Movement in Greek and Roman Mythology - Evelyn Gruenewald.

     Based upon the Greeks Mythological deities, the main focus is on sculptures of the characters that show movement.  The Greeks had a very strong influence on several cultures, one of them being the Romans.  The Romans adopted several things from the Greeks, including these deities.  They were sure to keep the back-story and meaning of each figure almost exactly the same, only changing their names to put the Roman stamp on them.  Each of these pieces should tell a story, either through a dramatic pose or fine craftsmanship.

This is a statue of Zeus, the King of the Gods. His Roman name is Jupiter. Here we see him having a stern expression with one upraised arm, it looks like he is about to strike someone with a bolt of lightning. Sitting slightly behind his left leg, we see a small griffon. Many things in this piece create the illusion of movement, from the dramatic pose to the flow in the fabric. Starting from his upraised left hand, at first you think he is holding a few stalks of wheat. Upon closer inspection, this is a very small depiction of a lightning bolt. Following the fabric draped over his left arm, you are drawn down his left side where you see his leg set maybe a foot in front of him. His Griffon is looking up at him, and if you follow the beak of the creature you start traveling up the bundled fabric around his hips. This brings you back up his right side, to further inspect his right arm and face.
This is a statue of Hera, the wife of Zeus and Queen of the Gods. Her Roman name is Juno. Here we see her standing somewhat off center as she carries the fabric from her skirt. Her expression is a bit hard to read, but it looks like she is indifferent to whatever she is looking at. There are a few different elements to this piece that create movement, and while this isn’t one of the most dramatic poses, the statue itself isn’t stationary. Putting Hera’s weight on her left leg, and having her right leg dragging somewhat behind her, you notice that her skirt is extremely long. So long in fact that she has to gather it up in her hands in order to move properly, without struggle. The fabric is bunched together so realistically; every wrinkle makes sense as you follow the trail back to her hands. Both her hands are somewhat off to her left side, causing her right arm to cross just over her body. As your eye moves up from this point you notice that Hera has her head turned to the right, contrasting the position of the rest of her body.
This is a statue of Hades, God of the Underworld. His Roman name is Pluto, and here we see him in the process of kidnapping his wife Persephone. (Proserpina to the Romans.) This is quite the action shot with tons of movement, as you see Hades carrying a flailing Persephone while stepping over some other person. Hade’s has a very solid stance, as you see his left leg brought forward over the bystander. The core of his body is tilted slightly to the right while facing forward, to accommodate the movement and Persephone who, is somewhat flung over his shoulder. His crowned head is somewhat turned to the right, granting you the impression that his destination is in that direction. Persephone has her head turned to the far back left, with both hands in contrast extended to the right facing the same direction that Hades is looking. With her upper body supported by Hade’s left shoulder, her lower body is supported at the waist by his right arm. Though his left hand is holding her opposite leg, I don’t know if that is so much for support as it is to keep her from flailing.
This is a statue of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and Civilization. Her Roman Name is Minerva, and here we see her looking thoughtful with a helmet upon her head and a shield at her right side. The helmet looks like a war helmet with the side-view of a ram on both sides of the face. This statue has a casual movement about it, starting at Athena’s face that is slightly turned to the left as her hand brushes against her helmet. As you follow her hand down her arm, you notice her dress only has one very long sleeve on this side. Following her sleeve as it flows down the left side of her body you notice her body is tilted slightly to the right. You also notice that her outfit is separated into two pieces, the top blouse and the bottom skirt. With Athena’s weight supported on her left leg, her right leg is slightly bent and moved forward just a little. Her right hand sits atop a shield with her arm slightly bent, like she is holding the shield place while leaning on it ever so slightly.
This is a statue of Poseidon, God of the Sea and Earthquakes. His Roman name is Neptune, and here we see him with his trident getting ready to stab the ground, or perhaps something in the water that earned his wrath. Starting at his face, you can see his very agitated expression as he glares down at the ground. As you follow his angry glance down his right arm, you see that he is holding his trident with both hands. One is just a little way from the top, and the other is all the way at the bottom. Both are positioning the trident toward his line of sight. Following his left arm, you see he has a piece of fabric wrapped around his shoulder. Following that fabric, it comes around the left side of his body to wrap around his leg and flow behind him. It almost looks like the fabric is flowing in very strong wind, and checking his face again his beard and hair do look like they are being jostled in the wind as well. With his left leg forward and his right leg set behind him, you see that his core is tilting forward into his strike. Set just beneath him is a “Dolphin,” though in my opinion it looks more like a fish than a dolphin.
