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Art of Ancient Greece Historical Timeline - Early Greece c. 900-700 B.C. Evolution of Homeric epics Iliad and Odyssey. 776 B.C. First Olympic Games c. 612 B.C. Sappho born on the island of Lesbos (One of the great Greek lyrists and few known female poets of the ancient world, 550 B.C. Pythagoras discovers numerical relationship of music harmonies and our modern musical scale after 525 B.C. First official version of Homeric epic written 490 B.C. Start of Persian Wars; forces of King Darius defeated at Marathon 480 B.C. Xerxes leads a second expedition against Greece; wins battle of Thermopylae and sacks Athens; Greeks defeat Persians decisively at Salamis c. 440 B.C. Herodotus begins History of the Persian Wars Historical Timeline - Classical Greece and Hellenistic Period 470-456 B.C. Libon of Elis, Temple of Zeus at Olympia 458 B.C. Aeschylus, Oresteia trilogy wins first prize in drama festival of Dionysus 449 B.C. Pericles commissions work on Acropolis 447-438 B.C. Ictinius and Callicrates, Parthenon 443-430 B.C. Pericles in full control of Athens 441 B.C. Sophocles Antigone 432 B.C. Peloponnesian War begins 429 B.C. Sophocles Oedipus the King c. 421 B.C. Euripides, The Suppliant Women 421-406 B.C. Erechtheum 411 B.C. Aristophanes, Lysistrata 404 B.C. Fall of Athens and victory of Sparta 399 B.C. Trial and execution of Socrates 387 B.C. Plato founds Academy 335 B.C. Aristotle founds Lyceum 336-323 B.C. Alexander the Great, king of Macedon 279 B.C Lighthouse at Alexandria c. 180-160 B.C. Menocrates of Rhodes, Pergamum Altar 146 B.C Romans capture city of Corinth, Greece becomes Roman province The history of Western Art is based on the ideals of aesthetics originated in Ancient Greece. Time frame for Greek Art: 1000BC to 146BC Model of Athena from the Parthenon Origins of Greek Art: 1000-600BC •The Greek locale and terrain were partially responsible for the rise of city states that were isolated from each other. •After the collapse of Mycenae in 1000BC these small communities developed their own governance systems. Pottery: •The earliest form of pottery is protogeometric (950BC). •By 800BC semi-circles and zigzags appeared. •By 750 the human figure appeared. •With the Dipylon vase narratives began appearing on pottery. Protogeometric vase, 1100BC Sculpture: Media used: Bronze or stone (Marble). Figurative sculpture emerged around 800BC. Influences of Egyptian art can be seen in Kouros statues. Kouros, from Attica. c. 600 B.C Marble, 6’ 1½” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC Kouros (male) and Kore (female) – primarily male were the earliest forms of freestanding Greek figurative art. It is called “closed form” sculpture It differs from the Egyptian sculpture a. nude b. more muscular and less stiff c. one foot is placed forward Usually placed at the entrance to a grave site Archaic era: 600-480BC During this period there was a strong merchant class and trade across the Mediterranean. Depictions of the human body became more naturalistic. Kouros and Kore Sculpture: Anavysos Kouros shows more relaxed posture but retains the “archaic smile” common to many sculptures of this time period. It shows closer observation of the human form from real life. Anavysos Kouros, ca. 530 BC Vase Painting: Black figure style is earlier. Vase is painted with black slip On red clay pot. Ezekias is one of the finest artists from this time period Red figure style is a later and more refined form of vase Painting. a. It uses a reversal of the “figure, ground.” b. Enabled artists to use finer line and brushwork. c. Makron was one of the best known makers of redfigure ware. (fig. 2:16) Architecture: • A way for society to express certain notions about themselves. •During the seventh century BC building projects turned from mud houses and simple undressed stone buildings to monumental public buildings. •The first specific style to emerge was the Doric order. Doric order. The Doric order is an unique expression of a geometrically based Architecture relying on juxtaposition and stacking. The order itself is traditionally linked to Dorian and Peloponnesian spheres of influence. In the earlier periods, the construction of temples was made possible by the kings of such cities as Athens, Corinth, and Syracuse. This style of architecture is: a. Austere with plain columns b. Construction evoked a sense of power and authority. c. Basilica at Paestum, Italy is an example of this early style. Temple of Hera, Agrigento, Italy Classical architecture and the Acropolis: Designed by Ictinus and Callicrates, 477-438. •Dedicated to goddess Athena •Uses “entasis” which is the swelling of the columns suggesting the human hip. • “Entasis” provides a feeling of strength and elasticity. •Uses the Doric order. •This style is still used today to infer power and authority to public buildings. Model of Athena, Nashville TN Model of Parthenon When work began on the Parthenon in 447 BC, the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. Work on the temple continued until 432; the Parthenon, then, represents the tangible and visible efflorescence of Athenian imperial power, unencumbered by the depradations of the Peloponnesian War. Likewise, it symbolizes the power and influence of the Athenian politician, Perikles, who championed its construction. Human-Scale Architecture Porch of the Maidens, Acropolis Ionic order: • Lighter and more elegant • Uses a scroll effect at the top of the column. Building upon the same geometric principals as the Doric temples the basic temple structure of the two orders are quite similar. However, the main difference between the two styles is the decoration of the column capital, the slender column, a frieze without triglyphs, and a intricate base. Porch of the Maidens, Acropolis Corinthian order: •Last major order developed by the Greeks •Uses acanthus leaves in a circular pattern around top of column. •Solves the problem of turning corners. The Corinthian column is similar to the Ionic column in its shaft and base. Only the capital differs, with its distinctive acanthus leaf, foliage, or flower carvings. Plato and Aristotle: Plato saw art as a “vain and lowly ambition, Since it furthers an inferior experience.” •Art tries to imitate the real world •Nature is organized in tiers with the highest form being the ideal form that embodies the essence of things. •Below these ideal forms stand imitations •Plato felt that not enough art approached these true and ideal forms. Aristotle •Revised this severe point of view when he said that sensory experience leads to higher knowledge. In that way art entered the world of ideas rather than imitation. 