The quality known as repose in the ancient Greek is a manifestation of that serenity which belongs to a people not yet disturbed by self-doubt, self-immolation and self-contempt. It is the extreme harmony of a mentality not yet shaken by the tortures of introspection or inner conflict, by what Goethe called ‘two souls throning within one bosom’. The beauty of the Greeks is the beauty of men who have never in their wildest dreams beheld the horrors of Dante’s Inferno.
Poorer than the moderns in this respect, they consequently have the bliss which is partly ignorance, and this bliss is revealed in their art. Everything that has appeared in western Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire is certainly less serene, less blissful, more foolish, perhaps, in its wisdom, than was the partial ignorance of the Greeks; but it is more fretful, more nervous, more subterranean and subcutanesous, more full of insight and second sight, and consequently, therefore, more disturbing.
~ Anthony Ludovici, Perosnal Reminiscences of Auguste Rodin