Athena Parthenos And Aphrodite Of Knidos Analysis

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Although sculpted almost one hundred years apart from one another, the Athena Parthenos and the Aphrodite of Knidos together represent the power of the divine in Greek society. The goddess of wisdom and the goddess of lust, both one of the Twelve Olympians, were arguably the most honored and revered of the Greek deities. However, represented in sculpture by masters of the time, their forms are completely opposite. While the Athena Parthenos was intimidating and even frightening, the sculpture of Aphrodite was inviting and scandalous. Athena Parthenos stood for Athens’ wealth and military might; Aphrodite on the other hand is a symbol for the Late Classical period’s interest in emotion, even risqué eroticism. Each work, by Phidias and Praxiteles, renowned artists of the Classical period, communicate to the viewer the influence and supremacy that these goddesses possessed, and the roles they played in 4th and 5th centuries Greece. The Athena Parthenos was sculpted by Phidias, the exemplary artist of antiquity (it was he who sculpted the statue of Zeus at Olympia, one of the world’s Seven Wonders). His sculpture of Athena was no less impressive. Constructed…show more content…
This was the first, full-sized sculpture of a female nude, and from this year onward a number of copies ensued. Up until Praxiteles sculpted this erotic piece, the only time we find the nude female form was on Attic red-figure painting on drinking vessels; however these females depicted were courtesans. The 4th century is when we first begin to see an “interest in sense perception” and by having this statue placed at the center of a courtyard or round temple, viewers were encouraged to inspect her (and therefore glorify her) from all angles. So perhaps her purpose is to allow the viewer to become more in touch with his sensuous self, a new idea that was slowly starting to become introduced more often in sculpture and art of the

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