The Importance Of Humanism In Greek Free Standing Sculpture

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Humanism in Greek Free Standing Sculpture
Humanism is the outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters (Oxford Dictionaries). Humanism is a philosophy in which human dignity and human value are most important. Humanism began in Greece around the 5th century BCE with the philosopher Protagoras. Protagoras once stated “Man is the measure of all things” he believed that man should set the standard as opposed to gods. Humanism to the Greeks was a way of life, they valued people above everything else. According to an article for About Religion, Austin Cline said in regards to humanism in ancient Greece that “it valued humanity in that it placed human beings at the center of moral and
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in. Early Greek Humanism). In Greece athletes competed in the nude, which makes sense with all the importance they placed on the natural body. According to Sayre “The physically fit male not only won accolades in athletic contests, he also represented the conditioning and strength of the military forces of a particular polis.” (qtd. in Sayre) This interest in the beauty of the human body led to the desire to create more realistic looking sculptures. Before humanism free standing sculpture was still very rigid and unnatural. The first kouros still resembled ancient Egyptian sculpture. The arms are to the side with his left foot forward, though both heels remain on the ground. Humanism in Greece led to many changes in the art world. Sayre stated “We see more change between the first kouros and the second, a span of just 75 years, than between the first kouros and its Egyptian ancestors, created over 2000 years earlier.” The second kouros showed more naturalistic features such as more developed muscles and natural …show more content…
What makes the Diskobolos so impressive is the realism of the sculpture. The artist was able to depict movement in a stationary sculpture. All of the muscles are so defined and tense showing the potential for movement. Rather than exaggerating some of the muscles like one would think, the proportions in The Diskobolos are surprisingly natural. In the Online Museum of Greek Art and Archaeology it states “The discus thrower is exemplifying perfect technique, which allows the viewer to conclude that the throw will be successful. The idealized human form and implication of success in the statue can be seen as an illustration of humanism” (qtd. in Online Museum of Greek Art & Archaeology).The Diskobolos represents humanism in every area from how it looks to how it is perceived.
Humanism in Classical Greece was the philosophy that human life and mankind were above all. With this philosophy came changes in all aspects of Greek culture including sculpture. More realistic and lifelike sculptures were developed. The Kritios Boy and The Diskobolos are perfect examples of Humanism in Classical Greece. The Kritios Boy represented humanism with its natural position and form. The Diskobolos reflects humanism with is realist proportions and defined musculature. Their naturalistic features and idealistic human form perfectly represent humanism and the humanistic culture of the

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