Apollo much on realism the details of his

Apollo the python slayer, and how Praxiteles sculptures, resembled art that further tied into Greek nudity, and health measures, found in ancient greek art.The piece of art I chose to write about is, Apollo the python-slayer. Apollo was also known as sauroktonos, and the (lizard-slayer). Apollo was sculpted by Praxiteles, which was one of his more famous Ancient Greek sculptures during the 4th century. the reason why Praxiteles was well known for a lot of his work as a sculpture was, because he focused so much on realism the details of his work showed extreme detail. The use of bronze, copper, and marble. Were skills that allowed him to create such pieces of work, these pieces of work captured the movement and muscles of ones body, which further enhanced the knowledge in the Greeks human anatomy, and how the body worked. The pieces in greek art also focused a lot on realism, and perfection. Many of the works of art, the Greeks created were of the nude, many wonder how this form of art reflected to there society, culture, and how it was a big impact in the acceptance of Greeks being nude in other aspects of life. Most of the works of nude were young male figures, or men, that are of good shape, and in good health. Also the use of nudity was impacted by the olympic Games. In some specific cases the use of a women’s body would be displayed, but nothing close to what it would have been in the time period, considering if it was a male. Females were shown, but with certain limitations, and only under special occasions.  Praxiteles was A well known greek from Athens, for his art and many different types of sculptures, the work of art I chose to write about is, Apollo the python-slayer. Apollo was the god of light, and this sculpture was seen as him being, “the vanquisher of darkness, the god of reason and light superintended the flaying of marsyas (Clark, pg.30).” This is saying apollo was there  to make sure the darkness stays out, and flaying, is brought up to represent the music contest in which, “Apollo was challenged by Marsyas, and Marsyas loses. Apollo then punished his hubris, by having him flayed alive. (Nizynska, pg.152).” this was done by Apollo, in my eyes he did this  to show power, and establish dominance. The sculpture that represents Apollo, was made on a life size scale, sculpted in bronze, copper and stone inlay. The use of contrapposto helps give a better understanding that he was leaning on something, Apollos stance is viewed as a stance of power, (the Cleveland museum) and many of his works like Apollo, were of the nude. The greeks started making art of the nude around 700bc, the use of nude sculptures helped show the good health one could have. This also helped show strength, and human anatomy, through the movements of the human body. The sculpture of Apollo the python-slayer, appears to be very dark grayish-black in its tone, this piece of art seems to be extremely fragile, due to the amount of damages the piece is seen to have. There are many cracks, and damages, to the work of art alone, since the piece of art is hallow. I believe it makes it easier to deteriorate, and damage throughout time, because of it being a hallow sculpture, In person you can see all the damages, and even get a glance of what the inside of the sculpture looks like through, the broken arms on the body. “The hand, and snake like figure, are shown in an adjacent case of Apollo, (Cleveland art museum).” The case is showing you that some parts still remain, but parts of the art have perished as-well. Praxiteles created Apollo, by adding vast, and intricate details in the sculptures whole, from the hair, face, and body. These details carried down to even the smaller details, like the nipples, toes, eyes and penis. Which can be seen fairly easy, through a brief observation or viewing of the sculpture. Praxiteles was an amazing artist however, one of his works were different form the others, that have been made before “Parian marble (Havelock, pg.9).” This marble helped his process of recognition, And become known and liked by other people. “Praxiteles in the second half of the 360s, had at the same time close relations with important politicians, philosophers, and poets (Corso, pg.26).” These close relations, were made through his art, and sculptures. When Praxiteles got well known, many people from all over wanted works of art created by him. The piece of art that helped his name grow the most was said to be a marble statue, the cnidian Aphrodite, (knidos) Also referred to as Venus Pudica. “It was claimed that the poses of the Capitoline and Medici goddesses, exhibit shame, and self consciousness. He labeled the action of their arms the “Pudica gesture”  (havelock, pg.69).” This was one of the main reasons the work of art got so much recognition. “Before the late 360s Praxiteles fame was established in Athens, but afterwards built up an international reputation. “This process harks back, to the creation of the statue of Aphrodite  (Corso, pg.9).” Praxiteles created this sculpture because, “the Cnidians wanted a marble Aphrodite made by Praxiteles (Corso pg.26).” When Praxiteles made this work of art out of Parian marble, it brought attention to him as  this helped him, “established his world wide fame (Corso, pg.9).” Not only was he just being recognized through this time period, his sculptures are still spoken about highly in todays art. “his art was going to become one of the most famous statues of the Greek world (Corso, pg.9).” This piece of art was significant for Praxiteles, and Greek art, because it was the first complete nude of a goddess to be shown “the very first monumental cult statue of a goddess, to be represented completely nude (Pollock, pg.70).”  