Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The art of the human body

Menkaure and Khamerernebty from Gizeh, Egypt is a stylized version of a king and his wife. The figures are melded to the block of stone from which they were formed. This statue could be called a high-relief sculpture. Menkaure stands in a rigid pose with his arms straight by his sides and his fists clenched with his thumbs facing forward. His left leg is slightly advanced but the unbalance of weight amongst his legs is not recognized in his body. This rigidness was the norm in Egyptian art. Khamerernebty stands in a similar pose but with her right arm wrapped around her husband and her left hand on his arm. This pose shows their marital status. This statue was not created to show emotion but to  "suggest the timeless nature of the stone statue that was designed to provide an eternal substitute home for the ka." This statue of a king and his wife was stylized with the Egyptian standard.  

Polykleitos exemplified his ideas for the perfect human body in the statue Doryphoros (Spear Bearer). In Polykleitos's eyes it was the ideal version of a nude male athlete. Contrapposto is used in this statue but the artist wanted more than the perfect balance of weight. He aimed to impose order on human movement. This seemingly relaxed pose is actually quite complicated. The balance between the person's parts is complex in order to create this casual look. The figure is in motion yet not moving. Polykleitos mastered what he believed to be the ideal nude male athlete or warrior in his statue, Doryphoros. 


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