The Human Body in the Art World

1892 Words Dec 9th, 2010 8 Pages
There is no debate that today’s civilization is obsessed with the human body. Plastic surgery exists to perfect the flaws people find with their bodies. Make-up exists to disguise imperfections and beautify. Exercise has become less about health and more and more about improving physical appearance. So it is safe to say that nowadays society focuses on beauty and obtaining the ideal, perfect silhouette, but people have focused on the body to the point of obsession almost since the beginning of time. This is known today because the human body has been a major theme in artwork for hundreds upon thousands of centuries.

Throughout time, different cultures have portrayed the human body in a myriad of fashions through the use of
…show more content…
The Woman from Syros’ arms are folded across its abdomen. Its stomach is slightly swollen, suggesting pregnancy. This is a sign that this figure was also a fertility image. Like the Venus of Willendorf, the Woman from Syros’ focus is strictly on the body, specifically the human body. The parts of the body that define a female, such as the breasts and pubic area are clearly emphasized on the figurine, though not in a realistic or natural manner. The highly geometric pattern of the Woman from Syros shows the simplicity and cleanness of Cycladic art, but more importantly show how the theme of the human body remained prevalent in artwork as time progressed.

The next work of art, Menkaure and Khamerernebty, are shares the theme of the human body. Made of greywacke and dating between 2,490 and 2,472 BCE, Menkaure and Khamerernebty is larger than either of the two former works of art, standing at four feet, six and a half inches tall. From Gizeh, Egypt, during the Fourth Dynasty, this double portrait of Menkaure and his wife displays the conventional postures used for statues designated as substitute homes for the Egyptian ka, known as uscheptes. The figures are still connected to the stone they were made from, classifying this artwork as a high-relief sculpture.

Menkaure’s pose is rigidly frontal with the arms hanging straight down and close to his well-built body. His hands are clenched into fist

More about The Human Body in the Art World

Open Document