Masculinity in History and Art
October 18, 2017
In the past, it was said that a man’s social class or prominence has been the defining element in describing the ideal male. They typically have no muscles since they don’t do manual labor and also have a fair or pale complexion for the reason that they have not worked underneath the sun.
Testogen reviews showed how it facilitated the increase of testosterone levels in many men to achieve muscle mass plus stamina and strength. These, they say, are a few of the signs of virility in men today.
This embodiment of an attractive man has largely been a perfect version of an aristocratic person from the East or West, a standard and idea that has been reformed or changed in the course of time. For this reason, having muscles back then were seen as an issue or a problem by society in numerous cultures whereas today it is generally recognized as a figure of manliness.
It was seen as indecent and unrefined, a solid sign of manual labor instead of physical strength. It was also seen as lack of elegance or possibly an unusual self-interest. Today, many still question if being muscular is a sign of well-being or vanity and self-absorption. For females, it denotes a different set of issues and concerns.
Throughout history and the changing times, virility in men was seen in diverse ways by different nations and cultures.
The representation of the idyllic male physique in art history
The Doryphoros (Spear-Bearer) of Polykleitos, circa 440 B.C is one of the finest famous Greek sculptures portraying a muscular and well-built upright warrior, initially bearing a spear secured on his left shoulder. This fixed a standard of masculine splendor that is acknowledged in the West today. Though common in art, from Michelangelo’s David (1501-1504) to the fascist sculptures of Arno Breker, the figure portrayed was measured to be unachievable or impossible ‘till recently.
Han Dynasty, 25-220 A.D., The idea of wen or the literary and cultural accomplishment, accompanied by wu or the bodily and martial or fighting wisdom, is the architype of manliness in traditional Chinese. However, wen has been perceived as more exclusive and has prevailed until the mid-Han Dynasty while wu was considered as unmanly.
David by Donatello, 1428-32, his sculpture showed a “softer” physique of man and opposes that Polykleitos’s Doryphoros. It portrayed that a man with womanlike refinements and elegance can both be gallant, valiant and attractive.
These are just a few examples of how in history masculinity was represented in art. Although many more artisans have made an effort to show the social and bodily structure of what masculinity is, pressure and stress from society and media affect and outlines our beliefs and expectations of masculinity.