Greeks (ca. 3000–332 B.C.E.) E truscan art (950 and 300 B.C.E.) Glory of Rome (ca.500 B.C.E.-500 C.E.) Before the days of ancient Rome’s greatness, Italy was the home of a nation called Etruria, whose people we call the Etruscans. Its civilization prospered between 950 and 300 BCE. in northwestern Italy — in a region between the Arno River (which runs through Pisa and Florence) and the Tiber (which runs through Rome). These people rose to prosperity and power, then disappeared, leaving behind many unanswered questions concerning their origin and their culture. Because little Etruscan literature remains and the language of inscriptions on their monuments has been only partially deciphered, scholars have gained most of their knowledge of the Etruscans from studying the remains of their buildings, monuments, vast tombs, and the objects they left behind, notably bronze and terra cotta sculptures and polychrome ceramics.
The Etruscan aristocracy held the keys to power in the Etruscan cities, and was largely made up of rich families of noble descent together with rich merchants and land owners with aspirations to enter the elite social order. Each of the cities in the Etruscan league of twelve, together with the Po Valley cities to the North of Italy were independent states. It may have been the fact that the ruling classes in each city were unwilling to join forces with other city states, that ultimately left the Etruscans vulnerable to attack from the Celts, and later the Romans, leading to the downfall of the civilisation.
The internal walls of Etruscan tombs such as those at Cerveteri and Tarquinii still contain the remains of magnificent murals which give us a considerable insight into the Etruscan way of life. A commonly recurring theme is the banquet, which in the case of the Necropolis paintings, carried a double meaning. For the banquet was also an intrinsic part of the religious ceremony at funerals. After all the formal funeral ceremonies were complete, the relatives of the deceased were treated to a sumptuous banquet, at which the spirit of the departed was believed to attend. In Etruscan daily life, the banquet was very much a status symbol, indicating to all and sundry that the hosts had &quot;arrived&quot; in the estimation of the Etruscan social elite. Certainly in the heyday of the Etruscan league, around the seventh century BCE a wide reaching trading network (the first EEC) had been well established with far flung parts of Europe. Etruscan bronzes have been found as far afield as Hassle in Sweden. Ships loaded with amphorae and the bounties of Etruscan mining and agriculture were traded throughout the Mediterranean and possibly into the Atlantic Ocean as far as Madeira. As a result of all this, life for the rich Etruscans was extremely pleasant. Lavish receptions were laid on, in which the guests; men and women of high social standing, reclined on couches waited on by numerous servants, and were entertained by musicians and dancers swaying to the hypnotic but strident rhythms of music played by Etruscan virtuosos. The tables were covered with elaborately embroidered table cloths, on to which the various dinner courses were arranged. The dishes included generous selections of fish such as Tuna, and meats such as hare, deer and birds (Wild boar was a particular favourite). Grapes were originally native to the Arabian peninsula, but widely grown by the beginning of the first millennium BCE. The Etruscans probably introduced grapes and wine to Italy around the 9th Century BCE.
The basis of Etruscan religion was the fundamental idea that the destiny of man was completely determined by the vagaries of the many deities worshipped by the Etruscans. Every natural phenomenon, such as lightning, the structure of the internal organs of sacrificial animals, or the flight patterns of birds, was therefore an expression of the divine will, and contained a message which could be interpreted by trained priests such as Augurs. Emerging from this basic concept the Rasenna scrupulously followed a complex code of rituals known by the Romans as the &quot;disciplina etrusca&quot;. Even up to the fall of the Roman Empire, the Etruscans were regarded by their contemporaries with great respect for their religion and superstitions. It may have been the fact that Etruscan religious beliefs and practices were so deep-rooted among the Romans that led to the complete destruction of all Etruscan literature as a result of the advent of Christianity. Arnobius, one of the first Christian apologists, living around 300CE, wrote ,&quot;Etruria is the originator and mother of all superstition&quot; .When the Gothic army under Alaric was approaching Rome, the offer made to Pope Innocent I by Etruscan Haruspices was seriously considered by the senate, but finally rejected. The obvious Eastern Greek influence in Etruscan religion and art from the emergence of the civilisation in the 8th Century BCE, can be interpreted either as evidence of the Etruscan origins in Lydia, or as the influence of subsequent Greek settlement in the prosperous region of Etruria. However it is interpreted, the Etruscan religion was fundamentally unique to the region. The Etruscan Religion was, like Christianity and Judaism, a revealed religion. An account of the revelation is given by Cicero(On Divination 2.50) . One day, says the legend, in a field near the river Marta in Etruria, a strange event occurred. A divine being rose up from the newly ploughed furrow, a being with the appearance of a child, but with the wisdom of an old man. The startled cry of the ploughman brought lucomones, the priest kings of Etruria hurrying up to the spot. To them, the wise child chanted the sacred doctrine, which they reverently listened to and wrote down, so that this most precious possession could be passed on to their successors. Immediately after the revelation, the miraculous being fell dead and disappeared into the ploughed field. His name was Tages, and he was believed to be the son of Genius and grandson of the highest God, Tinia (or Jupiter as he became known to the Romans). This doctrine was known to the Romans as the disciplina etrusca, From the writings of the Etruscan haruspex Tarquitius around 90 BCE, we also get a glimpse of the prophesy of the nymph Vegoia (Latinised form of the name). This is bound up in the Gramatici veteres, in a corpus of Roman land surveys, We have a passage in which a divinity, the nymph Vergoia, speaks to Arruns Velturnnus: &quot;You should know that the sea is separated from the earth. When Jupiter claimed the land of Etruria for himself, he decided and commanded the fields to be surveyed and the lands marked out. Knowing the covetousness of man and his worldly greed, he wanted the boundaries of everything to be marked by boundary stones. Those which at any time anyone has placed because of the greed of this eighth - almost the latest - saeculum, arrogating to themselves licence, men with wrongful deceit will violate, touch and move. But if anyone touches or moves a boundary stone, extending his own possessions or diminishing those of someone else, for this crime he will be condemned by the gods. If slaves shall do this, they shall be moved to a lower status by their owner. But if this is done with the knowledge of the master, the household will be immediately uprooted, and the whole of his family will perish. The people responsible will be afflicted by the worst diseases and wounds and their limbs will be weakened. Then even the land will be shaken by storms or whirlwinds and many landslips. The crops will be frequently laid low and cut down by rain and hail, they will perish in the heat of the summer, they will be killed off by blight. There will be civil strife amongst the people. Know that these things happen, when such crimes are committed. Therefore do not be either a deceitful or treacherous. Place restraint in your heart. ...&quot; .
