Essay Example on Ancient Bronze 'Sleeping Eros' - Unique Exhibit at NYC Met Art Museum

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1881 Words
Date:  2023-07-18


The New York Metropolitan art museum displays the centerpiece of a special and unique exhibition, an old bronze sculpture known as Sleeping Eros. Curators consider the piece as the finest examples of its form across the world and much definitely in a group of its own. It is an innovative, creative, and precise composition perceived to be the work of the prominent sculptor from the Hellenistic period (323 - 27 BCE). It was the time when Greek tradition spread in other nations following the Great conquest of Alexander until the establishment of ancient Rome. It occurred when Gaius, the Roman soldier conquered Cleopatra and Antony, invaded Egypt and used his power for individual gain. He destroyed the Roman republic and Hellenistic kingdoms ending the era of Hellenistic.

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While the sculpture has been repaired many times and lost some original parts such as quiver and arrow, it is, in fact, beautiful and finely maintained. Designing Eros asleep was a unique conception for its period. Scholars assume that the image was originally presented in a private setting such as in Roman territory and the villa courtyard in Greece. The sculpture is a characteristic example of the way the bronze statue was constructed in antiquity. It was made in seven parts, which were joined together and had few imperfections, though periodic hammered rectangular components are invisible. Extra cold working was carried out as a section of the completing process.

Scholars have long thought if the fine art is the initial Hellenistic product or a copy of the Roman Imperial. Differences of the kind are identified from numerous sculptures, which, to evaluate from the number of adaptations and extant replicas was among the most famous ever made during the Roman Imperial period.

Also, the sculpture was among the oldest classical art re-established during the Renaissance as Italian artists reviewed their old past themes. Michelangelo, during his early times in a career, creates one which he passed off as an ancient sculpture.

Other artists searching for inspirations designed works that were of less literal interpretations or close likenesses . According to the Hesiod source of the old Greek, Eros and Gaia were referred to as primordial gods with no parents. They were actively concerned with arriving at the cosmos being.

Eros would be comprehended and considered in relation to expressional arguments - R.G Collingwood aesthetics and Leo Tolstoy and contextual approaches of art - institutional and structural theory of art. Numerous various things can be expression mechanisms - actions, people, words, sounds, pictures, and objects. An angry person raving and ranting several different things may be revealed by mechanisms such as feelings, facts, attitudes, thoughts, or moods. Art expression theory states that artworks or artists express feelings/emotions. Also, some reveal ideas, arguments, and beliefs, but not all artists or arts represent anything.

Eros Sleeping in Leo Tolstoy Theory

The sculpture can be interpreted through the expression theory of Leo Tolstoy. Art expression seems to be the link between emotions and art corresponding feelings. Art conveys meanings, but there is no particular theoretical method that best interprets artwork. However, there is always a unique and individual response every individual acquires from viewing artwork. In an attempt to interpret various artworks, Freeland launches the Leo Tolstoy expression theory. It suggests that expression is in the artwork and not in the artist. The main job of an artist is to convey and express emotions to people. Byways of colors, lines, or move an image or sculpture can evoke a certain feeling in the viewer which they have encountered.

According to Tolstoy's argument, the "Sleeping Eros" with pretty face and thick curls appears deceptively benign. His right-hand falls across his body as the other nestles against his back. Remains of arrows and quiver lie close to his head. He looks tired, but ready to act quickly. The sculpture represents the dynamic conceptions of the god of love. With his sleeping posture, the toddler can be interpreted to be on an urgent mission. However, the surrounding is one of tranquility due to the profound abandon. Therefore, the core Eros has allowed himself to be asleep. Consequently, it is easy to link the sculpture to romantic Valentine's Day cards Cupid whose arrows represent inevitable affection tokens.

Eros Sleeping in R.G Collingwood Theory

The work can also be regarded and understood in relation to R.G Collingwood aesthetics. Collingwood rejects the technical theory, which claims that all art is a way to some end. Therefore, understanding a particular end, art designers practice a craft since they are creating an artifact to fulfill a predetermined end. Instead, he states that artists desire to unburden themselves from bothering emotions. Therefore, making the arts makes them clear and conscious, thus being in a good position to deal with the condition. Therefore, according to him, Eros sleeping can be understood and related to the imaginative expression of love. The sculpture conveys to the audience an effective state of love, but the environment seems unfavorable to show love, and that is why Eros lies asleep. When people view the sculpture, they get an expression imagination of abandoned love due to the fact that the expression is a specific imagination application, and that emotional idea is refined by imaginations.

