Contemporary Art

Visual Arts

How contemporary art has changed the way “the figure” has been presented. Refer to Michelangelo’s “The David”.

Art has always been a major part of society and culture and is respected throughout the world. The Italian High Renaissance was the defining movement in art history. No other artistic movement has contributed more to development of art. The portrayal of the human body has drastically changed with history, painting and sculpting techniques were primitive with little depth and perspective to the work.   Art became referred to as a testament to god’s great power and perfection in the Renaissance movement. Among many of the influential artworks of this era is Michelangelo’s “The David”

The figure has taken on a multitude of different forms throughout the history of art and has been interpreted in countless different ways by the artists who have created it. Early figurative art was depicted for only religious purposes representing gods for worship and ceremonies. Classical figure sculptures were showed in the contrapposto pose, fully clothed with realistic looking drapery. In the Renaissance period artists began to discover perspective, their figures taking on a more realistic form. They began to study human anatomy and seeking the human ideal; that humans have a great potential for perfection. This perfection was expressed through art.   Since then the human figure has evolved and contemporary artists now emphasis the imperfections of the human body. Emotions are also strongly displayed within the figure. David by Michelangelo, created the first free-standing nude statue. The statue conveys rich realism in form, motion, and feeling. Historically the statue depicts the biblical King David at the moment he decides to do battle with goliath. Michelangelo’s version of the biblical hero is original and different from the usual description of a boyish youthful figure standing after the fight. The moment he choose to depict has a strong influence on...