Male Figures

The human body, whether in divine or mortal form, has been a major subject of art since ancient times and has taken shape in a wide variety of aesthetic forms that may vary in style from very naturalistic to highly stylized. In religious contexts, the production of images and especially statues of anthropomorphic deities took on to a deeper importance and ritual purpose, as people believed the statues to be literally inhabited by the deity. Across ancient cultures throughout the world, figures of the human body were often associated with the gods. However, some cultures didn’t 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 degrees throughout its history, forbade the depiction of figures.