Art History I Part 3 <ul><li>Ancient Greece </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Franklin Allen Latimer </li></ul>
This map illustrates the region where Greek influence peaked. Note that Greece was not a unified nation in antiquity, but was made up of independent city states. Often there were wars where both sides were actually Greek. Greek society was painfully patriarchal, or male dominated. Women enjoy very little in the way of civil rights and were generally considered inferior to men and useful only for keeping the house clean and producing heirs. Students often wonder if the stories of rampant homosexuality in ancient Greece are true. They are. Warriors were often encouraged to make a “special friend” during their training and these pairs of warriors would become teams on the battlefield defending each other to the death. Note the island of Lesbos on extreme eastern side of the Aegean Sea. An unproven legend has it that this was home to a group of women who eschewed the company of men thus becoming the source for the word lesbian.
Here is a modern reproduction of typical Greek armor as might be worn by a Hoplite, or heavy infantryman. The primary weapon was the spear (not pictured) that was mainly used for thrusting and was thrown generally as a last resort. The shield is notched on the sides because the soldiers would form tightly packed ranks called a phalanx and march towards the enemy, thrusting the spears out through the notches as they held the shields before them. The sword (short by Medieval European standards) was carried as a back-up or extremely close-quarter weapon. Only the lower leg is armored, and battlefield exhumations reveal that most men were killed by bleeding to death from deep cuts to the upper leg. The different city states would have slightly different equipment, but they were all based on the same theme.
This poster image illustrates the “shield wall” of the phalanx. As the solders pressed forward, they would engage the enemy by trusting the spears between the defensive shields.
Corinthian helmet 7 th C BC An original Greek helmet of the type depicted in the previous illustrations.
This is a bronze mirror. The disk would have been polished to the point of being to see your reflection in it. Even common, everyday objects can be beautiful.
Mausolus Mausolus was a Greek ruler who is known to have built a grand above-ground tomb for himself. What do we call an above-ground tomb today?
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus 353 BC This is one artist’s conception of the structure Mausolus built. It is his name that gives us the word mausoleum. The next slide depicts a slightly different building. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (his capitol) no longer exists and we can can only guess at its original appearance.
Mausolus and Artemisia He had a wife named Artemisia. Nothing appears to be named after her.
Terminology <ul><li>Phases or Periods of Greek Art: </li></ul><ul><li>Geometric (c. 8 th century BC and older) </li></ul><ul><li>Oriental (c. 7 th century BC) </li></ul><ul><li>Archaic (c. 6 th century BC) </li></ul><ul><li>Classical (c. 480 BC – 325 BC) </li></ul><ul><li>Hellenistic (Post 325 BC) </li></ul>
Definitions <ul><li>Geometric is angular and not natural. </li></ul><ul><li>Oriental is borrowed from Eastern styles. </li></ul><ul><li>Archaic is somewhat crude. </li></ul><ul><li>Classical is refined but not totally natural. </li></ul><ul><li>Hellenistic is natural and shows emotion. </li></ul>
Terminology <ul><li>Greek pottery came in many styles for many different uses. Each style of vase or bowl had a specific name. </li></ul><ul><li>Painters and potters were not the same. Usually only the potter signed the piece. </li></ul><ul><li>Two common types of Greek vases are </li></ul><ul><li>Black Figure Ware (black figures on a reddish background) </li></ul><ul><li>and Red Figure Ware (red figures on a black background) </li></ul><ul><li>Or Black Ware and Red Ware for short. </li></ul>
Styles of Greek Pottery <ul><li>Amphora: Double-handled storage jar with narrow neck and wide mouth. </li></ul><ul><li>Krater: Large storage jar. </li></ul><ul><li>Kylix: Shallow drinking bowl with two handles. </li></ul>
Phases of Greek Sculpture <ul><li>Geometric – Very simple forms made from basic geometric shapes. Dates c. 900 - 700 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Oriental – Influenced by Eastern styles. Dates 700 – 600 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Archaic – Stiff and formal with unrealistic, angular features. Dates c. 600 - 480 BC. </li></ul><ul><li>Classical – More natural looking but not quite realistic with the total lack of emotion. Dates c. 480-325 BC. </li></ul><ul><li>Hellenistic – Very realistic form with great expression of emotion. Dates from c. 325 BC. </li></ul>
Dipylon Vase. 42” ht. Geometric grave marker C. 540 BC All right, scholars, what style of pottery is this? If you responded “krater” you are correct.