And when he made this sculpture out of marble, he became more than well known. It wasn’t just the use of marble that brought so much attention, this fame also had to do with, The way Praxiteles used specific, and diverse skill, that most good artist had and used in the period.  When creating his sculptures and paintings, he used techniques like the use of contrapposto which is portrayed in the shift of ones body, And also the use of chiaroscuro. the fact Praxiteles created and became well known for the sculpting of the cnidian aphrodite, is important because these pieces of art are significant in Greek life, and both relate and are in comparison to each other, these sculptures were looked up to because of their holy status. Both sculptures have many of the same characteristics, like the fact both of  the sculptures are shown to use contrapposto. In which both sculptures, are shifted in weight in the torso. Although these works have many diverse similarities, you cant see Aphrodites legs in the sculpture, due to her drapery, however there legs, seem to be similar at first glance to Apollos but its stated that, “the stance of the goddess shows a sinuosity more pronounced, than in the early works of Praxiteles. But less pronounced than works of his full maturity, such as the Apollo sauroctonus (Corso, pg.18).” This is inferring that, in Apollos sculpture his stance is more noticeable, strong, striking and distinct then Aphrodite’s sculpture. Both of these works of art were still made, and seen to be similar. Praxiteles sculpted the heads, and facial features similar as well in both works of art, although Apollo was a male, he had young female traits it seems,  “the cnidian head also agrees, with the typical praxitelean heads of young female subjects of the 360s: the almond shaped eyes, the strong nose, the small mouth and the protruding chin. The hair is divided in the middle; wavy locks are brought back and collected at the nape in a chignon.(Corso, pg.20).” Apollo is seemed to have these female characteristics, and all of these listed characteristics are found in both, the cnidian Aphrodite, and apollo the python-slayer. The faces on both sculptures look extremely similar, this is probably due to the mix in principle. “this mix of the principle female features with minor male lines perhaps functions to achieve ideal beauty(Corso, pg.20).” Not only were the faces of these two sculptures similar, the way there body’s are positioned were in comparison. Both of the sculptures were made to signify beauty, and perfection, through realism. “the Greeks had no doubt that the god Apollo was like a perfectly beautiful man, his body conformed certain laws of portion, and in the way the body moved (Clark, pg.30).” They seen the same characteristics in Aphrodite, as they seen in apollo. These features gave most of his works of art significant detail and meaning,  Praxiteles was good at including detail in all areas, and knew how to incorporate them in his art. Apollo the python-slayer, was created by Praxiteles before the cnidian Aphrodite, and was a far more acceptable, and more of a common work of art in the Greek period, Apollo was a god in which, “everything must be calm and clear: clear as daylight, for Apollo is the god of light. Since justice can exist only when facts are measured in the light of reason, Apollo is the god of justice (Clark, pg.30).” With Apollo being a god it gives equal attention to both pieces of work, although the cnidian Aphrodite, gave Praxiteles his fame,  Apollo the python-slayer, sculpture was a more common piece of art in this time period, because nudity was obscure. and women had many differences, when it came down to the way they lived outt there life. In the Greeks eyes there were many cases in which, “men would be naked or nude throughout many activities in there life like bathing, sports, and even in the public. But varied for women, women nudity was looked upon much differently, and women were almost always found clothed (Hallett, pg.5).” The women of this time were seen “with clothes and this continues to be the case, unless you were a prostitue, and or rape victim (Hallett, pg.5).” the greeks participated in Olympic Games which were, “one of the aspects of the culture regarded as distinctive to the greeks, this was their pursuit of sport, and athletic competition, Which the greeks used to promote and celebrate their ethnic bonds (serwint, pg.403).” Throughout the time of the Olympic Games being around, “The men began to exercise, and participate in the athletic competitions, at the great pan-Hellenic festivals completely naked, this is said to be mainly due to the “Olympic victor whose lion-cloth, which is worn, when competing at athletics. Accidentally fell off, during a race (Hallett, pg.6).” When his clothes were stripped it left him naked, and many men looked at this as some sort of calling, or maybe they viewed it as an opportunity to be seen as the perfect form of beauty in which was represented in the art in this