Art History 4Ancient Greek Art
Map of Ancient GreeceGreek Artwww.mead.k12.wa.us
Concepts of Greek Art Greek ArtGreek art begins classical artGreek art is very influential to the art of EuropeAncient Greek art was considered perfect or idealGreek artists began to sign their artGreek art changed styles over timeThe four main styles of Ancient Greek Art are:Geometric ArchaicClassicalHellenisticGeometric Art: The artwork to the left above is from the geometric period and was made about 760-750 BCE in Athens, Greece, It is made from terra cotta clay and four horses stand on the lid. Geometric art has geometric banding and simplified animals and humansJastrow - public domain image
Greek ArtArchaic PeriodThe Kouros (male) and Kore (female) are standing youth sculptures from the Greek archaic period. They are generally used as grave monuments.Grave sculpture and temple monuments are mostly all that survive of the Archaic SculptureMarble is the chosen material for these sculpturesSculpture was often painted (such as the reproduction of the Kore at left)Nudity in sculpture was used with male figures but seldom with female figuresWhen using bronze to create sculptures, the figure was often hollow and eyes were inlaid with stone or glassThere are some similarities with ancient Egyptian sculptureConcepts of Archaic Greek ArtPKore by Giovanni DallOrto free use imageKouros -Free Use image Wikipedia
Greek ArtClassicalContrapposto is a term that is used in art. It means the weight of the body in human figures is more relaxed. Figures stand with more weight on one leg so the legs and hips are twisted off axis from the shoulders giving an S curve to the body. This is a very important term in Classical Greek art. Human figures no longer appear stiff and lifeless.Polykleitos was an important sculptor from the classical period of Greek art. He wrote a canon of proportions that was used by many sculptors at the time and in future artProportionally, heads were 1/8th of the length of the bodyUse of negative space becomes common in sculpture. This basically means that limbs sometimes would extend away from the body and be carved with much though given to the space between the body and the limb. Again, this made the figures more lifelike, open, and less stiff looking.Bodies were often idealized with what was determined to be perfect proportions of classical beautyConcepts of Classical Greek ArtPThe photograph above shows contrapposto and is a Greek sculpture or a replicated Greek sculpture. The image is a public domain image
Greek ArtHellenisticOne of the characteristics of the Hellenistic period is that the sculptures showed movementAnother characteristic of the Hellenistic period is that the faces on the human figures showed a great variety of expressionsThemes never before shown in Greek art began to appear in the Hellenistic period. These themes included: childhood, anger, despair, old age, drunkenness.Sculpture in the Round. Hellenistic sculpture is best appreciated by walking all the way around the sculpture and viewing it from all sides. Sculpture from previous periods was often meant to be seen only from the frontEven greater use was made of negative space in sculptureHellenistic Greek art and culture was greatly admired throughout the known world at that time.Concepts of Hellenistic Greek ArtPDying Gaul -Creative Commons photo - MaksimThis statue pictured above is actually a copy of a Hellenistic Greek sculpture. Romans often copied Greek sculpture.
Greek ArtThe earliest architecture in Greece is not well documented because of several things. One is that the materials used were not ones that could survive for thousands of years. Around 600 BCE, stone and marble, more lasting materials, started to come into use in temples. Ancient Greek ArchitectureAcropolis of Athens, Greece c. 6th BCEAcropolis an acropolis is a high city that houses a Greek temple complex on a hill over a cityTemples were rectangular and rigidly organized on geometric principlesGreek temples were divided into 3 types; Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. Each of the 3 types had specific rules of constructionAcropolis - Aaron Logan, creative commons photo
Greek ArtIt is important for you to know about the 3 styles of architecture for Greek temples because they were copied in Europe and later in the Western world, including the United States. In the United States many public buildings were built according to these Greek styles of architecture.Ancient Greek ArchitectureThe Doric order and the Ionic order were developed in the Archaic period of Greece. It was not until 4th century BCE that the Corinthian order began being used.Although the images here only show the differences in the columns and somewhat in the entablature (area above the column), rules for construction extended to the entire structure.As you can see, the Doric is the most plain of the 3 styles. Ionic begins to be more complex and Corinthian is the most elaborate style.Doric column (top left)Ionic column (above)Corinthian column (bottom left)All public domain images
Ancient Greek ArchitectureParthenonThe Parthenon is believed to have been a temple to house the goddess Athena Parthenos. It also served as a treasuryThe Parthenon was built during the Classical period, with construction beginning in 447 BCEThe temple is of the Doric order or stylePhidias was the name of the main sculptor who supervised the construction of the Parthenon. The architects were named Iktinos and Kallikrates.In 1687 AD the temple was bombed. Because it stored ammunition at the time, much destruction came with the bombingGreek ArtDuring later times, the Parthenon served as a Christian church and later as a Muslim Mosque. The image to the left shows the corner of the Parthenon from the southParthenon by Thermos Creative Commons image
Greek ArtIn Ancient Greek pottery, form follows function. This means that the use of the object determined the designWhen speaking of Greek pottery, there is a 4th period or style. As you remember, styles of Greek art include Geometric, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic. With pottery, Orientalizing style follows Geometric style.Although Greek pottery has many interesting characteristics and innovations, what you need to learn today is the difference between black figure pottery and red figure potteryAncient Greek PotteryBlack figure pottery. Jastrow, Creative Commons imageRed figure pottery. Jastrow, Creative Commons imageBlack figure pottery came first during the Archaic period. Black figures are shown on red pottery. Red figure pottery came toward the end of the Archaic period. Backgrounds were painted in black and the red clay would show through to produce the figures.