The Most Significant Female Sculptures In Ancient Greece
Greece had produced us many of the best female sculptures of all time, its art played a very important role in life then and now. Many of these sculptures mostly presented in France, Italy and The Vatican.
Women have a big share among the Greek sculptures whether ordinary women and figures, or famous goddesses that had big influence back then such as; Nike, and Athena. These are still symbols of how women portrayed as sex objects while those sculptures only showed women’s intimate parts while on the other hand men sculptures showed their masculinity. Women had a very limited part in life in Ancient Greece, they were only treated as pots for men whether for sexual purposes or for pregnancy. Keep reading to get a close look at how we women portrayed in that fantasy era.
The Role Of Women In Ancient Greece
Women in ancient Greece were divided into three categories; Frist one was wives whose jobs were taking care of the home, having babies, raising kids and also taking care of spoils that men get from battles. They were also secluded so that husbands were assured kids belong to them.
The second category was hetaerae, who were a group of women used to entertain and demand men sexual needs.
The third was a group of females that worked as slaves for some women married to high authorities men. They were hired to do the menial tasks of the house, the last category was the goddess that had somehow more power than men.
Women of all categories didn’t have any kind of interference at politics, otherwise, they had a huge influence on art and poetry.
How Women Were Portrayed In Sculptures
The Greek sculptures picturized the nudity of both women and men, but when you see it in men sculptures you get a sense of organic unity and internal logic the nudity is just reflecting how they look so rational and coherent.
On the other hand, when you look to a female sculpture you can only tell how beautiful they are, just like any other decorative object. Whether the sculpture for an ordinary woman or just a goddess it focused on the sexuality of women.
Want to know more about women over history, check this one about women in ancient Egypt…
The more their art developed the more they picturized men as the powerful side, in the contract they added clothes to hide woman’s body underneath which reflects the differences between sexes in social, political, economic and legal practice.
Here Is A Look To Some Of The Female Sculptures
Aphrodite was the goddess of love in Greece and a symbol of beauty, she also has known in Rome as Venus. She was described as the daughter of Zeus and Dion by Homer, but the more popular thought is that she was born from the foam of the ocean which came from the seeds of Uranus that dropped to earth when he was castrated.
Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, but she also knew by her numerous love affairs significantly with Anchises and Adonis. Greeks thought that she implanted love in all humankind and other creatures, as she amused her self by making men fall in love with men.
They also thought that the passion that she inspired humans with was the force that caused fertilization and reproduction. Aphrodite had so many symbols such as; The, The hare, the pomegranate swan, the dove all of them connected to reproduction and physical love.
Athena was defined as the Greek goddess of wisdom and also women’s crafts. They also marked her as a warriors goddess and evil defender. There is a very marvelous story connected to her birth.
As she was the daughter of both Zeus and Metis when the mother got pregnant Gaia and Uranus told Zeus that after his wife gives birth to a girl she would get pregnant in a boy who would later take the throne out of him.
Zeus Swallowed Metis and when the time of birth came he had an unbearable headache and asked help from Hephaestus, who split Zeus’s head into half that is when Athena was born.
She got more than one nickname the helmet, the spear, and the aegis.
Diana of Ephesus
Diana was the daughter of both Jupiter the chief god and Latona, she was also the twin sister of Apollo. Latona gave birth to Diana with no pain and then she helped her mother deliver Apollo.
When her father asked her what she would like to have as a gift, she asked for eternal virginity. Her sculpture is one of those important female sculptures in Greece and it features Diana with a saffron tunic and nine nymphes, she also known as the goddess of nature, the haunt, and the moon.
Aphrodite/ Venus de Milo
It is one of the most classical sculptures in ancient Greece, some thought the statue describes the goddess of love Aphrodite/ Venus which often picturized half-naked. While the others thought it describes Amphitrite goddess of the sea who was in love with Milo.
It was discovered by a farmer in 1820, who found parts of an arm and a hand. Archeologists tried to reassemble these parts with the whole statue but it didn’t work. There are still others proposing that the sculpted woman kind of victory or might be a prostitute.
This sculpture describes one of the Greek goddesses called Nike, who known as the goddess of victory. It was found by the French expedition on the island of Samothrace, in the Aegean sea in 1863 and it’s one of the most famous female sculptures out there.
The sculpture doesn’t honor the goddess, but a sea battle took place between 2oo and 190 BC. You can see the nudity of the female body due to the transparency of wet cloths creating nice visual effects, it is considered one of the greatest masterpieces in ancient Greece.