Tag Archives: body

Portrait of a Young Woman.

15 Jul
Portrait of a Young Woman, ca. 1470, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

Portrait of a Young Woman, ca. 1470, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

This ‘Portrait of a Young Woman’ by Petrus Christus, who is considered as a successor to Jan van Eyck, belongs among the masterworks of Flemish painting in Renaissance time. For the first time a portrait does not show the sitter in front of a neutral background, but in a concrete space, here defined by the wall panels. The unknown woman, whose rich velvet clothing suggests that she might come from France, radiates an aura of discretion and of nobility. The identity of the woman stays however, an object of speculation and mystery.

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Gothic Naturalism by Claus Sluter.

14 Mar

Detail of Angel Claus Sluter

Claus Sluter was the most famous sculptor of his days (1340-1405) and a key figure in the school of Gothic Art. Sluter’s sculptures are naturalistic and expressive, and more earthly bound than idealistic. He restored the monumental scale and naturalism of the classical era. His later work is highly emotional, using facial expressions, figural stance, and drapery. This can be particularly seen in the heavy folds of cloth that so many later imitators draped around their figures. His style of naturalism went on to influence a generation of realist Renaissance painters like Jan van Eyck, Roger Van der Weyden, Matthias Grunewald and Albrecht Durer. Sluter’s most famous surviving work is the Well of Moses to be visited in Dijon, France. It shows strongly individualized figures of Moses, David, and the Prophets. A masterpiece of dignity and power.

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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.

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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