Monday, May 18, 2015

“Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art,” now at the British Museum

By Alastair MaCaulay
A marble statue thought to be of the Greek god Dionysus, center, from the east pediment of the Parthenon, at the British Museum. Credit Matt Dunham/Associated Press
UNITED KINGDOM---The classically ideal body, as established in sculpture in Greece in the fifth century B.C., has been the most constantly copied style in all the arts. Without making an issue of what influenced what, this exhibition places ancient Greek art in the contexts of Assyrian, Egyptian and Cycladic antecedents and of Indian and Roman sequels. It also shows depictions of people other than Greeks. (Two Greek images of Africans are especially arresting.) What this exhibition shows is that the body in movement, both realistic and transcendent, was at the center of Greek art and thought. [link]