Eros Sleeping Essay

Most gods and goddesses during the Hellenistic period were portrayed as exactly that, godlike figures. However a new trend began to spread where the accuracy of age was required in order to add truth to the work created. The bronze statue of sleeping Eros was created between 3rd Century B. C. and 1st century A. D and supposedly it comes from the island of Rhodes. The length of the statue is only about 3 feet, a relatively small statue used to represent a god. Eros is portrayed as a child, a very young child of maybe 6 or 7.

This can be seen through the detailing of his body and close representation to human likeness of his face. Eros is viewed in a laying position, formed to fit around the stone that was to be the base (not original base). His body is twisted and turned, a result of him lying slightly on his left side with his right arm draped over his upper body. The turning of the body is created by the manipulation of the metal, forming lines that shadow on the belly, indicating that there is turning of the torso. His thighs also have lines, showing that he is in fact a child.

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The lines shadow the leg creating the illusion of fat, or what we call “baby fat” today. It may indicate that it was time to see the gods in another form, and here you see Eros in a very vulnerable position. His legs are spread open, showing that he is in a vulnerable position, but seems to feel at peace with his situation. The artist chose to manipulate the bronze in order to portray Eros as less God, but more humane or specifically more child-like. It is often suggested that the artist created this sculpture through a model. His wings seem to be clipped, indicating that he might have been injured.

It is said that Eros was brought to earth and disarmed. The position he lies in can be interpreted as a position of defeat, but many viewers believe him to be asleep, especially because his eyes are shut, and his mouth is open indicating that he make be snoring. The artist was very skilled, for he was able to get very close details that would otherwise be very difficult. He manipulated the metal to form a wonderful, almost voluptuous head of hair for Eros. He also puts great detail into the face, specifically the shuteyes, as well as the nose.

The plumpness of the lip is created also through a form of shadowing; using metal and space to figure how to manipulate the way light affects the statue. The position that Eros is put into is one that can be interpreted in many ways. He seems to be asleep, with his body twisting and arm draping over the body, legs spread open. But it can also be an expression of defeat, for there does seem to be a look of slight pain on his face, and his wing is clipped, and the expression of his mouth could point towards an outcry of pain, not snoring or yawning.

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