The TORSO: The youthful adolescent ephebe male torso has been a traditional starting point for the sculptor to practise figurative sculptural art. My own creation of a ephebe male youth torso (above image) is in keeping with that starting point of traditional classical sculptural fine art.
The torso is the part of the human body where the limbs are attached. Often in sculpture with the head and limbs omitted or removed; Some people also call it the trunk. It is made of chest, back, abdomen and in male sculptural representation may frequently include the genitals.
Classical Roman & Greek examples of torso statues & sculpture frequently found in great Museums and galleries.
Example: Torso of a youth: Metropolitan Museum of Art USA.
Another example: Torso Diadumenos in the Louvre Museum, Paris
A more contemporary Torso sculpture example Indiana University Purdue Indianapolis USA
Emasculation by hammer & chisel
There have been frequent lapses in history where by public art/sculpture has been irresponsibly defaced & vandalised by the removal of the genitals from bronze, marble & stone male statuary.
In 1530, the eruption of Counter Reformation fanaticism following the Renaissance, the edict of the Council of Trent forbade the depiction of genitals, buttocks and breasts in church art.
In 1557, the fig leaves were instituted by the bull of Pope Paul IV. Many of the fig leaves that we see were put in place on the personal initiative of Pope Innocent X (1644-1655) who, for reasons of his own, preferred metal leaves to the plaster ones. This Pope, to his credit, spared most of the art in the Vatican.
The Catholic Pope Pius IX in 1857 is reputed to have decided that the accurate representation of the flaccid male penis on the few remain unvandalised statues might by too homoerotic and incite lust inside the Vatican. So Pope Pius IX allegedly had remaining offending attachments hacked off male statue inside the Vatican. An act of criminal damage of some great classical works of art.
The fig leaves were promptly added by his successor to stop the iconoclasm.
All in all, the destructive campaign raged for 450 years and resulted in the destruction of much Catholic visual art.
However, I always find amusing the idea there may be a room somewhere in the vast Vatican City complex simply piled high with the remnant marble penis castrations left over from the various papal ravages.
Unfortunately, even today there are still those who would censor & suppress, even destroy art, history & culture, like the destruction of the Baniyan Buddas in 2001.
Including in Cornwall (UK) where I live, where the Cornish police prefer ignorance and intimidation to cultural enlightenment and have actively targeted with a view to prosecute artists for artistic depiction of the Male Nude. Despite this being contary to the Human Rights Act article 10. The right to freedom of expression, which includes art.
|A Male nude watercolour painting which in 2004 homophobic Devon & Cornwall police|
attempted, but failed to prosecute the artist for creating
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