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2009 | 47 | 1 | 137-143
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Ancient Patterns of the Sporting Body

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In the world of ancient culture you can find images of corporeality which may be recognised as patterns of the sporting body. They come from Greek sculpture and vase painting. Among the preserved Greek cultural artefacts there can be pointed out three examples of patterns of male corporeality and one example of female corporeality connected with the world of sport. These are Polyclitus's sculptures "Doryphorus" and "Diadoumenos", Myron's sculpture "Discus Thrower", Lysippus's sculpture of "Heracles Farnese" and painting presenting Atalanta. They constitute ancient patterns of the sporting body, which are recognisable in the world of the European culture from the age of Renaissance to the 20th century. Each of those cultural artefacts points out to separate aspects of the world of sport: Polyclitus's sculptures are pictures of beauty of the body, Myron's sculpture expresses sporting movement, Lysippus's sculpture symbolises power and the figure of Atalanta is the first gender pattern in the world of sport. Ancient patterns of the sporting body perform functions of cultural archetypes in the contemporary world of sport. The contemporary sporting body is a corporeal form which is perceived and interpreted through the prism of the symbolic layer of ancient images of corporeal forms. A part of those corporeal patters has lost in European culture their sporting references, which were visible for Greek civilization. It refers to Polyclitus's sculptures and the figure of Atalanta, which was provided by Renaissance and Baroque art with a different semantic context. Research into cultural aspects of sport requires reconstruction of their sporting genealogy making it possible to construct wider interpretative contexts of contemporary corporeality. The notion of the "archetype of the sporting body" in European culture is enriched with a differentiated objective layer, which is composed of ancient patters of the sporting body encountered in social consciousness of the world of European art.
Physical description
1 - 12 - 2009
13 - 1 - 2010
  • Bernhard, M. L. (1971). Sztuka grecka V wieku p.n.e. /Greek art in the V century b.c./. Warszawa: Wyd. PWN.
  • Clark, K. (1998). Akt. Studium idealnej formy /The Nude. A study in Ideal Form/. Warszawa: Wyd. WAiF i PWN.
  • Pauzaniasz (1968). Na olimpijskiej bieżni i w boju /Description of Greece/. Wrocław: Wyd. Ossolineum.
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