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'the Aristodikos Is So Convincingly Realistic And Looks So Much Like A Living Man...' [Woodford]. How Far Do You Agree With Woodford's Opinion?

1082 words - 4 pages

In order for the question to be answered, it must be approached in a specific way. First of all, it is important to note that a good and fair answer to the question would include the ways in which Woodford is right and the ways in which she is wrong. Also, the way in which the subject of her statement must be judged is by comparing it to works of the same period in order to work out its position among statues of its time. We must consider to what extent her statement is true and under what circumstances the statement exists.As mentioned before, a good argument would include the rights and wrongs of the statement therefore we will first look at the ways in which the statement is true. The Archaic period was a time when the main inspiration for Greek sculpture came from the Egyptians, therefore many similarities can be seen when comparing Greek to Egyptian. Similarities can be seen in the way symmetry is used which is the one of the defining aspects of the Archaic style. A good example of this is shown in the New York Kouros on which a technique of mirror lines was used to create perfect symmetry. This very technique which aims for perfection is what makes the New York Kouros unrealistic, as the human body is full of imperfections. The sculptor of the Aristodikos has taken this into account and his awareness of proportions in the human body is much more refined than that of the creator of the New York Kouros. So in this aspect the Aristodikos has great naturalistic advancements over its contemporary counterparts. The New York Kouros has another aspect making it unrealistic; there is no impression given of soft flesh. Although the surface of the statue itself may have been weathered down by time, it is not only the smoothness of the surface which creates the effect of softness; the New York Kouros has no curvature in its features, no roundness in its design and this makes the statue very hard to appreciate as naturalistic. In the Archaic period, the first statue to move away from robustness and portray softness was the Kouros found at Anavyssos. The gentleness of the curvature of its surface gives the impression of supple skin. Also by this time, sculptors became more aware of proportions and distanced themselves from mirror lines. The Aristodikos is superior over the Anavyssos in all these aspects, for example in comparison to the Aristodikos, the Anavyssos has extremely heavy features in its lower part of the body while its torso remains quite small in comparison. This shows that the advancements were not quite complete; the Aristodikos however, takes that step further towards showing proportions close to that of the human body. Another major step taken by the sculptor of the Aristodikos which bring it closer to looking like a real person in comparison to other Archaic statues is the way the hair has been sculpted. Previous sculptures like the New York Kouros and even the more naturalistic Anavyssos have long beaded hair, a feature taken from...

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