Sunday, 23 November 2014

#585 Fragments, the Greeks, and Michelangelo

Since my art school days in the 1960s and ongoing travels to the world's great museums over the years, I have been captivated and greatly influenced by ancient sculpture.  The legacy of Greek art and art of older civilizations is the root of Western figurative art and to this day, I can be found in the antique sculpture galleries when visiting a world-class museum.

At left, I'm in one of the antique sculpture galleries
at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Below, is an image of a resin casting of an antique fragment from the Parthenon frieze  purchased in the museum's gift shop. . .
                                                                                  a constant inspiration in my studio.

The focus of this blog is art history . . . specifically, fragments, the Greeks, and Michelangelo.

Artistically speaking, Greek art reached perfection during the fifth and fourth centuries B. C.   These periods,
called the Golden Age and the Hellenistic Age to the end of the second century, B.C.
 are considered one of the highest levels of artistic achievements ever attained by man.
Sculptors broke away from old laws of frontally and studied athletes in action.
Sculpture was created which depicted anatomy, balance, and ideal proportions of the human body.

When the Romans conquered Greece and plundered her art treasures, they filled their
villas with Greek art and copies of Greek art . . . much of it was discovered in places like the
Forum in Rome in the form of broken and fragmented pieces during the early Renaissance.

The discovery of acknowledged Greek masterpieces like "The Apollo Belvedere", "The Belvedere Torso",
 and "The Laocoon",  located in the Vatican in Rome,  created a universal standard of art and perfection
in Western art.  Greek truncated, fragmented, and partial figures were highly collected and regarded
 as the ideal in figurative art.  Today, they remain the pinnacle of perfection.

Shown below, are images of the above mentioned Greek masterpieces.

Apollo Belvedere

Belvedere Torso


  "The Belvedere Torso" located in the Vatican Museum was greatly admired by Michelangelo and there's no
doubt that these discoveries greatly influenced the Renaissance.  Although Michelangelo represents the
final spirit of the Renaissance,  his early stay in Rome brought him into contact with ancient sculpture
and firmly directed his style as he initiated mannerism and the Baroque in Florence.

 Note:  The fragmented or truncated figures that were discovered and have survived the centuries,
would have been intolerable to the Greek ideal of wholeness and beauty.

 Shown below are images of sculpture by Michelangelo and shows the influence of  Roman copies
of  Greek fragments that ushered in his classical perception of the perfect nude.  More about his
"emerging" or "unfinished" style presented in these works in an upcoming blog.

Young Captive

 Captive Awakening

Captive Known As Atlas

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information. 

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

No comments:

Post a Comment