It's not that often that you get a commentary on a piece of art that actually enlightens you. I read one at art-without-artifice.
Head of a Young Girl, by Aristide Maillol.
Basically, it seems that Maillol was here imitating Greek black-figure vases, a tradition that any educated European will look on with a thrill of recognition, as embodying grace, elegance, and primitive energy.
And it helps that it's beautiful.
I think that black-figure vases would make an excellent subject for digital treatment in POV-Ray; as also would derivative types of art à-la Maillol.