Art Principles and History

Form and Style

What is idealization?

Idealization is the attempt to depict physical perfection in art. For example, Classical Greek sculpture, which features immaculately carved human figures, is usually thought of as one of the first traditions of naturalism in art history. Upon closer inspection, however, many examples of Classical Greek sculpture look, overall, quite a bit better than average. Greek gods are depicted with defined muscles, broad shoulders, beautiful hair, and stoic faces. This is arguably similar to our contemporary culture’s predilection for Photoshopping models in glossy magazines. Idealization occurs in art from all over the world, and different cultures emphasize different features in their attempts to achieve perfection.


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