Male Figures

The depiction of the human body, whether divine or mortal has been a major concern of art since ancient times and has taken a wide variety of aesthetic forms that may be either naturalistic or stylised to varying degrees. In religious contexts, the production of images and especially statues of anthropomorphic deities may have specific ritual purposes whereby the statue is considered to be literally inhabited by the deity. These religious metaphysics of art, where to create the image is to conceptually instantiate the form depicted in reality, may illustrate the manner in which the depiction of human forms may serve to establish a sense of identity of a cultures humanness. However, some cultures do not, at least in orthodox contexts, produce images of the human figure; for example in India, anthropomorphic depictions of either The Buddha or Hindu gods was not established until the conquest of Alexander the Great introduced Hellenistic culture to the region, similarly, Islamic doctrine has, to varying degree throughout history, forbade the depiction of figures.

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