Geometric and Orientalizing Art, ca. 900-600 BCE
• The human figure returned to Greek art in the form of bronze statuettes and simple silhouettes amid other abstract motifs on Geometric vases.
• Increasing contact with the civilization of the Near East precipitated the so-called Orientalizing phase (ca. 700-600 BCE) of Greek art, when Eastern monsters began to appear on the black-figure vases.
Dipylon Krater; Athens, Greece; ca. 740 BCE
• Figure painting reappeared in Greece in the Geometric period, named for the abstract ornamentation on vessels like this krater.
• Krater features a mourning scene and procession in honor of the deceased.
Hero and Centaur
Hero and Centaur (Kerakles and Nessos); Olympia, Greece; ca. 750-730 BCE; bronze
• Figures are created in simple style
• Early example of mythological narrative
• Centaur represents composite monster
Mantikplos Apollo, statuettes of a youth dedicated by Mantiklos to Apollo; Thebes, Greece; ca. 700-680 BCE; bronze
• Represents the god Apollo
• Reveals the little knowledge Greek artists had on anatomy at the time
Corinthian Amphora; Rhodes, Greece, ca. 625-600 BCE
• Invented black-figure technique in vase painting
• Early example features Orientalizing animals
Archaic Art, ca. 600-480 BCE
• Around 600 BCE, the first life-size stone statues appeared in Greece. The earliest kourio emulated the frontal poses of Egyptian statues, but artists depicted the young men nude, the way Greek athletes competed at Olympia.
• During the course of the sixth century BCE, Greek sculptors refined the proportions and added "Archaic smiles" to the faces of their statues to make them seem more lifelike.
• The Archaic age also saw the erection of the first stone temples with peripheral colonnades and the codification of the Doric and Ionic orders.
Lady of Auxerre
Lady of Auxerre; Crete, Greece; ca. 650-625 BCE; limestone
• Triangular face and hair and decoration of long skirt—shows Daedalic style (after legendary artist Daedalus)
• Goddess or maiden (kore)
• Kore (s), korai (pl)=an archaic Greek statue of a young woman, standing and clothed in long loose robes
• Right hand over heart shows prayer
• More naturalistic than Geometric times
Kouros; (near) Athens, Greece; ca. 600 BCE; marble
• One of earliest examples of life-size statuary in Greece
• Kouros (s), kouroi (pl)= an archaic Greek statue of a young man, standing and often naked
• Has same stance as many Egyptian statues...frontal with left foot advanced slightly, arms held at side of body, fists clenched (also a funerary statue, like Egyptians!)
• Kouri are nude, unlike Egyptians, for all to see
• Triangular shape of head, pinned ears, v-shaped hips
Calf bearer; Athens, Greece; ca. 560 BCE; marble
• He's bringing an offering in thanksgiving to Athena
• Has a beard (no longer a youth)
• Wears a cloak...as a respectable, normal citizen would do
• Man's arms and calf's legs for an X to show bond
Archaic smile= always, and even in bad context (shows alive)
Kroisos; Anavysos, Greece; ca. 530 BCE; marble
• Kroisos died in battle and his family put this statue near grave
• Continues Egyptian stance, more naturalistic than Kourous (2), more rounded face, swelling cheeks, rounded hips, (no more v-shape) long hair is not as stiff
Peplos Kore; from the Acropolis, Athens, Greece; ca. 530 BCE; marble
• Peplos= a simple, long, wooden, belted garment
• Drapery conceals entire body, soft female form, more natural
• Softer treatment of the flesh...contemporary korai have hard, muscular bodies
• Ruined by Persians (same with 3) in 480
Kore in Ionian Dress
Kore in Ionian Dress; from the Acropolis, Athens, Greece; ca. 52-510 BCE; marble
• Intricate asymmetrical patterns created by cascading folds of garments like the Ionian chiton and himation (mantle)
• A smiling Acropolis kore
• Folding clothes makes korai look more lifelike
Temple of Hera I
Temple of Hera I ("Basilica"); Paestum, Italy; ca. 550 BCE
• Doric temple design
• The unusual feature, found only in early Archaid temples, is the central row of columns that divides the cell into two aisles
• Ridgepole= the timber beam running the length of the building below the peak of the gabled roof
• heavy, closed-spaced columns with Doric capitals
• no place for central statue of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated because of the placement of the columns under ridgepole
• achieved simple 2:1 ratio
west pediment of Temple of Artemis
Temple of Artemis; Corfu, Greece; ca. 600-580 BCE
• Doric temple dedicated to Artemis
• ←West pediment from the Temple of Artemis
• Hideous Medusa (demon with woman's body, bird wings, and snake hair) and 2 panthers at the center of the pediment serve as temple guardians...at either side are scenes from the Trojan War and the battle of gods and giants
• Awkward shape of pediment triangle made difficult for sculptors...but made diverse sculptures and scales
Achilles and Ajax playing a dice game
Achilles and Ajax playing a dice game; by Exekias; Vulci, Italy; ca. 540-530 BCE
• Detail from an Athenian black-figure amphora
• Amphora: a tall ancient Greek or Roman jar with two handles and a narrow neck.
