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Greek and Roman Art Essay

Greek sculptures embody a lot of things and meanings. The way they create a certain object reflects to their psychological state that human beings are ‘the measure of things. ’ One of the known Greek artists during the ancient times is Praxiteles. He is the most famous ancient Greek artist because of his countless masterpieces such as the Aphrodite of Knidos and Nike Adjusting Her Sandal. Another well-known magnum opus that is crafted by Praxiteles is Hermes and the infant god Dionysus. Hermes and the infant god Dionysus is created by

Praxiteles in a way that it is anchored to his ultimate decision of altering the rules and principles of the standard and ideal body proportions. It is the most famous example of an adult and child statuary. Praxiteles traces the Kephisodotos step by creating and sculpting a piece delineating a relationship between two figures (Praxiteles, 2008). This sculpture is found at Olympia where it has been commissioned for the said sanctuary. It conveys and expresses the secular world of the period (Hermes and the Infant Dionysus, n/d).

Due to the artist’s manipulation and alteration of the standard body proportion, the adult on the artwork which is Hermes, is portrayed as tall and slender, standing in calm, tranquil and relax position. His figure encompasses various lines—from vertical, horizontal, curvilinear and spiral. Vertical lines are visible in his nose, neck and lower part of his leg. Horizontal lines are evident in his eyes and lips. Spiral lines are noticeable in his twisted and curly hair. Curvilinear dominates the whole figure—from Hermes’ face down to his feet.

His phallus is not rendered. Nevertheless, a part of the male organ is still exposed and depicted. On the other hand, the baby figure, which is Dionysus, is illustrated in such a way that it is carried by Hermes in his left arm. The infant is just composed of curvilinear. He faces sideways making its physical features appear summarily represented. The cloth that wraps his lower body demonstrates horizontal lines, as well as the trunk of the tree which functions as support of the sculpture per se.

On the contrary, Roman sculptures are said to be copied in Greek’s even though they are said to be purely Roman in origin and conception. Some statues are imitations and pastiche of more than one Greek original; some are combinations of Greek gods/athletes’ image and Roman head (Department of Greek Art and Roman, n/d). One of the ancient Roman sculptures which is said and believed that is copied from Greek’s is The Hope Dionysos. It embodies a retrospective Greco-Roman style (Hemingway, 2007).

It is crafted during the late 1st century A. D. but during the 18th century it is restored by Vincenzo Pacetti (Vincenzo Pacetti. The Hope Dionysos: 1990. 247, 2006). The main figure in the sculpture is Dionysos. He is portrayed standing at ease and his left arm is resting on a female figure traditionally recognized as Spes, the embodiment and representation of hope. Dionysos wears a panther skin overlapping his chiton while a cloak envelops around his upper right arm and shoulder (Vincenzo Pacetti. The Hope Dionysos: 1990. 247, 2006).

The statue is composed of various intricate lines—horizontal, vertical, curvilinear and spiral. The robes of the two figures possess a myriad of draperies which illustrate various vertical lines; however the cloth that is on Spes head shows curvatures. The two sculptures are depicted realistically with their complete body parts as compared to some statues that are lacking with head, arms or feet. Both sculptures possess two figures at the same time. If Hermes and the infant Dionysus showcases Dionysus as a baby, The Hope Dionysos illustrates the grown up one.

The former is accompanied by a known Greek god Hermes, the latter is escorted with archaistic female figure, Spes. If Hermes is naked, Dionysos is very well-wrapped. The two statuaries imply dichotomies: the main focus (Hermes and Dionyos) and the out-of-focus (baby Dionysos and Spes), adult and baby, male and female. References Department of Greek and Roman Art. n. d. “Roman Copies of Greek Statues”. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. Retrieved January 15, 2009 from http://www. metmuseum.

org/toah/hd/rogr/hd_rogr. htm. Hemingway, Colette. (July 2007). “Retrospective Styles in Greek and Roman Sculpture”. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. Retrieved January 15, 2009 from http://www. metmuseum. org/toah/hd/grsc/hd_grsc. htm. “Hermes with the Infant Dionysus. ” n. d. The Museum of Antiquities Collection. Retrieved January 15, 2009 from http://www. usask. ca/antiquities/Collection/Hermes. html. Praxiteles. (2008). PEOPLE: Ancient Greece. Retrieved January 15, 2009 from

http://www. ancientgreece. com/s/People/Praxiteles/. Vincenzo Pacetti: The Hope Dionysos-1990. 247. (October 2006). In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. Retrieved January 15, 2009 from http://www. metmuseum. org/toah/hd/grsc/ho_1990. 247. htm . List of Figures Hermes and the infant Dionysus. n. d. Greek Art: Hermes and Dionysus of Praxiteles. Retrieved January 15, 2009 from http://www. mlahanas. de/Greeks/Arts/HermesPraxiteles. htm. The Hope Dionysos. (October 2006). Vincenzo Pacetti: The Ho

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