Ancient Greek Art Part One- Art 111

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Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece Proto-geometric to Archaic

Ancient Greece

Greek CivilizationDorians, Ionians and left over Mycenaeans will make up the Greek race.Athletics were important and in 776BC we have the first OlympicsThe Greeks also trace the origin of their civilization to 776BC as well!Emphasizes the importance of athletics and their identity Olympics was refused for foreigners and they were referred to as barbarians (for anything non-Greek)City-States will develop and polis (city/political forms of identity)First notion of democracy (which the Greeks invented)Women and slaves not allowed to participate (must be land-owners)Acropolis- high cityAgora- central market place to talk politics and philosophy

#14 Kleobis and Biton, kouroi of the Archaic period, c. 580 BCE. Held at the Delphi Archaeological Museum - public domain - Peplos Kore - Photo by Marsyas -, 4

Greek CivilizationThe Greeks distinguished themselves from other peoples of Europe and Asia by their attitude toward being human beingsGlorification of Humans & Nature They came to regard humankind as the highest creation of nature- the closest thing to perfection in physical form, endowed with the power to reasonWith this attitude came a new concept of the importance of the individual The Greek focus on human potential and achievement led to the development of democracy and to the perfection of naturalistic images of the human figure in art. Created Golden Mean: golden middle way or Goldilocks Theory is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency.Chaos/ Harmony & Order***Beauty as a concept of harmonyStudied heavily ratios of bodies and buildingsGreek architecture built around human proportions

#14 Kleobis and Biton, kouroi of the Archaic period, c. 580 BCE. Held at the Delphi Archaeological Museum - public domain - Peplos Kore - Photo by Marsyas -, 5



Amphora: vessel for storing food stuffFunctioned as grave markers or urnsGeometric patterns are irregular and does not cover the entire vessel.

Geometric period

Terracotta kraterAttributed to the Hirschfeld WorkshopDate: 750735 B.C.Medium: Terracotta

Krater: a mixing bowl to mix water & wineKeramakos: city where workers made ceramicsMonumental grave markersThey were large vases, often decorated with funerary representations.More advanced geometric pattern + angular forms. Humans are depicted abstractHumans and figures are depicted small in scale Kylux: drinking bowlHydra: used to carry water

the main scene occupies the widest portion of the vase and shows the deceased laid upon a bier surrounded by members of his household and, at either side, mourners.

For optimal clarity, the dead man is shown on his side, and the checkered shroud that would normally cover the body has been raised and regularized into a long rectangle with two projections

The zone below shows a procession of chariots and foot soldiers. The figures may refer to the military exploits of the deceased. We havent seen figures since Mycenaean time- 500 years before!

Bronze man and CentaurDate: 750 B.C.Half man, half horse, the centaurs were thought to inhabit remote wooded areas

In much of Greek art, they appear in combat with humans and, by implication, are the antithesis of civilized men. The outcome of the conflict is indicated by the end of the spear preserved in the centaur's left flank and by the greater height of the man.

No monumental sculpture at this time.

Orientalizing Period

Corinthian Orientalizing Jug 620 BCOrientalizing Period refers to the contact and influence of Mesopotamia. 700 BC we see trade and influence- contact with Mesopotamia, Egypt and PersiaInfluence of their culture evident in the artPeriod of colonial and commercial expansion in North Africa, Spain, Italy and Black SeaCorinth- famous for its rivalry against the Athenians were famous for depictions of animals against white clayOriental animals- griffins, sphinxes & lions (not native to Greece)Registers are meant to distinguish the scenesBlack figure style

Archaic late 7th to early 5th century BC


Archaic Vase PaintingAuthors known! Many untouched as they were located in tombsEtruscans- contemporary civilization- would use these vases as urns (cremated)Black Figure Techniquewhich involved the painting of scenes using a clay slip that fired to black, with details created through incision.

Ergotimos and Kleitias Franois Vase570 BCTuscany, ItalyKraterBlack figure techniqueFound in a Etruscan tombSigned by painter and potterIt bears the inscriptions "Ergotimos mepoiesen" and "Kleitias megraphsen", meaning "Ergotimos made me" and "Kleitias painted me"Over 200 figures in registersMythology and religion

Amasis (painter)Dionysus Vase540 BC

Exekias (Painter). Dionysus Cup. 540-530BC

Reference to the seventh Homeric Hymn, in which it is explained how Dionysus was kidnapped by Etruscan pirates, who were unaware of his identity.

The god confuses their thoughts and causes them to jump into the water, where they transform into dolphins.

Exekias (Painter & Potter) Achilles and Ajax engaged in a game, 540530 BCAmphora- a tall ancient Greek or Roman jar with two handles and a narrow neckregarded as Exekias' masterpiecemasterful use of incision and psychologically sensitive compositions mark him as one of the greatest of all vase paintersThis scene, known from other representations in Greek art, depicts the heroes Achilles and Ajax playing a board game. (Trojan War as told in the Iliad)The warriors wear their helmets and hold two spears each. Ajax has his right hand near the board, ready to play when his turn comes.

