Home Forums Perfect Proportion Perfect Proportion

Tagged: 

Viewing 31 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #6806
      jlchamberlain
      Keymaster

      In the Classical period artists tried to represent ideal proportion in both the human body and in temple building. How does the art of the period demonstrate changing views on ideal proportion and how do you see this same preoccupation in our own contemporary society?

    • #6813
      Lucas Warthen
      Participant

      In the Classical Period we see the introduction of contrapposto in sculptures and painted art, presented a more dynamic and ‘perfect’ interpretation of the human. Not only did the ideal posture in sculpting become this, but an ideal person started to have strong musculature (which is still an idea upheld by people in today’s society). Almost every body of the sculptures of the classical period are the same; nude and idealized musculature. The only thing that changes between the sculptures are the faces.

      In temple building the ‘ideal proportion’ is much less direct. A majority of the structures are built in similar proportions (sometimes referred to as the ‘silver ratio’) and looks (open front with columns arranged).

      These sculptures, architecture, and art all represent change because they are what brought about the major changes in art of the time – moving away from awkward profiles and proportions to a realistic and ideal representation of the human.

      • #6829
        Miranda Johansson
        Participant

        Lucas – I agree that the Classical Period led to more detailed understandings of human anatomy that focused on realism. It is pretty neat to see! Thank you for this post.

      • #6885
        mbsimington
        Participant

        I agree with your point on contrapposto being the revolutionary point in classical art, as it opened the door to many more forms of sculpting, from positions, to detailing, to more natural and emotion-conveying situations.

      • #6945
        rdnelson4
        Participant

        How do you see this within our own culture? Do you see and similarities?

    • #6823
      Aubri Stogsdill
      Participant

      An idealistic view and glorification of the body is something that has always been apart of Greek art, but is was in the classical period that some of the expectations for bodies began to shift– literally. During this period we see artist beginning to adapt contrapposto which is a more relaxed representation of the human form. Contrapposto allowed for artist to express the human form in far more detail, and therefore they were able to create perfectly ideal nude bodies. Sculptures were no longer disconnected from the viewers, but they were beautifully lifelike and relatable. It is clear that being built and fit was the ‘ideal’ for this time period.
      This is something that I see in our modern culture as well. All around us in the media we have certain narrow standard of beauty being glorified. During the classical period, artist made the ideal body shape through sculpture, but these days we see ‘normal’ bodies being altered in order to fit into the ideal standard. While the ideal body does make slight shifts over the years, it seems like (at least for male bodies) the Greek ideal body is very similar to our cultures expectation on men.

      • #6830
        Miranda Johansson
        Participant

        Aubri – that is a very interesting point regarding real bodies being molded to fit beauty standards. You do have a good point, though! Look at the amount of plastic surgery, fad diets, and whatnot that are created as opportunities for people to achieve ideal proportions and beauty. Thank you for this post! That’s quite some food for thought.

      • #6889
        tmbergan
        Participant

        Aubri, I like the idea of the sculptures being ‘relatable’ with how relaxed and natural they came to be. It definitely does seem like the ideal male body hasn’t changed much at all. Maybe now there’s a lot more focus on males being a little more fit than they were previously.

      • #6900
        Dean Riley
        Participant

        Aubri, thank you for pointing out that it does seem as if the ideal male body type has remained constant throughout the ages, but the female body type is constantly changing. In some eras being waifishly thin was considered ideal and then in other periods having a little extra weight was what was considered ideal. It is a shame that all body types cannot be celebrated for what makes them different and beautiful.

      • #6934
        Sam Saccomen
        Participant

        Aubri, I really like your take on the similarities of then and now. I agree that the ideal form of the human body often changes, however I think that it always make it way back to this ideal image the Greeks put in place. I really enjoyed your post!

