Developments in Statue.pdf

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Art History
Roger Mc Cleary

Reading Annotations 2012-09-25 7:58 PM “Greater Boldness, More Problems: Early Classical Statues” • Greeks had created an entirely new kind of life -like statue • Questions like “what is the statue d oing? Is he moving or still?” arose for classical period sculptors • Sculptors started to explore emphatic movement • Zeus of Artemisium o Shows the god in midst of vigorous action – moment of hurling a thunderbolt o Gives us the idea of extremely high quality tha t bronze sculptors could achieve at the time o Also shows why greatest sculptors preferred bronze over marble • Began to differentiate how old the character was and personality • Add a beard is one way • Imbalances occurred: for example on Zeus, the torso should’v e been affected by the movement activities, not neutral like the Kritios boy • Discus-thrower by Myron o Was so famous that copies were asked to be made in marble o Trunk used to hold up the weight o Back then statues would be been painted – including the pupils. What we see in museums today is because the paint has faded o Original in bronze has disappeared, but the Roman marble copies give important clues about its design o Post is momentary – moment of stillness because the action of tossing the discus • The Greeks wanted not only to look real, but make them aesthetically pleasing • In olden times, they would’ve used symmetry, but as evident in Discus -thrower, symmetry is abandoned  symmetry is now out of fashion • Torso in the discus thrower (and Zeus) expression so litt le action though, that from certain angles it looked like a dying warror • The High Classical period (450 -420BCE) tries to solve these problems “Style & Taste: Draped Female Figures” • Archaic and classical Greeks portrayed men in the nude but women draped • Drapery allowed to different kinds of expression (calm, movement, etc.) • In fashions we can see how taste changed  at one time simplicity was valued, and at others richness and elaboration • Although statues of clothed women were entirely made of stone, some parts are made to look like flesh, others like fabric • Around 525 BC artists made progress: knew how to suggest breasts and waists underneath clothing • Could distinguish two different kinds of cloth: heavy woolen cloak and thin undergarment • Around 460 BC, a sculpture was able to make a realistic statue: the irregular fall of folds suggested a body underneath • Venus Genetrix o Drapery is so thin that the body is as if it were nude o One breast is bare • In the less than 2 centuries, artists had developed techniques a nd progress of naturalistic representational skill “Advances In Wall Painting: Polygnotos” • Most famous artist following the Persian Wars was Polygnotos (early classical period 475 -450BC) • Painted murals, so none of his works survived; but from ancient wri tten accounts and imitations in sculpture and vase painting, we can get an idea of his revolutionary paintings • Was most interested in delineation of human characters • Expressed through quiet and intense scenes with contrast
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