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Transcript
Classical Greece – The Hellenic Age
Defeat of the Persians in 479 BCE to Death of Alexander in 323 BCE
Athens became a super power with defeat of the Persians
Delian League became a tool for Athenian hegemony
Peloponnesian league forms with Sparta and Thebes leading the way
Civil wars, weakening of Greek city states
Invasion of the Macedonians in 338 BCE
What do we like so much about the Greeks?
Style/Beauty
Civic planning
Freedom/Individualism
National Unity
Pride/Duty
Critical Inquiry
The ideals of the Greeks have been called into play whenever nations wish to project
National Identity and Strength, Notions of Freedom. Classical ideals are particularly
suited for times of Change.
19th c. watercolor of the acropolis.
Classical Greek Ideals
Simplicity over Complexity
Symmetry over Asymmetry
Restraint over Excess
Reason over emotion
Planning or analysis over Intuition
Height of Greek Accomplishments
5th century
Philosophy – the Socratic Revolution
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle
Theatre- Greek Tragedy and Comedy
Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides Yeats's Version 1957
British National Theater Intro to Greek Tragedy(British National Theater) modern tiresias
Architecture and public sculpture
Building program of Pericles: Parthenon
Monumental nudes of Polykleitos and Praxiteles
Socratic Revolution
• Vague method of arriving at truth
• Pysche exist prior to entrapment in physical world
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Virtue is knowledge
Perceived as threat after defeat in Peloponnesian War
Challenged conventions
Idealist – arrive at truth (absolute, enduring) by questioning
and remembering
• metaphysics
Plato 428-347 BCE
• Student of Socrates
• Dualism: body and psyche at war
• Allegory of Cave video cartoon lecture
• Absolute ideas arrived at through study of math: beauty, truth, love
• Opposes relativity of Sophists
• Good= God; Evil= Ignorance
• God is necessary for Plato’s theory/ God also created stuff- bad!
Plato’s Republic
– Ideal state run by
philosopher King,
administrators second
tier, workers.
– Admired Spartan
discipline, hated
Athenian variety
– No creative literature,
only philosophy and
math
Of the Natural Philosophers, Plato has most in common
with Pythagorus
Pythagoras and the idealists- the natural world can be
explained by numerical equations. Numbers guided and
explained the underlying order of things.
Modes virtual piano
Phyrigian Mode Phrygian 2 3 Dorian 2 3
The Sophists seem to adopt Heraclitus’s idea of relativity
Heraclitus- life is constant change, stressed transformation over
basic elements – dialectic
Aristotle
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•
•
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•
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Plato’s student
Importance of senses
Form and substance inseparable
Each object has a teleological goal in its development
– Embryo to child
– Incentive moment to Exodus (drama)
Ethics dependent on healthy mind/body
Happiness is chief good
Poetics – analysis of dramatic and poetic form
– Sophocles is best example of Tragedy
Politics- looked at governments of various city states
– Empirical determination of best government, based on study of
data
– Best government is constitutional
– Lead by Middle Class
Early Classical Sculpture
• Idealized youth based on Kouros
• Moving away from the Egyptian model
• Implied movement was the greatest advancement in
the arts of the Early Classical period.
• Also, artists were more keenly aware of nature.
The magical quality
of images attested
to in the legend of
Kleobis (Cleobis) and
Biton. As related by
Herodotus in his
Histories (5th c. BCE),
Solon tells the
wealthy king Croesis
of these two sons
who lived a happy
life because of their
piety.
5th century BCESculptors shift from the purely magical and ritualistic
Begin to create sculptures that suggest movement
With movement comes their entry into a more
human narrative
Severe Style
Kritios boy, 480 BCE.
Beginning of Hellenic Style
Move award from grid
Naturalistic muscles
Contrapasto stance
Figure show weight
Born by left leg
Youthful heroes
Kritios Boy and Calf
Bearer
at dig site 1863
HighClassical
(some say Severe)
Stopped motion
Men/gods in a timeless
world
Found in shipwreck
1926
Cast Bronze (1/2 of all classical
Greek sculptures)
Bronze methods
Zeus of Artemisium, by Kalamis
(?), cast bronze, c. 6.8' h, c. 460450 B.C.