The Etruscans believed in predestination. Although a postponement is sometimes possible by means of prayer and sacrifice, the end is certain. According to the libri fatales as described by Censorinus , Man had allocated to him a cycle of seven times twelve years. Anyone who lived beyond these years, lost the ability to understand the signs of the Gods. The Etruscans also believed the existence of their people was also limited by a timescale fixed by the gods. According to the doctrine, ten saecula were allotted to the Etruscan name. This proved very accurate, and it is often said that the Etruscan people predicted their own downfall.
Among theories about the Etruscans' origins are the possibilities that they migrated from Greece , or from somewhere beyond Greece. Perhaps they traveled down from the Alps. Or, as their pre-Indo-European language might suggest, they may have been a people indiginous to today's Tuscany who suddenly acquired the tools for rapid development. The uncertainty is held unresolved. Theirs was an area of good farmland, forests and mineral resources, all of which the Etruscans exploited skillfully. In time, they became traders, their mariners often doubling up as pirates. And as wealth grew, a social pecking order followed, with a powerful aristocracy living in stone palaces and their serfs occupying wooden huts. Theirs was not, however, a centralized society dominated by a single leader or a single imperial city. Rather, towns and hill-top villages (many of which survive to this day, albeit with few traces of their Etruscan origins) appear to have enjoyed considerable autonomy. But they spoke the same language, which also existed in a written form. Further, their religious rituals, military practices and social customs were largely similar. For their Greek contemporaries and Roman successors, the Etruscans were clearly a different ethnic group. Cremation and the burial of ashes in clay urns was a common practice in this area before the advent of the Etruscan era. Among the objects we have that tell us much about the Etruscans are their cinerary urns.
The Etruscans went on to lay the foundation of the city of Rome, to clear the shepherds huts which once littered the Palatine Hill, to drain the swamps and transform what had been a collection of tribal sheep herders into a true city which would eventually dominate large tracts of Europe, Asia and North Africa alike. From the Etruscans came writing, and Roman history was born in the true sense.
Classicism describes a style of creative expression marked by clarity, simplicity, balance, and harmonious proportion – features associated with moderation, rationalism, and dignity. Pythagoras – tried to show that the order of the universe could be understood by observing proportion (both geometric and numerical) in nature. Vitruvius – a roman, who recorded many of the aesthetic principles and structural techniques of the ancient Greeks. In defining the classical canon, he advised that the construction of a building and the relationship between its parts must imitate the proportions of the human body. Without proportion, the correspondence between the various pars of the whole, there can be no design. And without design there can be no art. Humanism, realism, and idealism Black- and red-figured vase painting
refines nature in a process of idealization, While proportion and order are two guiding principles of the classical style, other features informed Greek classicism from earliest times. One of these is humanism. Greek art is said to be humanistic not only because it observes fundamental laws derived from the human physique, but because it focuses so consistently on the actions of human beings. Greek art is fundamentally realistic, that is, faithful to nature; but it refines nature in a process of idealization, that is, the effort to achieve a perfection that surpasses nature. Humanism, realism, and idealism are hallmarks of Greek art.
Because almost all Greek frescoes have disappeared, decorated vases are our main source of information about Greek painting. Above – Scenes from a warrior’s funeral dominate the upper register of a krater; the funeral procession, with horse drawn chariots, occupies the lower register.
In the 8th century BC, large-scale ceramic vessels were produced as grave markers. As these were originally decorated with just repeated angular patterns, the style became known as &quot;Geometric&quot; art. As time went by, small portions of the vessel might be filled with simple stick-figure people, often attending a funeral. The first image here is a funeray amphora, almost 6 feet tall, with a detail in the second image. The third image is a cross-section of the types of graves in which these vessels are found, showing their placement.
Scenes from mythology, literature and everyday life, came to inhabit the central zone of the vase. The primary technique of Archaic vase-painting (derived from the Geometric style) is known as the black-figure vase-painting technique. The first example below shows one of the very early examples, still somewhat rough and sketchy, but the second example shows the fully-developed technique. Note how the major figures are painted primarily with black paint (with a few details added in other colors) on a red-orange colored clay vessel. This does not necessarily mean that the people were black-skinned - it was merely the standard of this style of painting. Notice also that only the male figure is all black, and the two females on either side have their skin areas painted in white
The primary technique of Archaic vase-painting (derived from the Geometric style) is known as the black-figure vase-painting technique. The first example below shows one of the very early examples, still somewhat rough and sketchy, but the second example shows the fully-developed technique. Note how the major figures are painted primarily with black paint (with a few details added in other colors) on a red-orange colored clay vessel. This does not necessarily mean that the people were black-skinned - it was merely the standard of this style of painting. Notice also that only the male figure is all black, and the two females on either side have their skin areas painted in white
Amphora (greek vessel to hold wine or oil, both wearing traditional Greek and greaves (leg armor worn below the knee) Protected by handheld shields and one soldier is armed with a short sword, the other with a spear
the Greeks began to include mythical creatures like griffins (part lion and part bird) and sphinxes (part lion and part woman). During the Archaic Period, Greek art was influenced by art from other areas of the world. This is because the Greeks were trading goods with neighboring areas. They were also setting up colonies to their east and west. Contact with other cultures allowed Greeks to learn to cut gemstones for jewelry, work with metals, and carve ivory.
