CLIL: Praxiteles and his statues

In questa lezione CLIL si affronta l’opera di Prassitele. Gli studenti dovranno:

  • In un primo esercizio completare il testo scegliendo le appropriate parole mancanti (fornite in una lista). Alla fine dell’esercizio ogni studente leggerà una frase e si correggerà collettivamente. (Qui viene fornito l’esercizio già completato, l’insegnante deve stampare il file e sbianchettare le parole in neretto.)
  • La seconda attività è pensata per far discutere gli studenti tra di loro (in inglese). Devono prima leggere i documenti forniti, esprimere il loro pensiero in relazione alle statue proposte e a quello che hanno letto e, infine, rispondere alle domande. E’ importante insistere che la parte dello “speaking” è fondamentale. Alla fine si corregge collettivamente. La correzione deve essere anche uno stimolo per approfondire o spiegare meglio certi concetti da parte dell’insegnante.

hermes

apollo sauroctonos

afrodite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A……………………………………       B…………………………………….         C…………………………………..

1- Fill the empty spaces with the right words.

Praxiteles, (flourished 370–330 bce), greatest of the Attic sculptors of the 4th century BCE and one of the most original of Greek artists. By trasforming the detached and majestic style of his immediate predecessors into one of gentle grace and sensuous charm, he profoundly influenced the subsequent course of Greek sculpture.Nothing is known of his life except that he apparently was the son of the sculptor Cephisodotus the Elder and had two sons, also sculptors.
The only known surviving work from Praxiteles’ own hand, the marble statue Hermes Carrying the Infant Dionysus, is characterized by a delicate modelling of forms and exquisite surface finish. A few of his other works, described by ancient writers, survive in Roman copies.
Hermes was popular among the gods because he was playful, innocent and helpful. Hermes helped his father, Zeus, when Dionysus was born. Dionysus was the son of Semele and Zeus, and once Dionysus was born Zeus gave him to Hermes to protect the baby form Hera, Zeus’ wife, who was jealous. Hermes put the baby Dionysus in the care of Io, Semele’s sister.
The most-celebrated work of Praxiteles was the Aphrodite of Cnidus, which the Roman author Pliny the Elder considered not only the finest statue by Praxiteles but the best in the whole world. The goddess is shown naked, a bold innovation at the time. From reproductions of this statue on Roman coins numerous copies have been recognized; the best known are in the Vatican Museum and in the Louvre. Another work that has been recognized in various Roman copies is the Apollo Sauroctonus, in which the god is shown as a boy leaning against a tree trunk, about to kill a lizard with an arrow.
To visualize the sculptures of Praxiteles it is well to remember how much colour added to the general effect. An ancient writer, Diodorus, says of him that “he informed his marble figures with the Passion of the soul.” It is this subtle personal element, combined with an exquisite finish of surface, that imparts to his figures their singular appeal. Through his influence, figures standing in graceful, sinuous poses, leaning lightly on some support, became favourite representations and were later further developed by sculptors of the Hellenistic Age.

 also – ancient – baby – best – colour – copies – course – delicate – god – life – Hellenistic – kill – marble – Museum – naked – original – passions – Roman – sensuous – standing – surface – transforming – work

  1. Read and answer to the questions after you have talked (in English) with your school friends about the topic of every question.

 During the 400’s B.C., Athens reached its height of power and prosperity and was the centre of culture in the Greek world. Pericles was the leading Athenian statesman from 461 to 429 B.C. His career spanned most of the Golden Age, a period that began in 450 B.C. and that became famous for its remarkable literary and artistic accomplishments. During the Golden Age, the leading Greek architects and sculptors built the Parthenon on the Acropolis.
The Golden Age ended with the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War in 431 B.C. This ruinous war between Athens and Sparta lasted until 404 B.C. and left Athens exhausted. In 430 B.C., a severe plague struck Athens. It killed about a third of the people, including Pericles. Athens lacked able leaders during the rest of the war and finally surrendered.
The crisis is visible also in the subjects depicted in the sculptures made after 404 B.C.. Look the three works by Praxiteles and answer  the questions after you have written the title of every statue under the pictures.

What are they doing? (Read the documents that you will find on the next page, they will help you with the answers)

A: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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B: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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C: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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Do you think that these types of iconographies are different from what the Greeks represented during the 5th century? What can you see that is new in these statues? Explain the reasons for your answers.

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Documents:

1.

The Apollo Sauroctonus (Lizard Slayer), dating from about 350-340 BC, was one of the finest works by the Athenian sculptor Praxiteles. While it is faithful to the classical tradition, the subject is innovative and the style bold. Apollo is depicted as an adolescent, about to catch a lizard climbing up a tree trunk. The group was regularly copied by Roman sculptors.
It is generally held to be the finest Roman copy of the Apollo Sauroctonus (“lizard slayer” in Greek), a bronze work which Pliny the Elder attributes to the Athenian sculptor Praxiteles in his Natural History (34.69-70). The original, now lost, is thought to have dated from the middle of the 4th century BC. Apollo is depicted as a youth, totally absorbed in his childish game, hunting a lizard. The youthful god, his gaze vacant, is nonchalantly leaning against a tree trunk, preparing to grab the lizard climbing up it with his left hand and strike it with an arrow held in his right hand.

2.