Exekias' signature as potter: (Exekias made [me]),

Exekias painted a rare scene: the hero Ajax preparing for his own suicide. Ajax expected to receive the armor of Achilles upon the latters death in combat. Instead the armor was given to Odysseus, and this enraged Ajax. In his madness he ostensibly killed his comrades, only to wake up from a dream to find that he had slaughtered a group of sheep. Realizing the implications of his actions, Ajax buried his sword in the ground and impaled himself on it.What makes Exekias depiction of this story special is the fact that he shows us the moment directly before Ajax throws himself on the point of his sword. The hero is in a state of serene determination, as evidenced by his stoic facial expression. Yet despite Ajaxs calm collectedness, the viewer recognizes the tension of the moment. By stretching out this single instance, Exekias creates a mystical state

Exekias. The Suicide of Ajax. 540-530 BC

Panathenaic Prize AmphoraAttributed to the Euphiletos PainterDate: ca. 530 B.C.Medium: Terracotta; black-figure

This Panathenaic amphora would have been filled with oil from the sacred olive groves in Attica, and would have been awarded as a prize to some worthy victor in one of the Panathenaic games held in Athens every four years.

Each Panathenaic amphora was made according to a standardized shape and was decorated in black-figure technique. The principle decoration is always in the panels of the body of the amphora, with an armed Athena the typically on the front and an illustration of the featured competition on back. The painter of this vessel has neatly fit five sprintersfour men and a youthinto the panel of the pot. Notice the depicting musculature, a preoccupation of Greek artists for centuries to come.Orders for Panathenaic amphorae were placed with leading artists of the time.

EuphroniosHercules Wrestling Against Antios510BC

EuphroniosDeath of Sarpedon515BC

Berlin PainterAthena500-480 BC

is the conventional name given to an unknown Greek vase-painter The apex of Archaic Greek vase painting- one figureDelicate and detailedHighly refined image of Athena

Ancient GreeceAncient Greeks were fixated with the body. For the ancient Greeks the perfect body was an athletic body.So men took an obsessive shameless pride in their physique Displayed their bodies without hesitation or shame If you had a fine torso, you flaunted it! They believed their gods took human form and their bodies were beautifulSo the more you looked like a god the more you were treated like oneIf you looked good you were goodAffected more than just their vanityCenter the life in the Greek world

Wherever the Greeks settled they built templesHere in temples is where we see images of their gods that were realistic Worshipers came to expect their gods in residence For that to happen they need statues Temple of Concordia. Agrigento, Sicily, Italy. 440-430BC

Terracotta jointed "doll5th century BC (Early Archaic) Greek sculptures were mostly confined to figurines as late as 700 BC.

And yet within a few generations they would be able to realize their dream.

Temples would soon be filled with large statues- so lifelike that they believed they were the gods in person.

Staring at them, hearing their prayers.

This transformation from small figurine to large sculpture happened very quickly.

How did this happen?

Greece and Egypt began to trade, exchanging ideas and know-how.The Egyptians had amazing mason skills that they shared with the Greeks. Egyptian rigid style is evidentGreeks have been present in Egypt since at least the 7th century BC. The Greeks were one of the first groups of foreigners that ever lived in Egypt.- living there since the 5th century BC

Archaic Style Ancient Greek, (600 - 480 B.C.)New York Korous580 BC

Archaic Style Ancient Greek, (600 - 480 B.C.)

Archaic Style Ancient Greek, (600 - 480 B.C.)

#14 Kleobis and Biton, kouroi of the Archaic period, c. 580 BCE. Held at the Delphi Archaeological Museum - public domain - Peplos Kore - Photo by Marsyas -, 33

Menkaura and his Queen2548-2530 BCE

Korous. 580 BC

The kouros honors an individual who was not a supernatural ruler. Human being shown as a godThe kouros thus adapted the Egyptian form to reflect Greek cultural values.

Anavissos Kouros530 BCMarble

Archaic Architecture 3 architectural orders3 temple types

Three Greek Architecture Orders

IonicVolute capital (scroll)Fluted shaftbase

Pro styleAmphi pro stylePeripteral temple type Dipteral Temple Type

TholosAmphi means around!Di means twice/double!Peri means enclosing!

Greek ArchitectureTemples built to the ration of 1:3Built to human proportions and geometryTemples are found in an acropolis, mountain top, plateaus or in a the highest ground or overlooking the oceanPurposeHouse godsPublic Spectacle- orientated outwards Proportions also relate to music harmonyBy creating order (polis) in their community- order & beauty connectedIn beauty- there is an orderLife is explained by chaos vs orderArchitecture, painting & philosophy all approached through beauty

#14 Kleobis and Biton, kouroi of the Archaic period, c. 580 BCE. Held at the Delphi Archaeological Museum - public domain - Peplos Kore - Photo by Marsyas -, 41

Temple of Hera IIPaestum, Italy480 BCArchaic

Siphnian TreasuryDelphi, Greece525 BC

North frieze, showing the Gigantomachy

East Frieze detail representing the battle of Troy

Temple of AphaiaAigina, Greece500 BC

The pediments of the Temple of Aphaia on Aegina are the temples most interesting features

Dying WarriorsScenes from the Trojan War

Athena believed to have been in the center of each pediment traces of a complex paint schemethey show how the temple straddles the divide between the archaic and classical periods.

Corfu is an island off the Western coast of Greece- was an important stop on the trade route between mainland and the Greek settlements in Italy. Medusa is in the center of the pediment (gorgon)In Greek mythology- anyone staring at Medusa would be turned into stone The panthers, flanking Medusa on each side, serve as temple guardians and they gaze outward as if to visually inspect their domaintheir function was to ward-off evil and prevent it from entering the templeTemple of Artemis. Corfu, Greece. 580 BC