The 'Charioteer' is a nearly life-sized bronze statue from ancient Greece, serving as evidence of both the customs and artistic development of the early classical period circa 474 BC. Standing approximately 1.8 meters tall, this statue represents a youthful charioteer in a victory stance.

The figure is shown holding the reins with a poised intensity common of the Severe or Early Classical Period. His unmoving stance - feet together, arms rigid by his sides - demonstrates a sense of discipline and dignity typically associated with the ideal Greek citizen. The tall, slim figure wears a long chiton, intricately detailed, showcasing the creator's technical skill. The serene and thoughtful expression on the sculpted face, combined with almond-shaped, inlaid eyes made of onyx and glass, provide an impressively realistic appearance.

His detailed hair, styled in precise, cascading curls, is bound by an ornamental headband traditionally used to signify victors in ancient Greece. Significant discoloration on the statue's right arm marks the place where the original copper reins were attached, indicating that the charioteer would have controlled a quadriga, or four-horse chariot.

The statue’s head and right arm are original and were crafted using the 'lost wax' casting technique, allowing for heightened intricacy. Restorations upon its discovery in 1896 helped replace damaged or missing parts, and the condition of the entire statue demonstrates considerable preservation, revealing insights into the era's artistic capability.

An inscription on the limestone base identifies the figure as Polyzalus, a tyrant of Gela in Sicily, firmly anchoring the statue within a precise historical context. This votive statue of Apollo acts as a symbol of both divine and human successes. Hence, the statue illustrates not only aesthetic excellence, but also reflects the socio-political and religious dynamics of the period.

Archaeological Museum of Delphi
Delphi, Sacred Way