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Classical/ Hellenistic Greek & Roman

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melissa lesser

on 12 October 2016

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Transcript of Classical/ Hellenistic Greek & Roman

Classical/Hellenistic Greek & Roman
Classical Orders
33. Classical Greek
Anonymous painter referred to as the Niobid Painter
Niobides Krater
460-450 BCE
Clay, red-figure technique (white highlights)

34. High Classical Greek
Doryphorus (Spear Bearer)
Original 450-440 BCE
Roman copy (marble) of Greek original (bronze)

Image by goodtextures: http://fav.me/d2he3r8
Greek architecture is renowned for its impressive and ornate temples.
The earliest temples were simple shrines for divinities ie: Temple of Minerva (mud brick) but over time temples developed into a statement of wealth and superiority ie:Parthenon
Greek Pottery
Geometric Period
marked the end of Greece's Dark Age and lasted from 900 to 700 BCE.

Monumental kraters and amphoras were made and decorated as grave markers. Every space is filled with patterns and on one or two registers across the body of the pot are depictions of funerary rites.

Orientalizing Period
lasted from 700 to 600 BCE in Greece. During this time, trade with foreign cultures from Asia Minor, Egypt, and the Ancient Near East allowed for new artistic conventions to influence and be incorporated into Greek art.

The Corinthians developed the technique of black-figure painting. Corinthian black-figure vases in the Orientalizing period are distinguishable by the inclusion of exotic and mythical animals. This style quickly spread throughout Greece, and artists later developed uniquely Greek images.
Black & Red Figure
Heracles (Hercules) with Athena on one side
Artemis and Apollo kill the children of Niobe (painter name derived from this depiction) on the other
Figures shown at multiple levels to try to show space/depth
More dramatic depiction of story with activation of space
Hercules had to complete these tasks to exonorate him from killing his children
Slay the Nemean Lion.
Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.
Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis.
Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
Clean the Augean stables in a single day.
Slay the Stymphalian Birds.
Capture the Cretan Bull.
Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.
Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.
Steal the apples of the Hesperides (he had the help of Atlas to pick them after Hercules had slain Ladon).
Capture and bring back Cerberus.
• Epitome of male beauty achieved with a system of mathematical proportions.
• The most famous depiction of Polykleitos' canon

Obsession with balance and harmony is expressed by each weight-bearing limb being placed in diagonal opposition to a relaxed one.
• This underscores the principle of
Disposition of body parts to show movement; one part turned in opposition to the other; weight shift; one side tense and the other relaxed.
• The right side of the body has the solidity of an Ionic column, bringing stability to the energetic expression of the left.
• Doryphorus displays the transformation of body position which precedes movement, and it marks the point where the evolution of depicting motion in sculpture originates.
• He is a warrior and originally carried a spear in his left hand.
• In ancient Greece, battle was the supreme test of masculinity, yet he is not dressed in armor, for the naked body was a symbol for military might.
• His muscular, heavy body displays an internal firmness.
Polykleitos was a
Greek sculptor
from the school of Argos, known for his masterly bronze sculptures of young athletes; he was also one of the most significant aestheticians in the history of art. ("Polykleitos")
Greeks used a system of measures when they made temples and also attempted to use a standard unit of measure to draw the human body.

Polykleitos of Argos was the sculpture who best represented the idea of constructing the ideal human figure.
Polykleitos influenced artists by
making nude figures more popular
, along with
poised rhythmic poses
, and male and female head with characteristic
rounded structure and full, oval face

The Canon:
The Canon is a theoretical work that discusses ideal mathematical proportions for the parts of the human body and proposes for sculpture of the human figure a dynamic counterbalance—between the relaxed and tensed body parts and between the directions in which the parts move.
Polykleitos created his method around 450 BCE and called it “The Canon” coming from the Greek word kanon meaning measure, rule, or law.
To prove his theory, Polykleitos created a heroic bronze statue of Achilles
. Sadly, this statue was destroyed but since it was so widely known, many sculptors redid it.
The most commonly known replica is called the Spear Bearer (Doryphoros)
. Diadumenus and Doryphoros are known only through Roman copies.
Because the statue had been destroyed, scholars spent their time studying the replicas that had been made by Romans to try to find the constant measurement seen in the Canon. They believed that the Canon was based on a ratio of units and the length of various body parts.

