Life-sized copy of an Ancient Classic

I was asked to create a close copy of the classic sculpture the Discobolus by ancient classical Roman sculptor Myron. The collector then shipped off  the completed peice and painted it in a zany checkered design. I’ve documented the process up until the handover of the peice to be stone-cast and painted.

It all started way back in about 450BC

When a brilliant roman sculptor called Myron wanted to copy a brilliant Greek bronze sculpture of an athlete throwing a discus.

Myron did an exceptionally good job at depicting the form and realistic musculature of the athlete. Popular Roman author Pliny thought he’d really improved upon realistic depictions of athletes, which was something the ancient romans were kind of crazy about back then.

Here’s Myron’s work in marble which has survived extremely well to this day. It’s one of the most famous ancient roman marble sculptures of all time so you’ve probably seen it before.

And so my own process of recopying this brilliant ancient genius's work began

  • I began with a welded steel armature capable of withstanding the over 100kgs (22lb) of weight that would eventually get built onto the structure.
  • I then filled it out with a wire mesh to make a lighter hollow inside area.
  • After that I coated it with fibre and plaster for strength and volume.

At that point I was ready to start adding the clay and creating the detail.

And many hours later here is the result.

How did you like my story? What’s you favourite classical artwork of all time?


  1. Natasha

    I would love to try out this whole process myself..

    • Matt Ziranek

      🙂 Let me know, I’ll be happy to give you advice.

  2. Shelley

    Wow – amazing process Matt and a great result. I’d like to see the zany checkered design on it! Do you have a picture of that?

    • Matt Ziranek

      Thanks Shelley!

      I really should get one hey? I’m going to follow up with the collector and see what I can find…

      By the way I’m definitely going to feature your awesome Nia site in one of my blog posts soon. Will keep you posted on that.

  3. Karen

    Very cool and interesting! And great end product.

    • Matt Ziranek

      Thanks Karen 🙂 I love that there’s a whole history of people trying to reproduce this same sculpture in some way over thousands of years. I don’t think anyone really know how many people have remade it how many times but I’m sure it’s a lot.


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