Essay: Doryphoros and Augustus Prima Porta

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Essay: Doryphoros and Augustus Prima Porta

Sample Essay

Art reflects the culture, customs and values of societies and civilizations. Studying ancient art is valuable to historians as it enables them to decode significant facts of ancient civilizations and culture. Through the study of ancient forms of art, it is possible to understand the philosophical, religious and moral practices of past civilizations. Ancient artwork symbolized both religious and political orientations of the people. A good example of such revealing forms of ancient artwork are the sculpture Augustus Prima Porta and the sculpture of Doryphoros. This essay will compare and contrast these two artworks to decipher ways in which they enable us to understand the religious and political orientations of the people who lived when they were created.

The sculpture of Doryphoros was sculpted in 440BC by a sculptor known as Polykleitos. The sculpture is also known as the spear bearer and is a depiction of proportion and harmony of the human body. The sculpture is of a man leaning on a spear. The sculpture has a firm, graceful and athletic body that with athletic features. This sculpture was constructed using strict mathematical principles, a reflection of the Greek fascination with nature and precision. During this period, the human body was perceived as nature’s epitome of perfection and the Doryphoros was sculpted to capture an accurate representation of the human male body (Klynne & Liljenstolpe, 2000).

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