Arnaldo's son Alfo working in the Egregia studio.
It has been said that "In the fourth century, the
gods descended a little from Olympus and became more like human
beings." That might have been said concerning this magnificent
work of Praxiteles. With his Hermes the abstract beauty has become
more closely related to physical beauty. It is as though the
master had changed marble to flesh through the soft modeling
of the face. The detached gaze implies a dreamy contemplation.
The head has been made from the full figure of Hermes holding
the infant Dionysos. It was found in the ruins of the temple
of Hera at Olympia, site of the original Olympic games. Praxiteles),
Skopas and Lysippos were considered the greatest sculptors of
the fourth century. We know the works of all three through Roman
copies which were made, but the Hermes of Praxiteles is the only
statue that has come down to us from the actual hand of one of
these great sculptors.