Essay on Greek Mythology and Hercules

1574 WordsSep 30, 20127 Pages
Capturing the Herculean Hero Ancient Greek and Roman mythology are polytheistic religions that emerged in Western Europe thousands of years ago. Both cultures believe in mostly the same gods and demigods, also known as half-gods, but have different names to designate them. Perhaps the most famous demigod known most notably for his superhuman strength is Hercules, the Roman name for the Greek demigod Heracles. The superman-like figure is even more popular in mythology than certain gods and goddesses. Over time, artists and sculptors have attempted to depict Hercules through different types of material and physical poses. Although each depiction has its own individuality in the material by which it was created and the stance the demigod…show more content…
He also draws the viewer’s eye to Hercules in particular by using chiaroscuro (Sporre 60) and contrasting light and shade. The artist highlights the hero with light colors for a skin tone and engulfing him with dark and gloomy colors. One of the most intriguing features of this piece of work is the muscle definition in Hercules’s body and Zurbaran’s ability to capture the demigod in motion. Hercules is shown as an extremely toned tall, young man with a dark beard and thick hair. By the creases in his leg muscles, Hercules is sent in motion and it is evident that the hero is using all his might to pull the beast towards him in order to control him. Thousands of years ago, before artists’ work fell into the category and style of art that existed during their time period, art was portrayed mostly through carved slabs or marble or stone. Art has existed since years before the Common Era and date all the way back to prehistory. It has helped historians and scientists understand the lifestyles in which past civilizations had followed. In Ancient Rome and Greece, for example, many artists sculpted religious figures in accordance to their polytheistic, mythological beliefs. Almost every artist, if not all, of these sculptures remains unknown to this day but their work lives on to inspire others. One work in particular that
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