contrapposto - The position of a human figure in painting or sculpture in which the hips and legs are turned in a different direction from that of the shoulders and head; the twisting of a figure on its own vertical axis. Especially a way of sculpting a human figure in a natural pose with the weight of one leg, the shoulder, and hips counterbalancing each other. Thus it is sometimes called "weight shift." This technique was developed late in the ancient Greek period.
Roman copy of an original attributed to Praxiteles (Greek), "Sauroctone" Apollo (lizard killing Apollo), c. 350 BCE, marble, height 58 1/2 inches (149 cm), Louvre. See Apollo.
Unknown Greek, late fourth century BCE, Statue of a Victorious Youth, bronze with copper inlays, height 59 5/8 inches (151.5 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. A naked youth stands with his weight shifted on his right leg, crowning himself with a wreath, probably olive.
Hellenistic Greece, Melos (the Cyclades islands), c. 100 BCE, Aphrodite, known as Venus de Milo or "Venus of Milo", marble, height 79 1/2 inches (2 m), Louvre. See Hellenistic.
Jagaddeva (Indian, active about mid-12th century), The Goddess Sarasvati, 1153, marble, 47 1/4 x 19 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches (120.2 x 50.2 x 29.7 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Sarasvati is the Jain goddess of knowledge, learning, and music. Also see Hindu art.
France, Paris, Virgin and Child of Jeanne d'Evreux, between 1324 and 1339, a reliquary statuette with traces of gilt, gold, gemstones; base: translucent enamel and bas-relief, height 27 1/5 inches (69 cm), Louvre. See Middle Ages.
Cornelis Van Haarlem (Dutch, 1562-1638), The Baptism of Christ, 1588, oil on canvas, 1.70 x 2.06 m, Louvre.
Anthony Van Dyck (Flemish, 1599-1641, active in Italy and England), Andromeda Chained to the Rock, 1637-38, oil on canvas, 84 3/4 x 52 inches (215.3 x 132.1 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
André Derain (French, 1880-1954), Standing Nude, winter 1907, stone, 95 x 33 x 17 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.