Segments in this Video

Tabasco State, Mexico (07:09)


Human beings portrayed themselves through art. Sculpture represented our deepest ideas about civilization. Archeologists discovered the Olmec Civilization in the jungles of Mexico in 1862; raw manpower transported huge carved heads from 40 miles away.

Thebes, Egypt (03:38)

Sketches of the site of the Colossi of Memnon could have inspired the poem "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The Roman Emperor Hadrian visited the monument 1700 years prior. The sculpture is attributed to King Amenhotep III.

Ancient Greek Sculptures (05:49)

Phrasikleia was carved around 550 BC; most Greek sculpture contained color. Mummy portraits fused Greek, Roman, and Egyptian beliefs into one piece of art.

Fighting For the Dead (06:08)

The first emperor Qin Shi Huang united seven warring states into an empire. The Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974 and was never meant for public consumption. Craftspeople specialized in creating one portion of the body.

Thebes, Egypt (04:29)

400 miles south of Cairo Ramesses II erected sculptures of himself to frame the entrance to the Luxor Temple. The pharaoh would usurp previous ancestor's sculptures and put his name on them. It was intended to demonstrate the power of the ruler.

Contemporary Artists (02:39)

Antony Gormley sculpted "Angel of the North" to commemorate the industrial heritage Northeast England. In "Event Horizon," the artist placed 32 likenesses of his body in and around Madison Square and Southbank.

Great Altar of Pergamon (04:02)

Ancient Greeks were obsessed with the human form. Red and black ceramics depicted political and social changes within Athens.

Changes in the Fifth Century (05:53)

Sculptures depicted the individual's soul as well as their body. Greek Artists viewed the perfect human body as the embodiment of harmony and virtue. The "Boxer at Rest" was deliberately buried during antiquity and portrayed an injured older man.

After the Roman Empire (04:39)

Classical art influenced artwork in Buddhism, Islam, and has been revitalized in Europe several times. The "Apollo Belvedere" gained fame in the Eighteenth Century as the greatest sculpture ever made. Johann Joachim Winckelmann worked as director of the Vatican, wrote about the Greco-Roman style, and helped create the Neo-Classical movement that took place across the globe.

Power to Impose Culture (03:07)

Mexico rediscovered its ancient heritage in 1974 and explored its Aztec, Mayan, and Olmec heritage. The National Museum acquired "The Olmec Wrestler." Critics argued it was a fake sculpture.

Viewer Into Voyeur (05:14)

"Aphrodite of Menophantos" was the first naked statue of a woman designed to provoke. The cult of youth and beauty originated with the Ancient Greeks. Kehinde Wiley commented on the status, power, and image of young African-Americans in his paintings.

Credits: How Do We Look? Episode 2 (00:30)

Credits: How Do We Look? Episode 2

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How Do We Look? Episode 2

Part of the Series : Civilizations
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This episode explores images of the human body in ancient art. We travel from Mexico and Greece to Egypt and China, finishing in modern day New York, asking why human beings have always made art about themselves. What were these images for? And what does a "realistic" image of the body really tell us about the society that made it? This program explores the place of the human body in politics and culture and in cultural representations of self, investigating the questions of how we have been taught to look.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: FMK166854

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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