Sketching Greek Sculpture

October 15, 2012 § 10 Comments

Detail of a drawing of a sphinx.

Recently I went to a show at the Portland Art Museum called The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece – a traveling exhibition of Greek and Roman artifacts on loan from London’s British Museum.

Loose sketch of ancient Greek pottery in my moleskine notebook.

The show had some unbelievable works of art- some of which date back to the second millennium BC. The highlight for me was drawing a sculpture of a sphinx. It was a striking and well crafted object, and apparently it was a base for a table of some sort.

Sphinx, Graphite on Paper, 5 x 8.25″, 2012

A sphinx is a mythological creature with the body of a lion, the head of a human, and often the wings of a great bird. In the myth of Oedipus, it would stop travelers and ask the riddle, “What is it that has a voice and walks on four legs in the morning, on two at noon, and on three in the evening?”

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Oedipus and the Sphinx, Oil on Canvas, 1808

I love antiquity and believe that the ancients possessed more knowledge and skill than our current paradigm would care to admit. Is the reason for this that doing so would express how far we have fallen despite our technological advancements?

Thanks for reading! <<<>>>


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