    • #6826
      Bob Hook
      Participant

      The Classical period of Greek art brought together the tools, knowledge, and materials to begin depicting humans in a more lifelike manner. With the ability to control images to a greater degree the artist began to set idealized standards of proportion and images for both men and woman. They rendered these images in marble and created them as standalone images or as parts of a temple. The Erechtheion or the Porch of Maidens Athens, c. 420-410 BCE is a great example of these images.
      The women are all identical stylized with a straight bold stance, clinging clothes that show their individual forms. Their hair is woven into intricate identical patterns. The obvious problem is once we begin to idolize one form of the human body we begin to create expectations for our own appearance. We establish a norm. If you meet those standards than you are highly valued. If you fall short and you begin to feel somehow inadequate. This perceived inadequacy is played upon by the marketplace in an attempt to sell you the one magic cure-all in clothes, protein powders, make-up, etc that will allow you to achieve the perceived definition of beauty

      • #6956
        Raven Shaw
        Participant

        You are quite right that when there is an established norm for beauty then you are perceived as more or less valuable. If you are perceived as less valuable, you are vulnerable to marketing for products that will help you fit in. But this must be recognized as normal animal behavior before we can move on to judging each person by their individual merit. Take a look at peacock displays, baboon butts, or the dance of the jumping spider – if those creatures could buy a salve that would make them more attractive to females they would in a heartbeat. Classical art is enjoyable, so is a lot of contemporary art. We are at a juncture between being animal and becoming the next stage of human – one that loves based on individual merit. Don’t despair!

    • #6828
      Miranda Johansson
      Participant

      When I think about ideal proportions, this makes me think about the Fibonacci Sequence, where the next number is found by adding the two numbers before it. This can be seen in spirals, and has been found in the proportions of the human body as well. If you look at the theater at Epidauros and the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, you can kind of see this in the shape and form of the seating, how each rim of the circle is proportionally larger than the previous ones. This isn’t exactly the Fibonacci Sequence, but it is a type of proportion that is very pleasing to see.

      As for the sculptures of human bodies, you can see that there is much detail placed in the anatomy assessment of the body. Pergamon is a perfect example of this, there is so much detail placed into the anatomy and detailing of the Gaul’s body, it is perfect. If we look at the mathematics of the human finger, as an example, it would look like in the image below. The sum of the two smaller bones equals the length of the next bone. This can be extended and applied to the rest of the body.

      null

      Honestly, we have seen influences of this ever since the Classical Period. Take a look at the Vitruvian man, for example. Where Leonardo Da Vinci completed an art and mathematical analysis of human anatomy. This is a study of the ideal proportions of the human body that he based on De Architectura a guide for building by the Roman architect Vitruvius between 30 and 15 BC (Richman-Abdou, 2018). The Golden Number, the ideal proportions that creates “beauty” is something that I believe we can see in everything today.

      Reference
      Richman-Abdou, K. “The Significance of Leonardo da Vinci’s Famous ‘Vitruvian Man’ Drawing, My Modern Met, 5 Aug 2018, https://mymodernmet.com/leonardo-da-vinci-vitruvian-man/

      • #6836
        Laura Barber
        Participant

        Re: Miranda
        Very interesting connection to other fields of study! It is true that the human fascination with symmetry and other certain patterns occupy many parts of life and the world. It makes me wonder about what kind of benefits such symmetry yields in a more practical sense concerning human bodies.

        • #6901
          Dean Riley
          Participant

          The human brain is an awesome machine. When a body or face is not symmetrical, the human mind can instantly tell that something is not correct. I think as humans when we see differences that instantly pop out to us and we sometimes deem those difference as odd and therefore as ugly. Even of the difference isn’t readily apparent, many times the human mind knows that something is different and we will keep on staring at the person or object until we can figure out what is unique.

      • #6849
        ckocsis
        Participant

        Miranda- I think it’s really cool you tied the idea of ideal proportions with the Fibonacci sequence. I’ve always been fascinated with it, but I didn’t know it could be found in the human body as well! Thanks for sharing.

      • #6859
        Lacey Miller
        Participant

        Miranda- The mathematical attention is pretty mind-blowing. Artists of that time were so much more than artists.

      • #6874
        Gabe
        Participant

        When I was 14 I actually went to the theater at Epidauros. Something about the proportions definitely amplified sound so you could hear what was happening even when you were all the way at the top. My teacher read Green Eggs and Ham aloud to us! So I think you’re right about the Fibonacci sequence!

