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the birthplace of
Western Civilization
* The Western Civilization is characterized by a host of artistic, philosophic, literary,
and legal themes and traditions having origins of European traditions.
http://Life as an Ancient Greek Teenager!
Horrible Histories - Ancient Greek Ready for School?
The main goal
for Ancient
Greek artists was
to depict
ultimate beauty
and harmony.
Ancient Greek Art
• Greeks depicted perfect body proportions and emphasized the muscular
build of the human figure (Perfect = Ideal)
(Since the Olympics originated in Ancient Greece, it makes sense that artists wanted to depict the
perfect athletic build to inspire their athletes!)
• They studied every detail of the human body…they used their eyes!
Greeks also believed in perfect proportions in their architecture and
music following the guidelines for mathematical proportion.
• Greeks built temples (sanctuaries) and created statues to honor their
many Gods.
• For a list of Gods, Goddesses and figures of Greek Mythology, click here
• For a sample of Ancient Greek Music, click here
Ancient Greek Architecture
Ancient Greek Architecture
• The Acropolis of Athens is located on a high
rocky edge above the city of Athens and
within its approx. 7 acres, it was a religious
and spiritual sanctuary which contains the
remains of several ancient buildings of great
architectural and historic significance, the
most famous being the Parthenon.
Rick Stevens
Ariel View of Today’s
Temple of
Acropolis with the theater of Dionysos in the foreground
Leo Von Klenze, Reconstruction of the Acropolis. 1846
456 BCE
Idealized view of the Acropolis and Athena Promachos, by the painter Leo von Klenze in
1846. The artist imagined the great statue of Athena Promachos as visible from far away,
carrying a great spear in her right hand.
The Parthenon
The Parthenon, built in the fifth century B.C., is perhaps the most well known example of
Greek architecture. Dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, the Parthenon was an example
of the Greek ideals of structure and devotion to their faith. Its construction began in 447 BC
when the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power.
The East Façade
The Temple of Athena Nike
The Temple of Athena Nike was built between 427 and 424 BC,
Nike means victory in Greek, and Athena was worshipped in this form, as
goddess of victory in war and wisdom
The Erechtheion, 421-406 BCE, Acropolis, Athens
The Erechtheion was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.
A caryatid is a sculpted
female figure serving as an
architectural support taking
the place of a column or a
pillar. The Greek term
karyatides literally means
"maidens of Karyai", an
ancient town. Karyai had a
famous temple dedicated to
the goddess Artemis. "As
Artemis rejoiced in the
dances of the nut-tree
village of Karyai, those
Karyatides, who in their
ecstatic round-dance
carried on their heads
baskets of live reeds, as if
they were dancing plants"
Caryatid from the Erechtheion in Athens. Marble, Greek artwork, ca. 420 BC.
Ancient Greek Sculpture
Greek sculpture was focused on the human body. The following examples were
manifestations that Greek sculptors have perfected human anatomy
Myron, Discobolus. (Discus Thrower), 450 BCE
Apollo Belvedere
This is a marble sculpture called the
Winged Victory of Samothrace
(Samothrace is an island in the North Aegean Sea)
It was created in the third century B.C.E.
(220-185 BCE).
It Greek goddess Nike ( also known as
Victory), who was a beautiful woman
endowed with wings.
It is one of the most celebrated sculptures in
the world. It was raised upon the Isle of
Samothrace, overlooking the sea.
The work is notable for its naturalistic pose
and for the carving of the figure’s draped
garments, which shows it as if its rippling in a
strong sea breeze …which is also considered
especially compelling.
Statue is 9
feet tall
Pedestal is
1 foot tall
Base is 6.7
feet tall
Greek vessels have an almost endless repertoire of scenes covering a wide range of themes
Heracles and Geryon on an Attic blackfigured amphora with a thick layer of
transparent gloss, c. 540 BC
Horseman on a late Corinthian olpe by an associate of the
Hippolyte Painter, ca 575/550 BC
*Attica (Attic) is a place well known for its iron rich (red) clay in Ancient Greek Territory
References and Great Websites to
check out!