University of Redlands
Compare and Contrast Two Works Of Art
Greek culture is the source from which many of the characteristic elements of Western culture derive. Their explorations and innovations in art have both fascinated and inspired other civilizations for centuries. For this assignment I chose two Greek sculptures viewed at the Getty Museum. The first is Kouros circa 530 B.C. made of Dolomitic marble from Thasos and is approximately 200 cm (80 in) in height. The second is Cult Statue of a Goddess, (most likely Aphrodite) South Italy, 425 - 400 B.C. made of Limestone and marble. It stands at a height of 220 cm (86 5/8 in). There is some dispute to the authenticity of the Getty Kouros sculpture, but assuming it is not a modern forgery it would belong to the Greek Archaic period. Cult Statue of a Goddess (herein referred to as Aphrodite) hails from the Greek Classical period. The identities of both sculptors are unknown.
In historical terms, the time difference between these two sculptures is not a relatively large one (approximately 100 to 130 years), and the two works share a few common characteristics. They are both freestanding sculptures with open spaces. Neither piece depicts a person who really existed but rather a figure representing the ideals valued during that period. These sculptures also commemorate the living instead of the dead like the sculptures of the ancient Egyptians. The time difference these pieces do reflect a change or evolution between the two Greek periods and their respective concerns and principles. Kouros represents youth and many of the ideals of the aristocratic culture of Archaic Greece, such as that of moral and physical beauty and nobility. Aphrodite represents the Greek goddess of love, beauty and sexual rapture characteristics esteemed by the Classical Greek concepts of naturalism and humanism.
The physical characteristics of these pieces differ quite a bit also. Kouros is a...