399 B.C. Trial and execution of Socrates 387 B.C. Plato founds Academy 335 B.C. Aristotle founds Lyceum Classical Sculpture: •Classical age is from 479-323BC •After the sack of Athens a major re-building project was undertaken to restore Athens and the Acropolis was begun. •The major transitional sculpture is the Kritios boy a. naturalistic b. relaxed pose called contrapposto c. pensive expression rather than “archaic smile.” d. parallels developments in Greek society of the science of the human form •Discobolus by Myron illustrates the release of the figure from the closed form Kouros •Polyclitus brought the human form to new hieghts with the idealization of sculpture in Doryphorus. a. used measurements to create perfect proportions Foundations of Greek Classical Art: 1.Movement away from idealism toward greater naturalism 2. Preoccupation with perfect form 3. Representation aiming at realism Warrior, from the sea off Riace. C 460 – 450 B.C. Bronze with glass, bone, silver, and copper Inlay. Height 6’ 6” In Greece gods were portrayed as humans but were idealized. Universal characteristics were used. Zeus (or Poseidon) of Cape Artemision: bronze, ca 460-450 BC, Greek artists were comfortable with the human body and depicted gods and men as nudes. Perfect proportion was the goal of Greek sculptors during the Classical age. Perfect proportion implies internal harmony. Society was becoming increasingly self-conscious. The Hermes of Praxiteles. The statue is dated to 343 BC and is made from Parian marble. It is the only original work of Praxiteles, that has survived and it was found at Olympia, intact on his base, several meters under the ground. Its height is 2.10 m. It was dedicated to the sacred Altis from the Eleians and Arcadians to commemorate their peace treaty. Later it was moved to the temple of Hera, where it was found in 1877 AD. The sculpture, "the diamond of Olympia", represents Hermes, the messenger of the Gods, holding the small Dionysos, who tries to take something from his hand. Praxiteles looked for perfect proportions which implies internal harmony. The Aphrodite by Praxiteles (c.350 BC) is the first monumental female nude in classical sculpture. Upon seeing it, the Greek Anthology (VI.160) has Aphrodite herself remark, "Where did Praxiteles see me naked?" Of it, Pliny says “ ...and yet superior to anything not merely by Praxiteles, but in the whole world, is the Venus." Praxiteles, Aphrodite Realism attempts to recreate reality. Naturalism is movement toward greater representational accuracy. The famous Nike (Victory) of Samothrace. The Winged Victory, considered the finest extant Hellenistic Greek sculpture, portrays the goddess of victory alighting on a ship's prow, with her wings spread and her clinging garments rippling in the wind. The large 8 ft high marble figure, created by a Rhodian sculptor between 220 and 190 B.C., was discovered on the Aegean island of Samothrace in 1863 and immediately sent to the Louvre Museum in Paris. Hellenistic Art •Peloponnesian war in 431BC brought chaos to Athens •Philip of Macedon restored order in 338BC •His son, Alexander the Great is credited with the “Hellenization” of the Greek world. •Hellenistic age was from 323BC to Roman battle of Actium in 31BC. a. it attaches emotional turmoil and technical virtuosity to art b. Expressive character evident c. Individual virtuosity of execution d. Technical formulas more important than new art forms e. Art reflects the uncertainty of Greek society at this time f. Portraiture became popular as elite became more affluent g. Nude sculpture of female form is seen The Pharos (Lighthouse) of Alexandria About 270 B.C. On ancient island of Pharos in harbor of Alexandria, Egypt Upon its completion, the Alexandria lighthouse -- commonly estimated to have been about 400 feet high -- was one of the tallest structures on Earth. The Greek architect Sostratus designed it during the reign of King Ptolemy II. The Pharos guided sailors into the city harbor for 1,500 years and was the last of the six lost wonders to disappear. Earthquakes toppled it in the 14th century A.D. Venus de Milo Parian marble, h 2.02 m (6 1/2 ft) Found at Milo 130-120 BC The style is characteristic of the late Hellenistic period, which revives classical themes while innovating. Thus the slipping drapery on the hips entails a closed stance and introduces an instance of the figure. It hides the joint between the two blocks of marble that were sculpted separately, as were the left arm and leg, according to an utterly new technique. Laocoon was a Trojan priest. He threw a lance at the wooden horse of the Greeks and warned the Trojans about it. The gods had two huge serpents emerge from the ocean, and they tore Laocoon and his two sons apart. Hagesandros, Athenodoros, and Polydoros of Rhodes Laocoon and his sons c. 175-150 BC Marble, height 242 cm (95 1/2 in) By the end of the Hellenistic period both artists and public seemed a little weary of so much richness and elaboration and returned to some of the principles of Classicism. Simultaneously, the gradual conquest of the Hellenistic kingdoms by Rome and their absorption into the Roman Empire produced a new synthesis in which the achievements of Classical and Hellenistic Greece fused with the native Italian culture and passed on to later ages. The Western world of today is a direct descendant of these Ancient Cultures.