Why study art history? Really, such a difficult question to answer. Of course, there's the social and historical importance of art, there's the economic role of the art market and its influence on artists and patrons, and then there's the expression of religious sentiment and values through visual arts media. All fascinating topics, to be sure.
But for me, the main reason to study art history was and continues to be a completely pure aesthetic motivation.
For aren't we all admirers of the exquisite male physique?
Of course we are.
But as we learned from my last post, some people are sensitive about having their picture taken.
Great biceps. Sexy slouch.
But as soon as he opens his mouth.... Not so appealing after all. All fantasy evaporates. Shame, really.
It is precisely for this reason that museums were invented. Because at museums, we can contemplate the sublime, in the form of the male figure, and even take photographs of naked men. No clothes on! Whoopee! Even better, these naked men don't talk back. In fact, they can't talk at all. Refreshing, isn't it?
So, yes. Naked men. You've got your old fashioned-y stone guys.
Your more new-fangled-y bronze ones. Although the beard leaves me cold. A bit unkempt-looking. He needs a trimmer for Christmas.
You've got what appears to be an ancient cup holder? Or is it a TV stand? Hard to tell. Maybe that's why I only got a "pass" on my dissertation, eh?
And then there's that decorative plate that will have all your guests chatting at your next Christmas cocktail party. Notice how huge I had to make the sticker. Those Greeks! Always exaggerating.
But my favorite thing, as it were, was halfway up the Acropolis, in a small sculpture garden. It's called a stele. I know. Boring, yeah?
But when you check out the close-up, just below.... Talk about artistic economy of expression! The artist has deconstructed the male figure and reduced it to its single important feature, and voilà,
nothing more need be said.