Monday, February 2, 2015

Mantiklos



Form: This nude figure of an idealized young man is made of solid bronze using cire perdue. The sculpture is said to be orientalized in appearance because it looks similar to Persian or Assyrian designs from the same period. Note the hair and the brow and how similar these look to the sculptures from Tell Asmar. The rendering of the anatomy is still based on geometric forms such as triangles and squares and elements, such as the neck and the facial features are distorted, however, this sculpture is still very naturalistic. On Apollo’s leg is an inscription "Mantiklos dedicated me as tithe to the far- shooting Lord of the Silver Bow; you, Phoibos (Apollo), might give some pleasing favor in return." (Translation quoted from Gardner's) Perhaps the sculpture originally had gems placed in the eye sockets.

Iconography: This sculpture demonstrates the desire of the Greek artist to move towards a more naturalistic or realistic style. The figure's body is the idealized and perfect looking youth figure that will later on be referred to as a kouros figure. Naturalism and specifically depicting the male human form accurately is linked to the fact that the Greek gods look human. Man for the Greeks was created in their gods' image and therefore it is almost a form of representing the divine if the work is naturalistic

The figure is also beautiful and this is an icon of goodness for the Greeks. In Greek epic poetry the hero is always described as handsome or beautiful and their physical appearance is a reflection of the character's virtue. The idealism or beauty of the Greek figure is linked to the concept that you can judge a book by its cover. The Greek term for beauty is kalos (calos). The term kalos can also be interchanged with and is synonymous with goodness. Therefore, to call someone or something beautiful also means that that thing is also "good."