Dipylon Vase detail. Large vases or even life-sized sculpture could have been used as grave markers. The painting on this vase depicts a funeral scene suggesting such a use.
Dionysus in the Boat c. 540 BC Dionysus was the Greek god of the vines; the grapes; wine and drunken orgies. The story goes that he was kidnapped by pirates as he slept off a wild party. He awoke onboard their ship and caused grape vines to grow all over it. The pirates jumped overboard in their panic and Dionysus turned them into dolphins. He then steered the boat for home so he could look for another party. This theme is perfect for a kylix from which wine would be consumed. The Greeks did not portray their gods as perfect beings. Rather, they embodied all the foibles and failings that beset humans. This is an example of black ware, with black figures on a reddish background.
Herakles Strangling the Nemean Lion amphora 525 BC Psiax Another black ware vase, this one depicts the demigod (half human and half god) Herakles strangling a huge lion with his bare hands. Never heard of Herakles? Perhaps you know him better by his Roman name, Hercules. The Romans took all the Greek gods and heroes and renamed them. After killing the lion Herakles skinned it and wore the hide as one of his attributes (a thing that allows us to identify an individual). His other primary attribute was his great club which he preferred over a sword or spear.
Red Figure Ware This is red ware, with red figures on a dark or black background. This scene shows Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, slaying Actaeon for having spied on her while she bathed in a stream.
Erotic art has been popular in many cultures from many different times and places. The ancient Greeks and Romans both produced sexually explicit art in large quantities. As the Roman city of Pompeii was excavated, numerous houses with pornographic (from the Greek porno for prostitute and graphic for writing or drawing) paintings on the walls were uncovered. Initially, these were identified as brothels, with the paintings meant to display what services were available. But eventually archaeologists concluded that there simply couldn’t be so many brothels in a town the size of Pompeii and they realized that these were private homes. The Romans just liked their porn so much they decorated their homes with it. Of course, many erotic art pieces didn’t survive the Christian rule when offensive art was destroyed. The paintings in Pompeii were spared due to being buried since 79 AD. But many painted object as well as vases and urns with sexually suggestive scenes were hidden from the Christians and are still with us. This relief sculpture on a Grecian urn is one of the milder images the instructor has observed and may be the only one he is comfortable presenting to students. Most of these depictions are extremely graphic.
Psykter (vase for cooling wine). 520 BC The ancient Greeks drank wine almost as casually as we drink water. Indeed, most of Europe considers wine to be a daily consumable and even small children grow up drinking it on a regular basis. Vases for storing and cooling wine are common from many ancient cultures. The Greeks had a specific name for these vases. Scenes of warriors and warfare are frequently encountered although the instructor is unaware of the significance of warriors riding dolphins.
Lekythos (oil flask) It seems that every liquid had its own specific container.
Once again, scholars, can you correctly identify the type of vase? If you identified this as an amphora, give yourself a cookie.
Douris (painter) and Calliades (potter) 480BC Note that both the painter and the potter are credited on this vase. What style would you call this piece? What is its function? Of course it’s a kylix, the shallow two-handed drinking cup.
Pan, the most famous of the satyrs, is seen playing his pipes. Likely it is an effort to seduce the woman to the right. That might be a jealous husband behind him armed with a bow. Scenes of folly (by both humans and gods) were popular themes.
This shouldn’t prove to be too difficult. What style would you call this vase? What period does it represent? It seems to be a krater from the Geometric Period.
These are probably meant to be athletes. Remember that the ancient Greeks performed athletic competitions in the nude. What style would you call this vase? Which period is it from? Did you actually try to discern the answers before clicking? Hopefully you said it is a krater from the Archaic Period.
Achilles and Ajax Playing a Dice Game c. 520BC Andokides (painter) This slide and the next depict two sides of the same vase. Look at both and see if you can figure out what is rather unusual about this vase.
Achilles and Ajax Playing a Dice Game c. 520BC Andokides (painter)
Greek Sculpture <ul><li>Kouros = Youth </li></ul>Kore = Maiden The vast majority of Greek sculpture was originally in bronze. When we have a Greek sculpture in marble in most cases it is actually a Roman copy of the Greek original. The Romans so admired the Greeks they stole all of their architecture; gods; and art. Many Roman artists were kept busy copying Greek art for Roman patrons. Wealthy Romans wore Greek clothing, taught their children to speak Greek, and filled their homes with Greek art.
