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HIST 3020 Dying Gaul Sculpted by Agasias Analytical Review

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Critique Sheet
Description:
Dying Gaul, Sculpted by Agasias, is the Roman copy of a bronze statue of ca. 230-220
BCE. Marble, 3’0.5” high. Statue of the Dying Gaul is an ancient marble masterpiece at the Musei
Capitolini. Discovered in Rome, the statue found in the gardens of the Villa Ludovisi, when the
villa built on the site of the landscaped gardens of the Roman historian Sallust, who acquired the
land after the death of its previous owner, Julius Caesar. A Pergamene sculpture depicted the
defeated Gallic trumpeter and the other Gauls as barbarians with bushy hair, mustaches, and neck
bands, but also as a noble foe who fought to the death.
Analysis:
Dying Gaul is a three-dimensional sculpture consisting of very few color combinations.
The dying Gaul is in a sitting position made of polished marble. Marble has several properties that
have made it a favorite with artists since Antiquity. It is relatively soft to carve, and it can polish
to a high gloss. The position of the body and the beautifully rendered expression on the face
indicate that the man has collapsed in agony, clearly dying. The sculptor masterfully calibrated the
geometry and proportions of the anatomical forms so that the Gaul conveys a sense of organic
wholeness, but without compromising on the articulation of the human body’s structural
complexity. The resulting topography leads the eye in infinite trajectories around the figure, thus
reinforcing its spatial presence. This sculpture’s powerful aesthetic effect is essentially unpictorial
and involves what we might call the geometric conquest of its environment.
Craftmanship:

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The sculpture used bronze for the first time when the original sculpture made. Later, marble
used to construct the structure.
Historical Precedence:
Dying Gaul was part of a large sculptural grouping of an epic monument to commemorate
decisive Hellenistic victories over the invading Gauls from nearby Galatia, in what is modern-day
Turkey. The dying Gaul found in the museum made of marble is just a copy of the original Gaul
made up of bronze metal. It recalls the original art and sculpture. It contains the elements of the
previous artistic period or style because it is imitative from the prior art.
Interpretation:
A universally acknowledged masterpiece, the Dying Gaul is an intensely moving tribute to
the human spirit. An image of a conquered enemy, the sculpture represents courage in defeat,
composure in the face of death and dignity. The Dying Gaul portrays a Gallic warrior in his final
moments, his face contorted in pain as he falls from a fatal wound to the chest.

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Critique Sheet Description: Dying Gaul, Sculpted by Agasias, is the Roman copy of a bronze statue of ca. 230-220 BCE. Marble, 3’0.5” high. Statue of the Dying Gaul is an ancient marble masterpiece at the Musei Capitolini. Discovered in Rome, the statue found in the gardens of the Villa Ludovisi, when the villa built on the site of the landscaped gardens of the Roman historian Sallust, who acquired the land after the death of its previous owner, Julius Caesar. A Pergamene sculpture depicted the defeated Gallic trumpeter and the other Gauls as barbarians with bushy hair, mustaches, and neck bands, but also as a noble foe who fought to the death. Analysis: Dying Gaul is a three-dimensional sculpture consisting of very few color combinations. The dying Gaul is in a sitting position made of polished marble. Marble has several properties that have made it a favorite with artists since Anti ...
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