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Chapter 4 Art of Greece and the Aegean World. Art of the Aegean began with the Minoans from Crete. As the Minoan civilization declined, the Mycenaean.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 Art of Greece and the Aegean World. Art of the Aegean began with the Minoans from Crete. As the Minoan civilization declined, the Mycenaean."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4 Art of Greece and the Aegean World


3 Art of the Aegean began with the Minoans from Crete. As the Minoan civilization declined, the Mycenaean civilization arose. These adventuresome, curious people eventually became the Greeks. This area of the world is very prone to earthquakes.

4 For at least 700 years, the Greeks were unimaginably creative. The earliest art from the Greeks has been found in the Cycladic Islands, primarily around burial sites.

5 The Minoan culture of the island of Crete was named after King Minos of Greek Legend who was said to have kept a human eating, half man and half bull monster, called a Minotaur, at the center of a labyrinth, or maze. Theseus Slaying the Minotaur-painting on a Greek vase.

6 The so called Palace of Knossos (the capitol city of the Minoans) was actually a complete city, with homes, places for worship, manufacturing, storage and even sophisticated pluming with bathrooms and underground pipes.

7 Knossos today

8 Much of the Minoan art was related to their religion. Their gods and god-rulers were often associated with certain animals, and these animals were important in their art works. Many animals were used to decorate frescoes in the Palace at Knossos and in other art works.

9 On an island, now called Santorini, was a Minoan outpost. An uncovered house was found full of frescoes that showed young women performing initiation ceremonies. Here we see an elegant linear drawing filled with color and pattern.

10 This fresco shows us two women and a man engaged in the dangerous ritual of Bull jumping. It may show an initiation or fertility rite or it may show human courage to honor a god.

11 Bull Leaping, Minoan, from the palace at Knossos, Crete. C. 1750-1450 BCE. Fresco. Archaeological Museum, Heraklion, Crete

12 Painting on a smaller scale decorated ceramics made in palace workshops. This decoration of sea creatures and plants celebrates Cretan maritime power. The artist has captured the grace and energy of natural forms…presenting them in a way that is in harmony with the vessels shape.

13 Sometime, around 3,000 BCE, Greek- speaking people invaded the Greek peninsula. They brought advanced metalworking, ceramic, and architectural techniques and displaced the indigenous culture.

14 Early vertical shaft graves show evidence of a stratified civilization with an elite class of warriors who had been buried with weapons, jewelry and drinking cups.

15 Knossos Life in the walled cities of Mycenae must have been very different from life in the open palaces of Crete

16 Palace grave circle Lion Gate Dirt road to Mycenae

17 The main entrance into Mycenae was through the Lion Gate. At one time, the lions had heads, possibly made from bronze or gold. Mycenaean civilization has a short history. Invaders took control of major cities and Greece entered a period called a dark age.

18 By the 9 th and 8 th century BCE, the people we know as Greeks began to form independently governed city-states. Whenever possible, cities were built on a hillside that could be fortified, an acropolis. (acro means high and polis means city) Eventually, these high points became centers for religious sanctuaries as the cities grew into the valleys and plains below.

19 The idea that citizens should share in the rights and responsibilities of government began to emerge in the city- states. The city-states shared a common language and developed a distinctively Greek art style that affects art style even today. The Earliest Greek art is divided into three styles: Geometric, Archaic and Classical.

20 Funerary rituals are recorded in two bands of decoration. On the top band there is a body on its side on a table. People with their hands on their heads may be tearing at their hair. In the lower band is a horse drawn chariot and foot soldiers that look like walking shields…suggestive of the athletic competitions or funeral games held to honor dead men.

21 Small statues made during the geometric period also reduced the body into geometric forms. The identity of these two figures is unknown, but could be the legendary Achilles and the centaur Chiron who was his teacher.

22 The Archaic period was a time of great achievement. It was during this time that artist prospered because of large commissions. The earliest standing Greek temples are from this time.

23 During the archaic period, Architects developed systems of proportions and ornamentation known as orders.

24 Classical Greek Architectural Orders Doric Oldest masculine Ionic Feminine Corinthian- used by the Romans

25 Standing male youth (Kouros) In addition to carving sculpture for temples, artists of the archaic period made free standing statues…usually of white marble, they were originally painted in bright naturalistic colors. Some marked graves, but most stood in sanctuaries where the lined the way from the entrance to the main temple. Kouros means young man

26 Ways the Kouros is similar to Egyptian statues: -Arms at sides, hands clenched -Left foot striding forward -Represents an ideal, not a real person Ways they are different: -Kouros is nude, representing an athletic male ideal -The Kouros arms and legs are free from the stone -The Kouros has a smile on his face (called the Archaic smile).

27 The female statue of this type is called a Kore, which means young woman. They represented priestesses, deities or nymphs. Like the Kouros, they were used mainly in temples to mark the way to the inner temple.

28 Eventually, vase painters abandoned the geometric bands of decoration on vases, and began to concentrate on the human figure. The vase painting almost always tells a story about the figures on the vase. This amphora (a large, all purpose storage jar) is done in a technique called black figure painting. The black areas are painted on an unpainted terra cotta amphora.

29 The story on this amphora is about a hero of the Trojan war, Ajax. Thinking that he would receive the heros armor after the death of Achilles, he is planning his suicide. The armor had been given to Odysseus. The shapes in this painting emphasize the shape of the amphora. Details are scratched into the black figures.

