Essay about Comparison Between Menkaure and His Wife, and Nike from Samothrace

Words: 1827
Pages: 8

Naturalism in art refers to the depiction of realistic objects in a natural setting. The Realism movements of the 19th century advocated naturalism in reaction to the stylized and idealized depictions of subjects in Romanticism, but many painters have adopted a similar approach over the centuries. One example of Naturalism is the artwork of American artist William Bliss Baker, whose landscape paintings are considered some of the best examples of the naturalist movement. Idealism is the attitude that places special value on ideas and ideals as products of the mind, in comparison with the world as perceived through the senses. In art idealism is the tendency to represent things as aesthetic sensibility would have them rather than as they …show more content…
The statue has been reassembled in stages since its original discovery in 1863. Neither the arms nor the head have been found. The statue shows a mastery of form and movement which has impressed critics and artists since its discovery, the Nike of Samothrace is particularly admired for its naturalistic pose and rendering of the figure's draped garments, depicted as if rippling in a strong sea breeze. Also, Nike the sports company eventually labeled their brand after this work, because they felt it embodied strength and power. The Nike’s wings are intensely naturalistic, and also contribute to the uneven, chaotic, and exuberantly active tone of the statue. In a motion that echoes the V-shape of the drapery between her legs, the goddess pushes her wings back as far as they seem capable of going, and extends them to their full length. In doing so, she exactly mimics the behavior of a bird about to land. Indeed, her wings seem an enlarged copy of real bird wings, from their curved crests to the joint mid way through, to their outspread, textured feathers. However, the feathers lack the regular, fan-like arrangement found in real birds. Instead, they are arrayed at odd and overlapping angles to one another, much like the folds of the drapery. Thus, though naturalistic, the wings betray the sculptor’s interest in creating irregular patterns to