Thursday, September 13, 2007

Beauty of the Male Genitalia

My friend from the art club, Misha (from Minsk)
regularly has something interesting to say about genitals,
but concerning the male variety, he's mostly dismissive.

"They're ugly" he tells us.

And I admit that -- at least on sculpture -- mostly they're boring,
and given the Apollonian tradition of Classical sculpture ,
mostly they're also small,
allowing the rest of the figure to feel larger
and promoting the relatively lesser importance
one should give to the lower chakras of human energy.

But thanks (yet again) to Robert Mileham
I have discovered these wonderful photographs
of Parthenon sculpture
(at the British Museum)

taken by a native Romanian
who goes by the name of:


As recently discussed elsewhere ,
the National Gallery in London charges over $200
for each large-size jpg of items in its collection.

Which means we must rely on sharp-eyed individuals,
like this fellow from Romania,
to get some idea of these great masterpieces
without traveling to London.

And what a masterpiece this is !


more than just a beautiful detail of flesh,
it's a magnificent sculpture,
with that breathtaking
interior symphony of volume
that distinguishes the great from the good.

But it's also a nice set of male genitals,
and I just don't remember
ever seeing them so well composed
within the powerful volumes
of the pelvic girdle
and the overall majesty
of a male figure.

this was a golden age.


Blogger Conrad H. Roth said...

If there are any more genitals in London you'd like me to photograph, do let me know. I will not promise to photograph my own.

September 14, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

Actually, I'm more interested in 4th C. Greek sculpture than male genitalia -- but since you can't study the one without the other -- yes -- thankyou -- please take your camera to the British Museum -- and start shooting.

September 14, 2007  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...

Beautiful sculpture.

In addition, myself and other young crones of my acquaintance would concur on your post title, and strongly disagree with Misha.


September 14, 2007  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

Eh, the Young Crones are back!

This is so you. You have a Whitmanian (or Whitmania) streak, always thinking about the thing overlooked or left out on purpose--always bold enough to think contrariwise. ("'Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't.'")

I like the "interior symphony of volume" and the way you sum up in the penultimate line.

September 15, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

I am so proud that this post has drawn comments from three of the greatest bloggers in blogging's brief ,but glorious, history !

Upon further thought -- when this statuary was installed way up on the pediment of the Parthenon -- there's no way that anyone would have been able see the subtleties in the handling of that scrotum -- how it's shapes and textures play upon the thighs so carefully.

Until Lord Elgin had it taken down and hauled off to London, the only people who could have appreciated the extra work involved in that careful design would have been the original carvers, designers, and patrons of the Parthenon.

Oh - what noble men they were !

September 16, 2007  
Anonymous Bill said...

"the only people who could have appreciated the extra work involved in that careful design would have been the original carvers, designers..."

And the tintabulists (my word for polychrom-ers), those time-erased partners? I've a rogue hypothesis that tintabultists enabled the carver/sculptor to relax and play, creating a context to both ply against and rival, spurring dimensional invention to be "heard" over the hue.

September 17, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

There's so much great sculpture in the world that had two lives:

First - to be displayed to patrons, producers, contractors, architects, and master sculptors involved.

Second - to reside in its final, intended destination. If this intended residence was a tomb (for the pharaoh or Chinese emperor) it would never be seen again (until dug up millennia later)

And other times -- I'm not sure that priority was always - or even mostly - given to the final destination.

(an upcoming post on Ghiberti's "Gates of Paradise" will address that same issue)

And regarding those "tintabulists" -- we have no way of knowing -- but perhaps their work never was taken very seriously by the aesthetes involved -- and they were just employed to make the final results appealing to a wider, popular audience. (that's my rogue theory!)

September 17, 2007  
Blogger MW said...

"... that breathtaking interior symphony of volume that distinguishes the great from the good."

Very, very nice. I'm warning you; I'm going to use that at some point. When I purchased my first high-end speakers, I took an audiophile friend with me as a consultant. After an hour all the speakers began to sound alike to me so I asked him how one possibly could make a choice. His response:

"You'll know the right ones when you can hear the velvety blackness between the notes."

September 22, 2007  

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