The Unit of Measurement:
The unit of measurement is unknown but is thought of as the length of a finger or the length from the hairline to the jaw. Polykleitos also set the standards of symmetria, by setting the lengths of various body parts equal to each other.
Basic proportions inspired by the Greeks
35a. High Classical Greek
Artists: Iktinos and Kallikrates credited with creation
447-410 BCE

Myron's Disc Thrower
450 BCE capturing
balance and proportion
before movement
Acropolis: Fortified center section of the city
Athen's acropolis sits on a rocky outcropping overlooking the city
Destroyed by Persians 490 BCE and then rebuilt a generation later (archaic sections older section, classical rebuilt areas)
Parthenon: Primary structure, Doric temple, built to honor Athena
Large ivory and gold sculpture of Athena inside,sculptor Phidias)
May have been a treasury
Repurposed for multiple religions over may years
Entasis slight curving of columns
The Panathenaic Festival (or Panathenaia) was celebrated every year with a sacrificial procession, and with a more splendid, Panhellenic festival (the Great Panathenaia), every four years. A new robe was presented to the ancient wooden statue of Athena Polias ("Athena Who Protects the City").
Birth of Athena in the middle (missing), goddesses on the right side, sun rising/dawn of new day on the left with horse, Helios and Dionysus
Depiction of figures through drapery is very well done showing muscle movement
Very challenging composition to fit into temple pediment, originally brightly colored
36. High Classical Greek
Atributted to artist Kallimachos
Grave Stele of Hegeso
410 BCE
Marble and paint

modern replicas
Funerary sculptures: korous, kraters and grave markers with reliefs
Private (not state funded) sculpture
Hegeso is opening a box of jewelry presented by servant, in her hand was a painted necklace (faded over time)
Women had a primary role in the home (unable to vote or participate in government)
Resembles Parthenon relief sculpture with draping of clothing
Delicate, solemn and respectful to represent the deceased

37. Hellenistic Greek
Winged Victory of Samothrace

190 BCE

Also referred to as the Nike of Samothrace
9 ft tall probably built to commemorate a naval victory
The naval monument consists of a statue of a winged female figure – the messenger goddess Victory – and a base in the shape of the prow of a ship, standing on a low pedestal.
The Victory is wearing a long
, or tunic, of fine cloth, that falls in folds to her feet. To shorten the skirts, the cloth is gathered by a belt, hidden by the folds which hang over the hips.
The handling of the chiton is in striking contrast with the thick, deeply carved draped folds of the cloak which covers part of the chiton. The form of the folds of the cloak becomes clear when the outside and inside are highlighted in blue and red, following the folds of the cloth.
May have held a trumpet or wreath in her right hand
Movement of fabric relates to wind and water splashing from the front of the ship
35b. High Classical Greek
Artists: Iktinos and Kallikrates credited with creation
447-410 BCE

35c. High Classical Greek
Artists: Iktinos and Kallikrates credited with creation
East Pediment Sculpture of Parthenon
447-410 BCE

35d. High Classical Greek
Artists: Kallikrates
Temple of Athena Nike
447-410 BCE

temple built to commemorate the Greek victory over the Persians (battle of Marathon)
-Southwest corner of the Acropolis
-Nike means victory in Greek, and Athena was worshiped in this form, as goddess of victory in war and wisdom.
- It is a
(four column)
structure with a
colonnaded portico
(porch) at both front and rear (
4 columns in front and back), designed by the architect Kallikrates.
-A statue of Nike stood in the
(middle section)
-Some time after the temple was completed, around 410 BC a
(protective wall) was added around it to prevent people from falling. The outside of the parapet had exquisitely carved relief sculptures showing Nike in a variety of activities.
35e. High Classical Greek
Artists: Kallikrates
Victory (Nike) adjusting her sandal
447-410 BCE

