Diana Probst is a professional artist based in Cambridge, UK. Diana has kindly given me permission to reproduce some of her sketches of ancient Greek sculptures. Below the images, Diana adds some remarks on her choice of subject and the influence of Greek culture on her work. First is a sketch of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.
Diana writes: ‘I could never be the artist I am without the influence of Greek culture. The development of statuary from the stylised Egyptian traditions to the fluid, lifelike stone work of the city states created work that I love to look at today. This is one of my earliest sketches, the lines solidified to allow me to recreate it in ink with no tonal work. To get there, I had to sit in a cast museum, surrounded by images that were two thousand years old. The Aphrodite of Knidos was not just ground-breaking, but also heart-breaking.
‘I chose a Nike as my subject because the drapery appealed, but I was surrounded by hundreds of examples of beauty and drama, made by the urge to create those things in stone. I love the results of this work, and they are firmly within all the work I do. I owe my style to Praxiteles and Phidias, via the Renaissance and the blurred eyes of archaeologists.’
Next, a study of Laocoön
Diana writes: ‘I drew Laocoön on a busy afternoon, with at least a dozen groups of people coming through the Cast Museum. The most interesting was the group of young teens in school uniform who stopped to talk about what I was drawing. One insisted on me sketching her, so she has gone down for posterity next to the priest who insisted the wooden horse should not come into Troy. On the whole, I prefer the statue, but the school children were refreshing in their approach.’
Finally, a study of a young warrior
Diana notes, ‘The warrior is an unidentified young man, but the statue is a good one. He would have had a shield, but that did not survive.’
More examples of Diana’s work, some of which are available for purchase, can be seen on her website.