• No more bands (or registers)→figures are now in 1 big panel
• Both men hold shields and spears close, ready for action
• incredible engraving and painted details on cloaks
• arch of backs echoes arch of the actual vase
Achilles and Ajax playing a dice game (2)
Achilles and Ajax playing a dice game; by Andokides Painter; Orvieto, Italy; ca. 525-520 BCE
• Athenian bilingual (same picture on both sides, but one side is black-figure and the other side is red-figure) amphora
• Details and intensity are completely inferior to Exekias' ^^^
• This new red-figure technique was advantageous because the artist could vary thickness of lines, details could be drawn easier, artists could build up glaze to give relief to curly hair or create brown shades (hence, expanding the chromatic range)
Herakles wrestling Antaios
Herakles wrestling Antaios; by Euphronios; Cerveteri, Italy; ca. 510 BCE
• Detail of an Athenian red-figure calyx krater
• Uses the red-figure technique
• Intentionally abandoned compostive view...bodies are in a realistic view to the audience
• Herakles is successfully strangling the giant, Antaios
• Giant's face=pain, eyes rolled back, fingers paralyzed
• Protagonists are moving about a 3-D space...new concept
Warrior taking leave of his wife
Warrior taking leave of his wife; by Achilles Painter; ; Eretria, Greece; ca. 440 BCE; CLASSICAL VASE
• Athenian white-ground lekythos (flasks with perfumed oil)
• White-ground technique: chalky-white clay slip is used to provide a background for the painted figures
• Wider range of colors can be atop the white
• Woman is sitting on a chair while her husband is preparing to go to war (he is in a full body suit with all the equipment)
• Used foreshortening
Dying warrior (from west pediment of the Temple of Aphaia); Aegina, Greece; ca. 490 BCE; Archaic
• Still somewhat Archaic (Archaic smile [while being stabbed], torso rigidly frontal, looks directly out)
• No sense of a thinking and feeling human being
Dying warrior (2)
Dying warrior (from east pediment of the Temple of Aphaia); Aegina, Greece; ca. 480 BCE; Classical
• More natural and complex posture, torso at an angle to the viewer, doesn't look out (because too concerned with his pain)
• He reacts to the wound like a human would
• Not Archaic at all...but only a 10 years between statues!
Early and High Classical Art, ca. 480-400 BCE
• The Classical period opened with the Persian sack of the Athenian Acropolis in 480 NCE and the Greek victory a year later. The fifth century BCE was the golden are of Greece, when Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides wrote their plays, and Herodotus, the "father of history," lived.
• During the Early Classical period (480-450 BCE), sculptors revolutionized statuary by introducing contrapposto (weight shift) to their figures.
• In the High Classical period (450-400 BCE), Polykleitos developed a canon of proportions for the perfect statue. Iktinos and Kallikrates similarly applied mathematical formulas to temple design in the belief that beauty resulted from the use of harmonic numbers.
• Under the patronage of Pericles and the artistic directorship of Phidias, the Athenians rebuilt the Acropolis after 447 BCE. The Parthenon, Phidia's Athena Parthenos, and the works of Polykleitos have defined what is meant to be "Classical" ever since.
Temple of Hera II
Temple of Hera II; Paestum, Italy; ca. 460 BCE; Doric
• was dedicated to Hera, the wife of Zeus
• Even number of columns (6) on shorts ends, 2 columns in antis, 2 rows of columns in 2 stories inside the cella
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus; Olympia, Greece; ca. 470-456 BCE; Doric
• Architect was Libon of Elis
• Site of the Olympic Games
• Now in ruins...but similar in structure to Temple Hera II
• ←←←East pediment from temple...depicts the chariot race between Pelops and Oinomaos...Zeus in center
Seer (from east pediment of the Temple of Zeus); Olympia, Greece; ca. 470-456 BCE
• Seer= supernatural insight/can see what the future holds
• Balding, old age (rare), wrinkled, sagging musculature, shocked expression on his face
Kritios Boy; from the Acropolis, Athens, Greece; ca. 480 BCE
• First statue to sow how a person naturally stands
• The shifting of weight from one leg to other is depicted (contrapposto)
• The head turns slighty...breaking unwritten rule of frontality (basically all statues before this)
• No more Archaic smile!