Artist replace the black-figured style with one in which the human body was left the color of the clay and the ground was painted black. By the Classical period (480-323 B.C.E.), artists had replaced the black-figured style with one in which the human body was left the color of the clay and the ground was painted black (Figure 2.6). They refined their efforts to position figures and objects to complement the shape of the vessel. However, a newly developed red-figured style allowed artists to delineate physical details on the buff-colored surface, thereby making the human form appear more lifelike. Although still flattened and aligned side by side, figures are posed naturally. Realism, that is, fidelity to nature, has overtaken the decorative aspect of the Geometric and Archaic styles. At the same time, artists of the Classical period moved toward aesthetic idealism.
The legendary warrior and Trojan ally, Sarpedon, was killed by Patroclus in the course of the war. He is shown being carried from the battlefield by the winged figures of Hypnos (sleep) and Thanatos (Death). Central to the lyrically balanced composition is the figure of Hermes, messenger of the gods, who guides the dead to the underworld. the Euphronios krater. A stunningly beautiful vase by one of the greatest artists of ancient Greece, it came to the Met under dubious circumstances in 1972 — court records say it had been excavated by a gang of tomb robbers in Italy. After a long, embarrassing fight, the museum sent the krater back to Italy last January, which then displayed it as part of an exhibition called “Nostoi,” a nod to the ancient Greek epic about the heroes’ return from the Trojan war.
Socrates is noted for having described the idealizing process: He advised the painter Parrhasius that he must reach beyond the flawed world of appearances by selecting and combining the most beautiful details of many different models. The artist must simplify the subject matter, free it of incidental detail, and impose the accepted canon of proportion to achieve the ideal form. Accordingly, the art object will surpass the imperfect and transient objects of sensory experience. Like Plato's Ideal Forms, the artist's imitations of reality are lifelike in appearance, but they improve upon sensory reality to achieve absolute perfection. Among the Greeks, as it had been among the Egyptians, conception played a large part in the process of making art; with the Greeks, however, the created object was no longer a static sign, but a dynamic reconstruction of the physical world.
New emphasis on personal emotion & individuality gave rise to portraits that were more intimate and less idealized.
Nowhere is the Greek affection for the natural beauty of the human body so evident as in Hellenic sculpture, where the male nude form assumed landmark importance as a subject. Freestanding Greek sculptures fulfilled the same purpose as Egyptian and Mesopotamian votive statues: They paid perpetual homage to the gods. They also served as cult statues, funerary monuments, and memorials designed to honor the victors of the athletic games. Since athletes both trained and competed in the nude, representation of the unclothed body was completely appropriate. Ultimately, however, the centrality of the nude in Greek art reflects the Hellenic regard for the human body as nature's perfect creation. (The fig leaves that cover the genitals of some Greek sculptures are additions dating from the Christian era.)
As in painting, so in sculpture, the quest for realism was offset by the will to idealize form. Achieving the delicate balance between real and ideal was a slow process, one that had its beginnings early in Greek history. During the Archaic phase of Greek sculpture, freestanding representations of the male youth (kouros) still resembled the blocklike statuary of ancient Egypt (see Figure 2.8). A kouros from Attica is rigidly posed, with arms close to its sides and its body weight distributed equally on both feet (see Figure 2.7).
THE SCULPTURED MALE FORM Greece was probably in close commercial Contact with ancient Egypt, which provided the model for the sculptured male form. The rigidity seen in both Archaic Greek statuary (Figure 2.17) and the earlier Egyptian imagery (Figure 2.18) may derive from efforts to carve organic forms out of rigid wooden tree trunks and obdurate blocks of stone. Details freed from the stone such as the nose, the genitalia, and the fingers were easily broken off, as we know from the remains of many Greek statues. Figure 2.7 (left) Dipylon Master, New York Kouros, from Attica, ca. 600 B.C.E. Marble, height 6 ft. 4 ih. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Figure 2.8 (right) Standing figure of Sepa, from Saqquara, Egypt, third dynasty, 2700-2620 B.C.E. Limestone with traces of paint, height 5 ft. 5 in. Louvre, Paris.
By definition, Kore (maiden) refers to statues depicting female figures, always of a young age, which were created during the Archaic period (600 – 480 BCE) either as votive or commemorative statues. Wealthy patrons commissioned them either to serve the deities in place of the patron, or as less often was the case, to become commemorative grave markers for members of a family. Many times their base (and sometimes on their dress) was inscribed with a short paragraph documenting the statue’s function, the patron, and the artist. According to the most accepted interpretations of the archaeological evidence, Kore statues never represented deities. Korai statues are the female equivalent of Kouros. There are several distinct differences between the two, with the most significant one being the fact that Kouros statues were almost always portrayed in the nude, while Kore were always clothed. Consequently, when studying the statues, we tend to focus on the development of anatomy in Kouros, and on the development of the dress for the Kore along with the facial expression. Most of the Kore statues are either life-size or a little smaller, and were developed with the same techniques and proportional conventions as the Kouros equivalents of the same era. With Kore statues, the human anatomy is acknowledged under the clothes but it is not emphasized. Instead, the lines of the drapery form smooth shapes that flow with ease creating a serene, almost hypnotic aura, which is duly complemented by the usual peaceful facial expression and the relative motionless body.
One fine example of early Kouros is the Calf Bearer. The statue is unique in that it does not depict a single figure, nor a group of figures, but a man and a calf closely bound in an exquisite composition. The arrangement guided the sculptor to depict the arms crossed across the chest of the man as he holds the calf’s legs in a large “X”. The calf is naturally settled by its weight on the man’s shoulder as it turns its head to face the viewer. While the statue is defined with the typical geometric planes of the Archaic era, certain areas of the figure are rendered in a much more smooth manner as the muscles of the forearms are described in stone. Produced some fifty years after the Attica kouros, the Calf-Bearer is more gently and more realistically modeled— note especially the abdominal muscles and the sensitively carved bull calf. The hollow eyes of the shepherd once held inlays of semiprecious stones (mother-of-pearl, gray agate, and lapis lazuli) that would have given the face a strikingly realistic appearance. Such lifelike effects were enhanced by the brightly colored paint (now almost gone) that enlivened the lips, hair, and other parts of the figure.