      • #6878
        Bob Hook
        Participant

        Miranda, thanks for another great post. You have us all thinking about the Fibonacci sequence and anatomy. I think that we view art from how we view nature. The symmetry and the influence of the Fibonacci series are always present in nature. This continual immersion in these objects from nature has both a conscious and unconscious effect. I think that this is the reason why art appears to accurately reflect the subject matter or it fails. The brain and eye are all attuned to what is correct. If the proportions appear off then the brain says it is not authentic, it is a flawed representation.

      • #6892
        Tamara Toy
        Participant

        Miranda, I really like your point about the Fibonacci Sequence. It makes sense and now I can really see that in the art we are looking at this week. It really is amazing to see this kind of progression through history. The development of the understanding of the world and how it works is amazing and so evident in the art of the period.

    • #6835
      Laura Barber
      Participant

      The Classical Period was dominated by statues in the contrapposto pose, meaning that the figure held weight on one leg, creating a more elegant and natural body shape. Artists of this period significantly changed how the human body was viewed and possibly even began the modern obsession with ideal proportions. Although statues are not as common these days, real bodies are edited on PhotoShop and put through unnatural diets and workout routines in order to achieve the ideal proportions that society finds beautiful. Although these proportions are indeed attractive, it has created a toxic culture of body shaming in contemporary society.

      • #6890
        tmbergan
        Participant

        Laura, the obsession with ideal proportions versus what human bodies actually look like is one of the biggest issues today. Too many people struggle with feeling unlovable because they don’t look like the photoshopped people plastered everywhere. Do you think there may have been similar issues during this time period? Maybe a guy in ancient Greece feeling like he could be ugly because he doesn’t have the ideal fit body?

      • #6906
        Lucas Warthen
        Participant

        Hey Laura,

        I agree with you (as seen in my post on the contrapposto pose as well). I didn’t even think to connect that ‘perfect image’ of the human body to all the editing and unnatural diets models use today to achieve the ‘ideal’ body. Although it is crazy to see the kind of work that goes into a person achieving their ‘ideal’ image, it has created a toxic culture of body shaming unfortunately (even though most people are nowhere near that ‘ideal’ image).

      • #6925
        Kaylyn Kelly
        Participant

        RE: Laura Barber
        Laura,
        I really enjoyed what you had to say about the Classical period. Your statements about people using photoshop to change their bodies and putting themselves through unnatural diets are something that our culture deals with on an everyday basis. It is very sad to know people try to reach an “ideal’ body that our society has made. It has defiantly led to body shaming as you said.

      • #6947
        rdnelson4
        Participant

        Very true Laura! I think the word obsession is a very good way of categorizing our culture’s fascination with “beauty.” There are so many ways to be beautiful, but, not unlike the statures of ancient Greece, the media has chosen only one body type to focus on at the exclusion of all others.

    • #6847
      ckocsis
      Participant

      In the Classical period, the greeks were obsessed with the perfect physical form. In my drawing class, we were told that there was a large dispute between two different groups of people with different ideas of the perfect human proportions, and that it basically boiled down to one group thinking people were 7 heads tall, and one who thought they were 8. I think that really illustrates how much the greeks valued the idea of perfect proportions. The widespread use of the contrapposto pose in sculpture accentuated these ideal body proportions. This fascination with ideal proportion continued throughout the centuries, as we can see with Leonardo da Vinci’s obsession with depicting the human form, into modern times were photos of people are altered with programs like photoshop to fit our current ideal proportions.

    • #6852
      Valene
      Participant

      I think the art of this period really tries to show the ideal body and its beauty through details in everything. There are no generalizations in each body part. The fingers are perfectly crafted and showing every crevice. The private parts are fully shown and almost exemplified. Every curve of the body is perfectly described and realistic. The male bodies seem to all be fit and muscular and the females have an elegant and youthful look to them. Being young and fit is idealistic in many cultures throughout history, for example the Egyptian art showed many of their figures as thin and beautiful as well. America shows this through only the young and fit being idealized in films and television. Generally, being a celebrity and popular in modern civilization means you are attractive and youthful.

    • #6855
      Gabe
      Participant

      As with the pursuit of perfection in any circumstance, the goal is ultimately unattainable and shifts the more that one tries to chase it. Naturally what it meant to have a perfect proportion changed for the Greeks throughout the classical period. For instance, the early classical statue Kritios Boy more closely resembles the Kore of earlier times, whereas by the late classical period statues showed more gesture and emotion as in the Lysippos’ Man Scraping Himself. This is an anticipation of the Hellenic period, but also indicates that the Greeks view of perfection moved from the abstract to a more embodied form throughout the period. I think this can be seen in our culture in the shift from 50s chic, suits, etc. to now a more provocative, informal, and often chaotic ascetic a la Lady Gaga.