From the
of the Temple of Athena Nike
-draping of fabric shows detailed handling of the figure
-balanced weight with wings
-great attention to detail in carving of relief sculpture
35f. High Classical Greek
Artists: Phidias?
Plaque of Ergastines
447-432 BCE

-Ideal example of Classical Greek art
-Found on the
decorating the

-Built to glorify Athens and its divine protector, Athena.
-Shows one of the high points of the Great Panathenaic festival held every four years in Athens.
-Six Ergastines (young women in charge of weaving the
offered to Athena, statue is dressed as part of the ritual) are greeted by two priests as they walk in procession towards the assembly of the gods.
-First documentation of an human ritual/event

-Built between 421 and 406 BCE
-Its architect may have been Mnesicles, and it derived its name from a shrine dedicated to the legendary Greek hero Erichthonius
-The sculptor and mason of the structure was
, who was employed by Pericles to build both the Erechtheion and the Parthenon.
-Some have suggested that it may have been built in honor of the legendary king Erechtheus, who is said to have been buried nearby.
-Erechtheus was mentioned in Homer's Iliad as a great king and ruler of Athens during the Archaic Period
North Side: large porch with six Ionic columns
South Side:"Porch of the Maidens", with six draped female figures known as
that act as supporting columns
The porch was built to conceal the giant 15-ft beam needed to support the southwest corner
38a. Hellenistic Greek
Artist Unknown
Great Alter of Zeus and Athena at Pergamon
(architecture and sculpture)
175 BCE
Asia Minor (present-day Turkey)

38b. Hellenistic Greek
Artist Unknown
Relief of Athena from the Great Alter of Zeus and Athena at Pergamon
(architecture and sculpture)
175 BCE
Asia Minor (present-day Turkey)
Hellenistic art known for showing great expression and detailed definition of the human form
Alexander the Great expanded the influence of Greek culture to the Indus Valley (India)
Temple used for sacrifices also held fire for Zeus
Depicts the battle of gods and goddesses against the giants...
this battle scene can symbolize the Greeks overcoming foreign foes
The temple is an elaborate and impressive example of architecture that was surrounded by a great library, garrison for soldiers and palace for the king
This section of the deeply carved relief shows great expression in the figures of
(center) pulling the hair of
(left) as his mother
(right) watches her son who is about to be killed.
Dynamic diagonals
Clockwise rotation created with the imagery
The relief sculpture is so expressive, ornate and engaging it literally spills off the walls of the temple

39 a,b,c. Imperial Roman
Artist Unknown
House of the Vettii
c. second century BCE, rebuilt c. 62-79CE
Pompeii, Italy
cut stone and fresco
One of the most famous of the luxurious residences (
) in Pompeii (Roman townhouse)
Preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD
Two brothers owned the house; both were freedmen (former slaves) who made their money as merchants (wine) and entertained
Beautifully preserved wall
(made after an earthquake in 62 AD)
Grand house showing the new found wealth of middle class (from wine production in frescos)
(central entrance room) could be seen upon entering, open to the sky
Decorative spouts collect rainwater (
) in the shapes of different animals in atrium
(bedrooms) radiate around the atrium
Large garden with statues in the center with fountains that received water from lead pipes from the
combine many different styles showing painted faux marble on the bottom, lintels and entablatures and architectural elements painted to show depth and create a engaging space
Axial symmetry of the structure with no windows on the exterior, interior lighting comes from the open atrium and garden space
40. Republican Roman
Artist Unknown
Alexander Mosaic from the House of Faun, Pompeii
c. 100 BCE
Pompeii, Italy
Persian retreat in battle with Alexander the Great
Alexander on the left: young, brave, forthright and confident that he will win the battle
Darius in center right on chariot; horrified, weakly ceding the victory; directing the horses to flee/escape
Believed to be based on an Ancient Greek Painting
Incredibly expressive faces of animals and humans with a crowded, nervous excitement
Extremely complicated interweaving of figures
Mosaic: an image composed of small pieces of glass and stone called tesserae
Strong narrative and visual contrast (light against dark)
Alexander's breastplate believed to show Medusa
Found in 1831 in Pompeii and moved to a Naples museum
41. Hellenistic Greek
Artist Unknown
Seated Boxer
c. 100 BCE
Mount Vesuvius, a volcano near the Bay of Naples in Italy, is hundreds of thousands of years old and has erupted more than 50 times.
Its most famous eruption took place in the year
79 A.D
., when the volcano buried the ancient Roman city of Pompeii under a thick carpet of volcanic ash.
The dust “poured across the land” like a flood, one witness wrote, and shrouded the city in “a darkness…like the black of closed and unlighted rooms.”
Two thousand people died, and the city was abandoned for 1700 yrs.

