Thursday, 18 September 2008

HNT - Feminine Sculpture

Once again, I am hugely grateful to d2b for his hard work in making my skin look like marble.

A couple of weeks ago, I began watching Waldemar Januszczak and The Sculpture Diaries and the first episode was just wonderful.

A proper introduction to sculpture that was not dry or boring but quite inspirational. Naturally I watched originally because the advertising blurb promised to show what the Venus de Milo looked like with her arms and how beautiful she was. He explained that originally Greek statues were all colourful but centuries in the ground robbed the marble of its pigment. Venus's robe was, in fact, a beautiful blue and her hair was brown.

The story goes that Paris was a mortal selected to choose which of three Goddesses was the most beautiful - Minerva/Athena, The Goddess of Wisdom, Juno/Hera, the Chief Goddess and Venus/Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. The victor would be given a special apple. Venus cheated by telling Paris that she would get Helen of Troy (the most beautiful mortal woman) to fall in love with him and so he chose Venus as the winner. The statue is supposed to portray her receiving the apple. So her left hand is slightly out from her body holding the apple and the other is across her body, clutching at her robe which is falling off.

The programme also focussed on another famous armless statue that was on display for a couple of years in Trafalgar Square. The statue of 'Alison Lapper Pregnant' by Marc Quinn has been a very controversial talking point. Ms Lapper, who was born with shortened legs and no arms because of a congenital disorder called phocomelia, said at the time: "I’m very excited about it. This is history in the making," she said.

"Never before has someone with a disability - let alone someone with a disability who is naked and eight months pregnant - been put in such a public place and portrayed in such a positive way."

I am indebted to Shauna Reid for her transcription of this part of the interview:

"... So many people, not just women, [say] 'How can you love your body?' I'm like, Well, why don't you love yours?

I found that very sad, that there are so many people out there, because of the media and all the rubbish that gets thrown at us, [thinking] that we should all be like stick insects with lollipop heads. No thank you."

As Waldemar said in the programme, who better to be the model for a statue celebrating the beauty of women.

Waldemar went on to dissect what it is that makes a woman classically beautiful and apparently the important figure for us all to remember is 0.7 - the ratio between waist and hips that is supposed to signify beauty in all races and cultures. He stated that both Marilyn Monroe and Kate Moss fit into this category. Maths not being one of my strongest subjects, I'll let you work out whether or not you do...

But in all this talk of proportions of bodily parts, he also produced another very famous statue of Venus. The Venus of Willendorf is thousands of years old and so tiny she can fit into the palm of your hand. To many she is the epitome of the beautiful woman because she signifies fecundity, the ability to produce children and it is believed that a woman who wanted to conceive would carry her around in her pocket for good luck.



Amorous Rocker said...

Your click is very cool. I love all of the orange and how your skin is done. Lovely.

This is a great post. It was very interesting to read and I enjoyed it. Happy HNT!

Lilly said...

He did a great job with the photo, it looks wonderful. I like reading history stuff like this. And I know which statue I'm modeled after *grins*


Anonymous said...

very cool effect!!
sexy too.

An Artist Exposed said...

Y9ou make such a sexy statue.

The Alison Lapper statue is a very powerful statement; I visited it many times

Anonymous said...

The Venus of Willendorf is and old favorite and I love the Alison Lapper statue. I cannot see your purrty self 'tho *pouts*


I Smile 2 Much said...

I might be biased but I think I'm 100% right when I say your form, body & pose is FAR more ttractive than the statue.

However. I enjoyed reading this post. And props to d2b, too.

A Very Happy & GORGEOUS HNT 2 U ; )

Osbasso said...

You have such a wonderful shape!

B said...

I love BOTH statues. very cool. And I'm all for extracuricular learning here. The more the better.
Happy HNT

Carnalis said...

*passes a blanket* .. you look chilly, my dear!

well done with the effect.

Happy HNT

Greg and Sheryl said...

Thanks for the art lesson and the sexy rear view. HHNT!

Helga Hansen said...

All very interesting... and what a lovely click-through. I definitely look like the Willendorf model! HHNT!

nitebyrd said...

Fantastic click-thru, Cake.

Your post was very informative and thought provoking.

Trixie said...

That statue of Alison is stunning!

Along with that statue effect of you!

d2b said...

Great, I love the way this post came out! It was a pleasure to work with your photo!


Lapis Ruber said...

Female beauty takes many forms - but you are right up there with the best! Happy HNT.

Mike said...

Thats a wonderful click thru! Brilliant in fact.

A very HHNT

Ro said...

The Alison Lapper sculpture shocked me a little at first, if I'm honest, but I've grown to love it.

And I, too, wish I could see those colourless classics as the ancients once did.

What a wonderful click-through - the colours are so vibrant, a real contrast with yourself. I must admit, though, I was looking for the click-through to correspond with that last sculpture ;)

Happy HNT!

Baby said...

I love the picture D2B helped you with - but most of all - I thoroughly enjoyed your post and introduction to the statues... wonderful!! :) HHNT!

Anonymous said...

The colours in your click through are gorgeous. So are you. :)

figleaf said...

Great photo, Cake, and an excellent essay! Happy HNT.


Z said...

I hate that waist to hip measurement thing: I don't have a waist to speak of (sulking). I love the Alison Lapper sculpture though, and everything I've read about her makes me think she is a remarkable woman under any circumstances.