      • #6857
        Miranda Jackovich
        Participant

        To Gabe
        Your thoughts of how the pursuit of perfection shifts it because it is unattainable was great. Do you think the shift was caused by their own culture? Do you think that there were other influences that caused it? If so then what are they? Great ideas!

    • #6856
      Miranda Jackovich
      Participant

      For thousands of years, humans have been evolving not just with technology but styles and body standards as well. During the classical period in Greek culture, they went through massive growth due to conflicts and influences of cultures. ‘The Polykleitos’ Spear Bearer (Doryphoros)’ 450-440 BCE displayed Polykleitos of Argos ideal human body shape. For the size of the ideal man was exactly seven heads tall, with a wider built. ‘The Lysippos’ Man Scraping Himself’ 350-310 BCE is eight heads tall, giving a longer and leaner body type. In a span of a hundred years the standard of men changed drastically; today you can see this even more intensified. Just ten-twenty years ago the ‘ideal’ women was thin and lengthy vs an hourglass/natural figure currently. This does vary through space and time, and every individual is different. Although humans have always had the habit to group and share common ideals and standards, this goes as far back to the classical period in the Greek culture.

      • #6880
        Valene
        Participant

        To Miranda:
        It is so interesting how times have changed our ideals of a perfect figure as you discussed. So much of the ideal figure is personal preference these days as I still see lots of long and lean celebrities being envied for their shapes and the same for curvy. At least now a days I feel there is more equal attention given to the different varieties of figures and their isn’t the added pressure of a social classes must being one size.

    • #6858
      Lacey Miller
      Participant

      In the Classical period artists tried to represent ideal proportion in both the human body and in temple building. How does the art of the period demonstrate changing views on ideal proportion and how do you see this same preoccupation in our own contemporary society?

      It seems as though, during the classical period, artists focussed on subjects that were at their peak, muscular bodies, mellow faces, ideal stance, contrapposto. It seems as though their idea of ideal proportion wasn’t necessarily realistic, but very much artistic. In POLYKLEITOS’ SPEAR BEARER, you can see, and measure, that his body is seven heads tall, beautiful attention to detail, but also a very artistic rendition of a human body. This mimics human nature that we see today. Our society’s concept of ideal is very much based on the idealistic proportion and artistic quality of a body. During the classical period, it seems as though ideas shifted to reflect a sense of vanity, and unfortunately, it seems our contemporary society is a bit hung up on that idea too.

    • #6865
      Maggie May
      Participant

      During the classical period, we see a shift towards a more idealistic and consistent representation of the human figure. This could be due to many factors, including new tools and ideas within Greek culture. Regardless, sculptures of humans began to be represented in the contrapposto stance more often, and were often similar. The women often stood upright with neatly braided hair, while the men displayed more muscular features. We see a consistent “ideal” human body displayed during art work of this time. Similarly, our own culture holds it’s own prevalent ideals in terms of what the human body should look like. Although these ideals differ slightly, the core belief a single ideal to measure all else against is the same. I think it is interesting to see different ideals between cultures and societies and how they have evolved. Recently, my friend visited Colombia. Many of the sculptures displayed there were of a similar body type- the women had large bodies with prominent breasts and stomachs. My friend explained that these sculptures were intended to signify abundant food and success. I wonder what has led our current society to have the ideals that we hold, and what they are intended to communicate.

    • #6869
      Jessi Willeto
      Participant

      Looking at the beginning of the classical period, we see the sculptures begin to loosen up and become more realistic, such as the Kritios boy with contrapposto. Proportions are becoming more human and organic though the high and late classical period, as their faces begin to relax and more organic detail is added, making the sculptures more relatable. The form becomes more humanistic and ideal, as our previous discussion mentioned. We also see exact measurements being created within the buildings becoming “perfect proportions’ (the silver ratio). I can see this reflected in our society becoming obsessed with perfection in the digital age — obsession over makeup, anti-aging, and displaying our perfect lives in digital form. Trends for hair and style are constantly changing but there is no doubt there is a preoccupation for perfection.

