Greece and the Arts


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Describes the Art and Architecture of Classical Greece

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Greece and the Arts

  1. 1. Greece and the Arts Two-Dimensional Art, Sculpture, and Architecture
  2. 2. Principles Underlying Greek Art <ul><li>Catchword: Man is the Measure of All Things </li></ul><ul><li>Even the Gods were anthropomorphic (shaped like humans) </li></ul><ul><li>Evolved from stylization of Egyptians to Naturalism </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis is on balance, ideal forms, and the Golden Mean </li></ul>
  3. 3. Pottery <ul><li>Pottery was made of terra cotta (earthenware material) which may or may not be glazed </li></ul><ul><li>Black-figure pottery was popular. </li></ul><ul><li>Figures were painted in black </li></ul><ul><li>Details were incised with a sharp tool, exposing the orange clay below </li></ul><ul><li>Vase was fired to turn the painted figures black and the surface areas orange </li></ul><ul><li>Red-figure vases involved reversal of this process </li></ul><ul><li>Details: box on p. 145 </li></ul>
  4. 4. Archaic Period: Form Followed Function <ul><li>Hydria: water jug with 3 handles: two for lifting and the top for pouring (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>Lekythos: flask for pouring oil </li></ul><ul><li>Krater: bowl for mixing wine and water (lower left) </li></ul><ul><li>Amphora: vessel for storing olive oil, wine, honey, or water </li></ul><ul><li>Kylix: drinking cup </li></ul><ul><li>Oenachoe: jug for pouring wine </li></ul>
  5. 5. Examples of Black-Figure Pottery <ul><li>Achilles and Ajax playing board game. </li></ul><ul><li>Achilles killing the Amazon warrior Penthesilea, an ally of the Trojans </li></ul><ul><li>In this scene, Achilles tragically falls in love with her as she dies from her wound </li></ul>
  6. 6. Black Figure Pottery: Olympic Races <ul><li>This amphora depicts a race among contestants at the earliest Olympic games </li></ul><ul><li>All contestants competed in the nude—a good way to avoid cheating </li></ul><ul><li>The games were held at Olympia in honor of the gods </li></ul>
  7. 7. Mosaics <ul><li>Mosaics do not appear until the Hellenistic period, when Alexander the Great conquered Persia, then Central Asia </li></ul><ul><li>This scene depicts the decisive battle of Issus (Issos) in which Alexander defeats Darius; see p. 149 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sculpture, Classical Greece: Egyptian Influences <ul><li>Archaic Greek statues reflect the proportionality of Egyptian sculpture (left) </li></ul><ul><li>Statue Kouros show one foot forward, hands to side in clenched fists (left) </li></ul><ul><li>Kritos Boy shows greater naturalism (right) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sculpture: Early Classical <ul><li>Nudity that characterizes much Greek sculpture first appears here </li></ul><ul><li>Nudity is characteristic of males, but not females in this era </li></ul><ul><li>Female figures, remain clothed, such as Athena, pictured left </li></ul><ul><li>Early classical sculpture is also known for its “archaic smile” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Theme of Poseidon/Zeus <ul><li>Whether this is the top god Zeus or the sea god Poseidon (Neptune to the Romans) </li></ul><ul><li>Depends on inference and interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly reflects growing Greek interest in athletics </li></ul><ul><li>Most like, a spear is missing from this image </li></ul><ul><li>Focus of his aim, tensing of body, and other details emphasize intensity of purpose </li></ul><ul><li>An example of lost wax casting </li></ul>
  11. 11. Theme of Athleticism <ul><li>Discus Thrower (far left) </li></ul><ul><li>Warriors from Race (middle and right) </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the sculptors visited the gymnasium for models of their work </li></ul><ul><li>Athletic or not, the subjects were depicted as well proportioned, a canon of Greek sculpture </li></ul>
  12. 12. Sculpture, Late Classic <ul><li>Toward the late classic, the sculptor Praxiteles adopted an S-shaped curve in the human form </li></ul><ul><li>Female nudes were added to the repertoire </li></ul><ul><li>Aphrodite of Knidos (left) reflected the new trend </li></ul><ul><li>Right hand modestly hides her genitalia, while left hand hold her garments </li></ul><ul><li>Lysippos specialized in portraits and was court sculptor for Alexander the Great </li></ul>
  13. 13. Architecture <ul><li>To the Greeks, as elsewhere, temples were thought to be houses for the gods </li></ul><ul><li>Called megarons (rectangular structures with columns, they included a portico, or front porch </li></ul><ul><li>The cult statue of the god or goddess was located in the center. </li></ul><ul><li>They usually had a decorated pediment, or roof façade, portraying gods or other themes </li></ul>
