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Greek Art

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Jessica Pearl Salas

on 14 April 2014

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Transcript of Greek Art

Greek Art
Dipylon Vase 750 BC, Athens
This is from Athens. Some people have actually been buried in these vases, they are for funerary purposes. Vases were spilt between male and female vases as a form of speration.This vase is a female vase because the handles are on the stomach. The male is on the right handles on the neck.
Eventually these vases still have a funerary aspect but became a monument, or tombstone, it's not to bury people anymore.

Archaic Art
Archaic Art, from c. 700 - 480 BC, began with an Middle Eastern Phase (735 - 650 BC). Elements from other civilizations began to creep into Greek art.
The Archaic phase is best known for the start of realistic depictions of humans and monumental stone sculptures.
Scupltures from the Archaic time indluded:
kouros (male)
kore (female)
The statues were always showing young, nude, smiling persons.


Euphronios, Death of Sarpedon 515 BC, ceramic

The red vase looks much more realistic than the black. The technique of the red vase works to allow much more detail that people want. The red appeals to the Greeks because of the motion available, and the idea of the olive skin. The black vase is also much more flatter, and isn’t capable of comparing real life to the art.
Death of Sarcadon
Lots of lines. Also very Symmetrical and a symmetrical. All the figures are balanced but the figures are also a little bigger from one another, objects are in different places which allow for the a symmetrical and tiny difference to make this realistic

Exekias, Ajax and Achilles playing a Game 540 BC, ceramic Vulci

Black Figure Vase done by Exekias
This is a scene form the Trojan War Ajax and Achilles. People say he is the best because of his subtle touches to the vases. Such as with his vase it’s quietly asymmetrical. He does not make things static at all; he tries to make things have just the tiniest bit of movement. Scratch art to an extent.

Greek Art
700 BC - 31 BC

The Aegean and Mycenaean Cultures have collapsed. Greek cultures come forth. Athens becomes an independent City State. Sparta becomes a city state, and so do the rest of the cities. Greece was never was an empire/country, until times of war. Each city also has a patron deity.

There are 3 main categories in which Greek art is split into.
Archaic Art 700-480 BC
Classical Art 480-323 BC
Hellenistic Art 323- 31 BC


• Egyptian influence: muscular, one foot forward, broad shoulders
• Greek changes: pierced, no clothes (Egyptian clothing symbolic of who figures were) focus on body (physicality of body), knee cap—still design like but emphasis there there are those bulges on top of the knee when standing, proportions—arms go down to mid-thigh,
• Stylized ear—reference to Geometric period
• Arm and chest muscles, clavicle bone, abdominal muscles (separating the different portions of the abdominal—different shapes emphasizing top part where rib cage is, groin line (used to separate the body and is still a little harsh and stylzed but line is present in athletes or those that are well fit)
• Hair—grid-like, stiff, band (when victorious worn), →realistic limits of sculptre hair is difficult in sculpture
• Linear
• Harsh straight linear quality in face (nose, eyes)
o Early figures face is very shallow--planer
• Lower class Greeks were going down as soldiers for Egyptians which opened up trade of ideas.

New York Kouros, c. 600 BC, marble
• Legs—more musculature
• No contrapposto yet
• Belly button—sign above
• Groin line—softer and showing that formed from build-up of muscles. See 6 different spots in abdominals but softer
• Face—soffter lines for cheek bones, archaic smile→smile lines, facial features are more integrated, hair follows curve of neck, little curls surrounding the face, individual strands,

