It Better Be Pretty

The ancient Greeks took their beauty very seriously. The state even made laws about it. In Thebes, for instance, you could be fined for drawing a caricature because that exaggerated the ugly, the grotesque side of life. Portraits were restricted because the government felt there shouldn´t be too many un-ideal faces everywhere around to see. There should be only models of perfection. Even athletes at the Olympics weren´t allowed to have their pictures painted—and athletes were adored—until they had won three years in a row. Then a statue was made in their memory—but the statue probably didn´t look like them. It surely showed an ideal athlete, with ideal proportions.

Models—that´s what the Greeks wanted. Models of beauty and dignity. They believed their perfection would sink into people´s minds and influence them to their own and to the state´s advantage.

It is not known how many people were perfected by this oppression. Aphrodite of Kyrene

This entry was posted in art, Beauty, Greek painters, Greek sculpture. Bookmark the permalink.

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