Artist: Josep Maria Subirachs

Title: «Aspasia»

Year: 1981

Media: bronze, paint and stone

Edition: unique piece

Size: 60 x 45 x 18,5 cm


In various works by Subirachs we find this mixture of sculpture with painting. The artist calls them pictosculptures.

From an aesthetic and formal point of view, this sculpture breaks with the traditional symmetry that we cansee in many works by Subirachs. The weight of the composition is located on the left side, where we find the character’s face, breasts, belly and sex, while the right side is dedicated only to the arm and leg. This fact implies a change in the artist’s sculptural conception. He abandons classicism to immerse himself in mannerisms of forms, making the curved lines of the arm and leg protagonists.

From a historical point of view, the work refers to Aspasia of Miletus, who was a very influential figure in the cultural and political life of Periclean Greece, of whom she was first his lover and later his official partner. Although it has not been possible to prove it, it is said that she was a hetaera, that is, a highly cultured courtesan or concubine. It is even said that she ran a brothel. What has transcended to this day is that she played an unprecedented role for the women of her time in the social life of Athens. Endowed with great intelligence and an outstanding personality, she surrounded herself with such distinguished men as Anaxagoras, Euripides and Socrates. With the latter she maintained a great friendship and, in fact, thanks to her rhetorical skills and her great eloquence, she became her teacher. The thinker frequently went to visit her, sometimes with his friends, to hold dialogues with her and receive rhetoric classes.