30 This is an example of an early black-figure kylix, or two-handled drinking cup. The newer red figure technique greatly increased the ability of the artist to show details. Black Figure decoration-note primitive figures and action

31 This example of a red figure kylix, shows how advanced the representation of the human figure became.

32 This is an example of how well the artist could adapt the scene and its action, to the shape of the vessel being painted on. The scene shows a bronze foundry with its furnace and various statues in progress.

33 The opposite side of the kylix

34 The early classical period is different from the archaic period because of its interest in naturalism (resemblance to visible nature) In this story, Artemis is seen taking her bath by the hunter Actaeon. She causes his dogs to mistake him for a deer, and they tear him apart. Note how the figures define the shape of the vase.

35 Compare and Contrast the representation of the human form in these two pictures. Archaic/Geometric Classical

36 In freestanding sculpture, the Greeks moved in just a few generations from the rigid Kouros figure to a much more realistic view of the human form. Kritios Boy, c. 480 BCE. Marble, height 33 4/3 inches. Acropolis Museum, Athens.

37 The casting of bronze allowed the representation of much more complex action poses which would be difficult to carve in stone. This bronze charioteer was found in the rubble of a temple that had been toppled by an earth quake in 373 BCE. The statue was saved from being melted down because it was covered by rubble.

38 A pair of over life- sized bronze figures known as the Riace Warriors illustrate the skill of the ancient Greek sculptors in depicting the nude figure. This statue originally had eyes of bone and colored glass and silver plating on the teeth. They were found underwater off of the coast of Riace

39 The Golden Age of art is another name for the Classical period of Greek art and architecture. The leader of the Athenians during this period was a statesman named Pericles who initiated the building of the temples on the Acropolis.

40 The words classical and classic come from the Latin word classis, meaning the division of people into classes based on wealth. So, classic has come to mean first class, the highest rank and the standard of excellence. Greek and Roman artists tried to create ideal images based on mathematical proportions. These ideal images were considered Classical.

41 The word Classical also refers to the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. The word may also mean in the style of ancient Greece and Rome, whenever or wherever that style is used. In general usage, classic is something of lasting quality and universal significance.

42 The Athenian Acropolis, which formed the citys ceremonial center, visually expressed the citys values and civic pride. According to Greek Mythology, Athena, goddess of wisdom and civilization, claimed Athens as her city. A new temple, the Parthenon, dedicated to her now rose over the city.

43 Sculpture carved in the round filled the pediments of the Parthenon. They were held in place with metal pins. Most of the sculpture has been damaged or lost, but by using the holes for the metal pins, scholars have been able to determine the placement of existing statues. Originally they were brightly painted.


45 This is a low relief sculpture of a procession of women, including two of the marshals who helped the procession progress on its way. The young women represent the Greek ideal of young womanhood, and the procession is an ideal one, outside of time and place. This was a frieze on the Parthenon.

46 Parthenon Erechtheion Propylaia

47 The Propylaia (meaning entry way)had no sculptural decoration and the north wing was built specifically to house a collection of paintings for public view. So, this structure was the earliest known museum (meaning Home of the Muses) ORDER???

48 The second important temple built during the reign of Perikles was the Erechtheion, most famous for its porch with columns shaped like women. (Caryatid Porch) ORDER??

49 Six stately caryatids (carved figures functioning as columns) assume the pose of a Classical figure, and the folds of the drapery suggest fluted columns.

50 A second temple built in the Ionic order was the temple to Athena Nike (Victory) Female figures from this temple contrast with the restrained caryatids of the Erechtheion.

51 Leaning forward, her robe slips off her shoulder. Her wings, almost totally gone now, effectively balance the unstable pose. Unlike the swirls of heavy fabric on the Caryatids, Nikes gown seems to be made of wet silk. The artists vision and the patrons wish has changed dramatically since the creation of the Kore

52 The portrayal of the human body in the late Classical art of the Greeks was based on mathematical formulas. This was stimulated by the philosophers, Socrates and Plato who said all objects in the physical world were reflections of ideal forms that could be discovered through reason. The Canon of Polykleitos (page 110) explains how one artist arrived at his formulas for perfection in the human form. Spear Carrier

53 In 404 BCE, the Peloponnesian War concluded with the defeat of Athens by Sparta. Athens never regained her former dominance, and Sparta could never control the other Greek lands. The quarreling city-states finally fell under the dominance of Philip II of Macedonia.

54 Philips son, Alexander the Great, incorporated the Greek city- states into an empire.

55 Despite all of the political changes, Greek art continued to change and explore the world and the humans in it. In exploring the difference between these statues, done about 100 years apart, we can see that Hermes has a smaller head and a more youthful and graceful body than the Spear Carrier Spear Carrier, c. 450-440 BCE Roman copy of a Greek bronze. Hermes and the Infant Dionysos, c.300-250 BCE

56 Around 350 BCE, Praxiteles created a daring statue of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. For the first time, a well known Greek sculptor depicted a goddess as a completely nude woman. She is getting ready to enter her bath…her hands are posed modestly. She was purchased by the citizens of Knidos in Asia Minor, and was displayed in a shrine open on all four sides. A legend says that Aphrodite journeyed to Knidos to see the statue and cried out in shock, where did Praxiteles see me naked?

57 Alexander the Great is traditionally portrayed as godlike and young. After establishing an empire that stretched from Greece to Egypt, and as far east as India, he died of a fever in Babylon. He was 33 years old. His death, and the resulting breakup of his empire marks the end of the Classical period in Greek art.

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