ART 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Middle Kingdoms Of India, Praxiteles, Knidos

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22 Oct 2016
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Late Classical #8
Monday, October 17
The Late Classical Period 400-323 BCE
Late Classical period
-Philip of Macedon conquered Athens
sees a devastate peninsula and is able to conquer it
coming from another region of Greece
assassinated 20 years later and son comes to rule
-Macedon is in Northern Greece
-interested in Philip’s son Alexander the Great
-thinking about what happened to Greek art following devastation of the Persian wars
-we are going to see a relaxation of the heroic ideals
-the reverence towards divinity that had characterized the classical period
-for the first time we will see statues making fun of the great olympian deities and
paralleling what was happening in literature and religion
-a contamination of Greek religion with beliefs coming from other areas including
Egypt
-going to see a rejection of the ideals of perfection in art, even in proportions
-an exaggeration of the stylistic features (contrapossto)
-one of the great sculptures of this age was Praxiteles
non of his original work survives
-after the Pelopanesian wars
out breaks of famine because fields were burned during the war
outbreaks of plague
civil unrest
beliefs from the sectors
humanizing gods
!1
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Late Classical #8
Statue of Hermes and the Infant Dionysos, 4th c BCE, Olympia
-marble
-7’ 1” : larger than life size
-This is about the illegitimate child of Zeus, and dethroning the elevated figures of
gods
-Zeus was unfaithful to wife Hera and Hera was vengeful and wanted to kill all
illegitimate offspring and when Zeus heard she was going to try and off Dionysos he
called on Hermes to take Dionysos away to be raised in a cave
-this is a fragmentary statue that is a copy of a lost original that was placed in the
temple of Zeus at mount Olympus
-flaunts the infidelity of Zeus and was placed
directly opposite to the temple of Hera
-from other copies we know that Hermes was
dangling a bunch of grapes in front go
Dionysos
-reaction is that this is funny
-style of this work differs from anything we
have seen thus far
-the figure is supported by a strut, because
marble tips over very easily if its not perfectly
balanced
-Hermes is in an exaggerated pose of
contrapossto
-late classical sculptures can make fun of
their subjects and exaggerate contropossto
-this is a time when all the rules are being
thrown out the window, making fun of the
gods and statues not perfectly balanced or
stabilized
-they are looking at each other
-the first statue where we have figures
interacting - oblivious of us the viewer
-they are having a private moment and
laughing
-contradiction of pudgy baby body and
!2
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