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.