  14. 14. Parts of a Temple: The Doric Order as Example <ul><li>The main column is known as a shaft, with 20 flutes running lengthwise </li></ul><ul><li>The foot is known as the stylobate </li></ul><ul><li>The top part of the column is called the neck </li></ul><ul><li>See diagram for other parts of the column </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Three Orders of Columns
  16. 16. Comparing the Three Orders <ul><li>The three orders are depicted in the prior panel </li></ul><ul><li>The Doric is the simplest, with no decoration at the top </li></ul><ul><li>The Ionic contains volutes (scroll shapes) that replace the echinus (the bulge above the necking) of the Doric </li></ul><ul><li>The Corinthian has a flowery capital just above the necking </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Cult Figure of the Temple <ul><li>The cult figure occupies the temple center </li></ul><ul><li>Temple of Zeus: the head god himself in Olympia </li></ul><ul><li>Acropolis: Hilltop containing the temples in Athens </li></ul><ul><li>Parthenon: Temple dedicated to Athena </li></ul><ul><li>Nike Temple: to the goddess of war and victory </li></ul><ul><li>Erechtheneum: to Athena Pallas as patron of Athens </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Parthenon <ul><li>The temple was dedicated to Athena (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>It is surrounded by Doric columns </li></ul><ul><li>The statue of Athena stood at the center (lower left) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Parthenon” is derived from the term “virgin,” which myth says she was </li></ul><ul><li>The temple is embellished by friezes on the inner part of the temple and by others in the pediments. </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Pediments <ul><li>Pediments are the triangles on either ene of a gabled roof, usually with decoration </li></ul><ul><li>The left side of the east pediment depicts Athena’s birth from the forehead of Zeus </li></ul><ul><li>They also depict three goddesses: Persephone, Demeter, and either Hebe or Iris </li></ul><ul><li>The right side of the east pediment depict horses marking the rise of the sun </li></ul><ul><li>They also depict a reclining male nude, possibly Herakles (Hercules) or Dionysus </li></ul>
  20. 20. Inside (Ionic) Frieze <ul><li>The inside frieze depicts a procession of gods, humans, and beasts </li></ul><ul><li>Horses are depicted as small relative to the riders. </li></ul><ul><li>All the heads of the procession are set at the same level </li></ul><ul><li>Shading of the frieze creates the illusion of movement </li></ul>
  21. 21. Inside (Ionic) Frieze: Details <ul><li>Left: Detail from the east pediment of the Parthenon </li></ul><ul><li>Right: Details from the procession depicted in the Ionic Frieze, with seated gods and goddesses witnessing the event </li></ul>
  22. 22. Hellenistic Greek Themes <ul><li>The Hellenistic Styles anticipate what one will find for Rome </li></ul><ul><li>The architecture emphasizes the value of size </li></ul><ul><li>The arts are extensions of the canons begun in Classical Greece </li></ul><ul><li>Portraits assume a greater importance </li></ul><ul><li>Much Hellenic and Hellenistic art is copied by Romans </li></ul>
  23. 23. Architecture: Altar of Zeus <ul><li>Given to larger, monumental forms than that of Classical Greece. </li></ul><ul><li>The Altar of Zeus at Pergamon, Asia Minor, commemorating a battle with the invading Gauls </li></ul>
  24. 24. Statuary Realism <ul><li>Themes of statue are victory of intellect over barbarism, Olympian gods over Titans </li></ul><ul><li>Athena triumphs over Male, son of the Earth Mother </li></ul><ul><li>Laco őn and sons captured by sea serpent sent by Athena (lower left) </li></ul><ul><li>This is in revenge for his warning the Trojans of an impeding attack </li></ul><ul><li>The Hellenic ideal form is displaced by realism that also portray children and the aging </li></ul><ul><li>This anticipates Roman sculpture </li></ul>
  25. 25. Other Sculpture: Nike and Aphrodite <ul><li>The Winged Victory gives a sense of movement as the wind whips against Nike’s garment </li></ul><ul><li>Nike descends from the heavens on the prow of a ship to celebrate a naval victory </li></ul><ul><li>Aphrodite de Melos (aka Venus de Milo ) continues the trend toward a fleshier style than classic proportions </li></ul><ul><li>The same trend emphasizes the sensuality begun by Praxitcles Aphrodite of Knidos </li></ul>
  26. 26. Conclusion <ul><li>This sample illustrates the following trends </li></ul><ul><li>From formalism to naturalism in sculpture and the two-dimensional arts </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of male nudity, followed much later by female nudity </li></ul><ul><li>The emergence of three distinct columns: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian </li></ul><ul><li>The emergence of temples dedicated to particular gods: Zeus, Athena, Nike </li></ul><ul><li>The emergence of portrait and realism in the Hellenistic period </li></ul>