Ancient sculptures bring on endless philosophical arguments regarding what is an appropriate form of perfection, defined as a fit body guided by a keen mind. This paper will approach a visual essence of the sculpture of The Lansdowne Athlete, by Lysippos, Rome 340-330 B.C. marble after a bronze original, that I viewed at the LACMA. This sculpture is located in the left wing of Greek exhibition Building, 3rd floor. I selected this sculpture as an example of an idealized body. Therefore, I will be explaining the historical background of the sculpture and address why I think it would make a good addition to our text. I will provide an analogy with other sculpture of idealized body from our textbook chapter 12 on “Mind and Body” mainly. I will impart more information about the essence of idealized human form as well as cultural ideals during this time period in Greece.
The Lansdowne Athlete at the LACMA is an example of a well-developed ideal body and carefully controlled proportions to all body parts. This sculpture is a Roman copy of an original by Lysippos made in the 1st century. It is a marble statue of 75 inches in height. The figure is in the contrapposto stance common of the style at the time and is taking a step forward. The figure still has integrity even though it has a few missing parts. Its face, which is important, is more or less intact and the standing upright with its impression of movement still visible. The missing arms, if they were restored would not add much to the sculpture and the addition of these parts will not be worth the loss of authenticity.
Visiting LACMA for many years, I never noticed that ancient art has been disbanded, I was surprised! The Greek and Roman sculptures now stand in the galleries of European art. The ancient statues and vases are now part of the post-antique paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts of the European Art. From my skepticism, however, I have completely converted to the curators’ way of thinking: the pairing of old and new art, really works! It brings out content, form, and even artistic style that would otherwise be lost. In the other hand, the sheer visual variety of white statues with more colorful objects is beautiful and passionate; much more than