«When reason and spirit fuse, as they did in the time of Perikles, the natural goal of the artist is to portray beauty in the image of man, but idealized. Like the philosopher and the scientist, the artist sought the essence of the thing, trying to strip away confusing details and variations to uncover the purest ideal of the human body, the perfect balance between flesh, spirit, and intellect. This, for him, was the best rendition of a god and of spiritual perfection. No symbols or special trappings of divinity were required beyond the figure’s physical harmony. The most perfect beauty, to the Greek of the fifth century, was the pure and unadorned.
– From Nicholas Gage, Introduction to The Greek Miracle: Classical Sculpture from the Dawn of Democracy, the Fifth Century B.C.