Discobolus In Istanbul

Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture is hosting the famous sculpture, The Discus-Thrower, on loan from the British Museum through April 4.

The Greek sculptor Myron made his sculpture of an athlete throwing the discus in the 5th century B.C., most probably to commemorate a victory in the Olympic Games, but the work, made of bronze, was lost. Ever responsive to art and aesthetics, the Romans in the 2nd century A.D. produced copies in marble of the sculpture, which they so admired. Thanks to those copies, Myron’s masterpiece has survived to our day.

What Myron captured in bronze was not actually a realistic depiction of an athlete but rather an idealized conception. His masterpiece emphasizes the aesthetic union of contrasts in perfect proportion with each other. From whatever angle it is viewed, the work’s composition occupies a narrow plane. Head, body and limbs are depicted in different degrees of tension, the flexed muscles forming a contrast with the relaxed ones. While the hand throwing the discus is extended backwards, the other arm hangs loose in front. Although the body is turned towards the viewer, the legs are seen in profile, one of them bearing weight whereas the other is not. While the toes of the right foot are curled upwards, those of the left point downwards. Do not miss this statue of a man throwing a discus, which reflects all the Greek notions of design such as symmetry, harmony, balance and rhythm.