Man's Domination In sculpture - Christopher Gillespie

Man's domination over others is as old as time. In all versions of the beginning, one man dominated over another. Whether it was a caveman fighting another over territory or Cain slaying his brother Abel, violence is evident. This gallery expresses man’s domination over his enemies through sculpture.

Theseus and the Minotaur is a bronze sculpture representing the myth of Theseus slaying the Minotaur in the Labyrinth. Both characters have highly detailed realistic muscles and are similar in size. Theseus is poised to end the life of the Minotaur. In this sculpture Theseus is sculpted erect and vertical towering over the Minotaur whose bent over almost horizontal in a defensive position. Their bodies take on the shape of a triangle with Theseus as the peak.
Samson Slaying a Philistine is a marble statue depicting Samson killing his sundered foe with an overhead chop of the sword. Giambologna created each form with detailed bodies. Samson’s arms are tense with the struggle of holding his enemy down. The fallen Phillistine has visible fear as his head is pulled back to see his attacker. The statue is proportional unequal. Samson is much larger than the the Philistine. The two together take on the shape of a vertical line with Samson on top.
Perseus Slaying Medusa is a bronze and brown patina sculpture of the mythological battle between the Demi-god Perseus and the gorgon Medusa. In this rendition Perseus is clad in armor staring down Medusa before he beheads her. Medusa is lying with her head and arms away completely dominated appearing ready for death. The total shape is an off-centered triangle with Perseus' sword as the point. The clothing creates movement as if Medusa has just fallen.
Hercules and Nessus is a bronze statue of Hercules using his Demi-god strength to overpower the centaur Nessus. Hercules stands atop Nessus with his highly muscled arm wrapped around his neck. In this sculpture Hercules has the superior positioning standing strong with an available club to strike. While Nessus is contorted into a concave angle. This statue is the moment just before Hercules ends Nessus' life through sheer strength. From the peak of the club the two bodies contort into the shape of a crescent.
Hercules and Antaeus is a bronze statue of the of their mythological battle. It is depicting the moment Hercules has lifted Antaeus off the ground severing his connection to the earth. Proportionally Hercules is much larger than Antaeus showing his domination. Hercule's body also takes the shape of a triangle. His feet are planted beneath his shoulders giving him more balance and power. In contrast, Antaeus is curved backward into a pained position as his body gets crushed.
Samson and the Lion is a gilt bronze sculpture displaying the biblical story about Samson killing the lion by tearing his jaws apart. The act of tearing the lion's skull apart like a hinge displays Samson's strength. The artist emphasized this action further by making the jaw of the lion unnaturally larger than normal.
The Sacrifice of Polyxena is a plaster statue of a soldier carrying Polyxena away as another woman reaches out to stop the soldier. The soldier has a knife raised to scare the woman to let go or to kill her. The two women's bodies are curved, wrapping around the soldier. This effect gives the statue an illusion of movement as if this scene is playing out.
Beheading of Saint John the Baptist is a terracotta statue of the scene where John the Baptist is killed by beheading. John the Baptist is on his knees with his hands tied behind his back praying. The man preparing to kill John the Baptist is arched upward with his arm extended about to strike. The curve in the standing man's body implies action lending the statue movement. The sculpting of each character is rough and incomplete. This near finished texture gives emphasis to the scene over the men themselves. The details become less giving more power to the tone of the piece.
Saint George and the Dragon is a wood sculpture depicting the triumph of Saint George over a dragon. Saint George is horseback looking down prepared to lance the prone dragon in the neck. In the background there is a sheep and a woman on her knees praying. The artist created a proportional contrast by making the dragon smaller than the horse Saint George is riding when typically dragons are much larger. The dragon also appears partially buried as the ground curves above the dragon's head.
Sant Jordi is a terracotta and iron sculpture depicting Saint George and the Dragon. In this version Saint George and the Dragon has just enough detail to make them recognizable. Emphasis has been given to the shapes of the two and their actions. Saint George is arched back about to plunge a spear into the dragon. The arching of Saint George makes him appear to be about to strike down the dragon. The man is granted emphasis by being created to appear larger and stronger than the dragon. The arching of Saint George makes him appear to be about to strike down the dragon. The man is granted emphasis by being created to appear larger and stronger than the dragon.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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