PUT INTO THIS BOX IMAGE TITLED “SARCOPHAGUS”
The transition from the Greek and Roman ideals to the
Christian ideal is evident in the Sarcophagus of Dionysos and the Seasons,
c.220-30. Though pagan rather than Christian in narrative content, the
relatively late date suggests the influence of Plotinus. What happened to the
beauty of the bodies? What happened to the muscular builds of the athletes
and soldiers? As Plotinus advocated, art should not focus on the
exteriorities of the human body, should not delight or obsess over the vanity
of the perfect face or slim torso or abdominals; art should focus on creating
a mood or character. Anatomy? Eye sockets, nose, chin, pectorals, pudgy
stomachs, knees, swollen feet. Biological? The bodies and their surfaces are
becoming softer and puffier, lacking in the textural and hard-edged detail.
Proportions? The heads are large in proportion to the bodies; the hips are
large. Mass? Eyes are set into the sockets; nose and chin come outward.
However, much of the lumpiness, or hills and valleys, are misplaced. Naked or
Nude? This is an abstract ideal based on shapes and design elements that
neglect the details of biological anatomy. What was the artist’s intention?
Possibly to represent an ideal narrative that exists in the mind, disegno
interno, and escape from the materialism and physicality of worldly