Phases of Greek Sculpture A reminder. <ul><li>Geometric – Very simple forms made from basic geometric shapes. Dates c. 900 - 700 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Oriental – Influenced by Eastern styles. Dates 700 – 600 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Archaic – Stiff and formal with unrealistic, angular features. Dates c. 600 - 480 BC. </li></ul><ul><li>Classical – More natural looking but not quite realistic with the total lack of emotion. Dates c. 480-325 BC. </li></ul><ul><li>Hellenistic – Very realistic form with great expression of emotion. Dates from c. 325 BC. </li></ul>
Hero and Centaur c. 740 BC The centaur is usually represented as the upper torso of a human with the body of a horse. In this case it appears to be a man with hind 3/4s of a horse stuck to his back. Which period is this from?
Kore figure 650 BC limestone 24.5” This figures bears a striking resemblance to those from Egypt and the Middle East. This is an example of the Oriental Period. Notice the similarity to the Egyptian queen seen below. A female figure is called a kore , meaning maiden. These early figures are of stone, but the Greek artists would eventually come to prefer cast bronze as their material of choice.
Kouros , or youth, is the male figure. This example is dates from c. 600 BC and would be seen as the Oriental Period. Note how the left foot is slightly forward. Now go back to the previous slide and compare this figure to image of the pharaoh. One difference noted between the kore and kouros figures is the manner of dress. In the vast majority of cases the kore will be fully clothed while the kouros will be nude. Female nudity in Greek art is fairly rare while nude male figures are actually the norm rather than the exception. The ancient Greeks worshipped physical fitness, exercise and sport (they did invent the Olympics, remember) so the image of the ideal male physique, muscular and athletic, becomes what is called the warrior/athlete ideal. Their thinking was that if you had a body that looked this good why would you want to cover it up? In fact, the original Olympic games featured the athletes competing nude. The word gymnasium is from the Greek gymnos, meaning naked so gymnasium literally means “place to get naked” which to a Greek would mean a place to exercise and play sports. Similarly, gymnastics means “naked activities.”
Kouros from Anavysos 525 BC marble 6’4” This kouros figure begins to depart from the Eastern influence (although the posture still bears a striking resemblance to Egyptian sculpture) and starts to establish the Greek ideal. Notice that the figure is more naturalistic looking than any of the previous kouros and kore figures we have seen. As Greek sculpture matures, gets closer to the present time, the figures become increasingly realistic looking. This piece has moved beyond the Oriental Period. Into which period would you assign it? Any sculpture between 4’ and 7’ in height is considered life-sized. But at 6’4” this youth would have been a giant to the ancient Greeks. Due largely to the lack of meat protein in their diet, the Greeks did not get very large. The average Greek man was only 5’2”. Yjay was the average, mind you, meaning many grown men were well under 5’ in height. It is shocking at first to see the clothing and armor from ancient Greece in museums because they look like they are for children rather than adult warriors.
Peplos Kore detail 530 BC This is called the Peplos Kore due to the garment the figure wears. It’s a style of dress called a peplos. Note the remnants of red paint on the statue. We tend to think of all Greek sculpture and architecture in terms of the clean, white marble as it now appears after centuries of wear. But originally all the statues and buildings were painted, usually in bright, polychromatic (more than one) colors. These things would appear somewhat garish to our eyes, but that’s the way the Greeks preferred them.
Most artifacts from the ancient world are found buried in the dirt or at the bottom on the ocean. Often they are bad physical condition. Marble has some serious disadvantages when compared to bronze. It’s heavier, but also more fragile and more easily damaged. Despite the inherent weakness of marble, statues of this material are far more likely to survive to today than are the works in bronze. This would seem to be a paradox, that the stronger and more durable bronzes doesn’t survive in the same numbers as do the marble statues. Start thinking about why this is the case.
Kritios Boy. 480 BC The Kritios Boy is generally accepted as the first use of contrapposto, where the body is shown in a more natural posture with more weight being borne on one leg. Prior to this development standing figures were much more rigid and looked forced and unnatural. Although Archaic in design, the Kritios Boy starts to show us the more natural form that would became standard in the Classical period.
