Civilization And Artistic Representations Term Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Drama - World Type: Term Paper Paper: #52278553 Related Topics: World Civilization, Ancient Civilizations, Hellenistic, Ancient Rome

Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … art and show how they revealed the accomplishments of their respective civilizations. The three works are Perseus with the Head of Medusa by Antonio Canova (1804-6), the marble column from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis (300 BC), and the Fascinus phallus-deity of ancient Rome. Each is a work that reflects the style and culture of its time.

Canova's Perseus is much more "lyrical" than other representations of the Gorgon-slaying demigod ("Perseus with the Head of Medusa"). A marble statue standing at 220 cm. high, Perseus' pose is rather sweeping as though he were caught in mid side-step in a dance. His left arm is held aloft and in its hand is the head of Medusa, but one could easily imagine the hand holding the hand of a dancing partner. The right arm is down and its hand holds the sword that killed the Gorgon. All the weight appears to rest on Perseus' left leg as he begins to shift his balance from one foot to the other in a sashaying gesture of joy: he looks upon the head as one might on a love. Obviously Perseus is celebrating the victory and given the time period in which the statue was sculpted, one can understand the lyricism found therein. The


This Perseus is not the same Perseus as Cellini's (1545). Cellini's Perseus is a warrior and stands like Michelangelo's David, his face stern and his arm raised not as though he were dancing but as though he were clearly showing off the head of Medusa for all to see. But then 16th century Italy was a much more dangerous place to live than 18th-19th century Italy and this sense is reflected in the artists' representations of the same subject. Not to mention that Canova's Perseus is smiling at his prize as though gloating on the inside, knowing that he can look upon the famed deadly head without being turned to stone (which, ironically, on a literal level he is). Canova's Perseus is almost too full of self-satisfaction to really be admired, though one can understand why he should be so: Italy at this time was once again home of the arts and had much to be proud of in this sense.

The Marble column from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis represents the glories of the Hellensitic period in Greece and dates back to 300 BC. It is one portion of an Ionic column from the Greek Temple that originally "stood over fifty-eight feet high" ("Marble column from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis"). The column is especially ornate considered the decorative facade of other columns at the time: it appears that this one is…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Johnson, Paul. Art: A New History. NY: Harcourt, 2003. Print.

"Marble column from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis." MetMuseum. Web. 22 Apr


"Perseus with the Head of Medusa." MetMuseum. Web. 22 Apr 2015.

Cite this Document:

"Civilization And Artistic Representations" (2015, April 22) Retrieved April 1, 2023, from

"Civilization And Artistic Representations" 22 April 2015. Web.1 April. 2023. <>

"Civilization And Artistic Representations", 22 April 2015, Accessed.1 April. 2023,

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