Nike of Samothrace is such a beautiful sculpture, even if she is missing her head!
Both styles of Greek art – classical and hellenistc – paid a lot of attention to detail and human bodies. ‘Contraposto’ balance was an important and amazing part of their sculptures – balancing the figure as a human body balances itself (i.e. if one arm moves, a leg has to shift weight, too). Unfortunately, a lot of their amazing sculptures remain today as Roman marble copies because the original bronzes were melted down for weaponry. The Romans couldn’t manage the balancing situation, so a lot of the figures have to be propped up by logs and bridges and vases, etc.
See this example of Hermes and the infant Dionysis has a cross on the right? That’s to keep the sculpture upright because this is a copy. Just Ignore his man parts if they offend you.
We’ve moved from Egyptian art into Greek art and we have our second exam today.
Thursday we’ll be starting Roman art. What I enjoy most about this particular art history class is how the art objects clearly relate to the culture of the people at the time. I can’t really say I felt as intrigued about the 359035 different types of impressionist paintings during art history II – because even though it said a lot about the progress of art at that time, I don’t feel convinced that it says a lot about the culture of people. With ‘Egyptian’ art we learn a lot about who Egyptians were, what they did, what they believed in and how these artifacts relate to their lives.