Ancient Art And Its Many Purposes

1900 Words Jan 27th, 2015 8 Pages
Ancient Art and its Many Purposes
Art has many uses in society beyond the mere aesthetic value. It can serve as a method to disseminate a religious or political idea. Beyond these basic uses, most ancient works of art were used as some form of propaganda, which supported the current beliefs and ideals of its culture’s ruling class.
The Greeks used statues to portray their ideal image of the human form and to reinforce their social system. One of the many sculptors from Greek’s late classical period that embraced these ideas of perfection and male dominance was Skopas. The Hope Herakles and Hope Hygieia are two pieces of his, which are good examples of these practices in the art community.
The Hope Herakles, a hero worshiped as a god, considered to be second rate statue, however does embrace the ideals that a first rate statue would have had. One of the more obvious aspects of the statue is that it is of the idealized male form. This idealized male was a well muscled, young man, which was what the Greeks considered to be the peak of a person’s life. The muscles are smoother than previous periods like the Spear Bearer from the high classical period, which had almost unrealistically large muscles in the stomach and large, rigid muscles. The Herakles shows the newer ideal man of slightly more realistic man that easier to look at due to new smoothness. When it came to women their idealized form was much different. As seen in the Hope Hygieia, goddess of health, has a much…

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