Art is the way of depicting and describing objects, personalities, places, and periods. Nowadays, people deal with many forms of art: paintings, literary works, architecture, sculptures, and music works. However, art connoisseurs and researchers are still having many objectives for studying and researching, as there is a large number of anonymous artworks. Artists cannot define to what art movement and period they can refer them. As a result, this paper intends to present an unknown artwork and describe its peculiarities, category, subject matter, material, date, and size to show its value for the art of sculpture.
An Unknown Sculpture and Its Peculiarities
This anonymous artwork refers to the category of marble sculpture. It depicts a nude boy who looks like a sculpture created by David Donatello. Consequently, one can relate it to Renaissance art. Moreover, this unknown sculpture resembles the Italian sculpture of the 19th century. However, this sculpture is also associated with the Hellenistic Figure Style that was popular around 330 B.C. First, the figure of this sculpture looks real. Second, the body of the boy is not idealized. Third, the depicted boy is dynamic, and he does not standstill. Fourth, the boy expresses his emotions and feelings of seriousness. It means that he has an intention to do something. The boy is active and has a plan of action as he is depicted in the movement.
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The subject matter of this sculpture is humanity. For this reason, this boy is a prototype of the people of that time. It means that they are expressive, dynamic, and prudent. As a result, this marble sculpture depicts a view of humanity and a wide variety of emotions and poses. This unknown artwork reminds Boy Strangling a Goose (150-100 BC). However, the anonymous sculpture is more mysterious as the audience does not know the intentions of the depicted boy (Hudson & Noonan-Morrissey, 2002). The similarities between these works refer to marble as a sculpture material and figure of the nude boy. Moreover, both works are impressive, emotional, and charismatic. In addition, they do not demonstrate ideal body measurements.
The approximate date of creating this sculpture is around 330 B.C. as this artwork has all features of Hellenistic Figure Style. A standing male figure with stylized anatomical features can prove that it is an ancient Greek sculpture. However, one cannot be sure of this. The evidence of the original function of this artwork can be seen, and it is related to the presentation of humanity in their naturalistic look. Moreover, ancient Greeks used sculptures for religious purposes. Therefore, this unknown sculpture could be the look of any Greek god as Greeks had many gods to serve and pray (Sayre, 2005). It is difficult to identify the exact purpose of this sculpture.
The size of this artwork is 26 ¾ x 10 13/16 x2 ½. This work is neither big nor small.
The material of this sculpture is a marble. It means that it is sophisticated and made with taste. The general condition of this artwork is good, as it is not damaged. Consequently, it allows further studying. This sculpture seems to be ancient as such factors as category and subject matter help to narrow down the time when this artwork was created. This sculpture cannot be referred to as modernism as it is not abstract but realistic. This artwork is not a free-standing sculpture as it looks like a part of any picture (Tucker, 2001). Consequently, one can say that it combines the features of sculpture and painting.
This sculpture represents a figure of a boy aged approximately 14 years old. The pose of this sculpture is moving. The bodybuild of this boy is athletic. The skin is white. The facial expression of this boy is serious and thoughtful. It means that he intends to do something. The emphasis of the artist is made on the nudity of this boy. However, he has clothing on his back. The artwork’s subject matter suggests the values of ancient Greece. One can say that the artist of this sculpture worked in a specific Greek context that inspired him to be unique and mysterious (Barnet, 1997).
The sculpture stands in the vertical position. The three-dimensional pyramidal form is basic to this artwork. For this reason, it looks organic and smooth. The sculpture displaces space to the full extent. It means that the artist emphasizes his attention on the figure of the boy. However, the form and surrounding space interpenetrate creating unity and harmony for the sculpture of the boy and his location. The sculpture is frontal. Consequently, all the details are in the secondary background. The color of this artwork is yellow and looks very natural. Its color adds more effects to this sculpture. Moreover, the color has a thematic significance as it reflects realistic and natural bodybuilding.
The unknown artwork is a relief sculpture as it can be carved from stone. The artist has considered the effect of light. Consequently, the sculpture has an open silhouette. One can say that the anonymous artwork looks like it was produced for a more general cultural purpose. It means that the author wants to depict the representative of the Greek culture. To my mind, this sculpture depicts the religious subject matter, as the depicted boy could be god or son of god. The forms of this artwork are arranged so that the boy is not in the shade. As a result, the artist shows the superiority and goodness of this boy (Sayre, 2005).
Dynamism is another particular feature of this sculpture. First, this dynamism is revealed in the boy’s movements. Second, this dynamism is revealed in his emotions and feelings. Furthermore, the forms of this sculpture are inherent to carving. The sculptures made by the Greek artists are helpful for the analysis of this anonymous artwork. One cannot treat the subject of this sculpture according to the modern canons. It had been a constant tradition of ancient artists to represent nudity as a way of reinforcing naturalist vision (Sayre, 2005).
This sculpture cannot be the example of the classical Greek figures fully as it depicts movements. In addition, the work was intended for public viewing. Its function is religious and decorative. One can understand the style of the artist with the help of this work. As a result, this artist devotes his artworks to humanity and their expression. The anonymous work could be dramatic as it refers to the emotions and intentions of the depicted boy. The subject and theme of this sculpture convey the ideas and values of the ancient Greek world. The public function of this artwork affects its form and representation. The composition of this anonymous artwork is thought-provoking and dynamic. This sculpture could have the continuations in other artworks. The poses of the depicted boy are not exaggerated and emotional. As a result, speaking about this artwork, one should address the Classical Greek movement and Hellenistic style as they reflect its features (Barnet, 1997).
This sculpture is designed to be viewed from every angle. However, it does not mean that it changes the perception of this artwork. The rough marble of the rock only underlines its value and commitment to the Classical movement. The existence of nudity is not a desire to provoke sexuality but reinforce the classical reference. The mood of this sculpture is serious. The tone is realistic. The emotions are reserved. This artwork is the creation of a culmination of minds and cultural values. Marble could become alive when it was in the hands of the professional and devoted artist who could create the history and mystery (Hudson & Noonan-Morrissey, 2002).
Even anonymous artwork can indeed be valuable for the cultural treasure of any nation. These artworks should be studied and explored to be acquainted with the new peculiarities of the art movements. This anonymous artwork is unknown to the audience. However, its analysis helps to determine that this sculpture is a real masterpiece that reflects the peculiarities of the art of the classical period. This work of art may say that the Greek period of culture was sensible, dynamic, and dramatic. Moreover, this artwork reveals more about the Hellenistic style that does not idealize the human body and behavior. This anonymous artwork refers to the category of marble sculpture that proves classicism and reliance upon other artworks. The subject matter of this sculpture is humanity. Consequently, this anonymous work is a prototype of Greek culture. Moreover, it provokes interest, as it is evident that it hides a story related to the author or his life. This artwork is also associated with Hellenistic Figure Style because it looks realistic, is not idealized, is dynamic, and expresses emotions and feelings of seriousness. The function of this unknown sculpture has the religious and ritual basement.