1.movement & plot 2.more realistic 3.abdominal muscles & bull calf 4.eyes:once inlaid with pearls
The Kritios boy belongs to the Late Archaic period and is considered the precursor to the later classical sculptures of athletes. The Kritios or Kritian boy was thus named because it is believed to be the creation of Krito, the teacher of Myron, from around 480 BCE. The statue is made of marble and is considerably smaller than life-size at 1.17 m (3 ft 10 ins). With the Kritios Boy the Greek artist has mastered a complete understanding of how the different parts of the body act as a system. The statue supports its body on one leg, the left, whiles the right one is bent at the knee in a relaxing state. This stance forces a chain of anatomical events as the pelvis is pushed diagonally upwards on the left side, the right buttock relaxes, the spine acquires an “S” curve, and the shoulder line dips on the left to counteract the action of the pelvis (contra-posto). The Kritios Boy exhibits a number of other critical innovations that distinguish it from the Archaic Kouroi that paved its way. The muscular and skeletal structure are depicted with unforced life-like accuracy, with the rib cage naturally expanded as if in the act of breathing, with a relaxed attitude and hips which are distinctly narrower. As a final fore bearer of the classical period, the “smile” of Archaic statues has been completely replaced by the accurate rendering of the lips and the austere expression that characterized the transitional, or “Severe” period from the Archaic to the Classical era.
Although the Doryphoros represents a warrior poised for battle, he does not don a suit of armor or any other protective gear. In fact, were it not for the actual spear that that statue originally held, it would have been difficult to identify him as such. A hallmark of classical Greek sculpture, male nudity or nakedness was understood as a marker of civilization that separated the Greeks from their “barbarian” neighbors. Many of the most influential Greeks of this period, including artists, writers, philosophers, and politicians, were obsessed with the notion that one should strive for perfection while recognizing that such perfection was unattainable. The face of the Doryphoros is devoid of individual features, which suggests that he is meant to represent an idealized version of the everyman, the perfect Greek male citizen (women were not citizens). Yet, his body—proportional, balanced, naked, strong, and exuding confidence—is one that the viewer might aspire to achieve, but never could.
By the mid-fifth century B.C.E., Greek sculptors had arrived at the natural positioning of the human body that would characterize the classical style: The human torso turns on the axis of the spine, and the weight of the body shifts from equal distribution on both legs to greater weight on the left leg-a kind of balanced opposition that is at once natural and graceful. (This counterpositioning would be called contrapposto by Italian Renaissance artists.) The muscles are no longer geometrically schematized, but protrude subtly at anatomical junctures. And the face is no longer smiling, but instead solemn and contemplative. The new poised stance, along with a complete mastery of human anatomy and proportion, are features of the High Classical style that flourished between ca. 480 and 400 B.C.E. At mid-century, Polycleitus brought that style to perfection with the Doryphorus (Spear-Bearer; Figure 2.20). Known today only by way of Roman copies, the Doryphorus is widely regarded as the embodiment of the canon of ideal human proportions. The figure, who once held a spear in his left hand, strides forward in a manner that unites motion and repose, energy and poise, male confidence and grace-the qualities of the ideal warrior-athlete.
Tall and poised, with small breast and broad hips. The evolution of the classical female figure (kore) underwent a somewhat different course from that of the male. Early korai were fully clothed and did not appear in the nude until the fourth century B.C.E. Female statues of the Archaic period were ornamental, columnar, and (like their male counterparts) smiling. Not until the Late Classical Age (400-323 B.C.E.) did Greek sculptors arrive at the sensuous female nudes that so inspired Hellenistic, Roman, and (centuries later) Renaissance artists. The Aphrodite of Knidos (Figure 2.9) by Praxiteles established a model for the ideal female nude: tall and poised, with small breasts and broad hips. Regarded by the Romans as the finest statue in the world, Praxiteles' goddess of love exhibits a subtle counterposition of shoulders and hips, smooth body curves, and a face that bears a dreamy, melting gaze. She is distinguished by the famous Praxitelean technique of carving that coaxed a translucent shimmer from the fine white marble.
Figure 2.9 Praxiteles, Aphrodite of Knidos, Roman copy of Greek original of ca. 350 B.C.E. Marble, height 6 ft. 8 in. Vatican Museums, Rome. This celebrated female nude is a Roman copy of a lost Greek original. The bar bracing the hip, probably added to give support to the freestanding marble figure, suggests that the original may have been executed in bronze (where no such support would have been needed). There exist today some sixty versions of this famous classical icon, ranging from full-sized statues to miniature figures.
