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Greek Art


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  • 2. CONTEXT • What kind of philosophy dominated Ancient Greece? • What was the ideal for Greeks? • What type of religion did they have? • What is another term for the Greeks? • What are the different periods of Ancient Greece?
  • 3. CONTEXT • Humanism = man as superior over everything in nature due to his intellectual capacity • The ideal for man was perfection • Worship of many gods who had human traits • Greeks or Hellenes, as they call themselves= intermingling of Aegean people and Indo- European invaders
  • 4. Periods • The Geometric Period- c. 1100 to 700 BC • The Archaic Period- c. 700 to 480 BC • The Classical Period- c. 480 to 323 BC - The Transitional Period - Early Classical - Late Classical • The Hellenistic Period- c. 323-30 BC
  • 5. CONTENT/FORM • What forms of art shows heavy Mycenean influence? • How did design on functional objects evolve? • What are some techniques applied by the Greeks in their ceramics and earthenware? • What are kouros/ kore? • What is distinct about its form? • How was paint used in Archaic sculpture? • What is the principle of weight-shifting?
  • 6. GEOMETRIC & ARCHAIC PERIOD • Pottery served as a link to the very late Mycenean age with Ancient Greece • Continuity of this Mycenean influence in pottery until the 5th century
  • 7. Proto-Geometric Amphora c.10th century BC • Two handed jar for wine or oil • Formative phase of the geometric style • Curvilinear design
  • 8. Dipylon Vase c. 8th century BC • Covered with bands with Rectilinear shapes • Diamond and wedge shapes appear as well • Extremely abstract figures are arranged on the shoulder of the vessel
  • 9. Geometric Dipylon krater c. 8th century BC • Geometric designs become secondary to the figures • Lined with figures of warriors with shields and chariots • figures portray a funeral procession
  • 10. Eleusis, The Blinding of Polyphemos and Gorgons (proto-Attic amphora) c. 675-650 B.C. • From the Orientalizing phase of the Archaic period • Deviates from the Geometric style • Mostly figures and curvilinear designs • Polyphemos the one- eyed giant is being blinded by Odysseus
  • 11. 1. HYDRIA- water jar 2. OINOCHOE- wine jug 3. KRATER- bowl for mixing wine & water 4. AMPHORA- storage for wine, corn, and honey 5. KYLIX- drinking cup 6. LEKYTHOS- oil flask
  • 12. The Francois Vase (Attic black-figure krater) c.575 B.C. • Decorated with over 200 figures representing the wedding of Peleus, with the gods in attendance • An example of signed vases that appear in the early 7th century B.C.
  • 13. Black-figure technique • Design is made by incising the vessels with a sharp instrument to expose the reddish clay beneath
  • 14. Exekias, Dionysos in a Sailboat (interior of a black-figure kylix) c. 550-525 BC • Represents Dionysos sailing over the sea carrying his gifts to mankind, accompanied by dolphins • Boat’s sail is not symbolic, but filled with wind as it would appear in nature
  • 15. Euthymides, Revelers c. 510-500 BC • Red-figure technique • Use of foreshortening and showing figures from different angles • Represents drunk dancers, shows sense of comedy of the Greeks • Portrayal of three-quarter back and front view indicate increasing awareness of 3 dimensional volume
  • 16. Red-figure technique • Interior markings are rendered with relief lines applied by syringe-like instrument that squeezes out the black glaze evenly • A freer and easier style than the black-figure technique
  • 17. Geometric bronze warrior late 8th century BC • Show simplifications of the geometric period • Approx. 8 inches high • Solid cast bronze • Originally held a spear and shield • Large eyes + broad grimace = archaic smile
  • 18. Mantiklos “Apollo” c. 680 BC • Bronze figure of a youth from 680 BC, beginning of the Archaic period • Forerunner of the Kouros figures • Triangular torso, narrow waist, and bulging thighs • Approx. 8 inches high
  • 19. Hera of Samos c. 560 BC • Example of monumental, free- standing sculpture • 6 feet 4 inches • Cylindrical goddess probably holding a symbol of authority
  • 20. Kouros and Kore • Similar to Egyptian statues in terms of the pose with left foot forward, broad shoulders, and rigid design • Some are figures of youths who are dedicated to a god and are moving towards them • Some are memorial statues that stand over graves of noblemen • Men not gods; significant because it shows shift towards glorifying human beings • Generally stiff and immobile in depiction • Korai (maidens)
  • 21. Kouros from Tenea c. 570 BC • Face is simplified into flat planes and features are stylized • Nude and half-striding • Proportion approaching anatomical truth
  • 22. Kroisos (Kouros from Anavysos) c.540-515 • A funerary monument of a youth who died in a hero’s battle • More specific anatomy than the Tenea kouros
  • 23. Peplos Kore c.530 BC • More expressive face (attention to chin, cheeks, and mouth corners ) • Great eyes with originally painted lids • Traces of paint
  • 24. Paint on statues • Greek stone statues were originally painted • Only important parts were painted such as eyes, lips, hair, and edges of drapery • Purpose was to make the statue more lifelike and convincing • Applied via encaustic technique wherein pigment is mixed with wax and applied to the surface while hot
  • 25. Kore from Chios c. 510 BC • More evident signs of painting • Found used as rubble fill in the walls of the Acropolis • Intricate folds of the gown show influence of Ionian fashion • Female nude rarely appears in ancient sculpture
  • 26. Kritios Boy c.480 BC • Stands at rest but not in a stiff-legged pose, like the Kouros • Principle of weight- shift, the shifting of position of the main parts of the body around the vertical but flexible axis of the spine
  • 27. FORM/CONTENT • How was architecture compared to sculpture? • What are the different parts of the Greek temples? • What 3 elements that determine architectural order? • What are the 3 orders? • What are the parts of a column and its capital? • What challenge did pediment sculpture pose?
