Greek Art: History, Characteristics
Even though much of Greek art was meant to honor the gods, those very gods were The Greeks held religious ceremonies and festivals as well as significant . Wikisource has the text of the Encyclopædia Britannica article Greek Art. v · t · e · Ancient Greece · Timeline. of archaic Greek art had been inherited (Metzler 60; Guralnik ). Greece on the viewers of such imagery and their relation to religious culture?.
Not only is the painter successful here in relaying a particular story, but also the figure of Perseus shows great advancement from the previous century. The limbs are fleshy, the facial features are recognizable, and the hat and winged boots appropriately equip the hero for fast travel.
Fragment showing Perseus with the head of Medusa likely from a metope from the Temple of Apollo at Thermon, c. While Greek artisans continued to develop their individual crafts, storytelling ability, and more realistic portrayals of human figures throughout the Archaic Period, the city of Athens witnessed the rise and fall of tyrants and the introduction of democracy by the statesman Kleisthenes in the years and B.
- Ancient Greek art
- Introduction to ancient Greek art
Visually, the period is known for large-scale marble kouros male youth and kore female youth sculptures see below. Showing the influence of ancient Egyptian sculpture like this example of the Pharaoh Menkaure and his wife in the MFA, Bostonthe kouros stands rigidly with both arms extended at the side and one leg advanced.
Frequently employed as grave markers, these sculptural types displayed unabashed nudity, highlighting their complicated hairstyles and abstracted musculature below left. The kore, on the other hand, was never nude. Not only was her form draped in layers of fabric, but she was also ornamented with jewelry and adorned with a crown. Though some have been discovered in funerary contexts, like Phrasiklea below righta vast majority were found on the Acropolis in Athens more on the Acropolis korai.
Ritualistically buried following desecration of this sanctuary by the Persians in and B. While the identities of these figures have been hotly debated in recent times, most agree that they were originally intended as votive offerings to the goddess Athena.
Anavysos Kroisos Kouros, c.
Aristion of Paros, Phrasikleia Kore, c. Parian marble with traces of pigment, cm high National Archaeological Museum, Athensphoto: Parian marble with traces of pigment, cm high National Archaeological Museum, Athens photo: Though experimentation in realistic movement began before the end of the Archaic Period, it was not until the Classical Period that two- and three-dimensional forms achieved proportions and postures that were naturalistic.
Other colours were very limited, normally to small areas of white and larger ones of a different purplish-red. Within the restrictions of these techniques and other strong conventions, vase-painters achieved remarkable results, combining refinement and powerful expression.
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White ground technique allowed more freedom in depiction, but did not wear well and was mostly made for burial. Exceptions are the large Archaic monumental vases made as grave-markers, trophies won at games, such as the Panathenaic Amphorae filled with olive oil, and pieces made specifically to be left in graves; some perfume bottles have a money-saving bottom just below the mouth, so a small quantity makes them appear full.
Painted vessels for serving and eating food are much less common. Painted pottery was affordable even by ordinary people, and a piece "decently decorated with about five or six figures cost about two or three days' wages". In earlier periods even quite small Greek cities produced pottery for their own locale. These varied widely in style and standards.
Distinctive pottery that ranks as art was produced on some of the Aegean islands, in Creteand in the wealthy Greek colonies of southern Italy and Sicily. Their pottery was exported all over the Greek world, driving out the local varieties. Pots from Corinth and Athens are found as far afield as Spain and Ukraineand are so common in Italy that they were first collected in the 18th century as "Etruscan vases".
In fact, by the 5th century BC, pottery had become an industry and pottery painting ceased to be an important art form.
Subjects included figurative scenes, portraits and still-lifes, and exhibitions - for instance at Athens and Delphi - were relatively common. Alas, due to the perishable nature of these panels along with centuries of looting and vandalism, not a single Greek Classical panel painting of any quality has survived, nor any Roman copy.
Fresco painting was a common method of mural decoration in temples, public buildings, houses and tombs but these larger artworks generally had a lower reputation than panel paintings.
The most celebrated extant example of Greek wall painting is the famous Tomb of the Diver at Paestum c. Another famous work was created for the Great Tomb at Verfina c.√√ Influence of Greek In Pompeii art, architecture, religion - iitutor
The background was left white, with landscape being indicated by a single tree and the ground line. As well as the style of its background and subjects, the mural is noted for its subtle depictions of light and shadow as well as the use of a technique called Optical Fusion the juxtaposition of lines of different colours - a rather curious forerunner of Seurat's 19th century Pointillism. The painting of stone, terracotta and wood sculpture was another specialist technique mastered by Greek artists.
Stone sculptures were typically painted in bold colours; though usually, only those parts of the statue which depicted clothing, or hair were coloured, while the skin was left in the natural stone colour, but on occasion the entire sculpture was painted. Sculpture-painting was viewed a distinctive art - an early type of mixed-media - rather than merely a sculptural enhancement. In addition to paint, the statue might also be adorned with precious materials.
The most famous 5th century Classical Greek painters included: Apollodorus noted for his Skiagraphia - a primitive type of chiaroscuro ; his pupil, the great Zeuxis of Heraclea noted for his easel-paintings and trompe l'oeil ; as well as Agatharchos the first to have used graphical perspective on a large scale ; Parrhasius best known for his drawingand his picture of Theseus in the Capitol at Rome ; and Timarete one of the greatest female Greek painters, noted for a panel painting at Ephesus of the goddess Diana.
