The Charioteer in Delphi
The bronze statue of the Charioteer in Delphi, Sterea: The Charioteer is one of the masterpieces of ancient Greek antiquity and probably the most famous exhibit in the Archaeological Museum of Delphi. This statue was discovered by French excavators in 1896 in the Temple of Apollo, in the ancient site of Delphi. Today, it is exposed in the museum as a special exhibit and it is actually the last item that visitors see in their tour around the museum.
The Charioteer is actually the only survivor from a large, impressive statue of a chariot with four horses and two horsemen, one of them being the Charioteer. The statue was erected at Delphi in 474 BC to honor the victory of a Chariot team in the Pythia games that were taking place there every 4 years to honor Pythian Apollo. Some fragments of the horses were found with the ancient bronze statue.
The figure of the Charioteer is a very young man, as is shown by his soft side-curls. It depicts the driver of the chariot race at the moment of the great victory when he presents his chariots. His body is stagnant wearing a robe as all the charioteers traditionally wore. In the ancient times, the chariot racers were carefully chosen for their lightness and their tall height. His body and the veins are a sign of power and endurance. All his facial characteristics and expressions are strong. The whole posture is humble and there is no smile on his face. The humidity was designed to captivate the audience as he represents humanity and idealism through his attitude.
This statue is one of the few Greek bronze statues to preserve the inlaid glass eyes and the copper detailing of the eyelashes and lips. The headband is of silver and may have been inlaid with precious stones, which have been removed. The left arm was probably detached before it was even buried. This life-sized statue is one of the best examples of classical bronze casts and amazes with the great details in shape.