  • 28. Greek Architecture • Significant buildings began as shrines for Greek gods • Qualities of the gods embodied by the structures • Figurative sculpture used as decoration and to tell stories about the structures • The building itself was also seen as sculptural form, able to evoke human qualities
  • 29. • Early wooden temples give way to limestone and marble structures • Marble was expensive but largely available • Insistence on mathematical order
  • 30. Architectural Order • Combination of the relationship of three units: 1) Column 2)Platform 3)Superstructure/ Entablature
  • 31. Doric Ionic Corinthian
  • 32. Columns • Rests on a platform • Provides immediate support to the entablature • 3 Parts: a) shaft- marked with vertical channels called fluting, diameter decreases as it rises; one or several horizontal lines (necking) serve as transition to the capital b) capital- divided into lower (echinus) and upper (abacus) elements c) base- not present in the Doric
  • 33. Entablature • 3 parts: a) Architrave- main weight bearing/ distributing element b) Frieze- provide a continuous field for reliefs c) Cornice- molded horizontal projection, that with two sloping/raking cornices form the pediment
  • 34. Doric order • Massive in appearance, sturdy columns planted on the stylobate • Flutings meet in sharp ridges (arisses) • Severely plain capital • Attributed as masculine • Decorative sculpture applied in ‘voids’ in the pediment
  • 35. ‘Basilica’ at Paestum, c. 550 BC
  • 36. • Typical example of Archaic Doric style • Called ‘the Basilica’ due to its resemblance to a Roman type building • Heavy columns , closely spaced, with large pillow-like capitals
  • 37. Ionic order • Light and airy columns and much more decorative compared to Doric, • Flat flutings • Ornamental capital • Attributed as feminine • Columns were occasionally replaced with caryatids (female figures) • Décor applied in the entire frieze and sometimes columns (aside from the pediment)
  • 38. Treasury of the Siphnians at Delphi c. 530 BC • One of the earliest Ionic buildings • Carved caryotids instead of Ionic columns
  • 39. Corinthian • Ornamental capital • Not developed until the 5th century BC • Appeared inside the temple • Not widely used until the Renaissance
  • 40. Architectural Sculpture • Applied on parts of architecture that had little or no function • Challenge for artist to fit the artwork in the given space which usually had an odd shape
  • 41. Archaic Temple of Artemis c.600-580 BC • Shows a gorgon surrounded by panthers • Careless distribution of figures • Use of different scales for the different characters
  • 42. Temple of Aphaia at Aegina c.490 BC
  • 43. Temple of Aphaia at Aegina c.490 BC • Represents an episode in the Trojan war • Improvement in the skills of artists in pedimental composition • Figures in different poses but same scale
  • 44. • Figure of the fallen warrior in a difficult twisted pose; anatomy is close to life but with some mistakes (misplace navel, awkward transition from chest to pelvis)
  • 45. FORM/CONTENT • What characterized the Transitional Period? • What was the ideal for art? • What characteristics did this bring about? • What is the Delian league, Acropolis, and Parthenon? • What shifts took place in terms of the forms of sculpture during the Classical Period?
  • 46. TRANSITIONAL PERIOD • The heroic age of the Athenians and the Hellenes who fought against the Persian invaders • “For art, the gods are the measure of men, and to achieve the ideal is to be “god-like”
  • 47. Charioteer (from Delphi) c. 470 BC • Part of a group in horse- drawn chariots • Demonstrates the Greek search for ideal beauty and mastery of the human figure • The rigid flow of the dress is somehow Archaic /column-like • Skillfully modeled hands and feet
  • 48. Myron, Discobolos c. 450 BC • Survived only in Roman copies of the Greek original • Represents an athlete throwing a discus • Compositions in terms of two intersecting arcs/ impression of tightly stretched bow before release
  • 49. Pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia 468-460 BC • Clearest representation of the “severe” early style • Musculature swelling with life and power
  • 50. The ‘Ideal’ Mask • Because reason must always be in control of passions • Expressionless faces, expected from gods and godlike men • There should be no distortion of the face by any strain of emotion, even in the scenes of the most violent action.