    • #6870
      Jessi Willeto
      Participant

      RE: Maggie May
      That’s very interesting about those sculptures in Columbia, and just shows us that standards for beauty are completely subjective to the culture and even the person. Our American culture, for example, would not see something like that as beautiful. I think our current society has been led to the beauty standards it has because of the idea of what “femininity’ and “masculinity’ are supposed to look like– luckily the times and standards are changing, slowly more accepting of the variety in human beings. ‘

    • #6871
      Jessi Willeto
      Participant

      RE: Lacey Miller
      Yes, I agree that vanity seems to be a prime subject within our culture. It’s kind of funny how the focus is to be an example of a prime human in both ancient greek culture and modern culture, but something almost unattainable by conventional means.

    • #6884
      mbsimington
      Participant

      The introduction of contrapposto into ancient greek art marked an evolution of ideal structure and opened the door to an even wider variety of poses, body structures, and ideal forms as well as lifelike detail. The ideal form for men through this time remained trimmed and muscular, though through the classical period it experienced a shift from a stockier build to one of more elongated and lean stature. In temples, proportion was heavily involved, especially with columns as seen in the Parthenon with its 4-9 ratio. While the influence proportion had on temples and architecture didn’t change much, the ideal for the human body through sculptures evolved, and has continued to do so into the modern day, though the medium through which this is portrayed is typically in media and achieved through digital alterations to living people. Architecture in modern day has many forms, from a wide variety of places, and the ratios observed in classical Greece are still used today, though typically in political buildings and quite a few mausoleums. What people hold as ideal will always change, be it new physiological ideals for people or new architectural designs.

    • #6888
      tmbergan
      Participant

      In the Classical period, they shifted even more away from tight and formal sculptures to more relaxed and human ones. As they began making these more laid back pieces, they were able to show more detail in the curves and proportions. They were able to make things even rather than awkward, turning the previously disproportioned bodies into much more balanced ones. The ideal men continued to be portrayed as young and fit as well as nude, while the women continued to be covered up and depicted with softer features and bodies. All women sculptures seem to have been clothed until those of Aphrodite showed a nude woman, although even in those pieces she tried to cover herself up. We still see some of these today — the ideal male body is still seen as fit, as muscular celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth, for example, are plastered on magazines and the like. The ideal female body, on the other hand, no longer has as much of a softer look (unless you count the softening of their facial features with makeup and photoshop) and instead are heavily altered to have almost inhuman proportions sometimes akin to a Barbie doll. Being clothed still mimics the Classical period as well, as women today are still generally seen as needing to be covered up whereas a man doesn’t have to be.

    • #6894
      Tamara Toy
      Participant

      As the Greeks move from the early Classical Period to the Late Classical Period, we see a change in what is idealized in the human form. In “Kritios Boy’, we see the symmetrical form of a young man in his prime. By the Late Classical Period, we see this shift in “Apoxyomemos’ we still see a man in top physical form but now the representation is more realistic and less idealized. This is much like how the modern ideal has changed over time. The ideal from the 40’s and 50’s would now be considered to be obese compared to the photoshop and digital touch-up images that are used today. We still idealize the youth and physical presence as perfection, as well as being unrealistic, such as the head-to-body ratio used by Lysippos in “Apoxyomemos.’

      • #6916
        tmbergan
        Participant

        Tamara, I like that you use two examples to show the change that takes place between the two periods. This is definitely similar to today’s world and how we’ve gotten to our current ideal ratios of the human body. It’s sad that the ’40s and ’50s would be considered obese though; even women’s pants sizes have shifted to reflect that mindset.

    • #6899
      Dean Riley
      Participant

      In the Classical period proportion of human body was important. In Myron’s Discobolus I can imagine the sculptor placing the subject in the pose that he wanted him in, not even caring that the way the subject is throwing the disc isn’t even correct. Since the pose shows the subjects proportions ideally, this was the reason that pose was chosen. Even in modern times we have determined what body types are ideal and what is not, even though that ideal body type is ever changing. If someone does not fit into what society deems the ideal body type, that person can be deemed an outcast and considered “ugly” by the current beauty standards.