Early Classical/Classical (Hellenic)Architecture/sculpture
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Temple chief form
– Restraint in decoration
– Ratios of columns side, front 6:3
– Ratios perfected in Parthenon 17:8
Doric order
Ionic order
Sculpture moves from rigidly ideal to sensual: Imitate Nature, make men into
Gods
– Severe style: dignified nobility, contrappasto, associated with funerals
– High Classical: stopped action, serene world of gods; stopped time
– 4th century – Idealism, beauty for its own sake
High Classical style
360
Doryphoros of Polykleitos 440 BCE
Symmetry how art made the world
more human than human
Canon of Polykleitos and the
Cosmos
Doryphoros of Polykleitos 440 BCE
Roman copy in marble of bronze
original, found in Pompeii
BBC beauty
Minneapolis Doryphoros
Hermes of Praxilites, 4th century. More sensual,
soft face, muscular body, more curves in body.
Beauty for its own sake 360
Aphrodite of Knidos, 4th c. Possibly first nude
female.Scarab Productions- Aphrodite of Knidos
Lecture Feminist interpretations 360
The Burney Relief (also known as
the Queen of the Night relief)
Old Babylonian
1800 and 1750 BCE, Southern Iraq
Unknown goddess: Ishtar, Inanna,
Ereshkigal?
The white vase style became the favorite of
late 5th c. As the move from black figure style
to red figure style allowed for greater freedom
in the development of naturalistic figures, the
white vase style took this even further.
Craftsmen could paint freely on the white
ground. (refer back to slides 41-44 for
development of vase painting from Archaic to
Classical Black and Red figure styles.)
.
Pericles
Statesman, orator and general
supported arts building program
Initiated Peloponnesian Wars
Controversies and tragedy characterize
his period of leadership:
Plague came to city after start of
Peloponnesian wars; his mistress was
accused of corrupting young girls;
Phidias (in charge of building program
and Anaxagoras (sophist philosopher)
exiled; two sons died in plague; Pericles
put on trial.
Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens 5th century BCE, Ictinus and Callicrates
Doric style History Channel 2
Temples were the most significant buildings in Greece. They were built to
house cult statues. They served in civic rituals for the cult figures and as a
means of cultural unification. The cult figure would be housed in the cella.
Cutaway of
Parthenon, showing
the continuous
frieze above the
interior colonnade
Every 4 years, Panathenic
procession
to altar (elsewhere on Acropolis)
Citizens of Athens at finest
converge at eastern frieze
Cavalry and charioteers
more literal narrative, variety of
citizens, variety of moods,
demeanors, culminating in gods
Presentation of the peplos (robe) for the goddess Athena. Frieze relief
sculpture, Parthenon.
High relief combined with low relief of the horses, creates illusion of rows of horses.
Panathenic procession, Parthenon frieze.
Relief sculpture on
stairway at Persepolis
5th-6th c. B.C.E.
below: South frieze slab XL, Cattle led for sacrifice, Phidias overseer, marble, c. 40" h, c. 447432 B.C.
(British Museum, London): Pedestrians, not as spirited
In classical Greek sculpture, the gods are represented as people.
unified vision, Athena in center, cascade of figures on ea. side, great
variety, reacting to central figures, pitched emotion, reclining in corner,
climactic center, more animated,smarthistory
Dianna and Aphrodite, East Pediment, Parthenon, Phidias
Metopes and Triglyphs artificial
vestige of original wooden
structure and supports
ea. face of temple had metopes
of some form of battle
Sack of Troy
Lapiths vs. Centaurs
battle of gods and giants
battle with Amazon
usually 2 figures
Variety subsumed in whole
more abstract theme than frieze
abstract battle for the good
episodic, non narrative
Lapith vs. centaur,
south face of
Parthenon
metope relief
Descendents of twin
sons of Apollo,
Lapiths were preHellenic tribal people
who came to the aid of
the Greeks in the
Trojan war.
Centaurs were wild
and given to base
instincts.
Lapith vs. centaur,
south face of
Parthenon
metope relief