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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Can My Limbic Brain Help Me Analyse Art ?

Can My Limbic Brain Help Me Analyse Laocoon and His Sons If we can resist the urge for a moment to run to our art history book and just look at the sculpture we can make an assessment of the sculpture by just looking and making judgements from our life experience then proceed to what we need to research to round out our analysis. Three figures who look like they spend lots of time at the gym. What the relationship is of the figures to each other we cannot tell. The figures are in the coils of a giant snake. It looks like a painful and life threatening experience Why? We don’t know. All are nude.A major component of the expressiveness of the piece is this straining of muscle against snake coils. If the figures wore clothes much of this would be lost The two boys in comparison to the larger figure we could judge by size to be around 12 years old but their physical development looks slightly exaggerated for such young boys. However if the physique of the larger figure is exaggerated in the interests of expressiveness the sculptor is forced to exaggerate the physique of the younger figures to maintain a unity among the figures. If the physique of the figures were on an ordinary scale the drama of the figures would also lose some of their force. There is also, I think, some exaggerated contrast in the bearded older head and the “beardless” boys and between their more styled hair and his disheveled beard and hair. The head of the man also seems older than his physique suggests. So much for what we can judge by looking

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