Riace Warrior; from the sea off Riace, Italy; ca. 460-450 BCE; bronze
• Embedded eyes, silver teeth and eye-lashes, and copper lips and nipples
• The contrapposto is more pronounced than Kritios Boy
• Hollow-casting= must be hollowed because bronze is expensive, heavy, and impractical. Clay mold (investment) of statue was made, then hollow was on top...
• Body is in natural motion in space
Zeus (or Poseidon)
Zeus; from the sea off Cape Artemision, Greece; ca. 460-450 BCE; bronze
• In this Early Classical statue of Zeus hurling a thunderbolt, both arms are boldly extended and the right heel is raised off the ground, underscoring the lightness and stability of hollow-cast bronze statues.
Diskobolos (Discus Thrower); by Myron; Roman marble copy of a bronze original; ca. 450 BCE.
• Vigorous action statue
• How the sculptor froze the action of discus throwing and arranged the nude athlete's body and limbs so they formed two interesting arcs.
Doryphoros (Spear Bearer); by Polykleitos; Roman marble copy of bronze original; ca. 450 BCE
• Polykleitos sought to portray the perfect man and to impose order on human movement.
• He achieved his goals by employing harmonic proportions and a system of cross balance for all parts of the body.
Pericles; by Kresilas; Roman marble copy of a bronze original; ca. 429 BCE
• Kresilas was said to have made a noble man appear even nobler.
• Classical Greek portraiture are idealized images in which humans appeared godlike.
Parthenon (Temple of Athena Parthenos); Acropolis, Athens, Greece; ca. 447-438 BCE; Doric
• Architects: Iktinos and Kallikrates
• Stylobate curves upward at the center on the sides and both facades, forming a shallow dome, this curve is carried to entablature
• The peristyle columns lean inward slightly
• Curving of horizontal lines and the tilting of vertical ones creates a kind of "architectural contrapposto"
• Contains some Ionic elements (some tall and slender Ionic columns, interior frieze)
Athena Parthenos; (in the cella of the Parthenon); by Phidias; Acropolis, Athens, Greece; ca. 438 BCE; 38-feet-tall; gold and ivory
• Athena Parthenos (the Virgin) fully armed and holding Nike (Victory) in her extended right hand
• Nike referred to the victory of 479 BCE (Persian defeat)
• Multiple allusions to Persian defeat and triumph of order over chaos, civilization over barbarism, and of Athens over Persia!
• Has since been melted down; above is replica
Panathenaic Festival frieze
Ionic frieze; (from the Parthenon) Acropolis, Athens, Greece; ca. 447-438 BCE
• Represents the Panathenaic Festival procession that took place every four years in Athens...parade of citizens on horseback and foot
• Temple celebrated Athenians as much as Athena
• Three goddesses (from the east pediment of the Parthenon); by Phidias; Acropolis, Athens, Greece; ca. 438-432 BCE
• Probably Hestia, Dione, and Aphrodite
• Understanding of human form, muscle and bone mechanics, and clothed forms
• Heavy fold of garments reveal and conceal main and lesser body masses...also create interesting light and shade
Caryatid from Erechteion Temple
• Caryatids (column in woman form) replaced Ionic columns
Temple of Athena Nike
Temple of Athena Nike; Acropolis, Athens, Greece; ca. 427-424 BCE; Ionic
• Architect: Kallikrates
• Reference to victory over the Persians
• Nike's (Victory's) image was repeated dozens of times...sometimes bringing sacrificial bulls for Athena, Persian spoils, or holding trophies
Nike adjusting her sandal
Nike from Temple of Athena Nike
• Here Nike's sculpted garments seem almost transparent and you can clearly see the outline of the young female body
Hegeso Stele; from Dipylon cemetery, Athens, Greece; ca. 400 BCE
• On her tombstone, Hegeso examines jewelry from a box her servant girl holds. Mistress and maid share a serene moment of daily life. Only the epitaph reveals that Hegeso is the one who died.