Mercury by Polyclitus 5 th century BC Although the life sized pieces attract the most attention from museums and art historians, many table-top sized statuettes have survived from antiquity. This sculpture from the Classical period is bronze with silver and copper inlays and stands about eight inches in height. The contapposto exhibited in this small piece is dramatic.
Dionysus c. Early 5 th century BC Another example of a table-top bronze. The sway in the figure’s hips is not as dramatic in this piece.
Discus Thrower 450 BC Myron This statue is in the basement of the Vatican Museum. It’s an example of Classical period sculpture. Indeed, it’s what is called “5 th century Greek” by art historians to denote its date of creation as in the 5 th century BC. Greek sculpture from this period appeals to many historians who generally consider this art style to be the pinnacle of Western art. This is a Roman copy of the Greek original. Greek artists preferred to work in bronze while Roman sculptors favored marble. After Rome conquered Greece they looted all the art they could ship back to Rome as it was popular with the upper class Romans. Greek artists were put to work for Roman patrons and Roman artists were employed making copies of Greek originals. The Vatican Museum basement is where the second-rate material is stored more than actually displayed. Even a copy of a 5 th century Greek sculpture would be a prize to any collector or museum so there must be some reason why this piece is treated so shabbily. There is. When found, the head was separated and the neck smashed and lost. A reconstructed neck was made and the head reattached. Unfortunately, later discoveries of other copies of this figure revealed that the head was on incorrectly. The next slide shows one of the later versions that was found with the head in place.
When working in marble it’s necessary to support the legs on a standing figure because marble is both heavy and easily broken, which is a bad combination. Note the tree stump holding up the discus thrower’s left leg. Any marble statue of a life-size human will require such a support and allows quick assessment of the material when viewing a photograph. Bronze sculpture, being hollow, is lighter than stone and stronger. No such support mechanism is needed with bronze. Despite the superior strength and durability of bronze far fewer bronze statues have survived from antiquity than have marble figures. The reason is because unlike stone, metal can be recycled. Every time some king declared a war the soldiers would go around with wagons collecting bronze statues to be melted and used to make swords or cannonballs.
This view illustrates just how much the figure relies on the support element by the leg. Marble is simply too heavy and too brittle to allow life-sized figures to freely stand their own feet. The ankles would snap under the weight.
Charioteer of Delphi 470 BC This is a life-size bronze statue from the 5 th century BC. The Greeks preferred to sculpt in bronze while Roman artists favored marble. These life-size Greek statues from the 5 th century (BC is implied) are amongst the most valuable and sought-after pieces in the art world. Many art historians consider the 5 th century Greek pieces to be the pinnacle of ancient art. Up until 1972 only two such statues were known to exist. Bronze is sturdier and more durable than marble yet far fewer bronze works have survived from antiquity. The reason is because unlike stone, metal can be recycled. Every time a king declared war the soldiers would go around in wagons collecting bronze statues for melting into swords or cannonballs. This one survived only because the owners buried it in the backyard, hiding it from the soldiers. They couldn’t save the chariot and team of horses that were a part of the original composition. This may have been used as grave marker. The next slide gives us a closer look at the figure from a slightly different angle.
Zeus/Poseidon c. 450 BC This is the other 5 th century Greek bronze known to have survived prior to 1972. It depicts either Zeus or Poseidon but we cannot say for sure which. Note how the figure stands on its feet without any support built into the sculpture. This can only be done with the lighter and stronger bronze. A figure like this in marble would break its ankles because of the great weight of stone combined with its inherent brittleness.
This is why we cannot accurately identify the figure. His attribute is missing. Zeus would have held a lightning bolt (and in sculpture it was rendered as round in shape) while his brother Poseidon would have wielded the trident. In Greek tri means three and dent means teeth. Thus trident is Greek for “three teeth” and is a perfect description of the item.
Herakles 460 BC This small statuette is identified as Herakles (Hercules). Why do you think the instructor might question this identification? Click for the answer. You gave up too quickly. Think about it some more. Look at the figure and think about what we know of Herakles. Why does the statuette not seem to fit the description? Hopefully you noticed that the figure appears to have once held a shield in his left hand. Herakles wielded a great club as a weapon and didn’t carry a shield.
