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The sculptures of the Pantheon were often seen as the best examples of the high classical style Greek art They consisted of one long frieze several square panels and two huge triangular compositions which were taken from the main temple of the goddess Athene in Athens built c550 BCE However the Pantheon marbles did not arrive in the West until the first half of the nineteenth Century and although ancient sculpture was central to the canon during the Renaissance most examples were either Roman copies of Greek works or Hellenistic Art theorist Giovanni Pietro Bellori 1615-96 made a significant contribution to the development of the canon by looking closely at ancient sculpture and using it to apply to modern standards of painting His main point from the extracts of his book Lives of the Modern Painters Sculptors Architects 1672 is that perfect beauty does not exist in nature therefore the realm of Ideas should be used to overcome natural deformities and disproportion Bellori sites Cicero as a perfect exemplar as when he calved the sculptures of Jupiter and Minerva he did not contemplate any object from which to take likeness but considered in his mind a form full of beauty on which he concentrated Fernie p64 Bellori likened the Ideal as a reflection of the first perfect creation thus giving it Godly significance Belloris arguments were based on the ideas of a number writers from antiquity as well as Vasaris The Lives of Artists 1568 He was lead to the concluded that artists should seek out the works that best showed the Ideal beauty and strive to attain these qualities in their own works Thus he defended the art of Raphael and others when critics said they were merely imitators of antiquity Ferni p61 Belloris book had a significant impact on the development of the canon from the Renaissance until the early nineteenth century By being championed by artists such as
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