is just rolling his chariot into the judges area to accept the accolades for the victory that he has just earned. His posture indicates a slightly twisted torso, and a gentle lean to his right, where his hands clutch the reins. The Charioteers eyes gaze into the distance. He exudes pride, confidence, stoicism and humility but above all, checked emotions! Full control of emotions is of paramount importance, a sign of the civilized man.
The well-proportioned athletic body is covered by a xystis, the garment worn by charioteers, and it features neat parallel folds around the upper arms and shoulders. A wide leather belt, and narrow leather strap, formed into a harness over his shoulders cross in the back all designed to prevent the xystis from ballooning from the onrushing wind.
Greek art in this period, epitomized in the Charioteer, shows a metamorphism from the Archaic conventions to Classical ideals. There resonates a balance of idealism and realism. Before the Charioteer came the stiff Kouros statues. Within a few centuries would appear the likes of Venus de Milo, the Victory of Samothrace (both in the Louvre, Paris), and the, Portrait of Alexander (Archaeological Museum, Istanbul).
This is a transformative time not only in art, but one that signals a leap forward in civilization itself. Just a quarter-century after this statue was created, Athens would see the erection of the unrivaled Parthenon, the greatest Extrovert Building in History. And the following century would be ushered in by the likes of the great Athenian philosophers, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, with ideas that would revolutionize the thinking of the next two millennia.
In photographing and cropping this statue, as well as in the Portrait of Alexander, I was paying heed to a principle discovered in 1998 by Christopher Tyler, English-born psychologist living in San Francisco. In defining portraits created by the great artists, the vertical centerline (the bisector) passes very close to an eye (it can be the right or the left), but not the nose. This is true in Leonardo three portraits of women (including the Mona Lisa), in portraits by Rembrandt, even in many of Picasso portraits (e.g. in the various portraits of Dora Maar). This principle has never been taught in art schools, but the gifted painters, and so too photographers focus on one eye of the subject. This was also explained in my book, Math and the Mona Lisa. If Picasso, known for breaking all prevailing rules, had known this principle, he would most likely have placed the eye in a corner of the painting! It is done intutitively.
Hand held Nikon D70, with 18-70 mm Nikkor lens. The background has been selectively darkened, as it was in the Bust of Alexander.
Critiques | Translate
singuanti (15250) 2007-05-15 22:32
Hi Bulent. I was not aware of that methodology that the greats used when framing their portraits. I like the effect you obtained in doing that here. It's a bit of shame with the noise. That's where VR comes in handy with letting you use lower ISO's. Once again the note is well done and interesting. tfs Bulent.
suhan (3552) 2007-05-16 3:31
Çok çok hoş bir kadraj hocam. gözleri ne kadar canlı heykelin. çok orijinal bir kare.
evanrizo (456) 2007-05-16 3:32
Good morning Bulent.
It looks very alive,very very good framed and lighted.
Your notice is sooo good and also very informative.
Thanks very much for share it.
meltemi (9782) 2007-05-16 4:28
very impressive portrait. Excellent, picturesque, emotional. Great colors and clarity. Despite the ravages of time, a substantial part of this impressive statue is still standing, including the face so expressive. However your colors give a sort of warmth. It works really well here, as it draws your eye to the main focus of the image. The depth of field is perfect, as is the framing (both in your composition and your choice for a frame). Very informative note too.
nisko (2642) 2007-05-16 4:43
very nice capture..u make it seem so great and alive!
kdialyna (3148) 2007-05-16 4:54
Good morning Bulent
Firstly I want you to thank for the honor to dedicate one of your photos, to me.
Also I want to tell you that this statue is one of my favor. I think, the beauty of it is incredible .
The photo under these difficult conditions is very good. The shooting corner is perfect. You elected all the beauty of the statue.
The placement of the hand to the first level and to the same line with the eyes of the charioteer, is very good because keeps the interest to the most important points.
My warm regards
thea0211 (1365) 2007-05-16 5:08
your very good note pictures us the world, times and circumstances under which this beautiful and luckily well preserved statue was born, so that we fully understand its story. nice game of lights and shadows, details and good angle to capture it from.
well seen and thank you!
Cretense (68671) 2007-05-16 5:55
Excellent "portrait" of one of the most famous statues of the world. A great example of ancient greek sculpture art, perfectly presented with an excelletn tight framing, perfect light managment and great focus on the "eyes". Great definition for handheld shot under dificult conditions and great job with the background. Congratulations, my dear friend!
PS. It's a great honour... Thank you!
jonathan_hart (21270) 2007-05-16 6:39
always interesting the way you create links between yours photos thanks to the notes, interesting note to illustrate the photo :)
good close framing of the statue, ****
ALIRIZA (16419) 2007-05-16 7:43
Merhaba Bülent Abi,
Harika bir mimari portre. Pastel tonlar ve ışık çok hoş. Ellerinize sağlık...
Selam ve saygılarımla...
AROBN54 (11469) 2007-05-16 21:23
Hello, dear Bulent.
You have done such a fine job with this picture. It is like a National Geographic or museum guide photo. Phenomenal light and contrast and great detail, and as always, a super note! SO very well done!! Warmest regards,
jhm (127883) 2007-05-17 6:14
Very well detail out of your previous picture, my compliments to the artist, but also to the photographer we see excellent the muscle on the arm, nice sharpness and clarity, well done.
Have a nice day,
Marcelo_Almeida (1044) 2007-05-17 8:10
Bela estátua e muito bem capturada. Nice shot.
stego (22556) 2007-05-17 21:37
If I may say so, it's a great... portrait... I know it is a statue, but his look is something impressive.
Tahnk you for another pleasant and insightful lesson of Art History.
MLINES (12516) 2007-05-17 22:51
Hi Bulent. Another fine piece of art well presented. It looks quite 3-dimentional on this laptop screen. Excellent notes as always. TFS. Murray.
imago_lux (249) 2007-05-18 13:18
Superb! I was there too and I liked very much this "human column". He is alive, in spite of the 2500 years... Nice Grrece, nice sculpture, nice photograph and nice photography.
henrytf (985) 2007-05-18 18:41
I've just had my art lesson and what a lesson!
My eyes went to and fro between your wonderful photograph and your superb text.
The light, the colours, the richness of sharp details and the dark background make it one of my favourite.
Extremely well done.
puzzle (700) 2007-05-18 19:13
cok degisik,ilginc bir fotograf,renklerdeki contrast,heykeldeki ifade mukemmle birlesmis,sanki canli gibi...
somkiat (1104) 2007-05-19 2:15
very nice portait.i like the texture you took it in high quality of your skill.very nice pov.
levocan (2253) 2007-05-23 14:12
Kadraj çok güzel
Sanki canlı gibi bakmış..
ayniLL (0) 2007-05-23 14:20
çok canlı bir kare...monitorden fırlayacakmış gibi üç boyutlu sanki.
verdiğiniz bilgiler de ayrı bir değerde...
istanbul arkeoloji muzesinde ki çekimim için yaptığınız o şahane yorumunuza da bu vesile ile teşekkür etmek isterim
Leo71538 (538) 2007-05-26 12:11
Impressive photo of such an amazing statue.
doubay (2091) 2007-06-19 8:11
It is not easy to take a good shot in a museum (usually it is not even allowed), but you managed it very well. It is a very impressive statute indeed. Those made of copper always fascinated me a bit more than the marvel made ones. Btw: Do you know who developed this technique first?