Beauté Intemporelle (Timeless Beauty)

Sculpture is one of the most realistic ways to depict an object. From every angle, the viewer is able to see the tangible contours, details, and shadows light casts as it hits the sculpted figure. Sculpture brings the presence an object conveys into the space it is in.  Throughout history, many cultures have sculpted figures embodied that many have embraced as beautiful. There were statues used to represent gods, preserve the well-being of an individual as they went to the afterlife, and demonstrate the naturalistic, realistic form of the human body. Sculptures can be used to depict a scene or decorate a space. As seen in the Gothic art, there are high relief sculptures of human and biblical characters carved with "natural proportions" over a church doorway or on columns. In Greek art, where “man is the measure of all things”, was essentially the evolution toward naturalism. Greek art produced many nude figures of ideal bodies which were sculpted naturalistically.  In Paleolithic times, women were believed to be goddesses because they had the ability to give birth. They were sculpted to promote fertility. Different cultures have their own ideas, styles, and subject matter to show beauty. There can be sculptures large and dominant to show beauty and command respect, or smaller beautiful figures that one can indulge in and keep with them. Artists can use shading, perspective, colors, highlighting and other techniques to make a two dimensional image look three dimensional, however, sculpture interacts more effectively with the viewer and the space it is in. This is why sculpture so efficiently defines beauty.

Figurines of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, one in the "modest" pose and the other half-draped and "rising from the bath", Unknown, Hellenistic Period 1st century BCE, From the collection of: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (Makeovers) (Hercules)
Mohini: the feminine beauty, Unknown, 1700 AD - 1800 AD, From the collection of: National Museum - New Delhi
"Mohini, in Hindu mythology, is the name of the only female avatar of the god Vishnu". In many of the novels I found online about Mohini they all stated that Mohini would lure them in with her physical attraction and have guys fall madly in love with her. It's easy to believe that Mohini is indeed an enchantress, as she is portrayed with luxurious apparel.
Venus Disarming Cupid, Parmigianino, ca. 1527–1530, From the collection of: Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
I see this piece as the conventional relationship between mother and her young one. In this painting you see Venus, as stated in the title, disarming Cupid. At first the painting looks displeasing as if it tells a sad story. The colors itself aren't warm to your eyes, you know in this painting there is a sense of urgency as the story unfolds itself. You see Venus with an irate face and young Cupid desperately trying to retrieve his bow. All the attention is focused on their actions. Nudity isn't the critical point as you may have seen in a lot of paintings and sculptures yet the disarray of character adds a certain "awe" to a piece. This piece can have a physical display of beauty but it can also display it emotionally.
The birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli, 1483 - 1485, From the collection of: Uffizi Gallery
"The theme of the Birth of Venus was taken from the writings of the ancient poet, Homer. according to the traditional account, after Venus was born, she rode on a seashell and sea foam to the island of Cythera". Venus is portrayed naked on a shell on the seashore & on her left the winds blow gently caressing her hair, on her right Ora waits for the goddess to go closer to dress her shy body. The iteam she holds to cover Venus have violets which signifies love. I look at this artwork as the birth of love. Venus covering her privates shyly, having someone waiting to dress her, and another blowing wind at her, as if guiding her.
Venus with the Apple, Bertel Thorvaldsen, 1813/1816, From the collection of: Thorvaldsens Museum
In this sculpture, Venus with the Apple by Bertel Thorvaldsen, shows Goddess Venus holding an apple in her right hand. The story prompting Venus with the Apple is that at a celebration including the Gods and Goddesses, one Goddess, Eris, was not invited. Out of spite, she threw to the party guests, an apple carved with the phrase “To the fairest goddess”. The guests at this celebration could not decide on which goddess should be designated with this title so they held a beauty contest. In this contest among Juno, Minerva, and Venus, Venus, the goddess of beauty, love, fertility, and desire won. This sculpture is of her holding the prized apple. Venus is shown in a contrapposto pose, her upper and lower body moving in opposition with each other. She is shown in the nude, with her clothes draped in one hand and her prized apple in the other. She moves her head away from the viewer in a shy manner which makes the viewer focus on her seemingly perfectly sculpted body. We see the gentle grasp her hand has on the apple, her symmetrical bust, and flat stomach. Even though her head is tilted toward the apple, her eye gazes toward the viewer allowing us to marvel in her beauty while she lets us know that she is aware her body is beautiful. This sculpture shows Venus with her the prized apple and why she won it.
Nubian woman, Charles Cordier, 1851, From the collection of: MuMa - Musée d'art moderne André Malraux
Charles Cordier said it best, "...Because beauty is not the province of priviliged race, I give to the world of art the idea of universitality of beauty. Every race has its beauty...". A former slaved turned model is who Seid Enkess really was, one face who refined promotion for unquieness to better assauge the world. La Nubienne was first created by Cordier in 1848 for a Salon the same year slavery was officially abolished. His work was meant to create awareness on human diversity, as he traveled he would used models of different color as his subjects to piece his new sculptures. During this time Cordier's work was so renown it forced the world to face slavery and acknowledge the fate of thousands of men and women. This sculpture exhibits more of a modern beauty, the ability to feel comfortable in our own skin and for many african american females it is our purest form. We are not taught to embrace our differences instead we are taught to assimilate and to adapt. La Nubienne is a substantial example of our deviation from the norm. It allows up to appreciate our differences and to find beauty even when it isn't always broadcasted in a magazine or runway. Seid isn't smiling or posing her hair isn't straight or done up- it is her in her more natural state. Her kinky curly hair pattern to her full lips say just as much. Cordier spent his art career trying to recreate beauty on a broader spectrum.
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