This is a statue of Apollo, God of the Sun, Creativity, and Fine Arts. Interestingly, the Romans decided to leave Apollo as Apollo so they didn’t change his name. While observing this piece I noticed that it looks like Apollo is trying to get away from something and could be potentially nursing an injury. With his left leg in front of him, and his right leg behind in a large stride his core is tilted forward. His left hand is holding on to a support, while his right hand seems to be clutching a piece of cloth to his chest or shoulder. That being said, his facial expression doesn’t support the theories that he is injured or being chased. He is smirking, and doesn’t seem to be in pain or at all worried about anything. Perhaps in this particular statue he is feigning an injury for some reason, or teaching a drama class. The cherub looking creature seated beside his left leg might be Cupid, but I don’t know for sure. The cherub is holing onto the fabric that is wrapped around Apollo’s body, as though trying to restrain him.
This is a statue of Artemis, Goddess of the Moon and Hunting. She is also Apollo's twin sister. Her Roman name is Diana, in this piece it looks like she is out on a hunt with a wolf or dog of some kind. With her head turned to the right and her torso is facing forward, her right arm is extended out behind her to steady her bow. Her left arm is set into position to pull back the string, her fingers almost lining up with her mouth. Her lower body is turned to the left, contrasting the direction she is shooting in. This makes me think she might be running from whatever she is shooting. The positioning of her legs leads me to believe that she is jumping, or in mid jump while she is getting ready to take her shot. The body of her wolf companion is turned in the same direction as her lower body, with all four limbs up in the air stretched into a jumping stance. The wolf's head is turned to face the same direction that Artemis is looking, though it doesn't look like either is going to stop any time soon.
This is a statue of Ares, God of War. His Roman name is Mars, and here we see him getting ready to unsheathe his weapon and do some damage. Starting at his face you see his bored, somewhat annoyed expression. It looks like he doesn’t take the person he is about to fight very seriously. Bringing his left arm forward across his body to grab the hilt of his weapon, his opposite arm is slightly behind him holding the sheath. Resting his weight on his left leg, his right leg is slightly bent as he moves forward. Unlike most of our other statues, this one has tons of armor on. His helmet has a small four-legged winged animal on it, and the belt around his waist has a dogs face repeated on each different section. Interestingly, this dogs face also appears at the top of his sandals. It rests in the center of some fabric wrapped around his ankle, and the top of whatever material extends down his feet to make his sandals. Almost like a buckle or clip that is securing the sandals in place.
This is a statue of Hermes, a Messenger of the Gods and the God of Commerce. His Roman name is Mercury, and here we see him standing on one leg pointing up at the sky. Having every finger except for his pointer finger relaxed, his arm is extended straight up with a slight bend in the elbow. Hermes is looking up, with his face turned to the left giving us a side-view. His line of sight almost meets up with the tip of his pointer finger, depending on how you look at the image. You notice that his torso is facing forward, but from his waist down his body is turned slightly to the left. He is standing on his right leg, with his left leg up in the air behind him. Looking closely you see that he has small wings on his ankles, and he is standing on the very tips of his toes. This makes me wonder if he is getting ready to fly off into the sky, or if he is trying to call himself a ride home.
This is a statue of Dionysus, God of Wine. His Roman name is Bacchus, and here we see him seated with Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos. As one would expect from the God of Wine, he is holding up a cluster of grapes in his left hand as he gazes at Ariadne. His head is adorned with grapes and grape leaves, while his expression is a bit hard to read. As you follow his gaze, you see that he has a mug or glass in his right hand that is resting on her back, just behind her face. He could be offering her a drink, but she doesn’t look like she is interested. Both are sitting casually on a rock, while Dionysus is sitting forward Ariadne is turned slightly away from him. If you follow her left arm, you see that she is holding a cluster of grapes in her hand that is resting on top of a very fancy vase that seems just a touch out of place. Upon further inspection, her opposite hand is holding the vase from the back. It almost looks like she is stuffing the grapes into the vase, so he can’t have any more to drink.
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