Anavysos Kouros 530 BC, marble with traces of paint
• Found in the Acropolis
• Most likely depiction of women working in the temples
• Facial features—shallow features,
• Sense of body—in the chest and small indent for legs but no hips—straight lines
• Hair—goes against neck and then falls along chest; individual strands
• Hand broken off but extending out in space (not Egyptian) hands do stick out in space. Trying to make marble look like flesh
• Painted
Peplos Kore, c. 530 BC, marble with encaustic painting, Acropolis, Athens
Kritian Boy, c. 480 BC, marble, Acropolis, Athens
• Hips twisted
• Shoulders moved
• Spine curves
• Weight is on one leg and the other is used for balance
• Has contrapposto— Italian word meaning weight shift
o The body responds to the weight shift when you move your body completely changes to adjust
o One of the first sculptures to have contrapposto
• Hair style—what becomes iconic for Greek hair
• Inlaid eyes
• Understanding how the body works
o Like our scientific nature—observation of nature

Limited understanding of Greek sculpture because bronze was the most coveted and desirably, not marble. It has been the marble that has survived and not the Greek. People were responsible for cleaning and eliminating oxidization (green appearance).

Kritian Boy, c. 480 BC, marble, Acropolis, Athens
Classical Art was created during a "golden age", from the time Athens rose to prominence, to Greek expansion, and right up until the death of Alexander the Great. It was during this period that human statues became so heroically proportioned. Of course, they were reflective of Greek Humanistic belief in the nobility of man and, perhaps, a desire to look a bit like gods - as well as the invention of metal chisels capable of working marble.
Classical Art 480-323 BC
• Life size
• Delphi—Athletic games held here
o Oracle of Delphi—interpreter of gods
o International place—ppl cam to watch games
• This is an athletic trophy
o Person who this is of won the race (actually won three in a row)
o Supported by outside benefactor
• Bronze was metled down for weapons, other sculptures, wealth, etc.
• Realism we have with bronze and not with marble
o First make mold out of clay
o People can reach into space because bronze is more flexible which doesn’t break as easily
o Feet in particular have lots of dtail
o Curls of hair
• Hair would be cast separately and then attached
o Eyelashes
o Folds of drapery ( a little regular but still goes in and out)
Charioteer, c. 470 BC, bronze, copper, silver, and onyx, Delphi

• most famous Greek sculpture and this is a Roman copy in marble which is why there are stumps
• Original was made out of bronze
• Dorypharos is high classical and we have the name of the artists Polykleitos—wrote The Rules for Measuring.
o We don’t’ have original knowledge has come from second-hand
o Numbers reflect a harmony and if you put it together correctly you would get beautiful harmony in image
o Using mathematics to create proportions for imagery.

How does this sculpture reflect what Socrates was trying to say about physical and intellectual love?
The Greeks structures, and art are based on mathematical proportion, it’s about making the body perfect and making it based on intellect. Worried about how people are obsessed with the sexual aspect and how time is wasted on all of this. We should care about the mind and how our offspring should be ideas of the noblest accord.
Potagerous :Man is the measure of all things. This goes with Plato’s ideas of critiquing the Greeks of being obsessed with sexual things. Man is the measure of all things beautiful in the physical world. Tension between physicality and intellectualism.

There is a balance to the body the legs and the arms make an x formation. One hip is down the other is up beautiful symmetry in what is asymmetrical.
Interested in movement and physicality but intellectualizing that aspect.
This is a copy of the original

Polykleitos, Doryphoros, c. 450 BC, Roman copy of bronze original
This one activates more movement. It’s not very frontal it invades your space, confronting the observer. The work is much more 3-D and if forces you to walk around. This depicts an athlete oiling himself down, the cleaning himself down with scrappers to take the oil off. Ideal male athlete but this man versus the other is a little thinner, probably more elegant thus more attractive.
Late classical period.

Lysippos, Apoxyomenos, c. 330 BC, Roman copy of bronze original
Finally, Hellenistic Art quite like Mannerism - went a wee bit over the top. By the time Alexander had died, and things got chaotic in Greece as his empire broke apart, Greek sculptors had mastered carving marble. They were so technically perfect, that they began sculpt impossibly heroic humans. People simply do not look as flawlessly symmetrical or beautiful in real life, as those sculptures - which may explain why the sculptures remain so popular after all these years.
Hellenistic Art 323-31 BC
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