Model №17


The elegant lineaments of the contrapposto evoke the ancient prototypes, conjuring up an image that is mythopoetic and exalted as well as sensual. The female figure’s proportions set a distance in time, a deliberate departure from the elevated standard that is reinforced by the forms, which are relatively rigidly moulded and more detailed and lifelike, as well as by the treatment of the head, with generalized but not idealized facial features and a modern hairstyle crafted in a graphic, nearly sketchy manner. The artist did not want to totally democratize the image, nor was he in thrall to the kind of mythological gloss favoured by academic sculptors. The female forms are full of life and free from mellifluous eroticism, the lyrical tone set in the statue’s main melody: starting from the bent elbow of the arm raised and poised behind the head, the fluent line unhurriedly glides downward to the foot elegantly set apart from its twin, after which it slowly but steadily climbs, past the curvy hip and the arm hidden behind the back, up to the ledge of the shoulder. The head turned aside creates the impression of a focused stare. The sculpture acquires a light inner dynamics and hedonism; it opens itself up into space and has its own life to live, a sensation which is greatly enhanced by the rich clay colour of the forms.

 

Brief annotations to the image

MODEL (see previous annotation); one of the meanings of the term in visual art is a nude image (from the French ‘nu’ – naked, without clothes), a portrayal of a naked body, most often female. Not an academic piece of work, the nude image epitomises the ideal of beauty and asserts the value of earthly, sensual life.