Art in general has contributed to the beauty noted in the environment since ancient times, and up to the present times. Numerous studies have been conducted by scholars in various fields concerning the impact that art as a subject has to the society. Art entails many fields and areas that all contribute, and result in the subject in whole in different dimensions. Ancient artistic features such as sculptures, drawings, paintings, carvings and monuments among others were designed specifically to convey and communicate particular messages and information to the audience that touch on different themes such as cultural, political, philosophical, historical as well as economical among others. Interpretations of artistic features, therefore, contributed and facilitated easy understanding of the information and themes that artistic features have. It is imperative to note that almost every community in the world from the ancient times used art and included it as part of their culture. It made it possible for similar artistic features to get varied interpretations that conveyed a different meaning depending on the community and society that the artistic feature resulted. Scholars and experts in arts point out that an artistic feature has both open and hidden meaning in the various articles and pieces that are presented through art. However, this paper analyzes the Reclining female figure form the Greece Cycladic islands while pointing out different artistic features and styles used to produce such great work.
Numerous styles and techniques have to be included to produce a great artistic piece that stands the taste of time over many generations. Great pieces of art have to be appreciated as conveying messages and set themes not only to the past, present audience and viewers of the piece, but also the future generations (D'Alleva, 32). It is the main reason as to why many great artistic works that were done long time ago have been able to get recognition as a great piece. The works of art have shaped many aspects in the field, in general, including being used as teaching examples in the field and industry of art in general. Therefore, it is important for quality art work to be produced to reach its maximum potential, and realize desired returns and benefits to the artists. The Reclining female figure is a great piece made between 2600-2500 in the Greece Cycladic islands known as Amorgos. It falls in the variety described early Cycladic II or early spedos. Greece was an important player in terms of contributing to and enriching art. It is because Greece considered as among the few areas that civilization evolved from that impacted many other places and region in the world was rich in culture. It displayed the cultural believes and attributed through artwork. Historians note that as the Greece went for exploration of the world, they influenced and formed many other regions and areas in terms of cultural contributions that were observed through artistic features. For instance, they point out Egypt as another important part that shaped and contributed to the field of art not only in the ancient times and days, but up to the current times, as well. The material used for this great artistic work of Reclining female figure is marble and artistic features that were made during those ancient times in most occasions used simple materials that displayed the color of the material used. It is one element that has been used to describe the work done in the ancient times and the present days work (Barrett, 11). The figure is well sculpted and presented that it makes it easy for the audience to get and draw the picture, as well as figure out the piece. Great artistic works have to be able to present and make it easy for viewers and audience to get the meaning, and figure of the artistic feature or piece at display. The body parts are well presented and have been balanced that it is possible to figure out and relate to what it presents in real time.
The piece presents the form of a woman facing the audience while the hands of a woman in the piece are placed around the stomach crossing each other. The head of the piece is round, and well carved that makes it easy for the viewers to view and relate. At the center of the face is a curve of the nose that makes it even easier for the audience to get the picture and paint a picture in their head of the article. The dimensions used on the head are slightly bigger than one used on the neck and this gives the article a good balance. Below the neck, the shoulders are broadened and use varied length and width that provides the body the shape and guides the entire body of the article. The upper shoulder presents the breasts that are seen and make it possible for the audience to determine the gender of the article. Sculptures and artistic features made in the ancient times were made in many occasions in their natural body form that displays natural body features such as those defining gender and sex. These concepts and ideas occurred in the ancient times that guided many artistic features to incorporate only natural features of any piece produced and this was noticed in many other artistic products such as paintings and sculptures in general. The dimensions used to describe and present the middle and lower body are well balanced in terms of measurements that make it possible for the viewers to get the meaning and figure out what the sculptures is about. The color of the piece presents the original color of the material used and many artistic features of such time displayed a similar characteristic. Barnet (2014) in his piece A Short Guide to Writing About Art pointed out that, in the modern times, artistic features have used advanced technologies and materials such as color that makes the products present almost a piece that appears as it is observed in real time (6 ). The hands of the piece are wrapped around the body and this can be analyzed and interpreted from a different perspective. In the ancient times, women in the society