Homework: What’s wrong with this video on Polykleitos’ Doryphorous?

Watch the following excerpt from the BBC on Polykleitos’ canon. Given what you know about the contrapposto, what mistake does the narrator make in reference to the Doryphorous?

DEADLINE: Please post your answers to this homework assignment before our next class on Thursday 9/20.

This entry was posted in Announcements and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Homework: What’s wrong with this video on Polykleitos’ Doryphorous?

  1. As we know in art, the contrapposto is an ideal position in art where one leg is active and the other is not. The active leg is also known as the engaged leg where it holds most of the weight while the other leg is bent. The contrapposto is one of the most relative figures in art, that is why most people like Polykleitos used it for his piece the Doryphorous. In this video the narrator states that Polykleitos moves the Doryphorous in a manner so that the piece is split into two, one side at motion while the other is at rest. This statement is fairly wrong, the word contrapposto means counter balance, so while one leg should be engaged and the other at rest, it follows for the arms, while the straight engaged right leg is in motion the left arm is too with the gripping motion and the right arm is at rest.

  2. melissa says:

    i don’t think there is an error because i think that the canon is showing what the word Cotrapposto: means an asymmetrical line of the human figure which which run from the center of the body and a line runs from the arms and shoulders contrast with while balancing those of the hips and legs. This shows is naturalistic view of the human body in which the left side of the body is relax, while the right side is in motion but at the same time it balances the weigh of the body. Polykleitos use mathematics too try to reflect an ideal man, a man which can be measure and recreated by using math formulas to reconstruct another Doryphoros.

  3. Contrapossto means counter balance of the body. That’s why one side of the body is engaged while the other is not, it also gives the body life like motion as if it could walk off its platform. He also makes the position into almost a mathematical form by braking the body into 4 sections. Also I think he uses the wrong word by saying athlete but doyphorous wanted to capture life like motion.

  4. Natasha says:

    The narrator starts off as saying polykleitos wanted to show the physical aspect of an athlete. According to the text he actually wanted to make a statue of the ideal nude man. Spear bearer and athlete are all modern day description given to his work.
    The narrator also does not tell us how polykleitus comes up with the theory of dividing Doryphoros into four quadrants . He was influenced by pythagoras of samos , so he believed that anything on this earth or in nature could be made into a perfect figure using mathemical formula
    I saw only one omission and one error.

  5. william says:

    Contrapposto is a figure providing an asymmetrical balance to the figure by organizing a curving axis. In the video it has shown us this because the figure was balanced with one leg bent and one arm causing the body to lean to the left. It has balanced out all four sections of the body. I don’t see anything wrong with this figure

  6. Karim Hawker says:

    Polykleitos moveed the Doryphorous in a motion that the statue is split into two, one side at motion while the other isn’t. This statement is wrong because since the word contrapposto means counter balance, one leg is in motion and the other isn’t, the right leg is in motion and the left arm in a gripping motion and the right arm with no motion.

  7. ACamara says:

    Contrapposto is a representation of the human body in which one side of the body is relaxed and the other in motion. In most cases a humans weight is compacted on one foot which is the foot that is motionless and the other foot has no weight which is the foot that is in motion. The video on Polykleitos’ Doryphorous, the narrator describes how the sculptor created the sculpture, Doryphorous. The sculptor divides the body into four quadrants, one vertical line straight down the middle of the body and a horizontal line at the middle of the body. The sculptor then shifts the left foot back and bends to show that the body is in motion. Also, the sculptor bends the left arm of the body. While the left arm and foot were in motion, the right arm was relaxed and so was the right foot but only that the weight of the body was compacted on the right foot. Lastly, the sculptor shifted the head and hips toward the right and the chest toward the right to make the body look more realistic.

    I thought the mistake the narrator made was saying that the head and hips was facing toward the same direction but the chest and hip was faced the same direction which was toward the left. But however, I viewed the original sculpture and it looked like the hips and head was faced toward the right. Therefore I couldn’t find the mistake the narrator made.

  8. R.Bennett says:

    A characteristic of Polykleitos’ Doryphoros is the classical contrapposto in the pelvis; the figure’s stance is such that one leg seems to be in movement while he is standing on the other and a solid-built athlete with muscular features carries a spear balanced on his left shoulder. The greek wanted to make a statue that is more human and more realistic. So I don’t think there is any error made in this video, the narrator says that one part of the body is at rest and the other in motion which is true about the Polykleitos’ Doryphoros. Nothing in this video was false.

  9. Ivan Morales says:

    Contrapposto, in visual arts, refers to the counter balance of the body. One side is favored by the figure to stand with most of its weight supported on one foot so that its shoulders and arms twist off-center from the hips and legs. The narrator uses the wrong choice of words and ideology of just what Polykleitos looked to create. The narrator claims that he wanted to create the structure of the ideal athlete, but the text we have been given states that his intent was to create the ideal nude man. The positioning of the figures body parts would most definitely differ from an athlete to a still nude man. Contrapposto shows relation of each body part highlighted more so to the natural look of a still man. His goal was also to sculpt the perfect man according to society back then.

  10. Waseem Qurashi says:

    Polykleitos’ Doryphorous also known as the spear bearer is a well known Greek sculpture due to its almost human like feature. Polykleitos uses a Contrapposto on his sculpture to give it a human like feel. A contrapposto is a representation of the human body in which the forms are organized on a varying or curving axis to provide an asymmetrical balance to the figure, but the narrator states that the stance is symmetrical which is wrong. He stated that both the left side was active and the right side was inactive,but actually the right arm and left leg is active while the left arm and right leg is at rest.

  11. kamel says:

    In my view, there is nothing wrong in statements of the narrator in the video. The narrator gives another way to explain the conteropposto which is to divide the body in key points. These points are the angles of the body: head, shoulders, hips, knee, and ankles. In contrapposto, the lines of these angles oppose each others instead of being horizontal in simple position. In other words, the narrator gives the mathematical explanation of the contrapposto. So, representation given in the video explains the perfect way of contapposto which is the most body’s weight on the right foot, the left foot and right arm relaxing, and the left arm lifted.

  12. Contrapposto is when a figure stands with one leg holding the body’s weight while the other leg is resting. This pose naturally causes the hips and shoulders to move in opposite directions. The narrator is wrong when he says that the whole right side of the man’s body is at rest. His right arm is relaxed while his right leg is not. That is because it is the one that is holding the body’s weight, which means that the left leg must be the one that is resting.

  13. Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *