Last Updated 10 Jan 2022

More Human Than Human

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More Human than Human is the first episode of the BBC series entitled How Art Made the World. This documentary discusses on how people in the past rarely use realistic human images. From little figurines, to cave paintings and murals, and up to towering statues, Dr. Nigel Spivey investigates on how this has become so. The relics discovered were observed to have some body parts that were exaggerated while others were completely ignored.

These exaggerated parts are said to have certain significance to the people who created them. Dr. Ramachandran, a neurologist, explains a theory in which the brain tends to recognize certain things that will stimulate the body. A few thousand years later, Egyptian art was found to have been expressed through mathematical approaches rather than exaggerations. They chose to show human body parts from their clearest angles. On the other hand, the Greeks wanted to create realistic images.

When the two cultures clashed, an artistic revolution ignited and the Greeks reproduced their realistic human images in exact and perfectly measured dimensions. But later on, they abandoned this realism and went back to exaggerating. Over the years, exaggeration points have changed according to the preference of the humans. Exaggerating is said to make the images more interesting. In Asia, human images are very culturally influenced. The Chinese and Japanese give more details to the facial features and clothing.

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They make it look more like how their people look like. From the hats, to the slit eyes, beards and mustaches, and to the long, flowing robes, the images seem more realistic. However, their statues and figures of Buddha and other gods have exaggerated features as well. The statues of Buddha are usually portrayed in squat position but accessories and features differ according to the people. Some have body parts which are not proportional with each other and others have certain features that satisfy their culture and religion.

Exaggeration changes over time as the taste of the people changes. What is pleasing to the eye in one generation might be completely unpleasant to another. Culture and religion also have their own effect on the preferences of people. While exaggerated sexual parts stimulate fertility for some, these types of exaggerations might wholly step unto others' principles. However, Art is a personal expression. Therefore, the pleasant or unpleasantness of an art is dependent upon the creator, while the observer also has his own personal inclination.

More Human Than Human essay

Related Questions

on More Human Than Human

Are we more bacteria than human?

Humans Carry More Bacterial Cells than Human Ones. All the bacteria living inside you would fill a half-gallon jug; there are 10 times more bacterial cells in your body than human cells, according to Carolyn Bohach, a microbiologist at the University of Idaho (U.I.), along with other estimates from scientific studies.

Is there more than one species of human?

The billions of human beings living today all belong to one species: Homo sapiens. As in all species, there is variation among individual human beings, from size and shape to skin tone and eye color. But we are much more alike than we are different. We are, in fact, remarkably similar.

Are human beings considered mammals?

Mammal Home. Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin for "wise man" or "knowing man") under the family Hominidae (the great apes).

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Explore how the human body functions as one unit in harmony in order to life

More Human Than Human. (2017, May 31). Retrieved from

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