This statue is called The Hope Athena. The word “Hope” in the title is the last name of the man who paid for the statue to be dug up and put into a museum. It has nothing to do with the emotion of hope.”School of Phidias” means that there was a group of artists who copied the style of the Greek sculptor Phidias. The Hope Athena was created 700 years after Phidias died. Do not spend a lot of time researching Phidias because he had very little to do with this particular statue.
1) Start with a description of the artwork. Tell me the general properties of the statue first: form, shape and color. Then begin at the top and work your way down. What does the head look like? How are the facial features carved? Does the figure wear a head covering, or how is the hair arranged? Then proceed to the body, the arms, and the clothes the figure is wearing. Tell me what parts are broken, damaged or missing.
2) For your section on the medium, research marble. Start with the article “Marble” by Hobart M. King, Ph D at the website Geology. It hasbasic information about the stone, and how it forms in the earth. Then, read “Marble Sculpture” at Wikipedia. It has basic information on why artists use marble. Pay special attention to the parts called “Advantages” and “Disadvantages.” Be sure to RE-search some of the information, to learn more details, like what a quarry is and why acid rain can harm marble.
3) This next section must explain how such a statue created by an artist. Tell me how any artist would make a statue like this. Go to “Stone Sculpture”atVisual-Arts Corkand read about how it is done. Then go to The Art of Making in Antiquity. Under “Essays and Videos” you will find article called “StoneworkingTools and Tool Marks” and “Stoneworking Techniques and Processes,” both by W. Wotton et. al. Also at that site, click on “Tools” on the drop-down menu “Explore.” Click on some of the pictures and read about the tools used in ancient times.
4) The subject is Athena, a goddess of Greek mythology. She has her own website, Goddess-Athena.You will also findarticles about her at TheoiGreek Mythologyand Pantheon.You must include some direct references to classical literature, which should be easy to find because Athena is mentioned in both The Iliad and The Odyssey of Homer. Learn about those poems, and find a quote or two to use in your essay.
5) The culture is the Roman Empire. Thewebsite The Roman Empire in the First Centuryhas several articles including “Life in Roman Times.” Its okay that the information is about Rome in the first century because it was similar to life in the second century. Another good article is “Roman Empire” by Joshua J. Mark at the Ancient History Encyclopedia.A third is “Roman Empire –Culture” at The Ancient World.
6) A theme is an idea expressed by an artwork. One artwork may have many themes. Your job is to choose one and explain how you see it in the statue. Start your final paragraph with this sentence:“The theme of this artwork is ______.” Then find one word or short phrase to fill in the blank. That is the theme. What do you see in the statue that brings the theme to mind? Give specific examples.
Athena is the figure of a powerful, intelligent woman. What attracts you to such a figure? Why is it important for such a women to be honored in a statue like this? What effect might it have had on women in the past? What message does it have for both men and women today?
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