|Protagoras, the Greek sophist, stated that “Man is the measure of all things.” In Figures and Portraits: The Human Equation, we take a fresh look at many works of art to see if the artist seems to portray the “real” or “ideal.” Being the ‘measure of all things,’ we, as men can measure and judge the extent that for us, subjectively, a figure painting or portrait portrays the Platonic ‘real’ or ‘ideal.’ |
Although we may see only the shadows with our eyes, can artists show the ideal form that may stand behind every face and figure? Or are artists as hampered by their own eyes and physical senses as we are? Is a particular figurative work of art subscribing to a “Greek” ideal, or like the Roman bust of senators, is it observed reality—warts and all? Come and muse with us on meanings in measuring man.