Art of the Ancient Greek
Art History 2nd Edition Marilyn Stokstad
Greek art and architecture is important for the enormous influence that it exerted and continues to exert on civilizations. This chapter covers a very brief period of time in comparison to the millennia covered by the chapters on Egypt and Mesopotamia. While a major characteristic of earlier periods was the relative continuity of artistic traditions, in Greece the emphasis is on change. Your main objective for this chapter is to learn the major chronological divisions of Greek history and the most characteristic examples of art produced in each. There may seem to be an overwhelming amount of material, however, what you learn of Greece now (and of Rome in the next chapter) will help you as you move through the rest of art history. Goals for this chapter include:
- Learn the order and time span of the various divisions of Greek history.
- Recognize the debt that early Greek art owes to Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Aegean tradition.
- Grasp the important fact that Greek artists stepped away from their teachers to strike out in directions of their own.
- Learn to appreciate the essential characteristics of the term classical --both as a period of Greek art history and as an attitude toward life.
- Appreciate the role that the political makeup of ancient Greece had on culture and the arts.
- Recognize the cultural domination of Athens.
- Watch the transformation of Greek classicism under economic and political pressures of the fourth century.
- Witness the birth of the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great and notice the changes in art that the empire brought to Greece.
"Man is the measure of all things."
This theme gives us a way to begin to think and talk about the human figure within Greek Art. It also addresses the Greek search for ideal mathematical proportions in the figure and in architecture. We also use the word measure to help us focus on the idea of balance, both in relation to symmetry and in relation to the mind and body.
Secrets of the Parthenon
post and lintel