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Cresilas, a Cretan sculptor of Cydonia. He was a contemporary of Pheidias, and one of the sculptors who vied in producing statues of amazons at Ephesus about 450 BC.

As his amazon was wounded (volnerata; Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxxiv. 75), we may safely identify it with the figure, of which several copies are extant, who is carefully removing her blood-stained garment from a wound under the right breast.

Polyclitus a contemporary of Pheidias made a figure of an Amazon (wearing an exomis) for the Artemis Temple in Ephesus. In a competition with Pheidias, Cresilas, Cydon and Phradmon the judges considered his amazon as the best work with second Pheidias and then Cresilas, Cydon and Phradmon following.

Cresilas … also made the “Olympian Pericles,” a work worthy of the title; it is a marvellous thing about this art that it can make famous men even more famous’ Pliny the Elder

Another work of Cresilas of which copies survive is the portrait of Pericles, the earliest Greek portrait which has been with certainty identified, and which fully confirms the statement of ancient critics that Cresilas was an artist who idealized and added nobility to men of noble type. An extant portrait of Anacreon is also derived from Cresilas.


This entry incorporates public domain text originally from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica.

List of ancient Greek sculptors

Jean-Marc Moret, Les pierres gravées antiques représentant le rapt du Palladion. Mainz am Rhein: Philip von Zabern, 1997. Pp. x, 366; plates xii, 120. ISBN 3-8053-2302-6. (

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