      • #6909
        csayreswoody
        Participant

        Dean,
        I can agree with you a thousand times when you made the point that in today’s time people have but their thoughts into what the human body it to look like. Also that if you don’t have what is called “the ideal body” that society feels you should have that you aren’t good enough or your ugly and not apart of the “cool kids”. Personally I think what some of these people think the ideal of the “perfect body” is have life all wrong and are very insecure within themselves.

    • #6903
      Kaylyn Kelly
      Participant

      In Ancient Greece, Greek individuals were extremely into the form of the human body. It was the center of attention compared to other eras. The Classical Period was when the statue’s positions began to change, and they took a more relaxed form. This new pose was called Contrapposto. Contrapposto was when the human figure is standing with most of its weight on one foot so that its shoulders and arms twist off-axis from the hips and legs. Like I said prior, this position gives the statue a more dynamic or relaxed appearance. This new pose was not the only new arrival in the Classical Period; it was also when Greek artists began to shape the human body in a newer and more perfect way. Women were shaped elegantly. Their bodies looked like a perfect tiny figure, and they were shaped to show off their natural human curves which artists made sure to emphasize. No amount of fat was shown on women sculptures making their human body the ideal body for women in that era. Men, on the other hand, had very masculine figures. Each statue of a man was vigorous. The muscles were shaped to look extremely large, and they were sculpted to show off every muscle the human body held. Again, not a single inch of fat was portrayed on the statue’s body. The ancient Greeks chose to depict the human body in its natural state, and each body had good proportions. The human body in the Classical Period could be considered the most “perfect’ human body. To me, this could have been the start of humans body shaming and trying to reach the ideal body. In the world we live in today we have images all around us of “ideal’ and “perfect’ bodies. If you do not have a well-sculpted body, you are shamed, and if you do have a “perfect’ body, you are praised. However, because of humans creating a body standard, it has caused much pain throughout eras. The ideal body and ideal body proportions have changed over the years making it harder and harder for people to obtain what society wants. Our contemporary society has gotten to caught up with body shapes and therefore has become too judgmental of humans around us.

    • #6908
      csayreswoody
      Participant

      Once the Classical Period start to approach it looks to believe that the artist started to become more realistic when it came to the human body form. For example, the Riace Warrior sculpture shows in detail how a male body figures are. It also shows how we as humans tend to put more body weight on one side of the body when we stand. It’s not that humans lack that perfect proportion, its that this is how humans have been standing for ages and not even realizing it. The classic period also reminds me of what they said all humans body it portions where one side of the body tends to be larger than the other side of the body. After looking over the art in this wing, I tend to ask the question as many probably ask as well and that is What is consider the perfect proportion when it comes to human body? Is it to be all the same for all humans or is it to be different?

    • #6918
      Allie Eby
      Participant

      Throughout the Classical period, the focus of art gradually seemed to shift not only in the physical proportions of human subjects being displayed, but also in their subject matter. To start, the artwork of the Early Classical period seemed all about the idealization of physical achievement, very specifically masculine achievement. The Kritios Boy, the Riace Warrior and the Myron’s Discobolus statues are all examples of peak male fitness with an emphasis on athleticism and musculature, but the identity, emotional state and personality of the figures being displayed is vague and implied to be unimportant. The focus is not the man himself, but simply the man’s body and what it can do. Even the painted ceramic shows male heroes in acts of victory, continuing the emphasis on masculine physical achievement. This focus seemed to change by the High Classical period, with the importance shifting to the realism of the forms and proportions rather than the overall impression the figures give. The golden ratio was extremely prominent in works of this period, with architecture taking the spotlight (The Akropolis, the Parthenon, and the Porch of the Maidens all being key examples). To contrast, the humanoid figures such as the women on the Grave Stele of Hegeso and Polykleitos’ Doryphoros are shown with very carefully measured and accurate physical proportion, with painstaking attention to details such as the folds of their clothing and the curls of their hair. Their actions are less stressed than the realism, but still show more relatable scenes, with more relaxed posture and more emotion clear on the faces of the subjects. This focus on emotion transitions us to the Late Classical period, where human emotion took the forefront. In all examples from the Late Classical period, humans are the subject, with a much greater focus on relatability and scenes that show vulnerability and sensuality. Praxiteles’ Aphrodite in particular is shown either undressing or covering herself, a very dynamic scene that allows interpretation and interaction from the viewer as opposed to a clearly defined meaning. Even the male figure of Lysippos’ Man is shown grooming himself, a moment of vulnerability taking place after the feats of athleticism implied to have occurred.

