By Ben Stevens H P Stevens, on 29 June 2011
The portrayal of the modern female body is a perennial subject of academic and public debate, so it was refreshing to attend a lecture last Thursday where the male body was given similar critical attention.
Professor Maria Wyke, UCL Chair of Latin, gave a witty Lunch Hour Lecture at the British Museum entitled ‘Desirability and domination: Greek sculpture and the modern male body’ in which she managed to tease out the connections between classical sculpture, Italian film and the birth of bodybuilding.
She began by explaining how much of our understanding of classical sculpture has been shaped by 18th century German art historian Johan Joachim Winckelmann through his book, The History of the Art of Antiquity.
Watch Professor Wyke’s lecture at the British Museum (45 minutes)