Characteristics of Greek art with periods

Greek art

Set of artistic manifestations produced in Ancient Greece. Characteristics of Greek art with periods

Greek art is called the set of artistic manifestations produced in Ancient Greece . These productions, especially architecture and sculpture, had an extraordinary influence on Western culture to the present. Certain forms even expanded towards the East from the conquests of Alexander the Great , giving rise to the development of the Greco-Buddhic or Gandhara style in India.

The sources to know Greek art are the remains that have been preserved, although deteriorated and scattered; the copies made by the Romans after the conquest of Greece and, finally, the literary or written works of antiquity, since the Greek was the first culture to write about art and artists .

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Periods of Greek art

Various periods can be determined in the evolution of Greek art.

Geometric style

It appeared around the 8th century BC. C. No preserved monuments of this period, which was characterized by the decoration of ceramics with geometric shapes and scenes taken with schematic and synthetic figures. Between 700 and 600 a. This style led to a more descriptive and organic one, known as the orientalizing style .

Archaic period

Which is understood from the end of the VII century a. Until 480 a. C. During this period appeared the first manifestations of architecture and monumental sculpture made of stone and designed to last.

This stage was characterized by the production of ceramics decorated with mythological, literary and everyday scenes, and by the prominence of human representations: naked young men ( kouros ) and clothed women ( koré ) with conventional and somewhat rigid forms. Characteristics of Greek art with periods

Furthermore, during this period the Greek temple acquired its particular characteristics and established itself as the most representative architectural monument of Greek culture.

Classical period

It covers from 479 a. C. until the end of the war of the Peloponnese , in 404 a. C. It corresponds to the moment when Greek art and culture reached their maximum development .

After a transitional stage, known as the severe period, Greek artists managed to condense the philosophical conception of the time into their forms. As a consequence, they produced balanced, harmonious and serene works that responded to the Greek ideal of beauty.

In Athens the Acropolis was rebuilt, which had been destroyed by the Persian invasions, and the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, was built.

Hellenistic period

It was developed between the 4th century BC. C. and the 1st century BC. It corresponds to the period of dissolution of the Greek city-states from the conquest of the territory by Philip of Macedonia and its incorporation into the Macedonian Empire. Starting from the new situation in Greece, the artists sought to represent individuality, personal character, the novelty and the strange. With the expansion of the Empire, the Greek forms adapted to oriental tastes.

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Characteristics of Greek art

The main characteristics of Greek art were the following:

  • In its beginnings, Greek art was influenced by the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations , and especially from Egypt and Mesopotamia, but it soon developed well-differentiated particular characteristics.
  • The representation of the human figure was prioritized according to an ideal of beauty that responded to an intellectual and philosophical conception. For this they established a canon, that is, a series of relationships between the parts of the works that ensured balance and harmony.
  • At the same time that the representation of the human figure was sought, in accordance with the idealized canon of beauty, there was the intention to represent the inner life of the characters.
  • Both the sculptures and the temples were painted to give a naturalistic look to the human forms and the depicted narratives. Characteristics of Greek art with periods
  • The beauty of works of art began to be valued , beyond their commemorative, homage or memorial function. This favored the emergence of art collectors, critics, and theorists.

Architecture in Greek art

The temple was the characteristic construction of Greek architecture. This had to respond to certain established rules that ensured the proper proportions and harmony of the work. Each part of the temple was in relation to the other parts, according to a certain order.

These orders were Doric, the Ionic and Corinthian (which actually corresponds to a derivation of the Ionian developed during the Hellenistic period).

They also built theaters in a semicircular shape, taking advantage of the slopes of the mountains to install the bleachers.

Sculpture in Greek art

Sculpture in Greek art was characterized mainly as follows:

  • This category included both free – standing sculptures and reliefs numerous narrative that developed in the eardrums, the metopes and friezes of temples.
  • Many of the sculptural works were made in cast bronze . Most of these works have been lost, however we know of their existence from marble copies from the Roman period.
  • To achieve the ideal of harmony and balance without the sculpture losing its naturalness, they developed the contraposto, which allows the human body to be represented in a dynamic rest . This consists of presenting one leg in tension and the other at rest, while the arms alternate tension and rest of the legs. In this way, the hips are slightly inclined in one direction and the line of the shoulders in the opposite direction.
  • The sculpture had, in general, a commemorative and tribute function.

Painting in Greek art

Virtually nothing of Greek painting has been preserved, but its existence is known from accounts of the time. On the other hand, two-dimensional plastic representations have been preserved in different types of ceramic pieces of great diffusion in the Mediterranean. Characteristics of Greek art with periods

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