Discobolus, the Statue of Contrast

Discobolus or Discus Thrower in English is an ancient Greek statue. The men in the statue is carved naked, conveniently exhibited the fully flexed muscle of  this well tone athlete. The status is a masterpiece of contrast and I shall tell you why.

The athlete is in motion of swinging the discus, with the plate at the highest point of its full motion. The statue lies motionless, but its follow up action can be foreseen by the audience to be highly kinetic and forceful, forming a sharp contrast between the physical rest state of the statue and the mental projection of the viewer.

From a design perspective, the center sight of the artwork lies in the fully stretched arm. One will start viewing the art piece from the arm (with the discus) and down to the body and then legs of the athlete. The whole viewing process display a very tense and focus individual, and for a typical person, the stage of highly tense and focus state don’t last long. But in this case, the statue display a permanent state of high tension focus, creating another sharp contrast.

Lastly, a viewer can easily imagine the environment the athlete is in. I would believe most will imagine he in a sport competition, which is typically characterized  by loud and rowdy spectators, carnival type of atmosphere and an air full with cheers and jeers. But when in the physical realm, the statue is often seen in a still and quiet place, creating an environmental contrast.

The Discobolus is a master of contrast, and should be appreciated as such.

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