The Sleeping Nymph

The title, brief, and location of the art piece
The above marble sculpture named the ‘Sleeping Nymph’ was made by Edward Hodges Baily. The Sleeping Nymph is a beautiful marble sculpture of a female figure which lay down on its side at the entrance of the Plassey House in the University of Limerick. Baily was a famous English sculptor and he was the acknowledged master of ideal and poetic sculptures, he made few different nymph sculptures during his artistic career, but the Sleeping Nymph marble sculpture is spectacular. The sleeping nymph is a motif that entered European art during the renaissance era, and there are speculations that this motif emanated from the ancient Romans. The motif was the idea of a statue of a nymph sleeping in a grotto, near a spring, or a river. Also, there are poems written allegedly describing a nymph sleeping near the fountain, and this motif became influential among artists and poets during the renaissance era.

How the art piece speaks to me and what it says
The Sleeping Nymph marble sculpture speaks to me through its beautiful and impeccable physical form, and I was impressed and pleased when I saw this remarkable and perfectly carved life size marble sculpture. In addition, the Sleeping Nymph sculpture speaks to me through the transcendent form that it represents, which is a nymph. Consequently, this led me into a poetic musing of a beautiful nymph resting on the bank of the River Shannon. The Sleeping Nymph marble sculpture in its physical form is a depiction of a peaceful relaxation. Looking at this sculpture with close attention illustrates solace, and it is probable that many people may get the same message by observing the physical form and the position of this Sleeping Nymph marble sculpture. As stated earlier, the transcendent form behind this marble sculpture is a nymph which is a charming female nature deity in Greek mythology. Nymph is usually depicted as a nubile maiden who is usually relaxing in various nature landscapes, and legend has it that most nymphs are kind to humans.

Aesthetic frameworks used to analyse and discuss the art piece
According to Aristotle, what made a work of art beautiful was its form, and I agree with that notion as the Sleeping Nymph is beautiful and perfect in its physical form. Besides, anyone who come in contact with this spectacular sculpture will appreciate its beauty. In addition, Aristotle stated that our body must experience a full range of emotions to achieve catharsis, which is the release or sublimation of some of our most disturbing emotions. At that point, I experienced catharsis as I was closely observing the Sleeping Nymph marble sculpture in its physical form. Plato, on the other hand, asserted that beauty was a transcendent form that stood behind every beautiful thing and thus made them beautiful. I agree with that notion as well, as the form that stood behind the Sleeping Nymph marble sculpture is transcendent figure. Moreover, the peaceful nature and beauty of the nymph is definitely out of this world. Plato also stated that everything we consider beautiful in this world is a representation of the beauty from another world, the eternal and perfect world.

That being said, Aristotle argued that beauty is in the physical objects of this world. However, Plato asserted that beauty is the transcendent form that the physical objects represents. Despite the difference in Aristotle’s and Plato’s notion on beauty, both philosophers agreed that beauty is objective. Besides, in all art tradition, the purpose of art is to depict beauty and the beauty depicted might be in the artwork itself or in the motif of that artwork. In conclusion, I considered the Sleeping Nymph marble sculpture beautiful the moment I saw it and I took my time to examine how it was aesthetically carved. Also, the Sleeping Nymph marble sculpture speaks to me poetically through the form that it represents, and I could identify with the message as a poet. Therefore, I appreciate the beauty of the Sleeping Nymph marble sculpture in its physical form and its transcendent form.

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