GREEK STATUES - POLITICALLY INCORRECT RACIAL SUPERIORITY IN BEAUTY
Throughout my travels in this great world of ours, from the Philippines and the Orient to Europe and America, I have repeatedly heard or read one common reference to beauty: "He looks like a Greek god!" or "She has the figure of a Greek goddess!"
This of course owes itself to the Greek works of art hosted in all the great museums and to the impact of their sublime forms in Western aesthetics.
However, the overwhelming beauty of Hellenic statues does not emanate from the superlative symmetry of the "body" alone, as art critics often stress in their presentations, but from its relation to the spiritually serene composure as emanated in the "politically incorrect" (by today's standards) racial character of their idealized faces. Replace those faces with common faces of indiscriminate racial features, e.g. Negroid, Asian or Mongoloid, and this "beauty" is lost.
other words, in their quest for objective beauty of the sublimest human
form, the Greeks dared to make a statement as to Beauty's preference to a specific racial type as
well. Yes, even during today's taboo-laden attitudes to any mention of racial superiority, Greek art asserts what Keats sang in his Poem An Ode to a Grecian Urn:
beauty is truth, truth beauty,' - that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Furthermore, with Beauty being the driving force behind their chisel, to this day Greeks never refer to their classical statues simplistically as "statues" (the word 'statue' being a derivative of the Latin statua = expressing the mere immobility of the work).
The Greek word for these idealized masterpieces of the human form is 'agalma' (from agalein = to greatly please, to uplift), in contrast to "andriantas," the word for realistic statues representing historical figures. In absence of the same cultural fermentation grafted in this superb language, no other human tongue makes this distinction.
The purpose of the 'agalma', therefore,
is to soothe and uplift the onlooker to the realm of absolute, sublime
physical beauty that can be distilled out of our cosmos
(the very word "cosmos" literally meaning 'jewel'). And since our
cosmos is a derivative of juxtaposing elements and forces at work, the same
antagonistic principles have been applied in their stances, making them
seem poised for action and therefore in perpetual movement as opposed to
the "statuesque" inertia as interpreted by the Roman mindset.
-Panagiotis Terpandrou Zachariou-