I really like the art pieces from the Hellenistic period. The sculptures have such amazing detail like all the ridges and curves of the body. In the video lecture, Boxer (chapter 7, page 111) had such intricate grooves that show a full story. You can imagine what the subject in Boxer had just experienced. The despair and the exhaustion conveyed through his slight slouch shows his defeat. Likewise, Winged Nike (chapter 7, page 110) is filled with motion as shown by the ruffling of her garment.
The depictions of the subject are also very naturalistic and not altered to make the subject more youthful or in better shape. Unlike the classical period, where the subjects have a “S-shape” posture, the sculptures from the Hellenistic period have their limbs outstretched. The limbs are slightly bent, making the limbs seem elongated and elegant.
Additionally, the sculptures are filled with a variety of expression and drama. In addition to The Boxer, the Lacoön and His Two Sons (chapter 7, page112) also expresses a deep sense of emotion. In this sculpture, Lacoön and his two sons are being devoured by a pair of serpents. Once again, even though the limbs of Lacoön are bent, they seem stretched out and elongated.
Outside of the textbook, a sculpture I looked at was Barberini Faun, also sometimes referred to as the Drunken Satyr. Although this was found in Rome, it is believed to have been stolen from Greece. The body is slouched, and the subject is not sitting upright; however, the limbs do seem stretched. The relaxed position of the head resting upon the shoulder that’s hanging on the chair shows the exhausted state the satyr is in. The ivy around his head is intricately carved with great detail.
Learning about the Parthenon and all the great calculations needed to erect it was incredible. I am in awe of all the calculations and the thought process that it was necessary to “fix” the flawed human sight by making the Parthenon more visually pleasing. All the elements to make the building aesthetically pleasing from various angles were done so to exact measurements/ratios. The Parthenon was considered as the house of Athena. The triangular space on the sides of the Parthenon are decorated with scenes of the gods called pediments (Cartwright). Below is a picture I took of the East Pediment of the Parthenon found in the British Museum.
The pyramids were built to honor their pharaohs, ziggurats were for the moon god, and Stonehenge was to honor the dead. All great architectures have a trend that they are to honor an important figure. In America, a lot of the monuments are in remembrance of past presidents. For example, Mount Rushmore honors four important presidents. Additionally, the Lincoln memorial is also similar to the monumental structures. The important figures on Mount Rushmore all helped establish something important during America’s history: The establishment of independence from Britain (Washington), the Declaration of Independence (Jefferson), abolition of slavery (Lincoln), and leadership through world war two (Roosevelt).
Most of the monuments are out of honor. For a more religious monument, cathedrals were built as a place of worship. The design of the building often resemble a cross and the ceilings are full of beautiful murals.
Cartwright, Mark. “The Parthenon Sculptures.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 14 Dec. 2014