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Visual & Performing Arts
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Significance of Female Nude in Greek Art (Essay Sample)

Topic: Discuss the significance of the female nude in Greek art. - The paper should, according to departmental guidelines, show evidence of critical reading and should construct an argument based on primary and secondary sources. The category of “primary sources” includes ancient monuments and works of art, as well as ancient authors in translation. “Secondary literature/sources” includes scholarly books and articles. - Illustrations should be numbered and securely affixed to the pages and consecutively numbered. Each illustration should bear a caption, and the sources of the images can be cited there or in an appendixed list. -VARIOUS CONSIDERATIONS: In discussing specific monuments, \'deconstruct\' all the elements of composition you observe, in terms of materials, techniques, style, content (e.g. narrative story line in sculptures or paintings), as well as the political, religious and symbolic contents. Look for indications of what has changed trans-temporally and -culturally. Include any elements of composition that relate to the micro-structural narrative details. Selections of monuments should be fully \'contextualized\' (culturally, historically, socially, politically, religiously and propagandistically). How did these monuments resonate with the Greeks' sensibilities? To what end or purpose were monuments commissioned or is it \"art for art\'s sake?\" Include a summation of your key findings and conclusions about your appreciation of the ancients\' achievements as exemplified by the significance of your selected monuments. - Bibliography: list all of the sources you consulted and cited on a separate sheet; alphabetize according to the author's last name; do not number your sources; use a minimum of 5 scholarly books or articles from scholarly journals; NOTE: only use articles posted independently on the internet as a preliminary tool - Illustrations: color or black-and-white illustrations should be attached to your essay and consecutively numbered; each illustration needs a caption with the title, date, materials, and original location of the work; sources for your illustrations should be included either in the captions or on a separate list. More specific requirement: 1. Read. Familiarize yourself with the big issues, themes, and questions associated with your topic. - Read as much as you can. - Taking notes slows down your reading, so be sure to take notes mainly on the most important things like an author's argument or interpretation of something. - You are expected to incorporate terminology and concepts from your readings. 2. Select up to 4 objects or monuments to include in your essay. - These may include the main monument for your essay and several related objects or a variety of objects all connected to your main theme. 3. Analyze by writing about your objects and monuments. Study the selected artworks in your essay carefully. Use some of these questions to prompt writing about your topic and then group your reflections together to form an outline or paragraph. - How does the object or monument “work”? Describe the artwork by leading your reader through a logical examination of it (from outside to inside, top to bottom, left to right, etc.). How would you explain the visual structure or arrangement of formal elements of the work to someone who cannot see it? How do these elements lead your eye through the work? What is its geometric form (circular, triangular, spherical, etc.)? - What materials were used? What techniques were employed? How do these restrict what the artist could do? Are the colors used innate to the material or are they applied? - Explain the style of the work using evidence from other works. - How does the form of the artwork relate to the micro-structure narrative details? In narrative scenes with multiple figures identify the cardinal (nucleus) figures, catalyst (facilitating) figures, indices (integrated elements or iconographical symbols), and informants (inscriptions or names). - What is the function of the object? Is it “art for art's sake”? Or, was it commissioned for some other purpose? - What are the most important aspects of the artwork? Why have other scholars examined them and how have they been interpreted? What aspects have been neglected or minimized? Why haven't others examined these aspects? - What is the content on the artwork? Are there narrative scenes with mythological significance? Are there political, religious or other symbolic elements in the form or decoration of the work? How was the work meant to be seen or displayed? - Explain what has changed in an examination of several monuments from different eras or places. - How would you describe the intended meaning of the artwork at the time it was made? What historical evidence could you use to reconstruct this idea about its original meaning? 4. Compose your essay. - Introduce your topic and tell the reader the ideas and questions you address. - Organize your ideas chronologically (if you are discussing an artistic movement or progression), spatially (if you are analyzing the elements of a specific work), relationally (if you are addressing how a work relates to a movement or another work), or whatever way is the most appropriate to your argument. - Conclude your essay by summarizing the big ideas and key findings that hold your essay together. 5. Consult your sources. - You may use both direct quotations and paraphrase passages, but you must use properly formatted citations of your sources. - You are expected to show critical reading and analysis in your paper. - Pay attention to context when quoting or paraphrasing from a source. Introduce or follow quotes with reasons why you are using it or some other analysis. source..
Student Name
Professor Name
Art Paper
Date: 17 November 2012
Significance of Female Nude in Greek Art
In this discussion about the significance of the female nude in Greek art, this report will put some light on how and why the use of the female nude sculpts was started during the Greek Era. The Greeks have been identified mainly of their property of being the patriarchal. But when they realized the poise and the beauty hidden behind the female drapery as a divine power, they were turned to pay attention towards capturing and preserving that beauty. In Greek society the nudity of women was never encouraged to be exposed publically until the sculpturists started to make such monumental compositions which at first spoiled the images of makers and displayers but later when they were rediscovered and researched upon, revealed tons on over looked female modesty gestures (Pedley 67). Some of them did think about these masterpieces to depict just the sexuality related to female curves and elevations, but later the real divine beauty powered over the male dominance.
Greeks have known to be belonging to the male dominant society. Classical Greek artists were also patriarchal enough to keep the women oppressed by a sense of inferiority. Women could never have been awarded the citizenship in Greece. Men were considered to be more important and influential. The women were supposed to stay indoors for the purposes of cleaning, weaving, grain grinding, handling the children and directing the servants. Their activities were constrained only within the realm of their family. Women were given the influence only when they would be the wives of the native male Greek citizens. Nevertheless, women were never without their own influence, as it is stated in a play by Euripides:
"Women run families and protect within their homes what has been carried across the sea, and without a woman no home is clean or prosperous (Leslie Bostrom 45).;
The other type was the Archaic Greeks who were not really patriarchal. They provide the evidence of women power in the form of sculpturing goddess of love and beauty, the Aphrodite. Archeology suggests these were the times when the most powerful deities were thought to be the women.
Greek goddesses can be identified with their symbols and attributes. Before Praxiteles sculpted his nude Aphrodite of Knidos, there were not more images of nude women. Often women are displayed as sex objects. Statues of Aphrodite are typically presented in this manner. Praxiteles was the first one to craft the Knidos. Later there were more sculpts from others. Greek goddesses can be identified with their symbols and attributes. Before Praxiteles sculpted his nude Aphrodite of Knidos, there were not much images of nude women (Beisel 36).
The nude Aphrodite statues had been very much admired in Greece during the Hellenistic period. This is a marble sculpture created by an Attic sculpturer known as Praxiteles during the 4th centu...
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