Contrapposto describes a category of pose that artists have favored for thousands of years.
Even though “contrapposto” is an Italian word, the earliest sculptures that depict the human body posed in this specific stance date back to the 5th century B.C. in classical Greece.
The typical contrapposto pose shows the counterposing of various segments of the figure: The pelvis and rib cage are tilted in opposite directions, and one leg is straight while the other is bent.
This deliberate counterposing can contribute various expressive qualities to a figure.