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Chapter 5 Art of Ancient Greece & The Aegean World

Chapter 5

Lora Davis

on 18 July 2013

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Transcript of Chapter 5 Art of Ancient Greece & The Aegean World

Art Appreciation
Chapter 5 Art of Ancient Greece and The Aegean World
/\/\| GOING GREEK /\/\|
It is here in Greece
that we see a civilization
focused on the human...
...focused on the individual
Mythology is the organization of myths belonging to a culture.
Myths are time-honored stories about gods and heroes
They offer an explanation for the essential aspects of life ~like how the Earth was created
~why people have to die
~why the year is split into seasons
The myths of the ancient Greeks and Romans had a huge influence on
their culture, their arts, and the literature of Western societies
...This didn't mean "supernatural forces" ...MYTHS...as it were...
were not at work in the world....
Ancient Greek Art and Architecture
According to your text, "...established an ideal of earthly, physical, and visual perfection."
The Parthenon on the Acropolis
Athens, Greece
The Aegean region was made up of mainland Greece, the island of Crete and a cluster of small nearby islands in the Aegean Sea
Location, Location, Location...
unlike other early
civilizations, Greece grew up around
the seas & rocky coasts...they depended
on the sea for their resources (food, trade, etc.)
as well as their security
....so it is very fitting that we see themes
of the sea in their artwork
The Minoans
3100BCE - About the time of the Aegean Bronze Age, the Minoan culture began to take form.
The Minoans were named after the legendary King Minos and became a very important sea power.
KNOSSOS, (palaces) was built on the island of Crete around 2000 B.C.E. This huge building complex may not have been a residence for kings or aristocrats but more as a site of periodic religious ceremony and ritual.
The Minoans grew grapes, grain &olives and traded with the Greeks, Egyptians, and others in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Today, Greeks can trace their culture back to two earlier cultures...
the Minoans


the Mycenaeans
The Mycenaeans
Minoan Art and Architecture
~Following a major earthquake in 1750 BCE and later destruction by fire in 1350 BCE, Knossos was repaired and enlarged. The new structure was multi-storied with a flat-roof and many wooden columns. The design incorporated staggered levels wth open stairwells, and strategically placed air shafts and light wells which maximized air flow and light~
Art inside the palace consisted of colored wall murals.
These wall paintings displayed elegant drawings filled with bright colors
In portraiture there was a preference for profile or full-faced views
Arts and crafts were officially sponsored and large storerooms
suggest that the civilization had a centralized management
of trade in food. In one storeroom, large ceramic jars were found that
could hold as much as 20,000 gallons of olive oil
Depictions of bulls appear often...although there is no evidence that the
Minoans worshipped a bull god. It is known that animals were sacrificed
Decorated ceramics were made in palace workshops
The skills of the Minoans artists, especially metalsmiths
working in jewerly, were highly sought after in mainland
Minoan, Bull Jumping, wall painting, Knossos, Crete
Minoan, Pendant, Crete.c.1700-1550BCE
Jewelers became adept at decorating their goldwork with minute granules or balls of the precious metal fused to the surface
This technique is known as GRANULATION.
The artist of this piece shows two bees perched
between a precious drop of honey.
Mycenae culture developed in mainland Greece
they were advanced in metal working, ceramics and architectural techniques
by 1400BCE, Mycenaean culture became the center of power and cultural influence in the Aegean
communities centered around strongholds controlled by local princes or kings
Mycenaean Art and Architecture
Excavations from shaft graves show a society which was wealthy and class divided. An 1876 excavation found swords, daggers, jewelry and drinking cups beautifully decorated in the graves of the elite warrior class
Dagger blade, Mycenae, Greece. c. 1600-1550BCE
Architecture.. the Treasury of Atreus, architectural definitions and architectural orders
The Treasury of Atreus or Tomb of Agamemnon
Built around 1300BCE, the tomb perhaps held the remains of the sovereign who completed the reconstruction of the fortress or one of his successors.
The tomb is formed of a semi-subterranean room in a circular plan
The lintel stone above the doorway weighs 120 tons
the tomb's chamber is formed by a

