Greek Art. We have seen in Myronís Discus Thrower, 450 BC, and the Kroisos from Anavysos, c. 525 BC, the Greek obsession with muscles, movement, and the ideal physically fit young male. Contemporary with Myronís is Polykleitosí Spear Bearer. In the original version, the athlete/soldier would have held a spear/javelin in his left hand. Anatomy? Bones and muscles are naturalistically rendered: neck muscles, shoulder sockets, pectorals, triceps, biceps, abdominals, groin line, knee caps, calves, etc.

 

Because athletes exercised naked in public gymnasia and even performed naked in the Olympics, artists had plenty of opportunity to study muscles and movement. Proportion? Head to shoulders, length of arms and legs, and width of torso and waist are biologically probable as well. Mass? Hills and valleys accurately define muscles as they bulge or flex. As a sculpture, it is in-the-round; the fact that is stands on its own feet with contrapposto accentuates the informality of the pose. Athlete or hero? He is posed; this is an objectified body presented by the artist to be looked at. Hero. Narcissism? Male viewers identify with the Spear Bearer; I look like that, used to look like that, or with proper exercise, could look like that. Reflection of Geist? Again, the sculpture reflects the Greek idolization of masculinity and muscularity and the display of such sculptures in public served as role models for men to emulate.