When a group of explorers rediscovered the site in 1748, they were surprised to find that–underneath a thick layer of dust and debris–Pompeii was mostly intact.
The buildings, artifacts and skeletons left behind in the buried city have taught us a great deal about everyday life in the ancient world.
The statue portrays a boxer seated with his arms resting on his knees, his head turned to the right and slightly raised with mouth open
The figure is naked except for his boxing gloves (ancient Greek type with strips of leather attached to a ring around the knuckles and fitted with woolen padding)
The boxer is represented just after a match
His muscular body and full beard are those of a mature athlete (older), and his thick neck, lanky legs, and long arms are well suited to the sport.
His face exhibits bruises and cuts. His lips are sunken as though his teeth have been pushed in or knocked out.
The muscles of his arms and legs are tense as though, despite the exhaustion of competition, he is ready to spring up and face the next combatant.
Extreme realism, definition of the figure, emotion and exhaustion and cut areas of blood are made of copper
Great emotion
May have been a good luck charm for athletes (evidence of worn areas from touching)
42. Republican Roman
Artist Unknown
Head of a Roman patrician
c. 75-50 BCE
Unknown Roman aristocrat
Physical traits of this portrait image are meant to convey seriousness of mind (
) and the virtue (
) and wisdom of a public career by showing his experience on his face
While this representational strategy might seem unusual in the post-modern world, in the waning days of the Roman Republic it was an effective means of competing in an ever more complex socio-political arena.
Realism shows influence of Greek Hellenistic and late Etruscan art
can be defined as a sort of hyperrealism in sculpture where the naturally occurring features of the subject are exaggerated, often to the point of absurdity.
Sculptures of the head and shoulders are called
busts were mostly of men and usually depicted as elderly
43. Imperial Roman
Artist Unknown
Augustus of Prima Porta
Patron: Tiberius Caesar
Early first century CE
Original location Rome, private residence of Livia (Augustus' wife) at Primaporta
Commemorative monument, used as
political propaganda
; back not carved meant to be against a wall
Political art
: advertised Augustus' idealized qualities, depicting the emperor in his role as general and is based closely on
Polykleitos' Doryphoros
aka Spear Bearer (
Breastplate references battles showing gods on his side showing
Pax Romana
(peace to Rome through military victories)
Believed to have been commissioned in 15 A.D. by Augustus’ adopted son Tiberius
Meant to look like a victorious general giving a speech, judges robes show him as a civic ruler
Idealized features of strength and beauty, there are also personal features of Augustus: a broad forehead, deep-set eyes, sharp ridges in his brow, a well-formed mouth and a small chin.
His face depicted in the manner of Apollo was meant to associate Augustus’ abilities with those of the powerful god
Cupid: connects lineage to gods, Dolphin: great naval victory over Mark Anthony in 31 BCE
Augustus wanted to portray himself as a perfect leader with flawless features, personifying the power and authority of the emperor who had the capacity to stabilize a society and an empire.
44. Imperial Roman
Artist Unknown
Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheater)
70-80 CE
Stone and concrete
Commissioned around 70-72 CE by Emperor Vespasian (Flavian family as a gift to the Roman people)
80 CE Titus (Vespasian's son) opened the Flavian Amphitheater with 100 days of games (gladiators and wild animal fights)
Gift of the Emperor and Roman ruling class to gain the favor of the people
Center of Rome, east of the Roman Forum (center of Roman public life commercial and political)
Largest amphitheater ever built in Roman empire
"Double theater" two semicircles (the traditional theater) combined could easily hold a modern day football field (180ft x 287ft) with 15 ft wall around center with seating above
Could hold 50,00-80,000 people with marked entrances that would guide audience to seats (nobles close to the arena center, then commoners and women at the top)
4 main floors: with different columns: Lower is
(simpler version of Doric with base), then
, top
with statues
Substantial use of concrete
to mold portions of the structure (cheaper, quicker, required less skilled laborers)
Below were numerous rooms and tunnels (housing gladiators and wild animals) also ramps, pulleys and hand operated elevators to get them to the arena
Even filled with water and conducted naval battle re-enactments
Last recorded games were in the 6th century, earthquake caused destruction of South side
45a. Republican Roman
Apollodorus of Damascus
Forum of Trajan
Forum and markets 106-112 CE;
Column completed 113 CE
Rome, Italy
Brick and concrete (architecture), marble (column)

