Myron (ancient Greek Μύρων Mýrōn; * around 500 BC or soon after in Eleutherai; † after about 440 BC) was one of the most important Greek sculptors of ancient Greece. His main creative period covers the years from about 480 BC to 440 BC, during which he created numerous bronze statues that were praised for centuries after his death.
With his main work he stood at the transition from the early to the high classical period of Greek art. No originals of his work have survived. In the rich inventory of Roman marble copies after Greek models, however, three statues could be identified more or less certainly, which are to be connected with the work of Myron: the Discobol as well as Athena and Marsyas of a two-figure statue group.
Myron was born in Eleutherai, a Boeotian border town with Attica, which voluntarily relinquished its own sovereignty in favor of Attic citizenship at the end of the 6th century BC. His artist signature seems to have identified him as an Athenian.
His teacher is said to have been Ageladas, who also trained Phidias and Polyclet. As for Polyklet, Pliny records the 90th Olympiad for Myron as Akme, that is, the year 420 B.C. The specification is problematic and Pliny must be mistaken here. Myron was considered a versatile artist, wood carver, ore caster and chaser.
He created statues of gods as well as images of heroes and athletes, most of which were placed in the great sanctuaries such as Delphi and Olympia. Among them, the most famous were the statues of the runner Ladas and the Discobolos, which was often copied in marble in Roman times.
Myron's most famous work, besides the runner, the Discobolos and the Athena-Marsyas group, was a bronze cow that stood on the Acropolis and was later taken to Rome.
In general, according to ancient judgment, he seems to have been most convincing in his depiction of animals, while a certain harshness was recognized in his human images, a transitional style in his work to the great masters of the 5th century.
On the part of Roman art scholars, Myron is attested to have been the first to duplicate truth - although still crude in his depiction of the pubic and head hair as in older art before. However, he had not (yet) reproduced the feeling or mood of the soul; nevertheless, he had been more varied and more careful in defining his symmetria than Polyklet.
The word Symmetria, which is not documented before the 5th century B.C., means in the ancient understanding of the word the dimensional relationship in which different aspects of one and the same thing stand to each other, and can be referred to "moist"-"dry", "warm"-"cold", to parts of buildings and structural elements, but also to the limbs of a body.
Symmetria, in contrast to asymmetria, is always the "good and right" measure ratio. In Myron's work, perhaps only in his late work, symmetria is thus so far developed that even Polyklet could not reach it. At the same time, he still lacked soulful expressiveness.
Quintilian praises Myron for the agility of his statues, with which he overcame the rigidity of earlier times with their hanging arms and closed feet - meaning archaic kouroi or koren - and defends Myron's work, for in art "it is, after all, precisely the difficult and the new that is especially praiseworthy."
A reconstruction of the Athena Marsyas group can be found in front of the Liebieghaus in Frankfurt am Main, and another in the Botanical Garden in Copenhagen.