Clay red-figure amphora from the Classical Period, with a representation of Achilles.

The vase depicts the most important hero of the Trojan War, Achilles.

His posture is almost statuesque. The robust physique, the bare muscular legs, and the finesse in the rendering of the face and the hairstyle expresses vigor and majesty combined with inner peace and grace.

The representation of Achilles’ body primarily follows the principles set by Polykleitos in his sculpture entitled “Doryphoros.”

From Vulci. Ca 445/440 BC. Vatican Museums, Museo Gregoriano Etrusco 16571.

© Musei Vaticani – Museo Gregoriano Etrusco.



1.  Look for information about one of the leading sculptors of antiquity, Polykleitos.

2.  Discover why Polykleitos’ “Doryphoros” came to be known as CANON.

3.  Learn the Greek etymologies of the following words: αρμονία (harmony), συμμετρία (symmetry), and αρτιμέλεια (able-bodied).


1.  Do you believe that Doryphoros’ proportions apply to all human types, in all cultures of the world?

2.  In cinema, fashion, and magazines, we used to see certain standards being projected and dominating. Today, this is changing. Discuss the reasons why this is happening.