Museums and Art

Sculptures of ancient gods

Sculptures of ancient gods



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Given that sculpture is the oldest form of art, its connection with the cult in ancient times is inextricable. Perhaps the vast majority of preserved plastic images of the Stone Age are somehow related to the cult and can be called sculptures of the gods. Later, when totemism replaced animism, the sculptural images of the gods became more clear and pronounced.

Sculptural images of pagan gods are most often made in stone or carved in wood. Unfortunately, there is not so much evidence of pagan culture in Russia. Most often in the museums of our country there are only a few specimens that are not very well preserved. Among them, the so-called Big Shigirsky idol, made in the 8th millennium BC, is especially valuable. The date is impressive because the sculpture is older than the figures of the Egyptian gods, as well as sculptures from Mesopotamia.

The sculptures of the Egyptian gods are known to all from the pictures in school books. The most monumental of them were once located in the temples of Luxor and Karnak, in the rocky temples of the Nile Valley. The museums of Egypt are full of various statuettes and small sculptures of Anubis, Seth, Chorus, Isis, Osiris, etc. According to the Egyptian tradition, all the sculptures are depicted either sitting or taking a step forward (step to eternity). Perfectly symmetrical faces, body proportions are strictly defined by the canon. Huge eyes (the Egyptians believed that one of the human souls lives in the eyes) make the Egyptian sculptures expressive and inspired.

Sculpture of Athena ParthenosSculpture of Zeus Olympic

Perhaps, it was the ancient culture that gave the world culture the most highly sacred sculptures. It is worth mentioning two masterpieces of the great Phidias - sculptures of Athena Parthenos and Olympian Zeus. The second figure is preserved only in marble copies, giving an idea only of the appearance of the sculpture, devoid of former grandeur and realism. The originals of the statues of Athena and Zeus were made in a complex chrysoelephantine technique (a wooden base covered with thin gold plates (hair, clothes and weapons) and thin plates of ivory (exposed parts of the body)). The use of ivory made the sculpture unusually realistic, conveying the texture of white, translucent skin of warm colors, and the golden shine gave the majesty and a sense of the unlimited power of the gods.

Sculptures of ancient gods adorn the best museums in the world. In the Louvre you can see sculptures of Venus and Nicky. Both sculptures were created in the second century BC. Different authors, different interpretations of images, different approaches. But the general harmony, plasticity and craftsmanship make these sculptures a masterpiece of ancient sculpture.

An interesting figure is the resting Hermes (National Museum of Naples). Free, relaxed posture, pacification and detachment on the face. There is nothing “divine” in the figure, only winged sandals indicate that we have before us the god of commerce, the patron of fraudsters.

The Archaeological Museum in Athens is justifiably proud of the unique bronze sculpture of Poseidon, perfectly preserved in the sea, near Cape Artemison. This image created in the Hellenistic era is characterized by energy, internal tension and dynamics. Some emotionality inherent in all sculptures of Hellenism makes the monument interesting for detailed study.

Sculptures of the gods of ancient Rome in terms of aesthetics and content actually repeat the work of Greek masters. The only merit of the Romans in sculpture is the realism of the images. Since most emperors were deified, in many sculptures of Mars, Jupiters and Neptunes, you can recognize some of the august rulers of the great empire.


Watch the video: Best Sculptures of All Time (August 2022).