SERGEL, Johan Tobias
(b. 1740, Stockholm, d. 1814, Stockholm)


c. 1770
Terracotta, height 41 cm
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

About 1770, sculptors firmly bound to the classical ideal began to emerge. The taste for heroic Classicism encouraged a more severe and historical style. The English sculptor Thomas Banks was preeminent among its proponents. The Swede Johan Tobias Sergel, the most gifted sculptor in the circle of the painter Fuseli, modeled his style on that of Banks, and he soon surpassed his mentor in the mastery of freestanding work. His Diomedes, showing the Greek hero resolutely moving forward on his guard against attack, is one of the masterpieces of heroic classical style.