Examples of Religious Geist:

Religious Statues of Gods/Goddesses: Similarly, images of the gods need to be flattering to the god represented. The Hellenistic Greek Aphrodite of Melos, 150 BC, and the Bengal image of Kali, c. 1900, and the Chinese image of Guanyin, c.1100, reflect such societal concerns. Aphrodite is not a mere mortal, but an ideal woman, too good to be true. While the artist was naturalistic in his representation of the texture of the flesh, the volume of the breasts, their asymmetrical arrangement, the depth of the belly button, and the natural posture with weight balanced on one leg, her face is abstract with its oval head, almond shaped eyes, straight nose, and lips no wider than her nostrils. Her hair appears like a perfect cap. The curve of her body is in a perfect “S” shape, and proportionally, she may be too long bodied from her shoulders to her groin. It would have been insulting for the artist to have physically represented a goddess as a mere mortal; the artist had the obligation to represent her as more perfect and ideal as she is ageless and will eternally reside on Mt. Olympus. In contrast, the image of Kali from the Bengal province of India represents a different Geist. As this statue is a product of a different culture with different ideals, the depiction of the goddess is a radical departure from the Greek concept of beauty. Kali is the Hindu goddess who oversees the destruction of mankind. She was created by the other gods to check human population growth through her “tools” of pestilence and natural disasters. She roams the cremation grounds (Hindus cremate the dead) and therefore her skin is blackened with the ash of the fires. Naturalistic? She has the basic body of a human, but with her four arms, fangs and blood thirsty grin, she is clearly a product of society’s collective disegno interno. She wears a necklace of heads around her neck, holds a decapitated head as if a handbag, and walks on a bloated corpse. The statue of Kali represents the Geist of the Hindi artist, and according to their social constructs, this would be sanctioned by the priests and pleasing in the sight of Kali herself. Last is the statue of Guanyin, a guardian deity of the Chinese. She was a princess who abandoned her family in order to follow the path of Buddhism. When she refused to return to her parents to stay in the monastery in order to learn more about the new faith, her father ordered the destruction of the monastery and his daughter within. For her willingness to give up all for her newfound faith, she was awarded divine status. Guanyin is depicted sitting upon a mountain on an island off the southern coast of India and watching over humanity, reading to spring into action when her name is invoked. As a goddess, she wears a crown, jewels, elaborate scarves, and relaxes in a position called “royal ease.” However, also due to her divinity, she is not shown with mortals’ bones and muscles, anatomical details, or sexually explicit parts. Her body shapes are abstract and stylized as she is above earth and the coils of humanity.  

 

THIS IMAGE NEEDS TO BE LIGHTENED UP, IT’S TOO DARK

 

THIS ONE ALSO, PLEASE LIGHTEN IT UP

 ADD A THIRD IMAGE TO THIS PAGE. IT IS THE ILLUSTRATION OF “GUANYIN”. IT IS IN THE OLD MODULE #27.