Medieval art, small package

Discussion in 'Show Off' started by fak_et, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. fak_et

    fak_et New Member

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    We have been viewing a lot of renaissance art in an art history class and I have noticed that all the art pieces and sculptures depict a small penis. Wondering what is the rationale behind this?
     
  2. B_Demention

    B_Demention New Member

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    To not detract from the seemingly perfect male body. They wanted the focus to be on the shape and contours of the actual physique of the guy in question, without the distraction of large genitals. The Romans for example also found a large penis to be laughable and embarrassing, so the perfect guy would absolutely have to have a smaller package.
     
  3. starter

    starter New Member

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    wow that's kinda interesting
     
  4. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    Interesting, but didn't Roman soldiers also hold dimensional contests, wherein they make molds of their members?

    so did the perspective differ across different social strata?
     
  5. B_Demention

    B_Demention New Member

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    I'm sure there are added dimensions to it and that it's not as simplistic as I've stated, but that does seem to be the overall thought behind it. "The Romans" is arguably pretty damn vague, and as we've seen in our own recent history, views on things like genitals can change back and forth within short periods of time and also between geographical regions.
     
  6. UtahCock

    UtahCock New Member

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    Okay, so I am going to be an asshole here and correct you: there is a big difference between Medieval art and Renaissance art. Please don't confuse the two, because there were no nudes in Medieval art.

    Now, why were the penises so "conservative" in proportion? Well, first of all what I just said is a big part of it. They were just coming out of the Middle Ages, in which there was NO nudity in art. During the Renaissance, the Catholic Church was still the major world power and they not only commissioned the majority of artworks, but they also controlled who was in the Church (and thus who was in society). If you painted/sculpted something that offended the Church, you ran the risk of retaliatory action, which would make it impossible for you to earn a living: no one is going to want to hire you and thus also incur the wrath of the Church.

    Even in the Renaissance, depiction of the male nude was often controversial Donatello and Michelangelo both endured a great deal of scrutiny and criticism. In fact, shortly after completing the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's work was "edited," and the genitals on all of his nudes were covered in painted drapery by another painter.

    So if you are already pushing the envelope by showing a male nude, you are going to try and make sure that male nude cannot be said to be overtly sexual, otherwise you are seriously screwed. SO you make the penis a little smaller, call as little attention to it as possible so you can then say that the work as about the beauty of form and not about sex.

    Additionally, the aesthetic of Renaissance was very much based on GReek philosophy and Classical Greek statuary, and it is my understanding that the ancient GReeks found an excessively large phallus to be in poor taste. You can see in their own sculptures (when the penis has not been lopped off by religious zealots) that the penis is always moderate in its proportions (although not nearly as conservative as Renaissance Christians). For the Greeks it was more about being temperate in all things. Some depictions of Dionysus or Pan might have an enlarged penis, because they represent excess in wine and sex.
     
  7. pronatalist

    pronatalist Active Member

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    I thought it could be suggestive, that human penises are getting bigger from generation to generation. Perhaps those who are more "endowed," are breeding faster on average, than the general population? Or maybe it's just better nutrition, also the recent likely cause of earlier puberty.

    Maybe "small" genetalia, was the norm for males back then? The obvious implication?

    Yeah, maybe it might have been seen as a "distraction" from the art, but is that really the most likely explanation? Perhaps natural and "actual size" would be seen as more artistic? But then, does "art" really make much logical sense to begin with?
     
  8. Freddie53

    Gold Member

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    There were the Roman customs and then there were the Greek customs. Upper crust Rome adopted many of the Greek ideals. I doubt the common soldiers ever enjoyed viewing Greek/Roman art. Roman civilization was a mix of many cultures. I suspect you are right the social strata made a huge difference in how men viewed their package.
     
  9. UtahCock

    UtahCock New Member

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    Ha ha I see in the time it took me to draft my excessively verbose response, others have already addressed the issue.

    About the Romans, while the ROmans also based their art on ancient Greece, I would say the Romans were more . . . liberal about phallic depictions, particularly when related to their pornography and sex deities.

    But, overall, yes, in most public statuary, the ROmans were also kind of conservative. THen again I am remembering huge phalluses on building exteriors. Hmm. Ancient ROme has not been the focus of my artistic studies.
     
  10. B_jacknapier

    B_jacknapier New Member

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    I was under the impression that the ancient greeks found a large dick laughable and the romans found it admirable.

    Here's a theory- just like competitive bodybuilders, perhaps these models worked out prior to modeling, in order to accentuate their musculature?
     
  11. UtahCock

    UtahCock New Member

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    I would say you cant necessarily on art as an accurate depiction of what people really looked like at the time (otherwise you coudl also say every Greek had a unbelievable six pac and quads the size of tree trunks. UNlikely).

    If you look at the art of INdia and China, it does not seem that we have somehow '"jumped" in endowment. I think the peoples of ancient world were as proportionally endowed as we are at present.
     
  12. myjoystick

    myjoystick Member

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    That's Greek influence. They actually did not focus so much on penis size and felt the perfect male body would have one that was smaller.
     
  13. pronatalist

    pronatalist Active Member

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    But it does still seem a bit strange, that people long ago, were depicted as "small?"

    Perhaps world population growth, is only a bit more "out of control," than some would see it as being?

    Well whether they were or not, I think people back in the day, were more prolific in breeding than we like to give them credit for. Of course, it may not have been so noticable in a way, as human populations weren't so huge as they are today.

    I'm not so sure that God would see much use for a "big jump" anyhow. I suspect that "selective breeding" could have far more relevance to mere animals than people.

    I read that humans have "big" genetalia, compared to other primates, a larger proportion to our body size. That could have been God's idea from the start, as humans are sexual beings also, and God caused us to grow to become among the most populous of the large mammals. Sex is primarily for procreation, but humans also get to enjoy it, quite a lot actually. It's to remind us to procreation, but then the enjoyment is a natural reward for procreating, or at least allowing the prospect.

    Yeah, Adam & Eve might have been "well endowed" as well.

    Somebody just posted some "joke" somewhere, having Adam saying to Eve, better stand back as I don't know how big this thing is going to get.
     
  14. kman2000

    kman2000 New Member

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    pronatalist gets the award for the most bullshit ever pulled out of an ass. .:)
     
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