Around 330 BC, a Greek sculptor named Praxiteles was commissioned to create a sculpture of the goddess Aphrodite by the island of Kos. He responded, so the Roman writer Pliny tells us, by creating two statues: one fully clothed and another in which Aphrodite was naked.
The islanders of Kos reacted with horror to the naked statue and demanded the clothed version. Hearing that a statue of Aphrodite by the great sculptor might be going cheap, the nearby city of Knidos purchased this naked statue and the Aphrodite of Knidos (pictured above), as she became known, was installed in Knidos’ sanctuary to the goddess.
So, why had the people of Kos been so horrified at the prospect of a statue of a naked Aphrodite, who was, after all, the goddess of love and sex? The answer lay with the sculptural conventions of the day – and in turn the social mores of Greek society – which did not allow women, let alone goddesses, to be shown naked in sculpture. Men had been naked in Greek sculpture for over 350 years, but Praxiteles’ Aphrodite was the first full-sized naked female sculpture in Greek history, for this reason it gathered a slavish following of admirers in antiquity.
Aphrodite of Knidos is holding a piece of drapery over a vase.  Nude Aphrodite stands with a sleight weight shift in her legs, as evidenced by the bending of her left knee.  While her right hand covers her genital area, her left hand holds a thoroughly wrinkled piece of drapery hanging over a vase (the vase contained the water for the bath). Weight shift is also observed in the curve of Aphrodite’s hips and neck, and her hair is depicted in a way resembling real human hair, and her face is more specific than generalized.

3.

There is a clear development from the “Critius Boy” of the 5th century, whose leg is bent while his torso remains erect, to the completely relaxed 4th-century “ Hermes Carrying the Infant Dionysus” by Praxiteles. The rhythmic ease of the chiasmus pose vastly enlarged the expressive possibilities of figure sculpture.

4.

The statue Hermes Carrying the Infant Dionysus is dated to 343 BC and is made from Parian marble. It is the only original work of Praxiteles, that has survived and it was found at Olympia, intact on his base, several meters under the ground. Its height is 2.10 m. The sculpture represents Hermes, the messenger of the Gods, holding the small Dionysos, who tries to take something from his hand, probably a grape. It seems that Hermes is playing with his little brother. The unrivaled art of Praxiteles, in taking off the hardness of the marble, making it the same with the look of the flesh, is owed in his great skill, in the use of the light and shadow. Praxiteles in order to give life in the statue, purposefully does not keep the symmetry. If one looks the face from the left, is sorrowful, from the right is smiling and when you see it from the front is calm.

Annunci

Informazioni su Claudia Ryan

Scrittrice, giornalista, insegnante di storia dell'arte. Claudia Molteni Ryan ha frequentato il liceo artistico a Como e la facoltà di Architettura al Politecnico di Milano. Insegna storia dell'arte in un liceo linguistico e collabora come giornalista con riviste specialistiche di design. E' iscritta all'Ordine dei giornalisti dal 1997. Ha curato una monografia su Alessandro Mazzucotelli per la rivista "Il ferro battuto" edita da Di Baio e ha pubblicato il libro "L'atto del vedere" con Zanichelli. Nel novembre 2010 ha pubblicato "Giro di boa" con Edizioni Si. Nel luglio 2012 è uscito il suo romanzo storico “Virginia”, Leone Editore, vincitore di quattro premi letterari: del premio speciale biografie al Concorso Letterario Internazionale Villa Selmi (novembre 2012), del premio speciale della critica al Concorso Letterario Nazionale “Un libro amico per l’inverno” (marzo 2013); del premio speciale Golden Selection al Concorso Letterario Internazionale “Città di Cattolica" (aprile 2013) e della Menzione Speciale (5° classificato) al Premio Internazionale di Arti Letterarie "Thesaurus" (settembre 2013). Candidato al Concorso Letterario Cortina d’Ampezzo. Nel 2013 ha lavorato per la Giunti editore per la pubblicazione di 16 lezioni CLIL di storia dell'arte per le scuole superiori. Nel maggio 2014 è uscito il romanzo storico "Il fuoco nelle tenebre", Leone Editore, vincitore nel settembre 2014 del Premio della Critica al Premio Letterario Internazionale Montefiore e ha ottenuto una menzione d'onore al World Literary Prize nel giugno 2015. Nella primavera 2016 è stato pubblicato il romanzo "Hana la Yazida - L'inferno è sulla Terra" con Edizioni San Paolo, che è entrato tra i finalisti del Concorso Letterario Città di Como 2017 e si è classificato quinto nel Concorso Letterario Milano International 2017. Il libro ha riscosso grande interesse per il tema trattato. Ama scrivere, l'arte, ballare, andare in bicicletta, camminare in montagna e lungo l'oceano, dipingere e pensa di avere sposato un uomo meraviglioso. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Writer, journalist and teacher of the History of Art. Claudia Molteni Ryan studied at the liceo artistico (Arts High School) in Como and the Faculty of Architecture at the Politecnico in Milan. She teaches the History of Art in a liceo linguistico (Languages High School) and she works as a journalist with specialist magazines of design . She has been a member of the Journalist Association since 1997. She wrote a monograph about Alessandro Mazzucotelli for the magazine “Il ferro battuto” published by Di Baio and also the book “L’atto del vedere” published by Zanichelli. In November 2010 her book “Giro di Boa” (published by SI) was released, in July 2012 her historical novel “Virginia” (to be published by Leone), that won four literary prizes. In 2013 she has written 16 CLIL lessons about History of Art for the publisher Giunti. In May 2014 her historical novel "Il fuoco nelle tenebre" has been published by Leone Editore. In May 2016 the novel "Hana la Yazida - L'inferno è sulla Terra" was published by Edizioni San Paolo; in the Literary Competition città di Como 2017 it was amoung the books selected for the award; it was also placed fifth at the Literary Competition Milano International 2017. She loves writing, dancing, riding bicycles, art, walking on a mountain or along the ocean and painting, she also thinks she married a wonderful man.
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