( Remember...
a vault is an arched masonry structure that spans an interior space
) A corbeled vault is a vault made by projecting courses of stone with a single
at the structure's peak
The capstone is the final topmost stone which joins the sides and completes the structure

The stone tomb was covered by earth to form an artificial mountain.
The giant size of the vaulted chamber makes this tomb the largest unobstructed interior space built before the Roman Pantheon.
Architectural terms....
courses- layers

megaron- great room
The Megaron is the great hall of the Mycenaean palace complexes.
It was a rectangular hall, fronted by an open, two-columned porch and a more or less central open hearth vented though an oculus in the roof above it and surrounded by four columns. It is the architectural predecessor of the classical Greek temple. It was used for poetry, feasts, worship, sacrifice, formal royal functions, councils, and is said to be where guests of the king would stay during their visits.

relieving arch- The weight is diverted round the arch and down to the ground. This means that there is almost no weight pressing down on the window head or door opening.
Schematic plan of a megaron complex. 1: anteroom large entrance hall
2: hall (main room), 3: columns in Porch and hall
Mycenaean culture did not last very long,
invaders came and took control of the cities
Between 1100-900BCE was a "dark age" in
Mycenaean history with political and economic instability...
little art was produced during this time
following the "dark age" , a new culture emerged
which would lay the foundation for a "true" Greek civilization
IN THE 9th and 8th century BCE, we see the emergence of what
is considered classical Greek civilization...
city states were built on fortified hilltops
. This is known as the
For purposes of defense, early people naturally chose elevated ground to build a new settlement, frequently a hill with precipitous sides.
In many parts of the world, these early citadels became the nuclei of large cities.
In ancient Greece, the Acropolis (citadel... which is a fortress for protecting a town), was important in the life of the people, serving as a refuge and stronghold in peril and containing military and food supplies, as well as the shrine of the god and a royal palace.
IDEAS of Governing
Greek city states were ruled by aristocrats
around 700BCE, self-appointed leaders
imposed rule with little or
no opposition
around the 6th century BCE, the idea...and it
was just an idea...emerged that all citizens should
share in the right of governance...although only a few
privileged males were considered citizens
In the late 6th century BCE, Kleisthenes
pronounced kleit sta nees
(called the father of democracy) instituted reforms which broadened
the Athenian representative base
...although this was only open to Athenian men and women
~~ slaves or men born outside Athens could not participate
What did this mean for art????
Athens and other Greek
city-states shared a common language
and culture and thus...developed a distinctive Greek Art
Periods of Greek Art
The art of Ancient Greece is usually divided stylistically into four periods:
the Geometric
the Archaic
the Classical
the Hellenistic

- 900BCE-700BCE
characterized largely by geometric motifs
A geometric scheme with linear patterns replaced the curvilinear designs and naturalistic representations of the Mycenaean age.

In the Early geometric period (900-850 BC) the height of the vessels has been increased while the decoration is limited around the neck.
Vases in the
style are characterized by several horizontal bands around the circumference covering the entire vase. Between these lines, the geometric artist used a number of other decorative motif lines such as the zigzag and the triangle. Besides abstract elements, painters of this era introduced stylized depictions of humans and animals
The first human figures appeared around 770 BCE on the handles of vases. The male was depicted with a triangular torso, an ovoid head and long cylindrical thighs and calves. Female figures were also abstract. Their long hair was depicted as a series of lines.
Dipylon Cemetery Vase
Detail of Burial Scene on the Dipylon Vase, Footed Krater, Earthenware
from Athens, Greece, 800-700 BCE
Geometric Peroid
Archaic Period
The archaic period (c.660–480 B.C.) was a time of great achievement. Here we see "patrons" of the arts...artists were sponsored by city governments and wealthy individuals. Sculpture emerged as a principal form of artistic expression.
The temple was an earthly home and also a treasury for gods
and goddesses.
Architectural Temple Terms:
cella/naos- main room
peristyle- single or double row of columns
stylobate- platform or base of a building
orders- systems of proportions and ornament
order define the arrangement, proportions and arrangement of
the temple...here we see the simple post and lintel designs become more elaborate with columns and entableatures.
Temple of Hera
The Temple of Hera is an ancient Doric Greek temple at Olympia, Greece. The Temple of Hera was destroyed by an earthquake in the early 4th century AD, and never rebuilt. In modern times, the temple is the location where the torch of the Olympic flame is lit.
Let's talk about the
Order of Columns
cella or naos
In the temple, the builders used the
Doric order
The Doric order is the earliest Greek order and also
the simplest of all the orders.