45b. Republican Roman
Apollodorus of Damascus
Basilica Ulpia from Forum of Trajan
Forum and markets 106-112 CE;
Rome, Italy
Brick and concrete (architecture), marble (column)

45c. Republican Roman
Apollodorus of Damascus
Trajan Markets from Forum of Trajan
Forum and markets 106-112 CE;
Rome, Italy
Brick and concrete (architecture), marble (column)

45d. Republican Roman
Apollodorus of Damascus
Trajan Column from Forum of Trajan
Forum and markets 106-112 CE;
Rome, Italy
Brick and concrete (architecture), marble (column)
46. Imperial Roman
Artist Unknown
118-125 CE
Rome, Italy
Concrete with stone facing

47. Late Imperial Roman
Artist Unknown
Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus
c. 250 CE

Complex was created between 106-112 AD by Apollodorus of Damascus, the most famous architect of the era
Required the leveling of a 130 ft high hill, one of the most impressive Imperial Fora (pl. of forum)
Seen as one of the architectural wonders of the world at the time it was built
Built to honor the emperor Trajan (highly revered/praised emperor chosen by the people) and his military success against the Dacians (current day Romania)
The majority of the complex is built in stone (except 2 brick libraries; one Latin one Greek) highest level ornamentation and exotic marbles
on either side (covered passageways) and semi-circular space called
Commemorates his victory over Dacians during wars of 101-106AD.
Monument erected after the Triumph (great military celebration including the entire city aka parade/party, sometimes multiple days)
Burial chamber of Trajan, whose ashes were placed in the base
Documents all of the military campaigns of the Dacian Wars (Romania)
Trajan declared 100 days of celebration after the winning of the wars (there were 2 wars with the Dacians)
Lower half depicts the 1st Dacian War (101-102 CE), the top half of the column shows the 2nd Dacian War (105-106 CE)
The Trajan Column can be categorized as a frieze
Freize: in architecture is an element usually decorated with sculpture in low relief.
It was believed to be painted showing the Dacian enemies as bearded wearing pants as opposed to clean shaved Romans in traditional clothing and armor
Main structure at the center of the forum complex
Judicial and civic purpose: Law courts held here; apses were for judges
385 ft by 182 ft with 2
(grand interior space) and a spacious
(place for people to congregate)
Double collonaded side aisles (believed to be Corinthian, yellow or white marble)
2nd floor had galleries or perhaps
windows to let in light
Libraries on either side, Trajan column at the end
Timber roof 80 ft across
Had impressive guilded bronze roof tiles
Ulpius was an important Trajan family's name
Multilevel commercial complex (Roman mall) built against a hill that was partially removed
170 rooms remain, but it's difficult to understand the full scope because the area was repurposed during Medieval times
Sections for the Imperial treasury and Imperial officials
Groin Vaults
barrel vaults
that intersect) with brick covered concrete
Offices connected with
barrel vaults
(stylized supports)
The column is made of Luna marble
height of 38.4 meters (c. 98 feet) atop a tall pedestal
The shaft of the column is composed of 29 drums of marble measuring c. 3.7 meters (11 feet) in diameter, weighing a total of c. 1,110 tons.
The topmost drum weighs some 53 tons. A spiral staircase of 185 steps leads to the viewing platform atop the column.
The helical sculptural frieze measures 190 meters in length (c. 625 feet) and wraps around the column 23 times.
A total of 2,662 figures appear in the 155 scenes of the frieze, with Trajan himself featured in 58 scenes.
The construction of the Column of Trajan was an immense engineering challenge that required complex lifting devices and careful planning to execute successfully.
Materials had to be acquired and transported to Rome, some across long distances.
Created by Hadrian
Originally a temple for
all gods
(latin: pan= all, theos=god), then later repurposed for Christianity
Inscription: "Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, having been consul three times, built it"
Initially had a collonade in front of the building
Large single stone columns
(not drums like in past temples) in
style frame the
Large bronze doors lead into the building into the rotunda (circular construction)
(sunken panels that recede into the structure)concrete dome with an
(central opening that lets in natural light)
The Pantheon exists today in such amazing form because the Byzantine emperor Phocas gave it to Pope Boniface the IV in A.D 608 and it was used as a church ever since. The Pantheon has been in use since the time it was built.

