Above are two statues from the Archaic period. The evolution from Archaic to the Classical was aided by the concept of contrapposto where the figure, instead of dividing its weight equally on both legs, has most of its weight only on one foot allowing the figure to turn its axis. The stiff Archaic was replaced with Classical flow. Rigidity was eliminated with the idea that man was made to be in motion and you can do this only by shifting your weight from one side to the other. You cannot walk or run or even dance without weight shift. Just as you cannot form a constructive opinion without listening to one side and the other.
These two statues represent the transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic period and the exchange of one World View with another. They represent the transformation of ideals into debauchery and the metamorphoses of the age of advancement into the age of decadence.
Decadence occurs when man, instead of being made in the image of God, creates a god made in the image of himself. A god with no compassion for his fellow man, a god with no concept of integrity, a god with no vision of anything outside of himself. This DIY god gives man permission for a narcissistic behavior totally void of ethics and, above all, of empathy.
Many years ago, after walking out of the newly restored Sistine Chapel, I overheard a woman behind me say to her companion: “Funny but the God I pray to doesn’t look anything like the God Michelangelo painted”. Of course, how could he for we all pray to a god we’ve personally created in our mind’s eye yet with the expectation that everyone else sees the same thing.
Decadence is the final stage before total collapse and, unfortunately, the Age of Decadence has begun.