This larger-than-life sculpture of Zeus (or possibly Poseidon) was made in bronze circa 460 - 450 B.C.E. It is 2.09 m (6' 10.5&quot;) high and 2.10 m (6' 10.75&quot;) fingertip to fingertip. It was found in the sea near Cape Artemisio. It is housed at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Greece. There is some debate whether or not this sculpture depicts Zeus or Poseidon, but I think the most important aspect of this work is that it depicts a god in purely human form. It was most likely carved by a master craftsman (possibly Kalamis) using an Olympian athlete as a model. The muscles, the beard, the genitalia are all perfectly masculine and human . The gods interacted with the Greeks with their petty jealousies and arrogances - that is, their human frailties - fully intact. It has been said that the Greeks' interest in the gods was really only as an exploration of the human - the human psyche, the human body, the human soul. The name Zeus became Deus in Roman Latin and later Diós , or &quot;God&quot; in Spanish, giving us an explanation for words such as adiós : literally &quot;to Zeus.&quot; We have the same sort of farewell in English with goodbye , a contracted form of &quot;God be with you.“ There is little to distinguish man from god in the bronze statue of Zeus (or Poseidon) hurling a weapon (Figure 2.21). The work of an unknown sculptor, there is little to distinguish man from god. This nude, which conveys the majesty and physical vitality of a mighty Greek deity, might just as well represent a victor of the Olympic Games. The Greeks were the first to employ the ancient lost-wax method of bronze-casting for large-sized artworks. This sophisticated technique allowed artists to depict more vigorous physical action and to include greater detail than was possible in the more restrictive medium of marble. Dynamically posed-the length of the arms is deliberately exaggerated-the figure appears fixed at the decisive moment just before the action, when every muscle in the body is tensed, ready to achieve the mark. The sculptor has also idealized the physique in the direction of geometric clarity. Hence the muscles of the stomach are indicated as symmetrical trapezoids, and the strands of the hair and beard assume a distinctive pattern of parallel wavy lines.
Myron Discobolus (Discus Thrower), Myron was an ancient Greek sculptor working during the 5th Century BC. He is most famous for his bronze sculptures of athletes caught in a moment of action, though he did also produce statues of gods and heroes. His sculptures are notable for their sense of life and movement, for the realism captured in the athletes’ tensed bodies, and for their innovation of stance and posture. His work was greatly admired by the Greeks and Romans, and he has long been considered one of the great masters of classical art. The Discobolus ( Discus Thrower ) Myron’s most famous bronze sculpture is the Discobolus ( Discus Thrower ), a statue portraying an athlete caught mid-swing as he prepares to throw his discus. What makes the statue so unique and captivating is the specific moment Myron has chosen to depict. The discus thrower has been captured in the momentary pause between two actions – back swing and forwards throw. By choosing this particular snapshot of the action, Myron has gone further than simply exploring motion in his statue. With the Discobolus, he has managed to capture two separate and opposite movements, as well as to create a sense of potential motion in the tensed body. The statue looks as if it is merely pausing, about to burst into life at any moment. The statue’s composition also creates an interesting balance of opposites. The athlete’s arms and left foot create a neat curve down one side, broken by the jagged edges and right angles of his back and legs on the other. His chest faces towards the viewer while his legs are seen from the side. The top half of the statue is smooth and open; the bottom half closed and angular. The Discobolus is a statue that strives to break from any kind of symmetry, and in the process creates its own unique sense of balance and beauty. Few bronze sculptures survived the High Classical era, but some of the most treasured works come to us in marble copies made by the Romans. One such masterpiece is the Discobolus (Discus Thrower), originally executed in bronze by Myron around 450 B.C.E. Like the Zeus, the Discobolus captures the crucial moment in which intellect guides the impending physical action: here, the flight of the discus from the athlete's hand. Composed as a complex of two intersecting arcs (one created by the arms and shoulders, the other by the curve of the body from head to knee), the figure tempers physical vigor with reasoned restraint.
A careful study of Greek statuary from the Archaic through the Late Classical Age reflects increasing refinements to realism and idealism: All imperfections (wrinkles, warts, blemishes) have been purged in favor of a radiant flawlessness. The classical nude is neither very old nor very young, neither very thin nor very fat. He or she is eternally youthful, healthy, serene, dignified, and liberated from all accidents of nature. This synthesis of humanism, realism, and idealism in the representation of the freestanding nude was one of Greek art's great achievements. Indeed, the Hellenic conception of the nude defined the standard of beauty in Western art for centuries. The classical conception of beauty has had a profound influence on Western cultural expression. Its mark is most visible in the numerous neoclassical revivals that have flourished over the centuries, beginning with the Renaissance in Italy.
gave rise to portraits that were more intimate and less idealized. Apollo Belvedere, Roman copy of a Greek original, late fourth century B.C.E. Marble, height 7 ft. 4 in. Vatican Museums, Rome. The Apollo Belvedere became the symbol of classical beauty for artists of the High Renaissance, as well as for later neoclassicists, one of whom called it &quot;the most sublime of all the statues of antiquity.“ In freestanding Hellenistic sculpture, the new emphasis on personal emotion and individuality gave rise to portraits that were more intimate and less idealized than those of Hellenic Greece. A marble portrait of Alexander manifests the new effort to capture fleeting mood and momentary expression (Figure 2.15). Hellenistic art is also notable for its sensuous male and female nudes, and fondness for erotic expression is especially evident in works carved in the tradition of Praxiteles. A landmark example of the new sensuousness is the male nude statue known as the Apollo Belvedere (Figure 2.16). A comparison of this figure with its Hellenic counterpart, the Spear-Bearer reveals a subtle move away from High Classical austerity to a more animated, feminized, and self-conscious figural style. One of the most popular icons of classical beauty, this Roman copy of a Hellenistic work was destined to exercise a major influence in Western art from the moment it was recovered in Rome in 1503.
