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Fallen warrior.

27 Feb

Dying Gaul Hellenistic Greece

This statue shows a fallen warrior straining to support himself on one arm as blood gushes from a wound in his side. He represents a Gallic warrior with a typically Gallic hairstyle and moustache. He lies on his fallen shield while his sword and other objects lie beside him. Hellenistic sculptures, situated around 330 – 146 BC, where an absolute highlight because of their vividness and individuality. There is a clear appearance of anatomy and movement: the musculature is accentuated and the artists showed a great preference for complicated compositions. In essence we can talk about an extreme realism. The human being is no longer placed forward as an ideal image, but as a reality. Expressions of feelings and passions are no longer hidden. People are shown just as they are.

Aphrodite, nude for the first time.

26 Feb

Aphrodite Knidos Praxiteles Greece

Aphrodite is a goddess of great meaning in Greek mythology. She is the goddess of love, beauty, sexuality and fertility. Back in 390-330 BC the ‘Aphrodite of Cnidus’ by Praxiteles claims its position in ancient Greek art as the first monumental cult statue of a goddess to be represented completely nude. The popularity was expressed through an endless stream of imitations and replicas. It can be seen as the starting point of a new history in art, as this introduction of the monumental female nude occurred at least three centuries after the introduction of the monumental male nude statue. It is a history that sexually defines the represented woman by her complete nudity and, on that account, keeps her in a perpetual state of vulnerability.

Temple of colours.

25 Feb

paintings on Greek temple

For many of us, ancient Greece equals gleaming white marble temples and palaces. But in fact, temples and public buildings of the time exploded with colour. The finest of white marbles were whitewashed and painted. Three basic colours were used: white, blue and red, occasionally also black. Only the details or decorative elements were painted, while the columns were mostly kept white. Archaeologists and historians know about this tradition in ancient Greek architecture, yet little of this information makes its way to the public. One of the reasons is the public refusal to accept Greece (and Rome later on), as being abundantly colourful. The ‘pure white marble temple’ concept is so deeply ingrained in our minds, that when we hear about the colours, we soon tend to forget it.

Kouros, symbol of youth.

24 Feb

anavyss

The kouros is one of the earliest freestanding marble statues from around the 7th century BC. It demonstrates the interest that ancient Greeks had in the male form and is a symbol of youth. It would be used as a tomb stone or as a dedication in the sanctuary of a god. The features are very distinctive: the smile, the outspoken musculature, the rigid posture, the hands closed in fists and the left leg slightly standing forward. The kouros served as an inspiration for Yves Saint Laurent, who launched a very masculine fragrance under the name Kouros, in 1981. The advertisements, still now, totally embody the ancient features and represent strong and attractive young men.

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