performed several roles and were expected to conduct themselves in a certain manner depending with the cultural practices of the society and community. The level of respect and the conduct of the behavior could also be displayed and shown through such great work. From the piece, the arms are wrapped around the body and this can be argued out as a symbol of respect and keen observation that the pieces showing. Therefore, the societal, cultural aspects are displayed from the piece. It is shown whereby the conduct of the women and the level of respect were supposed to be observed. In most of such ancient times women were seen and treated as subjects in most of the communities and societies including the Greece community that the piece comes. The material used for the piece of marble was used for many other artistic features that were produced during the times that the Reclining Female Figure was made. The use of such material was common because it was easily available and it produced quality work that could stand the taste of time for many products that were made using the material (Costache, 14). The color of the material presented a good color for artistic features produced because it presents a cool color that suits and matches well with nature and the environment. The material also was easy to produce a cool finish that is smooth that could allow clear varnish to be and finish possible for such pieces. The finishing of the piece is made smoothly that gives the piece an attractive look, and make it recognized as a good artistic article. Naturally, women are seen to have smooth skin and, therefore, by the article getting such touch it makes it fro the audience of the piece to analyze and interpret it correctly. From the cultural analysis point of view, for such sculptures to be produced during those early times, it conveys the message and theme of the role that women contributed in the society at large. It also notes the respect that the society gave woman in general, especially the area that the piece originated. From the various themes presented by the article that touches on the role of women and culture it makes the piece among the greatest because it can tell a story across many generations
Artistic products from the past and up to the present times are made with the intention to communicate set information and themes. As a result, many pieces have been made and designed for either the public or for private viewing depending with the artists and the objective as well as inspiration that was behind any artistic feature and product. The size of the piece and the features that the piece carried made it possible for the audience and viewers to determine the intended target regarding the piece. The above piece would be better suit and designed for a palace or a home. It is because of its size and the support stand that it has made it flexible and portable that can be carried from one point to the other. Most of artistic pieces made for the public have bigger dimensions and cover a bigger area that are placed permanent positions as along term project for the society and community that the piece is found (Barnet, 17). Inside the palace or the home, it made it conveyed and re-laid the message and theme of the role of women in society besides entertaining the audience of the piece
The piece is displayed well in Menil collection and enhances the power of the piece. It provides a clear vision and the background of the room where it is displayed is plain and does not destruct the viewers and audience of the piece. The display, therefore, enhances good viewing and, therefore, analysis of the piece than it would have been viewed from a different place. The piece has a slight damage at the head on one side and this does not affect the perception regarding the piece and it remains intact. From the damage; it makes the viewers ascertain that the material used is the same because the color displayed is the same even in the part that is missing.It guarantees them of the same material that is natural, which was the style of producing artistic features in those times.
Comparing the figure to Black figure Amphora of Greece that is with Apollo and Hercules struggling over the tripod and black soldier, it presents the developments and changes in artistic features that transformed and changed with time. Barrett (2003) in his piece Interpreting Art: Reflecting, Wondering, and Responding reaffirmed that the changes are displayed in the form of materials used for production of the articles and techniques used (7). Cultural elements are, however, displayed in both pieces through markings and features in the articles. The piece of Refining female figure is a good artistic piece because of the theme that it presents concerning women and the role they contributed to in the society. The balance in terms of dimensions used from different parts of the piece makes it easy for the viewers and audience of the piece to create meaning and understand the piece on the first vie and sight.
In conclusion, artistic features both from the ancient and present times have impacted on society positively in many ways. The piece presented above notes how ancient artists used the resources available by then to produce great artistic work that displayed different themes and styles that make the audience understand and analyze the piece correctly and the theme that it presents. It is possible through analysis of the piece and comparison to those done in the modern times to tell the developments and differences that have occurred in the field and industry of art.
Barnet, Sylvan. A Short Guide to Writing About Art. , 2014. Print.
Barrett, Terry. Interpreting Art: Reflecting, Wondering, and Responding. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2003. Print.
Costache, Irina D. The Art of Understanding Art. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Internet resource.
D'Alleva, Anne. Look!: The Fundamentals of Art History. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.