Riace Warrior c. 5th century BC Stefano Mariottini was on vacation at Riace when during a scuba dive on August 16, 1972 he discovered not one but two 5 th century Greek life-sized bronzes. They are warriors bearing shields and weapons (lost while under the sea) and may have been intended to serve as gate guardian figures. They were dubbed Warrior A (pictured) and Warrior B. Collectively they are known as the Riace Warriros. The Italian government gave Mariotti a $10,000 reward which is really a pittance compared the value of the statues. They spent $10,000,000 cleaning the pieces after 2,500 years at the bottom of the ocean and in today’s market they would likely fetch $500,000,000 (half a billion dollars) or more each! See the next slide for front and rear views of Warrior A..
The Warrior A figure features bone and glass inserts for the eyes, copper lips and nipples, and silver dental coverings. This was an effort to introduce some color to the pieces.
Warrior B Warrior B is clearly not a mirror image of the other figure. Although similar, they are not exactly alike. The next slide offers a side by side comparison.
A reproduction of a Riace Warrior complete with the weapons and helmet missing from the originals.
Of course, every museum in Italy wanted to display the Warriors, but the people in the Riace region insisted they stay put. People responded by saying there was no museum there. But the people of Riace said that they would build one. So they did. See the next slide.
The Riace Warriors on solitary display Being so far out of the way in Riace, the Warriors stand alone as the sole display in the small museum with few visitors coming to see them. It might be better if the Warriors were displayed where more people could have the chance to see them.
Commemorative Sculpture from Pergamon <ul><li>Information on these two statues can be confusing and inconclusive. Various authors claim that they are original Greek marbles while others insist they are Roman copies. If reproductions they show the skill of a very talented copy artist. </li></ul><ul><li>The figures celebrate a victory by the Greeks over the Gauls. There is mention in the literature of three pieces in the commemorative set but only two are ever pictured with no mention of the location or fate of the missing piece. </li></ul><ul><li>The first one pictured, The Dying Gaul , shows a mortally wounded warrior contemplating the wound in his side as well his own death. See Slide 60. The figure is rendered as strong and athletic. Even as he dies he is depicted as a virile and powerful fighting man, a worthy opponent, indeed. Not all cultures celebrated their enemies in art. The ancient Egyptians pictured their enemies as weak and helpless. </li></ul><ul><li>In Slide 61 we see the Gaul Chieftain and his wife. The Greeks are closing in on the leader of the defeated Gaul force and rather than be taken prisoner, he has killed his wife and now takes his own life in a last act of defiance before his enemies. A warrior culture would respect and admire such personal bravery and dedication and indeed Slide 34 illustrates how powerful and muscular the figure appears. </li></ul><ul><li>Note the struts supporting the Chieftain’s cape, and other struts bridging between the male and female figures. Certainly the artist would prefer to not include such distractions in the composition but they are necessary for support given the fragile nature of marble. </li></ul>
Gaul Chieftain and Wife Certainly this Gaul Chieftain looks athletic and powerful, something the Greeks would have admired. His actions, choosing death over the dishonor of capture would also have appealed to a warrior culture like the ancient Greeks. As we saw previously with the Venus of Laussel, sculpture can appear quite different depending on lighting and the angle from which it is viewed. The next slide is a photo of this same sculpture but features lighting that dramatically illustrates just how heroic the Greek artist rendered the subject.
This photo reveals how huge and muscular the Chieftain really is and puts to rest any notion that the artist intended the warrior to look worthless and weak. In fact, the Chieftain has been sculpted in what art historians call heroic proportions. The typical human is about 5 & ½ heads high. If you measure your head, you will find that you are about 5.5x your own head in overall height. When artists want to make a subject look more powerful, they will depict them as six heads in height, or even more. The comic book heroes are routinely drawn as six heads in height, and the Gaul Chieftain has been rendered as 6 & ½ heads high. At some point the figures cease to look realistic when they get too tall. Notice the struts supporting the cape and other parts of the sculpture. This is not needed with bronze.
Laoco ö n Group 150 BC This sculpture depicts the murder of a seer and his two adult sons by a god who favored the attackers in the battle for troy. Laocoön foresaw the dangers in the “Trojan Horse” and tried to warn the other residents of the city to reject the offered gift. To silence him before he could spoil the plan a giant snake was sent to kill the three men. This statue clearly shows the romanticism evident in Hellenistic Period work. In all of the periods before Hellenistic, figures showed no emotion no matter what was happening. In the Hellenistic works we see joy, fear, pain, anguish, etc. Also note the increasing naturalism of the figures. In the Hellenistic the figures begin to look like real people. The next slide shows how the sculpture originally appeared before being damaged and Slide 65 shows this piece on display in the courtyard of the Vatican Museum.