One of the major discoveries of the Italian Renaissance, this sculptural grouping was lost for centuries but found in 1506 near Rome, by a farmer plowing a field in the ruins of Titus' palace. It depicts an event in Vergil's Aeneid (Book 2). Michelangelo (1475-1564) had been in Rome twice, (1505-06) to start work on the Tomb of Pope Julius II; on that visit he and the pope, upon hearing the news of the Laocoön discovery, rode by horseback through the countyside of Rome, to witness the unearthing of the ancient Laocoön Group. Realizing that the sculpture was indeed the long lost famous Laocoön, it was mounted on a special wagon and brought back into Rome with a traditional hero¹s welcome. Along with the city turning out for the 'ticker tape parade',there were three days of citywide celebrations. One of the major discoveries of the Italian Renaissance, this sculptural grouping was found in Rome in 1506 in the ruins of Titus' palace. It depicts an event in Vergil's Aeneid (Book 2). The Trojan priest Laocoön was strangled by sea snakes, sent by the gods who favored the Greeks, while he was sacrificing at the altar of Neptune. Because Laocoön had tried to warn the Trojan citizens of the danger of bringing in the wooden horse, he incurred the wrath of the gods. The theatricality and emphasis on emotional intensity is typically Hellenistic Greek--often called &quot;Baroque&quot; as well. Note the writhing serpents, one of whom bites Laocoön's left leg, and pained expressions. The furrowed brow and open-mouthed pain would be copied by Bernini and Caravaggio in the seventeenth century. Hellenistic artists broadened the range of subjects to include young children and old, even deformed, people. Refining the long tradition of technical virtuosity, they introduced new carving techniques that produced dynamic contrasts of light and dark, dramatic displays of vigorous movement, and a wide range of expressive details. All of these features characterize the monumental Laocoön and his Sons (Figure 2.17). This sculpture recreates the dramatic moment, famous in Greek legend, when Laocoön, the Trojan priest of Apollo, and his two sons succumb to the strangling attack of sea serpents sent by gods friendly to the Greeks to punish Laocoön for his effort to warn the Trojans of the Greek ruse—the wooden horse filled with the Achaean soldiers that would destroy Troy, bringing an end to the Trojan War. The writhing limbs, strained muscles, and anguished expressions of the doomed figures contribute to a sense of turbulence and agitation that sharply departs from the dignified restraint of Hellenic art. Indeed, Laocoön is the landmark of an age in which classical idealism had already become part of history.
The Venus de Milo was discovered on April 8, 1820 on the Aegean island of Melos, then a backwater under the indifferent rule of the Ottoman Turks but subject politically to the influence of France. Indeed, Olivier Voutier, an ensign in the French navy, whose warship had been idling in port, was searching for Greek antiquities when a local farmer, while removing stones from an ancient wall nearby, uncovered the statue. It was found in several pieces--a nude upper torso, a draped lower body, and part of the right hip that allowed both parts to be fitted together without toppling over. The arms, too, were missing but Voutier was convinced that the sculpture was a masterpiece and hurriedly returned with the local vice-consul to persuade him to buy it. The farmer had continued to dig and found a hand holding an apple, two herms standing on inscribed bases, and a fragment of an upper arm. The Venus arrived in Paris and was offered to Louis XVIII on March 1, 1821. (So obese was the king that it would be almost a year before he actually saw it.) Placed in the Louvre, its restoration would be supervised by the comte de Forbin. He had become director in 1816, the same year that the British parliament had voted to purchase the marbles (designed by Pheidias) taken from the pediment of the Parthenon by Lord Elgin. The year before, after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, the Apollo Belvedere had been returned to the Vatican (although, a few years later, it would prove to be a Roman copy) and the Venus de' Medici to Florence. For the pride of France, the Venus de Milo had to rival the recent acquisition by the British Museum and compensate for those works of art reclaimed from the Louvre.
Made around 240 and 190 BCE, perhaps by Pythokritos of Rhodes. In 1863 it was found by M. Champoiseau in several pieces. It means ''Victory'' in Greek. The name is used by a modern company producing running shoes and other athletic wear. The Goddess Nike Nike is the Greek goddess of victory. According to legend, in the Battle of Marathon, news of the the successful battle by the Greeks was sent by messenger back to their home city, 26 miles away (the origin of the marathon). The messenger was so exhausted when he got there that he said one word: &quot;Nike!&quot;(Victory) and then died from dehydration and exertion. Further in Greek myth, when Zeus was gaining allies in the Titan War, Styx brought her four children, of which Nike (Victory) is one, the others being Zelos (Rivalry), Kratos (Strength) and Bia (Force). Nike was appointed his charioteer, and all four were appointed as sentinels standing beside the throne of the god. Beyond this Nike never acquired any distinctive mythology of her own. Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_Nike_mean#ixzz1ZqERqJui
The island of Samothrace is located in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Thrace, in north-eastern Greece. The island is a tall mountain that rises above the waves. On its northern side, in a gully carved by a torrent at the foot of the mountain, is a very ancient sanctuary dedicated to the Great Gods or Kabeirol. In March 1863, Charles Champoiseau, temporary French vice-consul in Adrianople – modern-day Edirne, in Turkey – set out to explore the ruins. He was a keen amateur archaeologist, and hoped to find some attractive relics for the imperial museum in Paris. On April 15, 1863, workers excavating the far end of the terrace overlooking the sanctuary to the west uncovered various parts of a large female statue. They continued digging to find the head and arms, but in vain. They did, however, find numerous small fragments of drapery and feathers, leading Champoiseau to the correct conclusion that the statue represented the goddess Victory. He sent the statue and the fragments to France, where they arrived at the Louvre a year later, on May 11, 1864. After careful restoration work, the main block, consisting of the legs and lower torso, was put on display in 1866. Alongside the statue, Champoiseau had discovered the ruins of a small building and a pile of large blocks of grey marble. He left them in place, thinking they were part of a tomb. In 1875, the architect of the Austrian archaeological mission working on the Samothrace sanctuary examined the blocks, producing drawings of them. He concluded that correctly assembled, they would form the prow of a ship constituting the base for a statue. He thought of Greek coins he had seen dating from the reign of Demetrius Poliorcetes, depicting Victory standing on the prow of a ship. Champoiseau heard about this discovery in 1879, and set about having the blocks from the prow sent to Paris, along with the slabs from the pedestal beneath. The first attempt to put the two parts together in the courtyard of the Louvre proved they were on the right track.
