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Ancient Art: How It Affects Society Today

By TranterJustin Feb 08, 2013 886 Words
Ancient Art
Justin Tranter
American InterContinental University

Ancient art has a timeless value on how it affects society today. In order to interoperate each work of art, an individual must have a full knowledgeable concept of how to define each piece. This essay defines each the Mona Lisa created by Leonardo Da Vinci and the Venus de Milo sculpted by Alexandros of Antioch. It defines the form, subject matter, and content for both pieces. The comparison between both pieces is very much different in concepts, but the meaning of both, hold so much of value is very similar by level of representation. Ancient Art

Art within itself defines who we are as individuals through the way we express our; feelings, emotions, expressions, and things we create. Looking at the “Mona Lisa” created by Leonardo Da Vinci, this was certainly a masterpiece that captured the eyes of many through its meaning and design. In a resemblance to art, the “Venus de Milo” created by Alexandros of Antioch, was a spectacular sculpture that was dated back to 100BC and speaks too many about its characteristic. There are many different aspects to define each artwork such as; the form, subject matter, and its content. Relating art to its time is a crucial aspect to know and understand what possessed meaning during that time. The form of the work is a very crucial aspect to apply when looking at art work. The Mona Lisa is a two-dimensional oil painting on a panel of wood. The painting technique Leonardo da Vinci used was called sfumato (the Italian word for smoke) which involves using several translucent layers of color to produce depth in the painting. It is still unknown how Leonardo applied the paint as there is no obvious evidence of brush strokes or use of fingers. As for the Venus de Milo, it was a three-dimensional sculpture created out of Italian marble which is a hard stone that has a fine grain which allows for it to be carved with a high degree of detail. According to Lee (2013), “The Venus de Milo was carved from at least six to seven blocks of Parian marble: one block for the nude torso, another block for the draped legs, another block apiece for each arm, another small block for the left foot, another block for the inscribed plinth and finally the separately carved herm that stood beside the goddess.” Obviously the two differ in many different perspectives. First, sculpting and painting are two different forms of art but the intensive meaning behind both of them represent how much impact art has on society. The material and techniques varied in many different aspects as well and the color, whereas marble wasn’t available in different color schemes. The subject matter behind each piece was a representational outlook for highly respected and loved individuals. From what an individual can gather immediately looking at the Mona Lisa is that, from the sad expression on her face shows meaning behind her life. As for the Venus de Milo, individuals could gather it was someone of value in that era of time. Each with a powerful meaning behind each, but for those who know very little about art could not literally depict what it was actually representing. The content to these two masterpieces are very significant in meaning. The Mona Lisa Possessed a very interesting meaning behind the painting. The name of which the Mona Lisa was given was from Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of a wealthy Florence businessman. In modern Italian, "mona" means "my lady" or "madam," so the title means "Madam Lisa". According to Gwen Bruno (2009), “the portrait really represents the former Duchess of Milan, Isabella of Aragon and that her sad expression is due to her unhappy marriage.” The sculpture of Venus de Milo is the representation of the Greek goddess of love and beauty, is meant to be the depiction of pure beauty and perfection, (Mike De Rose, 2008). The action and modernized drapery give the Venus great nobility of a goddess. According to Mike De Rose (2008), “the Venus de Milo represents the girl that this man can never have, and acts as a fantasy for him. When Dario writes “in the impossible embrace of the Venus de Milo”, he is portraying how it would be impossible to hold or even touch this girl.” The time periods from which these were created were of substantial value to those of its time. The Mona Lisa more accurately fits the description of so by customs and values during that time. The Venus de Milo was more theory opposed to a literal value because she was of creation. Both of the timeless pieces of art will forever hold their value and meaning and will always be cherished.

* Gwen Bruno. (2009). “What Does the Mona Lisa Represent?” Demand Media Inc. RetrievedJanuary 25, 2013 from; *
* Lee. (2013). “What was the Venus De Milo made of?.” Yahoo Inc. Retrieved January 25, 2013from; *
* Mike De Rose. (2008). “The impossible embrace of the Venus de Milo.” January 25, 2013 from; * *

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