time. Soon after this, the appearance of the nude was found in new areas, such as in the public. This however also wasn’t looked or viewed as a bad thing to the Greeks,  “it eventually became completely acceptable for a man, and remained, entirely taboo for respectable women (except at Sparta) (Hallet, pg.6).” The Olympic Games were played on the same date, in most cases “the games always took place at the second full moon after the summer solstice, in 300b.c. That fell on August 9th (Miller, pg.113).” The Olympic Games became another practice for nudity, in which there were so much men being accepted, and allowed to expose themselves through the nudity at Olympic Games. This got to the point there were more limitations set in place. “The ban on married women watching the Olympic Games, probably also originated with the nudity of the athletics (Hallett, pg.6).” also with this ban allowed, for another source of human anatomy entirely. “With the rule athletics can be competed naked, it encouraged the acceptance of nudity for young men, and boys undergoing physical training (Hallett, pg.7).” Women were only allowed to participate in the “quadrennial festival of the heraia at Olympia, this provided one of the few attested venues for girls to participate in athletic competitions (Serwint, pg.403).” Although the women got to participate in athletics, they were still limited to certain events. “during the classical period in Greece, aside from equestrian events, they were also allowed in running contest (Serwint, pg.404).” The Olympic Games, brought up a lot of nude art, The works of many diverse pieces of art emerged. Like the art found on vases in Classical Greek art. “Also these figures represented naked; which makes It seem more likely that the nudity of all these figures were not motivated by realism at all, but was intended to emphasize their vulnerability (Hallett, pg.9).” Which can be interpreted by there bare skin, and vulnerability of the armor they wore. In many cases however “The earlier greek habit of representing the male figure naked, or partly naked in battle scenes.(Hallet, pg.9).” Became more known and popular. The nudity of figures in Classical Greek art, were really becoming popular, and many artistic sculptures of the nude, were made during this time. And not only were there just sculptures but all works of art. either male, or female. In many cases women were again subjected to different treatment, but after reading, I don’t think it was a limitation or specific rules, set for women. But it was more about the way greeks viewed women, in real life and throughout art. when it came down to the practice of nudity. In the greek art “with developing of narrative painting in Greece, both in wall paintings, and painted pottery. Men were allowed to be shown naked in situations like dancing, and in erotic cases or scenes, shown having sex with women of youths (Hallett, pg.8).” This is something I was interested and intrigued me, because I didn’t know the Olympic Games, had so much to contribute to the nudity in greek art. I also didn’t know and discovered, Praxiteles made two sculptures, one of bronze and one of marble, “in one was draped and was preferred by the people of cos, who had an option on the sale, and still chose the draped one. The statue they refused was purchased by the people of Cnidus instead, and later achieved a greater reputation then the draped sculpture.(Corso, pg.9-10).” The works, and sculptures of nude woman, weren’t popular in fact not common at all, the only women shown like this would be goddesses most the time. “Praxiteles believed the judgement of Paris, was the guarantee that a mortal could admire a goddesses’ beauty, when translated into female terms. The goddess was bathing, in which had the function of purifying and regenerating the goddess, The nakedness also intended to express a state of purity. (Corso, pg.14).” This was only the way a goddess was viewed. Nude women weren’t a big thing with the greeks, but with the respect and the way they viewed women, goddesses were ok to be seen like this however. With the cnidian Aphrodite, being the work of art that gave Praxiteles his fame, it would make sense for it to be a women of the nude, in my opinion, Mainly because it seems they were extremely fascinated by the body of a human, but more intrigued, with the human anatomy of women in greek art. The works of art throughout Greece related to other subjects such as greek medicine, and the ways greeks viewed specific things. these pieces of art are represented in many different ways, for instance the greeks new right away that “Apollo was like a perfectly beautiful man, because his body conformed certain laws or proportions. (Clark, pg.30).” This is referring again to the perfection found in greek art, that even the body of ones art had to be confirmed properly in their eyes.  Such as the sculptures that were made all in line.  