Phivos - Apollo in The Arts

Apollo in The Arts

Apollo is a common theme in Greek and Roman art and also in the art of the Renaissance. The earliest Greek word for a statue is "delight" (άγαλμα: agalma), and the sculptors tried to create forms which would inspire such guiding vision. Greek art puts into Apollo the highest degree of power and beauty that can be imagined. The sculptors derived this from observations on human beings, but they also embodied in concrete form, issues beyond the reach of ordinary thought.

The naked bodies of the statues are associated with the cult of the body that was essentially a religious activity. The muscular frames and limbs combined with slim waists indicate the Greek desire for health, and the physical capacity which was necessary in the hard Greek environment. The statues of Apollo embody beauty, balance and inspire awe before the beauty of the world.

The evolution of the Greek sculpture can be observed in his depictions from the almost static formal Kouros type in early archaic period, to the representation of motion in a relative harmonious whole in late archaic period. In classical Greece the emphasis is not given to the illusive imaginative reality represented by the ideal forms, but to the analogies and the interaction of the members in the whole, a method created by Polykleitos. Finally Praxiteles seems to be released from any art and religious conformities, and his masterpieces are a mixture of naturalism with stylization.

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Famous quotes containing the words apollo and/or arts:

    In the west, Apollo and Dionysus strive for victory. Apollo makes the boundary lines that are civilization but that lead to convention, constraint, oppression. Dionysus is energy unbound, mad, callous, destructive, wasteful. Apollo is law, history, tradition, the dignity and safety of custom and form. Dionysus is the new, exhilarating but rude, sweeping all away to begin again. Apollo is a tyrant, Dionysus is a vandal.
    Camille Paglia (b. 1947)

    all the arts lose virtue
    Against the essential reality
    Of creatures going about their business among the equally
    Earnest elements of nature.
    Robinson Jeffers (1887–1962)