Youth Diving (painted ceiling of the Tomb of the Diver); Paestum, Italy; ca. 480 BCE
• Rare example of Classical mural painting
• Diving scence symbolizes the deceased's plunge into the Underworld
Late Classical Art, ca. 400-323 BCE
• In the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War, which ended in 404 BCE, Greek artists, while still adhering to the philosophy that humanity was the "measure of all things," began to focus more on the real world of appearances than on the ideal world of perfect beings.
• Late Classical sculptors humanized the remote deities, athletes, and heroes of the fifth century BCE.
• In architecture, the ornate Corinthian capital became increasingly popular, breaking the monopoly of the Doric and Ionic orders.
• The period closed with Alexander the Great, who transformed the Mediterranean world politically and ushered in a new artistic age as well.
Aphrodite of Knidos
Aphrodite of Knidos; by Praxiteles; Roman marble copy of original; Roman, Italy; ca. 350
• Representing the goddess of love nude
• First time used nudity to evoke sensual reaction
• nudity was rare in earlier Greek art...when it was used it represented slave girls, not noblewoman or goddesses
Hermes and the infant Dionysus
Hermes and the infant Dionysus; by Praxiteles; Temple of Hera, Olympia, Greece; ca. 340
• Praxiteles humanized the Olympian deities
• Hermes is as sexual as Aphrodite ^
• Dangles grapes as temptation for the infant god of wine
• Tender human interaction... real life!
• Gods have stepped off their pedestals and joined human experience and interaction
Apoxyomenos (Scraper); by Lysippos of Sikyon; Roman marble copy of original; Rome, Italy; ca. 330 BCE
• New canon of proportion in which the bodies were more slender than those of Polykleitos
• Athlete scraping the oil from his body after exercise
• Nervous energy, lacking in balanced form
• Lysippos began to break down the dominance of the frontal view in statuary...view from multiple angles
• Figure breaks out of box that usually confined him (look at feet)
Weary Herakles (Farnese Herakles); by Glykon of Athens; (inspired by Lysippos); Roman copy; Rome, Italy; ca. 320 BCE; marble
• Viewer must walk around to see fullness (like Scraper^)
• His massive muscles are ironic because he's tired!
• Shows the mythological strong man as so weary that he must lean on his club for support
• Lysippos rejected balance and stability in his statues
• Humanizing the great gods (Praxiteles, Skopas, and Lysippos all followed this path)
Head of Alexander the Great
Head of Alexander the Great; Pella, Greece; 3rd century BCE
• Lysippos was the official portrait sculptor of ATG
• Sharp turn of the head and thick mane of hair
• Deep-set eyes, parted lips, and delicate way with flesh are characteristics of Lysippos
Stag hunt; by Gnosis; Pella, Greece; ca. 300 BCE; pebble
• Costly objects found at Macedonian graves and homes of the wealthy at Pella indicate the splendid life at the Macedonian court
• Floor mosaics at the Macedonian capital of Pella are the early type made with pebbles and various natural colors
Hades abducting Persephone
Hades abducting Persephone; Vergina, Greece; mid-fourth century BCE
• Detail of a wall paining in tomb 1
• Lord of the Underworld kidnapping Demeter's daughter
• Three-quarter views of all subjects
• Shading and foreshortening (depth)
Battle of Issus
Battle of Issus; by Philoxenos of Eretria; Pompeii, Italy ca. 310 BCE
• Captured the psychological intensity of the confrontation between the two kings (ATG vs. Darius III)
• Three-quarter view of Darius, horse's butt, reflections (on a man's shield—very detailed), light and shadows
Theater of Epidauros
Theater; by Polykleitos the Younger; Epidauros, Greece; ca. 350 BCE
• Could fit 12,000 spectators
• Plays were only performed for sacred festivals
• Harmony of proportions (again, common for Greek)
Hellenistic Art, ca. 323-30 BCE
• The Hellenistic age extends from the death of Alexander until the death of Cleopatra, when Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire. The great cultural centers of the era were no longer the city-states of Archaic and Classical Greece but royal capitals such as Alexandria in Egypt and Pergamon in Asia Minor.
• In art, both architects and sculptors broke most of the rules of Classical design.
• Hellenistic sculptors explored new subjects—Gauls with strange mustaches and necklaces, impoverished old women—and treated traditional subjects in new ways—athletes with battered bodies and faces, openly erotic goddesses. Artists delighted in depicting violent movement and unbridled emotion.