      To me, this reflects our own society’s ever-changing views on the objectification of human forms, what those forms aught to look like, and how much or how little personality and emotion matter within that context. One example is Mattel’s Barbie, a doll that originally existed for the sake of idealized physical female form and fashion, but has gone through significant changes since then. Barbie — a doll that initially represented modern America’s “ideal woman’ – while still a caricature, has changed in proportion and portrayal over the years since her inception. Barbie dolls are now portrayed with more emotion, more physical variety and less exaggerated features, with a selection of “career’ outfits and accessories for children to play with, which to me reflects modern society’s changes from earlier 50’s era “housewife culture’ and the enforcement of traditional gender roles, to the modern day’s increased desire for educational and workplace equality and the gradual lessening of female sexual objectification. This is only one example, but I believe that the focus on and portrayal of ideal physical form is still constantly evolving within human culture, as it always has.

    • #6919
      Allie Eby
      Participant

      Edit: In my post, I accidentally said “golden ratio” instead of “silver ratio”. Totally different artistic principle! My mistake.

    • #6924
      Sam Saccomen
      Participant

      In the Classical period artists tried to represent ideal proportion in both the human body and in temple building. How does the art of the period demonstrate changing views on ideal proportion and how do you see this same preoccupation in our own contemporary society?

      In the classical period the human body became the main focus in their art. So much of their art had great detail of both men and women bodies in their sculptures. I think the purpose of these sculptures was to idolize the human form and portray how powerful the human body looks. The sculptures I believe were important for their culture, however I believe that just as in todays world the “perfect” body is always idolized this could possibly be what the Greeks were trying to do because most of the sculptures were slim and fit, which sort of makes me believe the Greeks created a perfect image for both the female and male form. Just as in society today I could image the pressure to live up to the “perfect” body image that these sculptures portrayed. Today people are pressured by social media and reality tv to meet all these images people are constantly idolizing, so many technological advances such as hair coloring, microblading eyebrows, to fake eyelash extensions and hair extensions, and the ability to alter parts of your body by making your waist small or belly.

    • #6927
      Aalieyah Creach
      Participant

      if you look at the art of today, a lot of it tends to be very abstract and creative. Some artists use sand and dirt to make their artwork while others use spray paint and watercolors to do theirs. In our society, many people have come up with so many different ways to portray artwork and each time it just gets more and more creative. As for the artwork in the Classical period, a lot of it had to do with the human body and were so detailed that it looked like the piece would come to life. Over time, art changes and has different meanings and forms based on what’s going on in the world today. this goes for both the past and the present. the classical Greek art pieces changing by adding more detail and finesse to their pieces while our timelines art pieces change based on occurrences in the world.

    • #6928
      Kaitlyn
      Participant

      I think the classical period was time when artists suddenly wanted their art to be more realistic. This is where perfect proportion comes into the picture, or at least what they considered to be perfect. This is represented in the precise, muscular details of the statues, great attention was paid to getting the proportions of the nude body just right. another example is the height, for more than one piece of art it is mentioned to be exactly 7 heads tall, when an artist deviated from this perfect idealized proportion it was actually a detail people noticed and talked about. I think this notion of perfect proportion is still very alive in art and definitely people today. After all, how many five foot tall super models do you see on magazines or tv? It is expected that a super model be at least a certain height, usually around 5’9. There are also all kinds of lengths a person could go to achieve the “perfect” proportion now a days, from simple makeup, false eyelash type things, to surgical procedures. SO yes the idea of perfect proportions from the classical time in Greece is still very much a part of our modern world.

      • #7053
        Allie Eby
        Participant

        Ckocsis, what do you think influenced what this variety of cultures saw as “ideal”, and what made it change? Do you think it was societal, social, or from some other source?

