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Born c. 480 BC
Kydonia, Crete, Classical Greece
Died c. 410 BC
  • In Argos, Dorotheos's school
  • In Athens, Myron's school
Known for sculpture
Notable work(s)
  • Pericles with the Corinthian helmet
  • Athena of Velletri

Kresilas (Greek: Κρησίλας Krēsílas; c. 480 – c. 410 BC) was a Greek sculptor in the Classical period (5th century BC), from Kydonia. He was trained in Argos and then worked in Athens at the time of the Peloponnesian war, as a follower of the idealistic portraiture of Myron. He is best known for his statue Pericles with the Corinthian helmet.


Kresilas hailed from the city-state of Kydonia, on the island of Crete.[1] He was trained in Argos as a student of Dorotheos, with whom he worked at Delphi and Hermione.[2] Between 450 and 420 BC he worked mainly in Athens, as a follower of Myron's school and in the post-Phidias period he brought elements of compactness due to the Peloponnesian period.[2]

Roman writer Pliny the Elder wrote of a competition between the four sculptors Polykleitos, Phidias, Kresilas, and Phradmon, on the best statues of Amazons for the temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Each sculptor placed himself at first place, but Phidias, Kresilas, and Phradmon had all put Polykleitos at second place, thus, Polykleitos won.


Herm of “Pericles, son of Xanthippus, Athenian”, Roman copy of the original by Kresilas, Vatican Museums (no. 269).
  • In Athens he created, for example, a bronze statue of Pericles (440–430 BC) with the Corinthian helmet upon the head as a sign of his position as strategos.[3] Pliny the Elder said of it: "a figure worthy of its title; indeed it is a marvellous thing about the art of sculpture that it has added celebrity to men already celebrated."[3] Its base was found in the Athenian Acropolis; it was doubtless the bronze that Pausanias saw there (Pausanias I.25.1, I.28.2). It seems the series of Pericles portrait busts derive from it, of which there are examples at the Vatican Museums, British Museum (found at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, and owned by Charles Townley) and Altes Museum.
  • He created a Diomedes statue according to Homer's description.[4]


Kresilas, though actually a man, was accidentally included in Judy Chicago's masterpiece work The Dinner Party.[citation needed]


  1. ^ XXXIV, 53.
  2. ^ a b Giuliano 1987, p. 686
  3. ^ a b Pliny, XXXIV.74
  4. ^ Barr, Sandra M (2008). Making Something Out of Next to Nothing: Bartolomeo Cavaceppi and the Major Restorations of Myron's "Discobolus". p. 134. ISBN 9781109028539. 


  • Pliny the Elder. Natural History (in Latin). 
  • Der Neue Pauly Vol. 6 (in German). 1999. ISBN 3-476-01476-2. 
  • Pietro Orlandini (1961). "Kresilas". Enciclopedia dell'arte antica classica e orientale (in Italian) 4. Roma: Istituto della enciclopedia italiana. 
  • Le Muse (in Italian) 3. Novara: De Agostini. 1965. 
  • Antonio (1987). Arte greca : Dall'età classica all'età ellenistica (in Italian). Milano: Il saggiatore. 

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