Warrior Fighting The instructor saw this statue in the Lourve. At the time of the viewing a boy of about 10 years of age was hanging from the outstretched arm. It is surprising that the marble limb did not snap off. The boy’s parents made no effort to correct the child’s behavior, apparently feeling it wasn’t anything serious.. Had the arm snapped off, and they had received a $500,000 bill for the cost of restoration, perhaps they would have felt differently.
Seated Boxer 100 BC Apollonius This bronze piece shows a professional fighter. His hands are wrapped with leather straps as was the custom and his battered and scarred face show the effect of years in the ring. Although powerful and physically fit, the boxer is not a young man. He likely remains in this line of work out of necessity, lacking training and education to pursue another career. The figure looks up, as if engaged in conversation with someone standing nearby. Perhaps he is being asked to fight another match. His expression reveals his weariness and lack of enthusiasm for another fight.
No padded gloves back then. Hands and forearms were wrapped with leather and the fighters would punch and club one another into submission. There were no “rounds” as in modern boxing. Once the match started, it continued until one contestant was unable to continue, surrendered or was dead.
This view makes the muscular subject look almost pathetic. He is tired and really doesn’t want to fight another bout.
Clearly showing the effect of age and physical abuse.
His nose has been broken many times. The battered and disfigured ears and scarred face betray the violence this man has known. Why doesn’t he just retire? Why subject himself to this continued abuse? Isn’t he well beyond the typical retirement age for a professional fighter? What are his options? He isn’t wealthy from years of boxing, it didn’t pay much back then. He never went to college. He is likely illiterate. What else can he do to earn a living? This piece can symbolize anyone trapped in a job or other situation that they don’t like but from which they cannot escape.
The Scraper by Lysippos c. 350-330 BC I hope you described it as a Roman copy of a Greek original. You should have noted that the material is marble but that the original was in bronze. You ought to have mentioned that this is from the Classical Period of Greek art. Now for the tough question. What museum holds this statue? I know that you are asking yourself “How the Hell am I supposed to know which museum owns this?” but I wouldn’t ask if you couldn’t tell me based on what you see. This is an athlete who has rubbed himself with cleansing oils and is now using a scraper to remove the oil. OK scholars, how would you formally describe this sculpture? Note that there was a support strut running from the figure’s right knee up to his right forearm to support the arm. Of course this would have been unnecessary in bronze and the original had so such strut. Ironically, the arm is still present but the strut has been broken off and lost. This is in the Vatican Museum. How can we tell?
Hermes by Praxiteles 330BC Praxiteles was a well known artist but this is his only surviving piece. Please note that it is an original Greek marble proving that being of marble doesn’t automatically make a sculpture with a Greek theme a Roman copy.
Torso of Aphrodite 1 st century BC after a 4 th century BC by Praxiteles This is a copy of an earlier work, but it was not made by a Roman artist. It is a Greek marble that copies an earlier original by Praxiteles.
Victorious Greek Youth c. 300 BC The Greeks never lost their fondness for celebrating athleticism and competition. This sculpture depicts the victorious young man placing the laurel wreath… the crown of victory… upon his head. Even though the quality of the artist’s work is less than optimal, this figure illustrates the realism of the Hellenistic Period.
Nike of Samothrace c. 200 BC This statue is of Nike (victory in ancient Greek and pronounced knee-kay). She is alighting on the prow of a ship. The rendering of her garment whipping about her body in the breeze is testimony to the naturalness of the Hellenistic Period.
Some of the missing pieces from the Nike of Samothrace are displayed in the Lourve. The fragmented hand would be mush interesting if the intact finger had happened to be the next one over.
Aphrodite of Melos 2 nd C BC Another original Greek marble (there appears to be more of these than some people would have us believe) this one is world famous and better known by the Roman version of her name. Do you know the Roman interpretation of this statue’s name?
Venus de Milo 2 nd century BC Of course, Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty who is counterpart to the Greek Aphrodite. This sculpture was found on the island of Melos in 1820 and in Latin that name becomes Milo.
The instructor took this photo in 1989. Rarely do books show sculpture from the rear so such images are collected when possible. You can also see the crowds one encounters in the great museums of the world.
Aphrodite of Modesty Despite being the goddess of love, Aphrodite (or Venus) is generally not portrayed as being of loose moral character. Indeed, she is frequently depicted as modest and demure.
