body, they moulded into bronze and carved into marble. Poets sang its praises.
Philosophers considered its development not only valuable, but indispensable
to the inspiration of a healthy mind. The architect could not conceive his
finest temples without decorating them with the noblest forms of human
animation and activity.
Greek Sculpture was facilitated by a close study of the pertect development
that man had attained through physical culture and exercise, which in this
age reached the highest ideal. State and man were benefited. Body and mind
grew stronger and more self-reliant. The great Olympic Games, the pride
taken in them and the encouragement given them, prove in the clearest manner
how keenly the Greeks felt the necessity of physical culture as essential to the
fullest development of physical and mental effort. As a result, we find sculp-
tured forms of humanity, representing man and woman in all the divinity of
their natural beauty of form. These marvellous statues seem to have been
moulded by the very hand of God into inspiring lines.
We find in the Venus of Milo, the ideal of feminine beautv and womanhood
as in the Doryphorus, of Polykleites, we find the masculine form at the height
of symmetrical beauty. Polykleites studied and created the Greek ideal of
an athlete. His Doryphorus, a marvellous conception of refined human beaut\>
took, it is said, more than twelve years of labour, and during this time, he
formulated the canons of human proportion.
Not only did the Greeks create a new ideal of beauty for the human limbs
and trunk, but they designed heads that with their calm serenity and refinement
express the very essence of intellectual beauty and dignity. The heads of
Apollo and Zeus by Pheidias, and the celebrated heads of Hera, Athena, and
others by Scopas are examples of this.
Physical culture brought about this pure perfection of form. A natural
love for the divine human body filled the Greeks with a just enthusiasm. There
is nothing mysterious in Greek art, but an aspiration after strong and ennobling
ideals drawn directly from nature, infused with purity and refinement. Con-
scious of the fact that God has created nothing more wonderful than man and
woman with their eternal mission of righteousness, Greek idealism formed
truthful conceptions of divinity, drawn directly from the human form, with a
deep understanding of the divine purpose of love, truth and purity for which
the body was created.
As we follow the evolution of physical development, we find that the Romans
adopted the noblest of the Greek ideals only to corrupt them and to drag them
from the serene heights they had attained to the lowest degradation. Greek
art, in spite of internal wars and political disturbances which were long and
bitter, was in perfect harmony with the spiritual ideals of the whole people.
But when the Romans conquered the country and subordinated the people they
adopted the Greek art and religion, but could not support them by the same
spiritual motives; thus the Greek works became a mere decorative feature and