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Greek mythology is a body of teachings used in ancient Greek to describe the human environment, the passing of time, and natural phenomena (Stafford 45). The myths explained stories concerning gods, heroes, and rituals. According to Jennings and Lowery, Greek mythology is depicted in collections of different narratives and artistic works (34).
Greek Mythology in Art: The Birth of Venus
The story revolves around the birth of Venus. The beautiful piece of art was created in the mid-1480s by Sandro Botticelli. The picture and the story behind it illustrate in many ways the Greek’s profound understanding of human nature and behavior. Venus is a being born from the sea.
In the drawing, she is nude and standing on a sea shell on the seashore. Towards her left side, the wind blows gently, causing her hair to flow with poise (Stafford 51). On the right side, a handmaid awaits to dress Venus and cover her nudity. The area around where Venus is standing is filled with violets.
According to the Greeks, art illustrates a wide variety of elements within the human environment. To begin with, the floating violets around Venus mean that the air is warm and still. Her nudity symbolizes modesty. In addition, a look at her body creates the idea of divine love. The angel embracing the woman is a symbol of physical love (Jennings and Lowery 47).
The illustration also shows that romantic love is unrealistic. The reason is that they are floating on water. On her part, the maid on the right signifies intellectual love and wisdom. The reason behind this is because she is ready to pride Venus with a piece of cloth to cover her nudity. The act is an illustration of how intellectual gifts are hidden from plain sight.
An in-depth analysis of the picture reveals that the myth is an accurate metaphor for contemporary human behavior as it was in ancient civilizations. In today’s world, people are inspired to show physical and intellectual love. The same case applied in the ancient era. The piece of art also recommends appropriate behavior for couples through the angel’s embrace (Stafford 62).
Comments on Students’ Essays
Student one talks about federal, state, and residential buildings. They give a brief and general account of different forms of structures and architectural techniques employed. For example, they state that many southern mansions are constructed using Greek revival design. Greek Revival was an architectural design that gained widespread recognition due to the exploration of similarities between ancient and present-day cultures (Stafford 59).
Student two gives an account of their understanding of Sister Wendy’s point of view on changes and improvements in art. They explain that art has changed over time. However, the paintings convey their message in a similar manner. In addition, the student does not shy away from pointing out where they disagree with Sister Wendy’s views. Over the centuries, the process of art and tools used has changed (Jennings and Lowery 63). The different phases of transformation have resulted in significant improvements.
Student three shows her total appreciation of Sister Wendy’s account. They support Wendy and do not disagree with any of her views. According to this student, Wendy’s stories have had a significant impact on their perception of artwork and artists. In addition, the accounts provide in-depth insights into the three stages of an artist’s development. The phases of development include emerging, mid-career, and established artists (Stafford 77).
Greek mythology has strong historical and factual roots. In today’s world, people understand the myths and stories through Greek literature and artistic representations. According to Jennings and Lowery, the folklores were used to re-tell historical occurrences (77). The aim was to help people maintain contact with their ancestors, heroes, and gods.
Jennings, Ken, and Mike Lowery. Greek Mythology, New York: Little Simon, 2014. Print.
Stafford, Emma. Life, Myth, and Art in Ancient Greece, Los Angeles, Calif.: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2004. Print.