  • 51. EARLY CLASSICAL PERIOD • Victory over the Persians made them the most powerful in the world • Established a Sea Empire of democratic island states in the Aegean • Alliance called the Delian League • The inequity of the distribution of funds in the treasury caused internal conflicts • Triumph of drama, philosophy, and art in Athens under the Statesman, Pericles
  • 52. The Acropolis
  • 53. The Acropolis • A mass of rock that rises abruptly 150 m (500 feet) above the city. • Crowned with a group of magnificent buildings that symbolized the glory of Athens (including the Parthenon) • Huge stone statue of Athena on the Western edge which served as beacon to ships at sea
  • 54. The Parthenon
  • 55. The Parthenon • The first and largest building in the Acropolis • Temple of Athena Parthenos • Architects: Ictinos & Callicrates, under the direction of Phidias • Peripteral temple: short side less than half the length of its long side • Contained the ivory & gold statue of Athena and the treasury of the Delian League
  • 56. The Parthenon • Few straight lines • Stylobate is convex, curving imperceptively • Columns tilt slightly inward and are not uniformly spaced • Deviations are intentional but interpretations vary: functional (facilitate drainage); stability; etc.
  • 57. Dionysos (from the east pediment of the Parthenon) • Marks the shift from figurative archaic art to a more natural one • Growing knowledge of human form and anatomy
  • 58. Horsemen (from the West frieze of the Parthenon) • Unique due its impression of the passage of time • Effect is achieved through figures in seemingly sequential motion; audience must also be moving to achieve the affect • Balance between: (a) the monumental and simple and (b) the ideal and the real = “the inner concord of opposites”
  • 59. Three godesses • Monumental in size, simple in pose, natural details • Relaxed forms underneath their garments • Fluidity between the bodies & the garments
  • 60. Porch of the Maidens • Dominated by caryatids • Figures possess a balance between (a)rigidity of columns and (b) flexibility of living bodies
  • 61. Polykleitos, Doryphoros c.450-440 BC • Viewed as the embodiment of proportional rationality for sculpture • Broad shoulders, thick torso and muscular limbs of a Spartan warrior • Slow forward walk stresses principle of weight-shift
  • 62. • Complex and subtle organization of the human figure: -Function of the supporting leg is echoed by the straight hanging arm to provide stability for the flexed left side; - diagonal tension: right arm left leg relaxed, left leg right arm tensed
  • 63. THE LATE CLASSICAL PERIOD • Fall of Athens during the Peloponessian war, which ended in 404 BC. • Sparta and Thebes took leadership from Greece, but were not very successful • Greek states conquered by Philip of Macedon in the later half of the 4th century BC. • Serene idealism of the Early Classical period was replaced with civil war and skepticism
  • 64. • Proliferation of dramas depicting a wide range of human passions and crises • Further reliance on individuals– turning away from gods, oracles, and irrational traditions • Search for ‘knowledge of the real’
  • 65. Praxiteles, Hermes and Dionysos c.340 BC • Shift of weight from left arm to right leg, • Fluid figure forming an s curve • Eyes look out in space and mouth half smiling, give it a dreamy facial expression • Can be contrasted with doryphoros: majestic strength/rationality vs. sensuality and beauty
  • 66. Lysippos, Apoxyomenos c.330 BC. • Young athlete scraping oil and mud from his body before taking a bath • Marks 2 notable stylistic shifts: 1) proportion: more slender, supple, and tall 2) The figure as moving in 3 instead of 2 dimensions; free spiral through space; work looks whole from a variety of angles not just one or two
  • 67. Corinthian order (cont’d) • Reached its full development in the Late Classical Period • Capital design attributed to Callimachos who was inspired when he saw acanthus leaves growing around a votive basket on the grave of a maiden
  • 68. FORM/CONTENT • What is the Hellenistic period? • What aspect of human expression triumphed? • What other art forms influenced the visual arts? • What characterized Hellenistic sculpture?
  • 69. THE HELLENISTIC PERIOD • Alexander the Great conquered Persia and the Near East, including Egypt • Mingling of eastern and western cultures that came to be known as ‘Hellenistic’
  • 70. Dying Gaul c.240 BC
  • 71. • Monument to represent victory over the Gauls • Triumph of realism • Surrender of sculpture to the stage with its images of human suffering, mortality, and bloodshed • From action to stagecraft
  • 72. Appolonius, Seated Boxer c. 50 BC • Heavily battered gladiator with smashed face, broken nose, and deep scars • The story of the once mighty fighter