    • #6929
      Aalieyah Creach
      Participant

      Re: Tomara toy

      I agree with your last statement. the people of today definitely idolize and try to become these unrealistic human forms to the point of painful body enhancements and body readjustments to match up with the “standards” of our society. the same goes for the classical Greece era where these sculptures were supposedly how man and women were supposed to look like.

    • #6930
      Kaitlyn
      Participant

      RE: Kaylyn Kelly
      Since you brought up body-shaming in your post is wanted to know you opinion, do you think this classical period was the first time that art started sexualizing women? Of course there are a couple factors to consider, the Greek showed obvious artistic appreciation towards the nude body, but the nude statues of women came years after the first nude figures of men. so do you think it was just an artistic appreciation or something more?

    • #6937
      elkingkade
      Participant

      During the Classical period Greek artist began the contrapposto style for their sculptures. This style made the sculptures look more relaxed and realistic as seen in the Kritios boy and Lysippos’ Apoxymenos . The ideal human proportions that changed from the early classical period to the late classical period can also be seen in sculptures from both of these periods. In comparison to the Riace Warrior the Lysippos’ Apoxymenos is taller resulting in a longer and leaner body. This obsession with the perfect human form is still very much present in society today were every magazine and publication is so focused on body image. Kaitlyn made an excellent point about this in regards to super models.

    • #6944
      rdnelson4
      Participant

      During the Classical Period, artists began trying to represent their own artistic ideals of the human body and architecture as well. More realistic and anatomically correct sculptures were carved as well as the use of contrapposto stance, which created a more natural-looking effect. In the Early Classical Period, muscular frames were favored while later leaner, taller body types were considered more ideal. Ictinus and Callicrates designed the Parthenon, built on the Acropolis, whose columns and 4:9 ratio style of construction created a stunning visual effect that was marked during this time period.

      Even today, Greek ideas of beauty- physical and architectural alike- are echoed. The frames of men who grace our magazine covers would most likely been held in the same esteem during the Classical Period in Greece. Many of our political buildings are mimics of the grand “column-full’ designs of the Greeks.

    • #6953
      Raven Shaw
      Participant

      The stiff statues of their past had been inspired by Egyptian statues of gods and kings, but after experiencing their own victory against the Persians, Greek art started to take on its own style that glorified the individual human body. Classical period artists generally created images of young people in peak physical health — athletic ideals. They went from stiff images of God-strength to voluptuous statues that showed their strength and nobility with anatomically correct musculature, something that could inspire sexual desire from the viewer. There was definitely a shift toward showing fit buns. A great example is the Kritios Boy, who surpassed the Egyptian-inspired Kouros figures in male beauty. In the carved panel of Nike, you can see her beautiful, healthy body through the drapes of tunic. She brings the gods to earth by adjusting her sandal in an almost awkward pose.

      In the case of buildings, temples were stately and rectangular feats of architectural math, but parts were purposely curved in the Classical period so that they seemed more alive. Buildings and bodies were judged by mathematical perfection, but needed to seem lifelike. The temples were built with a mind toward how they would be seen from a great distance away — to counteract visual illusions that would dampen their grandeur.

      I realize that I’m supposed to answer that contemporary humans have a similar preoccupation with ideal proportions, and with young people in peak physical health, but I think we are actually moving away from it. There has been a range of beauty expectations in every generation of Western society – of which the most reasonable focused on advertising health, but now our focus on inclusivity seems to be leading to a trend in Rubenesque models with a dismissal of ideal proportion based on health.

    • #7246
      Guy Gaswint
      Participant

      In the Classical period artists tried to represent ideal proportion in both the human body and in temple building. How does the art of the period demonstrate changing views on ideal proportion and how do you see this same preoccupation in our own contemporary society?

      Ideal proportions became important during the classical period and have continued to present. I do feel that ideal proportions have changed and continue to change based on society. Someone mentioned today’s models as an example, I agree, but I also feel like society is in a period of shifting ideals and the ideal proportions are in a state of flux. I say this because today society appears to be more focused on health over looks, people are eating healthier which will effect their proportions. Another key element in the classical period was to capture emotion and sexuality, I feel like today’s society is broadening its acceptance of sexuality. I believe that although we may be naturally preoccupied with proportion as artists, in today’s society it is more likely to be accepted when proportions are intentionally askew.

Viewing 31 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.