Eros Sleeping in Institutional Theory

The Eros sleeping image can also be described in relation to contextual theories, which include institutional and structural art theories. Unlike expression arguments, contextual approaches value the art theme together with its relevance to the period in which a piece was made. They address the context in which a piece of art is applied; what it represents regarding the norms and values of the surrounding. Dickie puts forward the institutional argument, a comprehensive framework that offers art definition. According to the theory, both artistic variability and creativity are accounted for in artwork, and all other past theories are absorbed into a single structure of the theory.

Therefore, to comprehend and regard Eros sleeping, Dickie claims that individuals representing a particular institution are required. Such people include kings and qualified individuals appointed to run a religious minister or office. Similarly, a person from the art institution may interpret some kinds of status on creativity products. The scholar adds that to understand art such as Eros art world members should be consulted. They include curators, artists, museum directors, art philosophers, art professors, docents, among other people's interest in art.

Eros Sleeping in Structural Theory

On the other hand, the structural theory of art relates and explains Eros Sleeping based mainly on how image symbols refer to the real world. Therefore, according to the theory, the sculpture passes information to the society in the form of abandoned love that needs to be awakened. Also, it portrays a formal relationship existing between the roman imperial and the Greek culture of that time. The relationship is indeed inactive but still alive. Therefore, if the Greek and Roman societies come into a mutual understanding, leaders are ready to collaborate and work towards a common goal.

Composition V

The image represented in the form of a composition V refers to the placement of associated elements and objects in artwork. It is a major aspect of a fine work of art that involves placement or arrangement of visual components in an artwork piece. Moreover, it is not the real subject of artist work, but where it is placed portrays various features of the composition. For instance, an image of a cat may be painted at the center of the canvas. A good composition is the one that consists of adequate detail. Few elements are not a good thing as it robs artwork of necessary detail which makes the right interpretation possible. Additionally, few components in a composition damage image balance.

Similarly, a lot of components can as well be distracting; thus, the good composition needs good balance. It is excellent to ensure that all aspects available are necessary for the message or idea the artist is trying to convey. The image discussed in this section - Composition V is balanced since it does not have a few or too many elements. Therefore, it directs the viewer/audience eye towards the essential element of the artwork. Moreover, it assists create a masterpiece out of the dullest subjects or objects in the plainest of surroundings. Furthermore, its point is to pull the viewer's eye over the painting considering individual components to lastly focus on the major element. It could be anything of emotional effects from the subject matter.

Composition V in Leo Tolstoy theory

The composition can be regarded and understood in relation to four theories covered in the above literature of Eros Sleeping image. First, expression theories, which include R.G Collingwood and Leo Tolstoy, portray the artist's emotions. Therefore, according to Leo Tolstoy's argument, the artist was trying to express or show emotions to a certain phenomenon. Since the image requires the viewer or audience to observe the picture closely with much concentration, the artist presents his/her deep emotions.

The art could be related to some form of oppression in a country whereby the ruling community acts against the arts. If it is the case, the artist would be pouring out his emotions through the art to seek public sympathy. The other possible interpretation of the composition V as per Tolstoy's theory would be, passing a message to the government to act on property rights. During the period of Tolstoy, Russians concentrated on owning property. They even used illegal means such as land Grambling, oppression, and corruption, to acquire assets. During the era, the composition would interpret to denying Russians rights to own property in foreign lands.

Composition V in R.G Collingwood theory

Describing the artwork in relation to the second argument of expression theory, which is R.G Collingwood, the artist's intention would be to engage the viewer in a unique way of viewing art. The artist combines many elements of art to express that art is not based on political interests. Rather, it is created to convey an important message to the audience. Therefore, viewers are not supposed to link artwork with some sort of separatist-like or capitalistic motives. Instead, artwork should be encountered or viewed with much insight into the particular social setting where artwork originates.

The way the audience takes time to capture the significant image hidden in the composition should be the same manner in which the audience understands the importance of art. That there is a crucial hidden message in the world of art with more benefits than costs. The composition V can also be comprehended and regarded as a different product from that of the manufactured commodity. Unlike normal goods processed or manufactured, the composition portrays unique features. It contains important information pertaining to the social, political, and environmental setting of communities.

Composition V in Institutional Theory

The artwork may also be understood and regarded according to contextual theories - institutional and structural theories. As illustrated in the art of Eros Sleeping, institutional theory takes into consideration the creativity and variability of the artist. The same case happens in the composition V image, whereby the artwork is interpreted in terms of creativity and ideas expressed. It goes past, putting the importance of art content and formal qualities. Therefore, attention is much required to...

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Essay Example on Ancient Bronze 'Sleeping Eros' - Unique Exhibit at NYC Met Art Museum. (2023, Jul 18). Retrieved from

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