Aphrodite and Pan c. 100 BC Here Aphrodite fends off the unwanted sexual advances of Pan, the best known of the Satyrs. Her son, Eros, helps by grabbing Pan’s horns in the effort to repel him. This is very symbolic as horns are sexual signals in nature and were associated with fertility by Pagans. She slaps at him with her sandal, which in some cultures is considered to be an insult.
Aphrodite Even if Aphrodite wasn’t routinely depicted as being morally challenged, her physical appearance is always that of a beautiful and desirable woman.
Artemisian Jockey 140 BC The lighter the jockey, the faster the horse can run. Who is lighter than a small child? What child protection laws?
Pankration fighter 1 st century AD Pankration dates to the 7 th century BC and is often described as a combination of boxing and wrestling. However, this sculpture suggests that some kicking techniques were also employed. What we know today as karate can be traced back to Okinawa and is no more than 200 years old. It seems the ancient Greeks may have invented a similar fighting style some 2400 years earlier.
Old Woman 1 st century AD Hellenistic Greek art actually becomes almost ridiculous in the effort to exactly duplicate reality.
The Antikythera Mechanism with 32 gears, 80 AD. Nobody knows what this was, or what it did, but it looks very complicated.
Greek Architecture <ul><li>There are three styles, or orders, of Greek architecture which are most readily identified by the types of columns. Slide 89 shows all three in side by side drawings. The Doric column (see Slide 90) is the shortest of the three and is the simplest with no decorative element at the top, or capital. The Ionic column (see Slide 91) is taller than the Doric and has a capital that looks like a scroll that is unrolling and falling off the top. The Corinthian column (see Slide 92) is the same height as the Ionic but features a plant-like form as the capital. </li></ul><ul><li>This plant represents the acanthus, found in the delta region of the Nile River in Egypt. Since the Egyptians invented the architectural column the Greeks may have been making reference to this fact and acknowledging the origins of this important element in Greek architecture. </li></ul>
At Paestum, Italy is found a pair of Greek temples built side-by-side (Slide 94). Such a thing is not found anywhere else. The taller of the two is the newer by about 100 years. As a general rule in architecture newer is taller as people have a tendency to go taller with buildings over time. Dedicated to the goddess Hera, who watched over wives and mothers, modern Italian women will still make a pilgrimage to this temple on their wedding days to have their photos taken on the steps of the temple for good luck. Old habits die hard. Slides 95-98 are various views and Slide 99 shows a portion of Roman road made from stone filled with concrete. What style of columns do we see on the Temple of Hera at Pasetum? Hera was the patron goddess of married women. If you go to Paestum on a Saturday morning many women in their wedding gowns will be here having their pictures taken on their wedding day standing on the steps of the temple for good luck. Why would 21 st century women, most of whom are Roman Catholic, pay homage to an ancient Greek goddess? Old habits die hard.
Parthenon in Athens 460 BC The Parthenon was built on a hilltop overlooking the city of Athens. It was built during the Classical period and is of the Doric Order. The ancient Greeks were obsessed with mathematics and the Parthenon was designed around the concept of the “Golden Section,” which is a rectangle with a ratio of 1.66/1 and the Greeks considered this to be the perfect shape and the most aesthetically pleasing rectangle. The Parthenon was part of a complex of buildings located on the Acropolis. In Greek acropolis means “high part of the city” (acro = high and polis = city) and every Greek city had an are so named. Like many cultures, they preferred to build their temples on the highest point. “The Acropolis” usually refers to the most famous one in Athens. The Turks occupied and controlled Greece from 1458 when the Turks captured Athens until 1829 when a unified Europe threatened Turkey with war if they didn’t free the Greeks. On March 25, 1821 Greeks rose up against Turkish rule which resulted in violent reprisals by the ruling sultan. Stories of mass killings at places like Chios swayed other nations into action against Turkey. On September 26, 1687 the Parthenon was struck by an artillery shell during a battle between the Ottoman forces and attacking military units from the Venetian city-state. Munitions stored inside the structure detonated leaving the building in ruins. Thomas Bruce, Earl of Elgin (called Lord Elgin) was Britain's ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1799 – 1803. In 1801 he sought permission from the sultan to remove sculpture from the Parthenon complex. Between 1801 and 1812 his people removed about half of the art work from the Parthenon as well as other items from surrounding buildings and shipped them to England. The British government purchased the material from Lord Elgin and these items are now in the British Royal Museum in London. Since regaining independence in 1829 the Greeks have been seeking the return of the material taken from Athens by Lord Elgin. So far, these attempts have been unsuccessful.