During the late classical period BCEwhich saw the flourishing of the Macedonian Empire under Philip II and his son Alexander the Great, Athens continued to be the dominant cultural centre of mainland Greece.
This was the high point of ancient Greek painting, with artists like the talented and influential Apelles of Kos - official painter to Philip II of Macedonia and his son Alexander the Great - adding new techniques of highlighting, shading and colouring. Other famous 4th century artists included Apelles' rivals Antiphilus a specialist in light and shade, genre painting and caricature and Protogenes noted for his meticulous finishing ; Euphranor of Corinth the only Classical artist to excel at both painting and sculpture ; Eupompus founder of the Sicyon school ; and the history painter Androkydes of Cyzicus known for his cntroversial history painting depicting the Battle of Plataea.
By this point, Hellenism had spread throughout the civilized world, and centres of Greek arts and culture included cities like Alexandria, Antioch, Pergamum, Miletus, as well as towns and other settlements in Asia Minor, Anatolia, Egypt, Italy, Crete, Cyprus, Rhodes and the other islands of the Aegean. Greek culture was thus utterly dominant.
5e. Art and Architecture
But the sudden demise of Alexander triggered a rapid decline of Greek imperial power, as his massive empire was divided between three of his generals - Antigonus I who received Greece and Macedonia; Seleucus I who took over controlled Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Persia; and Ptolemy I who ruled Egypt. Paradoxically therefore, this period is marked by massive Greek cultural influence, but weakening Greek power.
By 27 BCE, Greece and its empire would be ruled from Ancient Rome, but even then, the Romans would continue to revere and emulate Greek art for centuries. Hellenistic Architecture The division of the Greek Empire into separate entities, each with its own ruler and dynasty, created huge new opportunities for self-aggrandisement.
In Asia Minor, a new capital city was built at Pergamon Pergamumby the Attalids; in Persia, the Seleucids evolved a form of Baroque-style building design; in Egypt, the Ptolemaic dynasty constructed the lighthouse and library at Alexandria. Palatial architecture was revitalized and numerous municipal structures were built to boost the influence of local rulers. Temple architecture, however, experienced a major slump. From BCE onwards, the Greek peripteral temple single row of pillars on all sides lost much of its importance: Even monumental projects, like the Artemision at Sardis and the temple of Apollo at Didyma near Miletus, made little progress.
All this changed during the second century, when temple building experienced something of a revival due partly to increased prosperity, partly to improvements made by the architect Hermogenes of Priene to the Ionic style of architecture, and partly to the cultural propaganda war waged for increased influence between the various Hellenistic kingdoms, and between them and Rome.
In the process, temple architecture was revived, and an extensive number of Greek temples - as well as small-scale structures pseudoperipteros and shrines naiskoi - were erected in southern Asia Minor, Egypt and North Africa. As far as styles went, the restrained Doric style of temple architecture fell completely out of fashion, since Hellenism demanded the more flamboyant forms of the Ionic and Corinthian Orders.
Admired by the Roman architect Vitruvius c. Hellenistic Sculpture Hellenistic Greek sculpture continued the Classical trend towards ever greater naturalism. Animals, as well as ordinary people of all ages, became acceptable subjects for sculpture, which was frequently commissioned by wealthy individuals or families to decorate their homes and gardens.
Sculptors no longer felt obliged to portray men and women as ideals of beauty. In fact, the idealized classical serenity of the fifth and fourth centuries gave way to greater emotionalism, an intense realism, and an almost Baroque-like dramatization of subject matter.
As a result of the spread of Greek culture Hellenizationthere was also much greater demand from the newly established overseas Greek cultural centres in Egypt, Syria, and Turkey for statues and reliefs of Greek Gods, Goddesses and heroic figures for their temples and public areas.
Thus a large market developed in the production and export of Greek sculptureleading to a fall in workmanship and creativity. Also, in their quest for greater expressionism, Greek sculptors resorted to more monumental works, a practice which found its ultimate expression in the Colossus of Rhodes c.
Famous Greek sculptures of the period include: For more information, please see: Hellenistic Statues and Reliefs. For a general comparison, see: For a particular genre, see: For an excellent example of Hellenistic Roman art of the turn of the Millennium, please see the extraordinary marble relief sculptures of the Ara Pacis Augustae c.
For the effect of Greek sculpture on later styles, see: Hellenistic Painting The increased demand for Greek-style sculpture was mirrored by a similar increase in the popularity of Hellenistic Greek paintingwhich was taught and propagated in a number of separate schools, both on the mainland and in the islands.
Regarding subject-matter, Classical favourites such as mythology and contemporary events were superceded by genre paintings, animal studies, still lifes, landscapes and other similar subjects, largely in line with the decorative styles uncovered at Herculaneum and Pompeii 1st century BCE and latermany of which are believed to be copies of Greek originals.
Perhaps the greatest contribution of Hellenist painters was in portrait artnotably the Fayum mummy portraitsdating from the 1st century BCE onwards. These beautifully preserved panel paintings, from the Coptic period - in all, some some works - are the only significant body of art to have survived intact from Greek Antiquity. Found mostly around the Fayum Faiyum Basin in Egypt, these realistic facial portraits were attached to the funeral cloth itself, so as to cover the faces of mummified bodies.
Artistically speaking, the images belong to the Greek style of portraiture, rather than any Egyptian tradition. Greek Tragedy The real tragedy of Greek art is the fact that so much of it has disappeared.
Only a very small number of temples - like the Parthenon and the Temple of Hephaestus - have survived. Similarly, the vast majority of all sculpture has been destroyed.