Comparison Between Menkaure and His Wife, and Nike from Samothrace

1816 Words May 26th, 2010 8 Pages
Naturalism in art refers to the depiction of realistic objects in a natural setting. The Realism movements of the 19th century advocated naturalism in reaction to the stylized and idealized depictions of subjects in Romanticism, but many painters have adopted a similar approach over the centuries. One example of Naturalism is the artwork of American artist William Bliss Baker, whose landscape paintings are considered some of the best examples of the naturalist movement. Idealism is the attitude that places special value on ideas and ideals as products of the mind, in comparison with the world as perceived through the senses. In art idealism is the tendency to represent things as aesthetic sensibility would have them rather than as they …show more content…
By an unknown artist, the sculpture is thought to date from the period 220 BC - 190 BC (though some scholars date it as early as 250 BC or as late as 180 BC). Her drapery serves to dramatically emphasize both her dynamic forward movement against the wind and her full, robust form-her powerful thighs and the active, contracted muscles of her torso. The drapery clings with thin, long, and uneven ripples to her breasts, abdomen, right leg, and left thigh, its near transparency revealing these parts of the body almost as if they were nude. Excess fabric forms heavy yet dynamically irregular shapes and bunches. A long, uneven arc of cloth between her legs accentuates their motion and implies the counter-force of the wind against her body. The sculptor draws attention to this downward arc with a swath of drapery that flies forward from the left hip and collides in a V-shape with the longer swath at the Nike’s pelvis. At the same time, in the back of the statue fabric soars out behind the figure in rigid crests. The effect of this drapery is choppy and uneven, the wind whipping the cloth as it does sea below into irregular peaks and troughs. A partial inscription on the base of the statue includes the word "Rhodhios" (Rhodes), indicating that the statue was commissioned to celebrate a naval