The Victorious Youth Statute - Free Essay Example

Published: 2022-02-17
The Victorious Youth Statute - Free Essay Example
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Sculpture
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1541 words
13 min read

The Victorious Youth Bronze statue is a sculpture that was made between the years 300 and 100 BCE. The statue was rediscovered by some scholars, including Bernard Ashmole, who placed the piece of art in the Classical Greek period where the artist was Lysippos, who also worked with Praxiteles and Scopas. Lysippos is regarded as one of the greatest in his work, considering that he led into the transition that brought about the Hellenistic era. The statue is a representation of a naked youth who is standing in a way such that most of the weight is inclined towards the right leg (Stieber and Mattusch 851). He also appears as though he is placing a wreath crown on his head, though that is not clear since it may also look like he is removing the same from his head. It is for that reason he is known as victorious since the olive wreath was given to those who had won particular competitions during the Olympic Games. At the time of the making of the sculpture, the Greeks felt that there was a need of developing something that appeared to have god-like features, and that is why there is a revelation of a lot of details when looking at the statue. The manner in which it has posed is indicative of the fact that the sculptor did not want to hide anything, especially since it involves a person who is regarded as a victorious athlete. He even appears to be relaxed, and that is why most of the features have been sculpted in a way that is more natural and appealing to view (Stieber and Mattusch 851).

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The statue of the victor who is youthful was a common type in the times of antiquity, especially when looking at the style of pose that was naturalistic as it was used for most of the sculptures at the start of the 5th century. The body that is sinuous with hips that are raised and anatomy that is youthful and sleek can be regarded as the best hallmarks for this style that spread throughout the world. However, the fact that they have been in existence for a very long times means that it is very hard to evaluate the victorious youth, as getting the exact dates and the sculptors are almost impossible. Besides that, it is not clear from the statue what the original color was, considering that it had stayed under the water in the sea for a very long time. However, what is clear is that the main material that was used in the development of the sculpture is bronze since during the classical era it was easy to smelt and make the same into a sculpture. Besides that, bronze as a metal can last for a very long time, and that is why the sculpture was under water in the sea for a long period without it disintegrating into pieces (Stieber and Mattusch 851). That is indicative of the fact that the person depicted in the artwork is one who was of great importance to society.

As from the title of the piece of art, it is that of a youth, who is in his later stages of adolescence. It is also at that level of life that many of them were victors in most of the gaming competitions of that time, more so the Olympics. The manner in which he stands on a base held to the right leg is also suggestive of the fact that the person is a winner who is proud of what he has done. The nakedness was a common style during the classical era, especially with the Greeks. Nudity was not a shameful thing in representing it through art. As a matter of fact, nudity was mainly associated with an aesthetic value that was close to being a god. The natural state was also a mimic or heroism, and from the name, it is clear that the youthful man was a hero in the Olympic Games. While the Greeks did not actually walk naked, the representation of the same in art was disassociated with war, something that was common in the Assyrian sculptures. The way in which the man stands is innocent and he has no shame that he is naked. In fact, from the description, it is clear that he wants to take off his wreath to the gods as a way of saying thank you for the victory he had attained (Pier 38).

From the description of the sculpture in the museum, it is clear that the youthful victor was originally in golden color, and that the blackish color that is present at the moment is only the inner layer of that which was there above. Gold is precious and expensive, and only a few people can afford the same. Giving the man such an appearance was obviously indicative of the fact that he was no ordinary man. In fact, gold as a color was a symbol of royalty, and some research indicates that the youthful man was a direct descendant of Alexander the Great. There is also an emotional sense that is attached to the victorious man, as he appears calm, and composed, indicative of the fact that he is aware of what he wants and what he is doing. The head is tilted in a way as though he is looking straight ahead, probably focusing on something, someone, or a group of people. From that pose, it is clear that the focus is on the front part of the body, as light appears to illuminate the same part more than the back. In fact, the curving on the front is more defined and illustrative of the bodily features, as the artist wanted people to view the front more than any other part. The back is also well done, but it is curved in a way such that there is a shadow in the middle-left part of the back. That does not mean that the viewer cannot view the same from various angles, as the artist did a great job of showing all the features of the body in a way that is artistic (Getty Museum). The sculpture depicts the human body in its exactness, probably as a way of respecting the fact that it was being likened to the gods. Its texture is also smooth, just like the skin of a real human being, implying that a lot of time was taken to do all the work of curving the statue.

The statue interacts properly with the space around it considering that it appears as though the man is moving his hand, either away or from his head. In addition to that, he is also leaning towards the right, thereby placing most of the body weight on the right leg. The lean is also indicative of the fact that he is trying to relax and be in a position where he is stable and composed before doing whatever he wants to do with his right hand. His left hand also appears to be moving, as it is not close to the body. The probable movement could be as a way of attaining stability while leaning towards the right. It is also not straight as there is a slight fold at the inner part of the elbow, also depicting some upward movement of the arm, probably towards the head. There is also a natural curve of the body from the spine which shows the viewer that the man is leaning in a similar way to how real humans do (Albertson). In general, his structure is almost symmetric, as one can draw a straight line from the tip of the head to the lower part of the right leg. However, the more accurate axis of the body is diagonal, since there is that slight curve from the spine as a way of showing that they are leaning.

In conclusion, the Victorious Man is a statue depicting a young man who is naked and reaching towards his wreath using his right hand. The context of making the sculpture is about a young man who had just won a game in the Olympics, and he was about to dedicate the wreath to the gods as a way of thanking them for granting him victory. Besides that, the fact that he is naked is indicative of the fact that the young man is a hero, more so in the games. While the sculpture was picked from under the sea sixty years ago, its original color was golden with eyes made from glass as a way of showing the realism of the sculpture.

Works Cited

Albertson, Linda. "A History Of The Statue Of The Victorious Youth - Comparing The Getty'S Timeline With Italy'S | ARCA - Association For Research Into Crimes Against Art". Artcrimeresearch.Org, 2019,

Getty Museum. "Statue Of A Victorious Youth - Unknown - Google Arts & Culture". Google Arts & Culture, 2018,

Pier, Gwen. "National Sculpture Society's Annual Sculpture Conference: Celebrating 125 Years". Sculpture Review, vol 67, no. 3, 2018, pp. 38-39. SAGE Publications, doi:10.1177/074752841806700306.

Stieber, Mary C., and Carol C. Mattusch. "The Victorious Youth". American Journal Of Archaeology, vol 102, no. 4, 1998, p. 851. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/506128.

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