Fluted columns without bases rest directly on a stylobate.
The columns are unadorned and look almost cushion like.
Columns create a feeling of permanence.
Above the columns, a horizontal entablature composed of an architrave, frieze and cornice and
triangular pediments support the temple's roof.
The 3 Classical Greek Architectural Orders are the Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinthian
Classical or humanistic civilization emphasized matters concerning mankind and the making of this world into a better place.
Classical Tradition
rational and secular knowledge
freedom of inquiry
the nobility of human achievement
and the worth of the individual
In pursuit of these goals, men and women of the Mediterranean world produced enduring works of art, architecture, philosophy, and literature, which are still taught in schools and universities and read for pleasure by people throughout the world today!
WOW! ..that was a great beginning for 3000BCE!
the oldest and plainest
of the three
well developed by
named after the
Ionia region
sits on a base
more decorated,
usually with a rolled
began to appear around
much more decorated
with rosettes and leaves
Basic components are the column and the entablature All columns have a vertical shaft topped by a capital...some have a base
The entablature consists of an architrave, frieze and cornace
Sculpture often decorated the friezes and pediments of columns
figures were carved in high relief on a slab which was then installed
on pediments
Medusa. Temple of Artemis
Artists of the Archaic period created freestanding statues
many were larger than life
many were made of white marble and then painted in bright,
naturalistic colors
some marked graves while others lined entrances to temples
What's in a name...alot...
The name given to these statues remain today and are used to
identify an age & gender in sculpture.
Kore is the name for a young greek female statue
Kouros is the name given for a young greek male statue
These statues are universal...they have little or no personality and represent types, not individual human beings
These statues are ethical in that they serve to ennoble man and to emphasize that true nobility consists of the beautiful and the good, the rational and the avoidance of excess.
They are idealistic, they depict not nature or reality but perfection of form
Vase Painting
In vase painting, artists presented a story...
a narrative which involved a figure or figures
The painter presented a complex story
in a single scene with a clear and understandable
unlike the geometric period, vase painters
increased the size of the figures until only
one or two figures filled the entire vase
One Vase...Two techniques...
Black-figure ware
6th century BCE
technique involved painting a slip (a mixture of clay and water) to silhouette figures against a reddish,
unpainted background.
details were incised with a sharp tool inside the shapes
color contrast was created during the firing process
Oldest technique...
The Suicide of Ajax
Newest technique
Red-figure ware
in this technique, the artist painted
vase with slip but left figures unpainted
to reveal the reddish body of the vessel
instead of incising the design, artists painted with a fine brush dipped into the slip...the result was a dark vessel with light colored figures painted with dark colored details
Suicide of Ajax:
When Achilles was killed, his armor was to be awarded to the next greatest Greek hero. Ajax thought it should go to him. However,Athena awarded the armor to Odysseus ( known for his ability to slip out of difficult situations ie...sneak out of captivity, trick evil and cheat death)
When Ajax heard that Odysseus was the winner...crestfallen...he thought suicide to be his only honorable end. Here, Ajax is placing a sword in the ground in order to commit suicide by falling upon it...Hence the term..."fall upon the sword"
One Culture...three periods
The Early Classical/Transitional
The Golden Age
The Late Classical
1. The Early Classical
5th century saw a series of
invasions from Persia with an
alliance created between Athens & Sparta...
War in most cases stifles development but
in this case the defeat created dramatic developments
in art. Artists showed increased interest and skill
development in naturalism.
In sculpture, the Kouroi figures which were generic in style and oversized in scale gave way to a
smaller (2' 1/2") statue with a more rounded lifelike form...complete with broad facial features and a thoughtful expression
Kritios Boy. c.480BCE.Mable
The Charioteer of Delphi is one of the most important sculptures of ancient Greece partly because it dramatically represents the passage from the old conventions to the emerging classical ideals. It demonstrates the balance between stylized geometric representation and idealized realism.
The "Charioteer of Delphi" is one of the best known ancient Greek statues and one of the best preserved examples of classical bronze casts.
Most Important...Best Known
Charioteer, from the Sanctuary of Apollo, Delhi.c.479BCE Bronze
Beginning to come to life...The Young Warrior
prepared the way for the achievements of artists in the Classical peroid
Young Warrior. c 460-450BCE.
Bronze with bone and glass eyes,
silver teeth and copper lips
details such as
swelling veins in the backs of the hands
contrast of the rough beard and the smooth body
addition of eyes made of bone and colored glass
silver plating on the teeth
copper lips
2. The Golden Age
The Classical period lasted from 450 to 400BCE
On the Acropolis sits the Parthenon
The Athenian Acropolis ( the citadel in ancient Greek towns) the hill that formed the city's ceremonial center expressed the city's values and its civic pride.
The Parthenon dominated all other buildings on the Acropolis.
The Parthenon was a temple for the Greek goddess Athena whom the people of Athens considered their protector.

