From the same era as Myron’s Discus Thrower is the Severe era, Zeus, c. 450 BC. He originally held a thunderbolt in his back hand and is poised to throw it forward as if it were a javelin. He gazes to his left seemingly focused on his target.
Are the muscles representative of the moment? One leg rests on the ball of the foot while the other is temporarily on the heel giving Zeus the sense of rocking back and forth in anticipation of the release of his weapon. The thigh muscles are properly tensed and the abdominals are appropriate to an athlete.



The arm holding the thunderbolt displays a rounded, bulging bicep and tension in the triceps and hand, while the arm used for balance is straight without that muscular bulk or definition. Clearly, the artist has analyzed the action and tried to represent how individual muscles react/interact at that moment (disegno esterno). However, there are problems in composition that weaken the strength of the narrative. The face is too calm. (The Greek motto was “never let them see you sweat.”) Additionally, the torso is not accurately turned. The torso and hips are directly facing us, however the hips should pivot toward the target. The result is that Zeus looks like a man posed in a studio rather than truly sweating, biting his lip, and intently gazing at the target, with a body accurately twisted and engaged in the act.

This is a representation of a hero rather than of an athlete. He is exhibiting his prowess rather than exercising it. Again, it appears as if compositional balance and symmetry overran biological accuracy.