He noted the differences between Mercury's greater fineness of features compared to Apollo. Goethe pondered why the Greeks gave Juno large eyes and Hercules such a rounded brow. He wondered if the rounded brow signified Hercules' strength and ceaseless labor. Was Venus' character expressed by the smallness of spaces between her features? Goethe believed that character was expressed, not only in the face, but equally in the form of the whole body.
Why did Apollo have long thighs, Bacchus have broad almost womanish hips and Jove have a massive torso? The excellence of Greek art was based on the Greek way of life, a philosophy that "was based on the principle that every faculty in people, should be allowed to develop freely according to its nature."
In Goethe's study of Greek art, he also discovered what he believed was the Greeks explanation of the ultimate nature of existence, and the forces and archetypes that govern the physical and spiritual universe. The Greek sculptures represent philosophy in visible form as opposed to the use of words. Sculptured forms, and their displayed characteristics, were used to express certain intellectual and moral concepts. The Greek sculptures were meant to represent various philosophical, spiritual and human emotional principles, all of which exist within our physical form, and ultimately expressed through our nature.
"Jupiter was the image of the loftiest dignity of boundless power. Minerva was the image of reflective wisdom. Hercules was the image of strength and Venus was all the forms of love expressed through the female nature. The statues were ideas and emotional natures given physical form through art. The Greek poets and artists looked into the heart of the universe and saw there were certain vast forces whose action and interaction creates and still upholds the world in which we live. Homer through his writings first personified these forces as gods in human form. Later artists evolved a means of representing them in visible, tangible shape." (Goethe and the Greeks)
The ancient Greek artists were far wiser than most might think. Yes, they created beauty, but they were also cognizant of the essences behind forms. They believed that it was possible to express fundamental forces and ideas through the medium of human body. Humans are a microcosm of the whole universe.
Sometimes we move too fast and don’t always appreciate the more subtle aspects of what we are seeing and experiencing. An ancient writer said, that several times during his lecturing in the Sacred Grove, Plato took his students to a little knoll that overlooked the city. He did this to remind them to always take a higher viewpoint of all experiences, even what they were learning from him.
Taking time to listen to what you are hearing, to understand all of what you see, can bring a greater awareness and wisdom into what is taking place in your world. To inspire and empower.