It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered to be the culmination of the development of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered one of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of ancient Greece and of Athenian democracy, and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments.
The builders used the finest white marble on the building
Follows the typical cella and peristyle plan and uses the Doric order
and the Porch of the Maidens...
and the Erechtheion
The main structure consists of up to four compartments,
the largest being the east cella, with an Ionic portico on its east end.
Art of Greece & The Aegean World
The Classical Period or Golden age of Greece, from around 500 to 300 BC, has given us the great monuments, art, philosophy, architecture and literature which are the building blocks of our own civilization.
3. The Late Classical Art of the 4th century BCE
In the late classical period (400–300 B.C.) there was increased emphasis on the expression of emotion in art.
Greek art saw the introduction of the Corinthian order
Polykleitos introduced canons of proportions for figures...
the human body is 7 heads high

The amphora is a two-handled pot with a neck that is considerably narrower than the body. It was used for the storage of liquids and solids such as grain. Undecorated 'coarse' amphorae, with their lower part tapering to a point, were the standard transport containers in the Mediterranean. The majority of painted amphorae are grouped into two main types, the one-piece belly-amphorae, and neck-amphorae, which have a clearly-marked neck.
Hermes and the Infant Dionysus
Alexander the Great, head. 4th century, marble
Alexander the Great's death marked the end of the
classical period in Greek Art
Women Artists In Ancient Greece
Evidence suggests that women artist
worked in many different types of
Greek women excelled in creating
pictorial tapestries and also worked
in pottery shops however they were
excluded from public artistic competitions

Hellenistic Sculpture
Artists of this period had a vision different from
their Classical Greek ancestry
Where before artists had wanted to capture the ideal,
Hellenistic artists sought to represent the individual and
the specific. Sculpture and painting were alive with
movement.These tendencies had been here before but
it is during this period that they come into full bloom.
Painting reflected a narrative subject matter

Alexander the Great Confronts Darius III at the Battle of Issos
This is a Roman mosaic copy.
A mosaic is a image formed by small colored stones or
glass pieces fixed to a hard, stable surface

The Ancient Island of Crete - Knossos
My Planett, YouTube 7: 56
Types of Arches
Winged Victory of Samothrace
The End!
Thanks for your attention!

Octopus Flask Crete. c. 1500-1450BCE.
Notice the
triangular torso forms
circular shapes for the heads and designs
square border designs
Notice the
zig zag
remember this...look at the development of figure sculpture
This sculptural figure is full of movement!
The wind is blowing her garments and she appears to be ready to fly off of the base in which she stands!
All this...from a marble block!
Full transcript