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Influence of humanism on Raphael's Galatea

            Influence of humanism on Raphael's Galatea.
             Raphael's Galatea is an effective example of humanism. Humanism is the rediscovery of classical Greek and Roman culture. This rediscovery is learnt through science and reason. Humanism is demonstrated in Galatea through the use of subject matter, figures and concepts. There is also evidence of idealisation of the physical elements contained within Galatea including: composition, colour and the influences of many classical and conteporary works.
             The suject matter incorporated into Galatea includes the revival of classical stories and mythology. Galatea is a sea-nymph who, according to the myth is attempting to escape the clasp of Polyphemus a cyclops with her lover Acis. Galatea is portrayed as leaping through Nerids, Tritons and Cupids. This classical myth would have been a familiar writing to the humanists who lived in the quattrocentro.
             The figures depicted in Galatea are idealised and this can be supported by the following evidence. The figures are nude - to celebrate the beauty of the human form. The figures are proportional - to display the perfect human form. Galatea is well rounded and broad hipped, her actions are energetic yet graceful. There is also the addition of classical drapery which reveals the human anatomy. .
             Some underlying humanistic concepts contained within Galatea include: the idealisation of bodies which belonged to Gods and Heroes. Ideal bodies represented spiritual and intellectual perfection. Galatea herself is a prime example of these concepts being implemented into a practical expression.
             The composition of Galatea reflects classical idealisation. There is repetition of the curves and shell-like spirals throughout the work. This provides a sensual mood to the piece. These spiral forms are also based on the essence of geometrical purity - another humanistic influence. There is also a strong reference to the mood of energy and grace.

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