Who Was the Most Famous Artist in Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece was a hub of art, culture, and philosophy. Greek artists were known for their intricate sculptures, pottery, and paintings.

But who among them was the most famous artist of all time? Let’s explore some of the greatest artists of ancient Greece.

Phidias – The Master Sculptor

Phidias was a renowned sculptor who lived in Athens during the 5th century BCE. He is considered the greatest sculptor in ancient Greece due to his exceptional skills in carving marble and bronze. Phidias was responsible for creating some of the most iconic sculptures that adorned the Parthenon temple in Athens.

One of his most famous works is the statue of Athena Parthenos, which stood over 40 feet tall inside the temple. He also created a massive statue of Zeus at Olympia that measured around 40 feet in height as well.

Phidias was known for his attention to detail and his ability to capture emotions through his sculptures. His works inspired many other artists that came after him and are still admired by art lovers around the world.

Apelles – The Master Painter

Apelles was perhaps the most famous painter in ancient Greece. He was born in Ephesus during the 4th century BCE and gained fame due to his exceptional skills with a brush. Apelles’ style was characterized by its realism and attention to detail.

One of Apelles’ most famous works is The Aphrodite Anadyomene (Aphrodite Rising from the Sea). According to legend, Alexander the Great himself posed as a model for this painting.

Apelles used vibrant colors and intricate details to bring his paintings to life. His mastery over light and shadow made his paintings look almost three-dimensional. Unfortunately, none of Apelles’ original works have survived over time, but we know about them through accounts written by other ancient authors.

Polykleitos – The Master Sculptor of Proportions

Polykleitos was a sculptor who lived in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. He was known for his work on human proportions and creating sculptures that adhered to strict mathematical principles. Polykleitos believed that beauty could be achieved through perfect proportions.

His most famous work is the Doryphoros (Spear-Bearer), which is a life-size statue of a young athlete holding a spear. The statue is characterized by its balanced composition and perfectly proportioned features.

Polykleitos’ theories on proportions and his use of mathematical principles had a significant influence on art during ancient Greece and beyond.


Overall, there were many talented artists in ancient Greece, but Phidias, Apelles, and Polykleitos are often considered the greatest among them. Their works inspired generations of artists to come and continue to amaze people with their beauty today. Whether it’s through sculpture or painting, the legacy of these great artists lives on.