Félix Ravaisson Mollien, the then curator in charge of Antiquities, considered recreating the complete monument, following the model suggested by the Austrian team. The main features of this were as follows: the right side of the marble torso was placed in position on the body, the left side and the belt were recreated in plaster. The left wing was put together from several marble fragments and strengthened at the back by a metal frame before being put in place. As only two fragments of the right wing survived, it was replaced by a mirror-image cast of the left wing. Only the head, arms, and feet were not remodeled. The statue was placed directly on the ship, whose blocks were shaped and the gaps filled. Neither the ornamentation on the prow nor the rams were recreated. The restoration work was completed in 1884. The monument was placed at the top of the recently completed Daru staircase, creating a spectacular visual effect. To heighten the visual impact yet further, a modern block was added between the statue and its base during renovations in 1934.
The mythical followers of Dionysus, known as maenads (or bacchantes), were said to roam the forests singing and dancing with ecstatic abandon. This barefoot maenad holds a thyrsus, a fennel stalk ornamented with berries and ivy leaves, symbolic of vegetation and fertility The movement of the dance is suggested by the swaying motion of her diaphanous draperies.
Rosettes of gold filigree and enamel-colored buds ornament the couples of looped chains that hang from the disk. that shows Athena wearing a helmet bearing a sphinx, deer and griffin heads, and an elaborate triple crest . From Athena’s shoulders snakes spring forth, and by her head stands an owl (the symbol of wisdom) – both motifs recalling the powers of the Minoan priestess.
The English word music derives from muse, the Greek word describing any of the nine mythological daughters of Zeus and the goddess of memory. According to Greek mythology, the muses presided over the arts and the sciences. Pythagoras observed that music was governed by mathematical ratios and therefore constituted both a science and an art. As was true of the other arts, music played a major role in Greek life. However, we know almost as little about how Greek music sounded as we do in the cases of Egyptian or Sumerian music. The ancient Greeks did not invent a system of notation with which to record instrumental or vocal sounds. Apart from written and visual descriptions of musical performances, there exist only a few fourth-century-B.C.E. treatises on music theory and some primitively notated musical works. The only complete piece of ancient Greek music that has survived is an ancient song found chiseled on a first-century-B.C.E. gravestone. It reads: &quot;So long as you live, be radiant, and do not grieve at all. Life's span is short and time exacts the final reckoning.&quot; Both vocal and instrumental music were commonplace, and contests between musicians, like those between playwrights, were a regular part of public life. Vase paintings reveal that the principal musical instruments of ancient Greece were the lyre, the kithara—both belonging to the harp family and differing only in shape, size, and number of strings (Figure 2.14)-and the aulos, a flute or reed pipe. Along with percussion devices often used to accompany dancing, these string and wind instruments were probably inherited from Egypt. From earliest times, music was believed to hold magical powers and therefore exercise great spiritual influence. Greek and Roman mythology describes gods and heroes who used music to heal or destroy. Following Pythagoras, who equated musical ratios with the unchanging cosmic order, many believed that music might put one &quot;in tune with&quot; the universe. The planets, which Pythagoras described as a series of spheres moving at varying speeds in concentric orbits around the earth, were said to produce a special harmony, the so-called music of the spheres. The Greeks believed, moreover, that music had a moral influence. This argument, often referred to as the &quot;Doctrine of Ethos,&quot; held that some modes strengthened the will, whereas others undermined it and thus damaged the development of moral character. In the Republic, Plato encouraged the use of the Dorian mode, which settled the temper and inspired courage, but he condemned the Lydian mode, which aroused sensuality. Because of music's potential for affecting character and mood, both Plato and Aristotle recommended that the types of music used in the education of young children be regulated by law. As with other forms of classical expression, music was deemed essential to the advancement of the individual and the well-being of the community.
The Berlin painter, red-figure amphora, ca. 490 B.C.E. Terra-cotta, height of vase 163/8 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Accompanying himself on the kithara (the larger counterpart of the lyre), the young man sings ecstatically. The lyre was the primary instrument for the cult of Apollo. Inseparable from music, dance played an important role in communal ceremonial rites and in theatrical presentations. Dance was prized for its moral value, as well as for its ability to give pleasure and induce good health. For Plato the uneducated man was a &quot;danceless&quot; man. Both Plato and Aristotle advised that children be instructed at an early age in dancing. However, both men distinguished noble dances from ignoble ones-Dionysian and comic dances, for instance. These they considered unfit for Athenian citizens and therefore inappropriate to the educational curriculum. Nevertheless, the scantily-clad dancing maenad, a cult follower of Dionysus, was a favorite symbol of revelry in ancient Greece.
one of a few known female poets of the ancient world. She was an aristocrat who married a prosperous merchant. Her wealth afforded her with the opportunity to live her life as she chose, and she chose to spend it studying the arts on the isle of Lesbos. An aristocrat, married and had a daughter. Settled on The island of Lesbos, where she led a group of young women dedicated to the cult of Aphrodite. At Lesbos, she trained women it the production of love poetry and music. Her homoerotic attachment to the women of Lesbos as reflect the realities of ancient Greek culture, in which bisexuality and homosexuality were commonplace both in life and as subject mater.
Designed by the architects Ictinus and Kallicrates Sculpture by Phidias Commissioned by Pericles, who freely drew on (Delian League) funds to restore the wooden temples burned by the Persians during their attack on Athens in 480 b.c.e. Greek architects used no mortar. Rather they employed bronze clamps and dowels to fasten the individually cut marble segments.
Chryselephantine statue of Athena The Parthenon’s main function was to provide shelter for the monumental chryselephantine (made of gold and ivory) statue of Athena that was created by Pheidias and dedicated in 438 BCE. The statue stood approximately 9 or 11 meters (around 40 ft.) tall. It has not survived to our day, but we have enough accounts of its existence along with a number of smaller marble copies, including the one on exhibit at the National Museum of Athens. Athena stands holding a Nike (Victory) on her right hand that extends forward from the elbow, as if offering Nike to the Athenian citizens. With her left hand she supports her shield which shelters a snake as it rests on the ground, and her lance that rests on her left shoulder.She is dressed with an Attica peplos, and on her head she wears a richly decorated helmet with a sphinx at the apex and two Pegasi on each side. Her breastplate is adorned with snakes and the head of Medusa at the center. The statue was a hollow construction with a wooden armature that supported the outer surfaces of the golden drapery, and the ivory flesh of Athena. The statue was situated close to the south end of the cella and was surrounded by a procession of double-decked Doric columns on its flanks as well as the back. The floor of the cella in front of it was a shallow pool of water or oil, which added further drama to the statue’s context with its reflective surface.
