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Interior Design (Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome)

An overview of the different aspects of interior design that occurred in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
by

Liora Solomon

on 8 January 2013

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Transcript of Interior Design (Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome)

Liora Solomon Interior Design-Through the Looking
Glass Ancient Greece Interior Design of
Ancient Civilizations The Trojan War left Greece in a very dark age. Not much information is known about this time period. However, with the return of literacy at the beginning of the 8th century B.C. came the end of the dark age and the start of the Archaic Age. Archaic comes from the Greek arche which means: beginning. With the Archaic Age came many new developments and life in Greece changed rapidly. This was mainly due to the previously isolated communities that were able to come into increased contact with one another. Greek Design Preferences The Greek employed strict rules regarding
the way their buildings were to be constructed,
and allowed only minor variations of the
orders to be used in any construction. Orders in Architecture There are three Greek orders in
classical architecture,
Doric, Ionian, and Corinthian. Ancient Rome Beginning in the eighth century B.C., Ancient Rome grew from a small town on central Italy's Tiber River into an empire that at its peak encompassed most of continental Europe, Britain, much of western Asia, northern Africa and the Mediterranean islands. Set up of Rooms The general plan of these houses seems to
have been of Greek origin, as well as the way
the interiors were decorated. Windows were
uncommon in Roman dwellings and comprised
small shuttered openings when present. Roman Furniture Furniture in Roman houses tended to be sparse,
since the occupants liked space and simplicity
in their decor. However, the few items of Roman Empire furniture were elegant and costly, using excellent materials and craftsmanship. Ancient Greek Everyday Life Men if they were not training in military, or discussing politics went to the theater for entertainment. To watch dramas that they could relate to, including tragedies and comedies. These often involved current
politics and gods in some form. It is thought that women were not allowed to watch theater or perform at the theater. Lives of women in Ancient Greece were closely tied to domestic work, spinning, weaving and other domestic duties. They were not involved in public life or in politics. The majority of Ancient Greek people made their living from farming. Citizens often had land outside the city which provided their income. The Greek landscape and climate was difficult to farm. At the time, many Greek children spent a lot of time playing games. Greek boys played games like hockey, which were not part of the Olympic Games. Ancient Greek Jewelry In Ancient Greece many different types of jewelery
were created: necklaces, earrings, pendants, pins, bracelets, armbands, thigh bands, finger rings, wreaths, diadems, and other elaborate hair ornaments.
Pieces were usually created with pearls and dazzling gems or semiprecious stones-emeralds, garnets, carnelians, banded agates, sardonyx, chalcedony, and rock crystal. Artists also incorporated colorful enamel inlays. During this time, jewelry was often passed down through generation. The first and simplest of the three Greek orders, the Doric, has a plain bell-shaped capital, and was intended by the ancient Greeks to convey masculine form and dignity The Ionic order is characterized by the two large volutes of the capital, the order was seen as feminine, depicting a mature woman in its design and proportions. The Corinthian, is recognized by a bell shaped capital adorned with rows of acanthus leaves. The Corinthian reflected the Corinthians, who were wealthy and liked to flaunt their wealth through their surroundings. The main philosophy behind Greek
architecture dealt with reflecting the
honesty or the purest of forms, as are
displayed in life and the natural world.
This is evidenced clearly by the Greeks
refusal to deviate from traditional
forms in construction even when they
were using different construction
methods with different materials. Greek Furniture Much of ancient Greek culture such as
drama, art, architecture, literature, mythology,
and the Olympic games all began in one small
country in Europe. Yet there is another aspect
of Greek life affecting culture today that is often overlooked: furniture. No indoor ancient Greek furniture
has survived to present day due
to the fact that it was entirely made of wood. The examples of the furniture that we see
today in vase paintings, sculptures, and
reliefs from the Parthenon are considered by historians to be valid. Stools Two main styles of stools of ancient Greece have survived through reliefs.

The first type looks more like what would today be considered to be a small table. The typical stool consisted of a flat top and four straight legs. This stool was known as a Bathron. There was no back support and the bottom was hard and uncompromising.

The second type of stool was made lightweight and easy to carry. Like most furniture of the time, the X-stool was easily movable and did not have a specific place in the home. Couches Couches of ancient Greece were combinations of beds and sofas. This type of furniture, called the Kline, was made for sleeping as well as dining. During meals Greek diners would lie down rather than sit to eat. Tables The Greeks had one set item to be placed upon
their tables: food. Unlike people today, the ancient Greeks did not use tables as places to set up
valuables, but merely used them in
their most basic purpose. Chairs Prior to the invention of a type of chair known as the Klismos by the Greeks in the 5th Century BCE. These chairs had hard stiff backs and arms. The Klismos was an entirely new type of chair designed by the Greeks. It's smooth and flowing shape inspired cultures of the Middle Ages and the early 19th Century to revive the concept. The Klismos, used principally by women, was made with delicately curved back and legs. Acropolis of Athens-Parthenon The ninety-two metopes were carved in high relief, a practice employed until then only in treasuries (buildings used to keep votive gifts to the gods). According to the building records, the metope sculptures date to the years 446–440 BC. Metopes The most characteristic feature in the
architecture and decoration of the temple
is the Ionic frieze running around the exterior
walls of the cella, which is the inside structure
of the Parthenon Frieze The east pediment narrates the birth of Athena from the head of her father, Zeus. Unfortunately, the centerpieces of the pediment were destroyed even before Jacques Carrey created otherwise useful documentary drawings in 1674, so all reconstructions are subject to speculation.

The west pediment faced the Propylaia and depicted the contest between Athena and Poseidon during their competition for the honor of becoming the city's patron Pediment The Romans were more concerned with developing new technological and engineering techniques rather than creating buildings for any philosophical or solely artistic reasons. By invading and conquering different territories they literally took from other cultures their greatest achievements and adapted them for their own use for the benefit and glory of advancing the Roman empire. Dwellings were constructed in Roman cities and towns to suit the occupation of the owner, to reflect their social status, and to facilitate their trade. The Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius makes this intention clear when he states that the buildings will be “arranged with convenience and perfection to suit every purpose”. Large areas of blank walls enclosed
the rooms and were elaborately
decorated to create an increased
sense of space. Colours were of earth
pigments readily
available and the most
vivid colours were
used whenever
possible. Floors were usually covered in
tiled mosaic patterns of
mythological scenes or geometric
patterns, and led to the
development of tessellated
mosaic techniques. The main items of Roman furniture
found in the best houses were couches
or beds, chairs and stools, tables and
lamps. Adding chests or wooden
cabinets with doors Differences -Romans made greater use
of bronze, silver, gold, and
marble when constructing
their furniture.
-Roman designs tended to
be more complex
and practical.
-Roman furniture was
often easier to disassemble,
allowing for easier transportation Solium An upright, high-backed chair with solid
arms was used by the master of the house.
The solium looked like it had been cut
from a single block of wood and was so
high that a footstool was needed to reach it. The Cathedra became popular.
This was a more comfortable
chair, without arms, and with
a curved back, and it was often
used by lecturers Cathedra Colosseum The Colosseum, originally
the Flavian Amphitheater , is an elliptical
amphitheater in the center of the city of
Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the
Roman Empire, built of concrete
and stone. It is considered
one of the greatest works of Roman
architecture and Roman engineering. Unlike earlier Greek theaters that
were built into hillsides, the
Colosseum is an entirely
free-standing structure
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