Monday, December 7, 2009

The Male Nude: art in its purest sense

There's a statue you might have seen. It's known as "The Dying Gaul." Actually, there are numerous statues of the same name, all variations on a theme, but one of them is particularly beautiful and has been copied over and over, and so has become very famous:

Turns out, the original sculpture was commissioned by Attalos I (leader of the Hellenistic Greek kingdom of Pergamon, who was a successor of the kingdom of General Lysimachus, who in turn was one of Alexander the Great's commanders in Asia Minor). The statue was sculpted to commemorate a tremendous victory over the Galatians, a Gaulish tribe, and it the work was done about 200 - 250 years BCE.

Which is more history than you needed to know, right? I've been in love with this statue since I saw it in a Time/LIFE book about 30 years ago. I was playing with poses and lights yesterday and ... I couldn't overlook the similarity ... so I added the torq from the Wood God pack of props, and rendered one of the simplest and most beautiful pictures I've done yet. I might do a couple more "takes" on this, but it's close to perfect as it is...

Is it a gay image? It's a beautiful, naked male. Often as not, these days, that's all it takes to make a gay image. See it any way you like, I guess ... it's beautiful. Like painting with shadows.

Jade, 8 November

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