As the brick stamps on the side of the building reveal it was built and dedicated between A.D 118 and 125. by the emperor Hadrian (A.D 117-138) built the Pantheon to replace another that was in its place which burnt to the ground in 80 A.D.

The structure of the Pantheon is comprised of a series of intersecting arches.
The arches rest on eight piers which support eight round-headed arches which run through the drum from its inner to its outer face.
The arches correspond to the eight bays on the floor level that house statues.
The dome itself is supported by a series of arches that run horizontally round. Romans had perfected the use of arches which helped sustain the weight of their magnanimous buildings
The Romans were aware of the heavy nature of their building materials. So they used lighter materials toward the top of the dome.
On the lowest level travertine, the heaviest material was used,
then a mixture of travertine and tufa, then tufa and brick,
then all brick was used around the drum section of the dome,
and finally pumice, the lightest and most porous of materials on the ceiling of the dome.
The dome would have been gilded to look like the heavenly sphere of all the gods that the name Pantheon evokes.
No oculus had even dared come close in size to the one in the Pantheon.
It is still lined with the original Roman bronze and is the main source of light for the whole building.
The oculus was never covered and rain falls into the interior and runs off the slightly convex floor to the still functioning Roman drainpipes underneath.
The Pantheon has since antiquity been used to inspire artists during the Renaissance as well as become the tomb for important figures in Italian history.

The Italian kings Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I as well as the famous Renaissance painter Raphael and his fiancée are buried in the Pantheon.
Equestrian Sculpture of Marcus Aurelius
not a required work of art but influential throughout later art history
is an acronym of a Latin phrase:
Senātus Populusque Rōmānus
referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic
It appears on coins, at the end of documents made public by inscription in stone or metal, in dedications of monuments and public works, and was emblazoned on the standards of the Roman legions.
Romans vs. Goths (Germanic barbarians)
Large deep relief made of marble, unknown patron
Extremely crowded surface with multiple layers of figures
Confusion of battle is echoed in congested composition
Roman military commander (thought to be the deceased) on horse in the middle top (invincible without helmet or weapons)
Very active surface depicting the battle scene
Darker rougher areas are given to the Goths
Romans appear lighter and framed by shields
Complex, intertwined figures have been parrelled with the rising instability of the region, less concerned with ideal draped figure and perfect proportions
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