Alexander the Great Alexander the Great became King of Macedonia when his father was assassinated in 336BC. King Philip had conquered most of the Greek peninsula. The Greeks believed they could free themselves of Macedonia rule, since the new king was a “mere boy.” Alexander proved them wrong by capturing the city of Thebes. He destroyed the entire city as a warning to the others. Alexander then conquered Persia, the longtime enemy of Greece, and the mightiest empire in the world. Alexander was a military genius, possibly the greatest warrior of all time. His troops were better trained and organized than the Persian army. His soldiers also admired Alexander because of his personal courage. Alexander led his soldiers in battle instead of remaining behind the lines. The troops saw that Alexander was sharing their danger, and was not asking them to take any risks he would not take himself. Once he conquered the Persians, Alexander quickly assembled a huge empire. In 332BC, he moved south to Egypt, where he rested his troops. The Egyptians welcomed Alexander as a hero because he freed them from harsh Persian rule. They crowned him Pharaoh and declared him a god. Alexander eventually created an empire that reached India. Aristotle taught him that the Greeks were the most advanced people in the world, and that all other cultures were barbarians. Once he defeated the Persians, he came to see them very differently. He saw that many Persians were intelligent people and were worthy of his respect. Alexander accepted many Persians into his army and married the daughter of a Persian king. In 323BC, when Alexander was only thirty-three years old, he fell ill from a fever and died a week later. Alexander had created a huge empire in less than thirteen years, but it quickly crumbled. Alexander’s mother, wives, and children were all killed in the struggle for power that followed his death. In the end, his empire was divided among his generals in three parts. Alexander changed the world, but not through his accomplishments on the battlefield. Alexander carried the ideas of the Greeks and their love of learning throughout his empire. He founded the great city of Alexandria, which became a center of learning and culture in Egypt. A library in Alexandria housed the accumulated knowledge of the Greeks. This would become very important in the centuries that followed because Greece and Rome would fall to barbarian tribes who could not read.
At daughter’s wedding celebration by one of his 7 body guards Assassin tripped over vine and was killed
4 th cen. B.C.E. was a turbulent era marked by rivalry and warfare among the Greek city-states. The failure of the Greek city-states to live in peace would lead of the spread of Hellenic culture. The word Hellenistic is a modern word and a 19th Century concept, the idea of a Hellenistic Period did not exist in Ancient Greece. In the mid-19th Century, J. G. Droysen coined the term Hellenistic to be defined as the period when Greek culture spread in the non-Greek world after Alexander’s conquest. The major issue with the term Hellenistic lies in its convenience, as the spread of Greek culture was not the generalized phenomenon that the term implies. Some areas of the conquered world were more affected by the Greek and especially Macedonian influences than others. The term Hellenistic also implies that the Greek populations were of majority in the areas in which they settled, while in many cases, the Greek settlers were actually the minority amongst the native populations. The Greek population and the native population did not mix; the Greeks moved and brought their own culture, but interaction did not always occur.
Tamed untameable horse Wanted to be like Achilles his hero Philip agreed to rebuild Aristotle's hometown, which he had razed, and to repopulate it by buying and freeing the ex-citizens who were slaves, or pardoning those who were in exile
Phalanx was 16 men deep, used 4-meter-long spears
Do not take Alexander seriously Persians had greater numbers
both have 30 000 Famous mosaic found in italy Never grew facial hair so it would not be pulled in battle
Phoenicia (source of ships and sailors) Damascus (takes Persian war treasury) Egypt (crowned Pharoah) In egypt, egyptians see him as liberator, welcome him and crown him pharoah Travels to the desert to see oracle – tells him he is a god, the son of ra Starts thinking he is invincible, develops a god complex
Enormous army, plus 200 elephants
Died in bablyon in king Nebuchadnezzar’s palace Never made it back to Greece Theories on death -alcohol poisoning -poisoned One story says he lay in bed unable to talk will soldiers filed past
Alexander didn’t leave an heir to succeed him
Etruscans (950 and 300 B.C.E.)
These people rose to prosperity and power, then disappeared
Epictetus, cup detail, ca. 510 b.c.e., terracotta, 13” The graceful solo dance by a cult follower of Dionysus is accompanied by the music of a double autos (a set of reed pipes) held in place by leather straps.
Explain the conflict between the individual and the community in Sophocles’ Antigone .
Whom do you consider the “tragic figure” in Sophocles’ Antigone: Antigone or Creon? Why?
Parthenon replica - Nashville I Greek Architecture: The Parthenon (448 to 432 B.C.E.)
Landmark architectural achievement
of Golden Age Athens
Temple dedicated to Athena (the goddess of war and of wisdom, and the patron of the arts and crafts.
Commissioned by Pericles
Parthenon Romans innovated the use of which building material, which made large-scale architectural constructions much cheaper to build? Romans innovated the use of which building material, which made large-scale architectural constructions much cheaper to build?
Wants to continue East, but men refuse – have already travelled over 17 000 km!
The End of Alexander Alexander’s conquests took a toll on him Died of Malaria at age 32
Incredible military genius
Never lost a battle
Huge cultural impact
Ensured Greek dominance by
spreading Greek culture all over world
Contributed to the Greek science, made Athens center of world
Aftermath After his death, the Empire quickly fell apart and was divided among three powerful generals: Egypt and fringe lands went to Ptolemy Asia Minor and old Persian Empire went to Seleucus Macedon and Greece went to Antigonus