'The Aristodikos is so convincingly realistic and looks so much like a living man...' [WOODFORD]. How far do you agree with Woodford's opinion?

Essay by HamilcarCollege, Undergraduate June 2005

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In order for the question to be answered, it must be approached in a specific way. First of all, it is important to note that a good and fair answer to the question would include the ways in which Woodford is right and the ways in which she is wrong. Also, the way in which the subject of her statement must be judged is by comparing it to works of the same period in order to work out its position among statues of its time. We must consider to what extent her statement is true and under what circumstances the statement exists.

As mentioned before, a good argument would include the rights and wrongs of the statement therefore we will first look at the ways in which the statement is true. The Archaic period was a time when the main inspiration for Greek sculpture came from the Egyptians, therefore many similarities can be seen when comparing Greek to Egyptian.

Similarities can be seen in the way symmetry is used which is the one of the defining aspects of the Archaic style. A good example of this is shown in the New York Kouros on which a technique of mirror lines was used to create perfect symmetry. This very technique which aims for perfection is what makes the New York Kouros unrealistic, as the human body is full of imperfections. The sculptor of the Aristodikos has taken this into account and his awareness of proportions in the human body is much more refined than that of the creator of the New York Kouros. So in this aspect the Aristodikos has great naturalistic advancements over its contemporary counterparts. The New York Kouros has another aspect making it unrealistic; there is no impression given of soft flesh. Although the surface of the statue...