Stoa of Attalos II
Stoa of Attalos II; Agora, Athens, Greece; ca. 150 BCE
• In the late Classical time, artists became more individualized, no longer same goals and works (like Archaic, Early/High Classical)
• Agora: a public open space used for assemblies and markets
• A city notable for haphazard, unplanned development
• Doric and Ionic features—this mixing started in the Late Classical, but became very common in Hellenistic Period
Altar of Zeus
Altar of Zeus; Pergamon, Turkey; ca. 175 BCE
• Subject is the battle of Zeus and the gods against the giants...this allued to the victory of King Attalos I over the Gauls of Asia Minor
Athena battling Alkyoneos
Athena battling Alkyoneos; Detail of the frieze from the Altar of Zeus; Pergamon, Turkey; ca. 175 BCE
• Battle scenes of the altar have an emotional power unparalleled in earlier Greek art
• Violent movement, swirling draperies, and vivid depictions of suffering fill the frieze
• Faces of figures show pain and anguish
Gaul and his wife
Gallic chieftain killing himself and wife; by Epigonos; Roman copy of bronze original (ca. 230 BCE)—from the altar of Zeus
• The defeat of the Gauls was also the subject of Pergamene statuary groups
• Centerpiece of one group was a Gallic chieftain committing suicide after killing his wife....he preferred death to surrender
• Gaul's intensely expressive face, powerful torso...and the woman's limp and lifeless body
Dying Gaul; by Epigonos; Roman marble copy of bronze original, ca. 230 BCE
• Gauls in the Pergamene victory groups were shown as barbarians with bush hair, mustaches, and neck bands, but they were also portrayed as noble foes who fought to the end
• Collapsed upon his large oval shield as blood pours form the gash in his chest...pain expressed, staring at ground
• Exaggerated male musculature...big chest, bulging veins
Nike of Samothrace
Nike of Samothrace; Samothrace, Greece; ca. 190 BCE
• "masterpiece of Hellenistic baroque sculpture"
• Nike is on a Greek warship and is about to crown the naval victor (but her arm is missing)
• Nike's (Victory) wings still beat, wind seeps her drapery
• Placement of the statue in a fountain of splashing water heightened the dramatic visual effect
Venus de Milo (Aphrodite)
Venus de Milo (Aphrodite); by Alexandros; Melos, Greece; ca. 150-125 BCE
• Explored the eroticism of the nude female form
• Aphrodite is more overtly sexual than Knidian Aphrodite
• Slipping garment is to tease the spectator
Barberini Faun (Sleeping satyr); Rome, Italy ca. 230-200 BCE
• Restlessly sleeping, drunken satyr, very sexual
• While Archaic & Classical sculptors are awake and alert, Hellenistic sculptors explored sleep (entrance into fantasy world of dream)—antithesis of Classical ideals of rationality and discipline
• Satyr: a semihuman follower of Dionysos
Seated boxer; Rome, Italy ca. 100-50 BCE
• Not a victorious, young athlete with perfect face or body
• Represents an older, defeated boxer with a broken nose and battered eyes...once might, now old and broken
Old Market Woman
Old market woman; ca. 150-100 BCE
• Hellenistic art included depictions of old men and women from the lowest rungs of society (they weren't suitable in earlier art)
• Face is wrinkled, body bent with age, and her spirit broken by a lifetime of poverty
• Social realism!
• Old and ugly portrayals represent the social climate of the Hellenistic period—the highborn couldn't help but encounter the poor and foreigners (e.g. Gauls) on a daily basis
Demosthenes; by Polyeuktos; Roman copy of bronze original ca. 280 BCE
• Growing interest in the individual
• Demosthenes was a man of strong moral character
• He is aged, slightly stooped body, face is lined, hair is receding...expression of great sadness, deep in thought
• His deep sorrow over the tragic demise of democracy at the hands of the Macedonian conquerors
Lacoon and his Sons
Laocoon and his Sons; by Athanadoros, Hagesandros, and Polydoros; Rome, Italy; early 1st century CE
• Rome conquered Greece and many Romans paid (patronage) for Greek art work...Hellenistic style lived on in Rome
• A la grecque= in the Greek style
• Sea serpents are attacking Laocoon and his 2 sons, while Laocoon is sacrificing at the altar
• Laocoon suffered in terrible agony
Head of Odysseus
Head of Odysseus; by Athanadoros, Hagesandros, and Polydoros; Sperlonga, Italy; ca. early 1st century CE
• Emotionally charged depiction of Odysseus which was party of a mythological statuary group that the Laocoon sculptors made for a grotto at the emperor Tiberius's seaside villa
• Locks of hair are even swept up in the moment