There were relations in which emphasized health such as the bathing, “Baths, associated with the deities of health and of the instinctive life (Corso, pg.279).” The artistic pieces form greek helped noticed, and discover certain deformities, throughout greek life. With realism, and perfection being such a factor, through the use of perfect images and perfect bodies found in art, this  probably was a factor in the beginning of plastic surgery. just like we see today In our society. I think this was the case because with the idea of realism and perfection, the thought of imperfection had to be a thought. “We must first examine the mechanisms, which art criticism has vigorously implemented in order to camouflage its deficiency (Pollock, pg.117).” This is really focusing, and speaking on the fact that, in greek art I see a lot of perfection, and no imperfection or sculptures with deformities. “the mechanisms used to camouflage deficiency (Pollock, pg.113).” Are often missed and over looked, in greek art. With there being no deformities or anything shown in art  rather then perfect human in Greeks time, this didn’t help people with deformities, or even people who weren’t built perfect, many people don’t see there-self, as a beautiful figure. Instead people resulted and tried to make them self look perfect instead, “46 and still rather ugly- even after six operations… her pug-like face would need more than the skill of a surgeons knife to reach the Grecian ideal of perfection, are indicative of and therefore perpetuate, precisely that very system which, measures female worth against a utterly and unachievable standard of perfect beauty (Pollock, pg.117).” The use of perfection through the arts of Greece made, an unrealistic goal to be reached by most females. Making women think, and in some cases result in plastic surgery. “Volatile and contentions, viewing the practice exclusively as yet another invasive assault on women’s bodies.(Pollock, pg.117).” In my understanding I believe after researching Apollo, and Praxiteles. the human anatomy of a women in the greeks life was very important to them, maybe a little more then the males, this would be hard to prove due to the fact, a lot of the art works had to due with the male body in the greeks art. But I believe its true, and like this because, the body of a women was more entertaining and grasped peoples attention. I also believe in many cases the plastic surgeries performed, probably were the source of a lot of the medical tools found or used, in the time period, and the source of learning more about the body. In which these tools could have been used to actually perform certain procedures, that needed to be done. I believe this is the same practice, that was used on multiple body parts to perform specific operations. All these styles of art are different, these diverse types of art were used in attempts, to better understand the human anatomy during the greek time. The use of Praxiteles nude sculptures helped, show and create, an unreal image of perfection. In which Many people probably didn’t look similar too, the way they shaped the human anatomy in greek art. Such as Apollo the python-slayer, And the cnidian Aphrodite. Were remarkable. Both of these works were sculptures of gods, created by Praxiteles. No matter the material he used to sculpt his pieces of art, he was able to provide specific detail, resembling perfection. He mainly was using bronze, copper, or marble to sculpt his Sculptures. But these skills Praxiteles was gifted with, allowed for him to create vivid details showing perfection. This was important because while showing perfection, he also showed very intricate movements, structure, and muscles of the human the body through, the human anatomy. I learned a significant amount about art in the greek time period, a few things that stood out to me in my findings were, that specific positions of art or sculptures, can have certain meanings behind them. The way Praxiteles created his art was very organized. He seemed to keep things in line, such as limbs, and other objects. This specific focus I believe was mainly known and found in male pieces of art, this was mainly due too the amount of muscles a fit male would have, this really focused on certain muscles, in which one wouldn’t see without the detail form the specific movements of a human body, that’s why I think the Olympic art was very important, the works of art symbolized the movements one would probably end up in during an Olympic game. The paintings and sculptures that resemble movements that I’ve seen were from the Olympic Games or in some way relating to it, in which I think makes perfect sense due to the nature of the sports. The nude was a way of life for the greeks, the men were known to be naked in everyday life, and also in the Olympic Games for a period of time, I didn’t really understated why you would want to compete in the nude honestly, but it was expressed to them as something good, however the nude was ok for the men, it still was looked upon for a women of good health to be shown nude, the only women of good health to be shown in this way were the goddesses. I think this was a smart move by the greeks, I believe if the goddesses weren’t the only female of good health to really be nude in art, then the admiring of a women would start to mean nothing, or less then it did. I think sense they only showed women that were goddesses, and always in a respectful manor, that this was one of the reasons the people of Greece admired goddesses, they were always looking into the human anatomy of the body, but they really seemed intrigued in learning more of the women’s anatomy. I believe this was mainly because, the nude women in the greek life, and in todays times is still such a intriguing type of most art works. 


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