Artists of all eras celebrate the beauty of the female body. But the further they go, the more they think about the soul…
Canada, Calgary, 2012
Finding out what a woman has in her head is not such an easy task for a man. However, the Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa tried and, moreover, invited everyone to look inside. You can enter into the 12-meter girl's head, delicately woven from steel wire and installed at the Bow skyscraper in the center of Calgary, and feel the author's thought that “our bodies, by their architecture , are palaces for our dreams.” The view from the inside, by the way, is much more interesting than the outside.
Truth is Beauty
USA, California, 2013
“Truth is beauty”, says the 17-meter figure made of steel rods and pipes, designed to embody the beauty of a deobjectified and truly free woman.
The sculpture of Marco Cochrane literally glows from the inside: 3000 LED lamps are mounted in it. It was created by hand using a medieval pantograph: the life-size original was first enlarged to a 5.5-meter clay version, and then to the final metal form. Truth debuted at the Burning Man 2013 festival, and three years later found a permanent place at the San Leandro Tech Center near San Francisco.
France, Paris, 1938
The “River” by Aristide Maillol is considered the first sculptural image of a body lying on its side in an unstable balance. On the one hand, the figure conveys the power and dynamics of the elements, on the other hand, the resistance of this element and opposition to violence in troubled times before the Second World War. The model for the sculptor was his muse Dina Verni -a model, singer, and later -a gallery owner and heiress of Maillol's fortune.
The Force of Nature
Qatar, Doha, 2011
Mankind is self-confident and careless, but powerless before the wrath of mother nature. The tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004, the hurricane Katrina that devastated US cities in 2005, claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Lorenzo Quinn reminds us of this with the series of sculptures “Force of Nature”: a woman made of bronze and steel rotates the globe with a sling.
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Italy, Naples, 1752
The masterpiece of Antonio Corradini, a recognized master of the marble veil, stands in the chapel of San Severo over the tomb of the mother of Prince Raimondo di Sangro, a Neapolitan intellectual and inventor. The monument, whose name means “modesty”, “chastity”, symbolizes not only purity, but also wisdom. The veil enveloping the soft forms of the female body seems thin and weightless.
Russia, Moscow, 1910
The goddess of tree fruits found her place in the Pushkin Museum im. A. S. Pushkin. The model for Aristide Mayol was the 17-year-old peasant woman Anna. Pomona is majestic and proportionately slender, although it is roughly molded (casting cracks are visible, the remains of molding earth) & nbsp; – specially to convey a sense of pristine nature.
< h3>Sweden, Malmö, 1961
The Swedish-Danish sculptor Gerhard Henning, a follower of Rodin and Maillol, had no specialized education, but was a fan of female beauty and impressive fullness. His “Reclining Girl” creates an atmosphere of relaxation and peace in the popular Slottsparken.
Great Britain, Ilfracombe, 2012
Truth does not have to be pleasant. British sculptor Damien Hirst presented a “modern allegory of truth and justice” as a 20-meter woman, so naked that muscle tissues, bones and internal organs are visible on one side of her body. In his left hand, “Truth” holds a sword, in his right – scales, and stands on a pedestal from law books. On top of that, she is pregnant.
Some of the inhabitants of Ilfracombe were indignant and demanded that the statue “offend their feelings” be removed, but the majority did not support them. The author leased his work to the city for 20 years.
Photo: ALAMY/LEGION-MEDIA (X4), ZOONAR/LEGION-MEDIA, LAIF/VOSTOCK PHOTO, GETTY IMAGES, Pushkin Museum im. A. S. PUSHKINA
Material published in the magazine “Around the World” No. 3, March 2019, partially updated in October 2022