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Skopas and the Pothos

Steven Lattimore
American Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 91, No. 3 (Jul., 1987), pp. 411-420
DOI: 10.2307/505362
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/505362
Page Count: 10
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Skopas and the Pothos
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Abstract

The so-called Pothos by Skopas is usually restored as leaning on a staff-like object, but any such restoration results in a pose far more unbalanced than can be paralleled in Greek art. The original must have leaned on a companion, thus forming part of a paratactic two-figure group; the other figure was certainly Aphrodite, whatever the precise identity of "Pothos." The Roman taste for statues of youthful nude males could explain the selective copying. Other examples of such selective copying are mentioned in this paper. It is also argued here that paratactic two-figure groups possibly existed in fourth century B. C. sculpture, and that the identification of the original as Skopas's Pothos for Samothrace may therefore be the correct one. Stylistic evidence for this claim is discussed.

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