ideal male youth (kouros)
purpose: grave markers, offerings, represent god (like Apollo)
inspired by Egyptian sculpture
compared to New York (590 BC): there was a stiffness, distinct views revealing it was form a block of stone, more natural and rounded, less blocky, sweeping of body, more integrated forms (natural); continuity: left leg out and weight distributed, hair (braiding, headband, archaic smile (transcendence, aristocratic)
grave marker to son who died in war
hands attached to hips with bridge
Softer (less geometric), proportioned, idealized, echos the torso bell shaped curve, fleshy face, archaic smile and hair
After defeat of Persians
--Pericles Acropolis celebrates this
Athens: dominates, Democracy
Human form: red figure, movement
The gods became human through marble and bronze
less Egyptian, movement, natural form
the visible universe became explainable, and thus the subject of intense study -Hence, the focus on the human body.
the smile of past ages was replaced by a solemn facial expression.
-Even in art that depicts violent or passionate scenes.
-True only for Greeks, enemies in same scenes have dramatic expressions.
Why show people with muted expressions or emotions?
-The reason for this is that ancient Greeks believed that suppression of the emotions was a noble characteristic of all civilized men, while the public display of human emotion was a sign of barbarism.
-Logic and reason was to dominate human expression even during the most dramatic situations.
-The world became understood as a series of opposing forces that created balance. So, the human body was used to express these opposing forces in balance. (Look at how body of sculpture is positioned, one leg tense, one relaxed)
- Ends with death of Alexander the great
- Constitutes western culture
- 3 characteristics: directness (essential function, simplicity), ability (anatomy, movement, emotion, perspective), beauty (idealism, symmetry)
- No longer relief in stone
- Outline of figure
- Uses: religious (god, cults), athletes (ideal human form), commemorative sculptures (victory over Persians), grave monuments (reliefs, personal patronage), humanize everything (gods mimic human form), storytelling (simplicity, heroes)
- Myths over history (no controversial subjects)
- Daily life