Standards and Perceptions of Male Bearty Throughout History Essays

2084 Words Nov 20th, 2008 9 Pages
Throughout history there have been many changes in the standards and perceptions of male beauty in Western culture. The portrayal of the male form throughout time, in art and sculpture, reflects the culture’s morals, values, and beliefs, among other things. In paintings and sculptures, artists depict the qualities in men that are important to the time period of their works. Perceptions of male beauty and their image can also represent a person’s social status in society, such as being noble, rich, or both. The male themes seen throughout art include heroes, the supernatural, biblical figures, and idealized bodies, to name a few. Some of the time periods that illustrate the importance of male beauty and image are the Baroque period, …show more content…
This painting is mostly about the emotion when we realize that as humans we are so small next to nature. He is alone; it shows he is comfortable in his individuality to think and feel despite his social class or status. The romantic period focused less on the muscular, physical appearance of the human body, and more on the connection between the mind and body. We feel the power of the male figure rather than see it in his physique. When we see this painting, we feel the man’s strength and his desire for the isolation in nature. The fact that we cannot see his face leads us to the conclusion that “anyone can achieve the same experience” (purdue.edu).
The next period to look at is Realism, another 19th century art movement starting around the 1840’s. This style put emphasis on the lives of the people in the middle and lower classes. In Realism, the subjects depicted shifted from kings, aristocrats, heroes, and saints to the average everyday guy lacking an idealized figure. Realism represented naturalism by illustrating the world as it was seen (Barbara Cavaliere). “Such an approach stresses perceptual experience as opposed to suggestive expression through metaphor or abstraction” (Cavaliere).
One notable painter of this movement was Jean-Francois Millet whose work includes Man with a Hoe (approximately 1863) (getty.edu). This painting focuses on the male worker, more specifically the agricultural type. Men of this time were depicted

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