The Parthenon is the most important and characteristic monument of the ancient Greek civilization and still remains its international symbol. It was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the patron goddess of Athens. It was built between 447 and 438 B.C. and its sculptural decoration was completed in 432 B.C. The construction of the monument was initiated by Perikles, the supervisor of the whole work was Pheidias, the famous Athenian sculptor, while Iktinos and Kallikrates were the architects of the building. The Parthenon was built using what the Greeks called the “Golden Section.” This is a rectangle with a ration of 1.66:1 and is considered to be the most perfect of designs. The columns are tilted slightly inward at the top to compensate for the optical illusion that makes them appear to lean outwards as one looks up at them. At some point iron grates were added between the columns as wealthy Athenians stored their valuables in the building, turning it into a bank. Slide 103 shows a reconstruction of the original Parthenon complex. Note the date on the slide. On that date a Phoenician warship fired a cannon ball into the Parthenon detonating gun powder stored there by the Turkish army. Up until that moment the building was in pretty good shape. The resulting explosion left it as we see it now.
The Athenian government spent so much money on the Parthenon, like for this 38’ tall gold-covered statue of Athena (artist’s concept of original at right), that it left the city bankrupt. When attacked by another city there was no money to raise and equip an army and the city was conquered.
The Parthenon as it appears today. The modern structure at the lower left of the complex area is a museum housing the remaining artworks associated with the Parthenon.
The Acropolis Acro = High Polis = City Acropolis literally means “high part of the city” and this is where the Greeks built their temples.
From around 1500 until 1832 Greece was under the control of Turkey, being part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1821 Greeks began rebelling and many European nations, feeling more kinship towards Greece than to Turkey, supported them militarily. Finally, Europe delivered an ultimatum to the Turkish Emir, demanding Greece’s independence under the threat of war against a united Europe. Once Greece regained its independence, among the first orders of business was to demand that England return the art that Lord Elgin had looted years earlier. Great Britain’s response was to say… no. They have been arguing over this matter ever since. The following slides show what little sculpture remains attached to the Parthenon and some of the pieces currently displayed in the British Royal Museum in London that are the subject of debate between England and Greece.
The only remaining sculpture on the Parthenon following the explosion. Slide 109 shows more Parthenon sculpture in the British Royal Museum.
Erectheum <ul><li>The Erctheum is one of the structures in the Parthenon complex. The rear of the building has an interesting feature called The Porch of the Maidens. You will see why it’s called this. </li></ul><ul><li>A column sculpted in a male form is called an Atlantian Figure after Atlas, who supposedly bore the Earth upon his powerful shoulders. A support column sculpted in female form is called a caryatid. The caryatids are always relaxed and show no strain of holding up the weight while the Atlantians are always straining and struggling under the weight. </li></ul>
Erectheum- Porch of the Maidens. 421-405 BC The Erectheum featured six support columns sculpted in the form of women. Such columns are called caryatids and Lord Elgin removed one of the figures and sent it to England along with the other material looted from the Parthenon and other buildings in the complex. When the caryatid in the Britisih Royal Musem was compared to those remaining on the Erectheum a few years ago it was noted that the one in London showed far less wear and damage. It was determined that the severe air pollution in Athens was causing “acid rain” which was eroding the soft marble of the statues. The original caryatids were relocated inside a museum and fiberglass replicas were installed. The missing caryatid was not replaced by the Greek authorities, who instead placed a sign at the location reading “the figure that belongs here was stolen by the English.”
Temple of Athena Nike c. 420 B.C. by the architect Kallikrates “ The Temple of the Victorious Athena” is another structure in the complex. Which order is this building?
The monumental gateway of the Acropolis was designed by the architect Mnesikles and constructed in 437-432 B.C. It comprises a central building and two lateral wings. The colonnades along the west and east sides had a row of Doric columns while two rows of Ionic columns divided the central corridor into three parts. The Propylaea
The typical Greek family didn’t live in a temple. This is a drawing of a wealthy Greek family’s home. The basic plan is very similar to the Roman basilica which would in turn become the model for Early Christian churches.