Late Classical to Hellenistic.pdf

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Art History
Roger Mc Cleary

Late Classical – Hellenistic Periods 2012-10-22 9:23 PM The Decline of the Classical Poleis And The Rise of the Hellenistic Kingdoms • Peloponnesian War means Athens was defeated and Spar ta had been weakened • No force seemed to unite the Greek poleis permanently • By the end of 1 stcentury BC, Greece was dominated by Macedonia then Rome, and the poleis were never again to have anything more than nominal independence • Macedonians spoke Greek but were ruled by kings • Philip II appreciated what was best in Greek culture and planned to avenge the Persian invasion, but before he could, was murdered • His son Alexander became to be known as “the Great” • He lead the Greek poleis to battle against the Pe rsians • Henceforth the Greeks followed Alexander until his armies led to India, then the soldiers regused to go on • Alexander’s huge empire fell apart when he died • Rivalries were inherited and empire split into vast kingdoms • In the meantime, the power of Rom e was growing • By 31 BC the entire Hellenistic world had been absorbed into Roman empire • “Hellenistic” describes the period between the death of Alexander and the final conquest of Greece by Rome • Hellenistic kingdomgs were often vast metrpolises and were not free in anything but name • Men felt they belonged to not a group but only to themselves • Private houses became luxurious and were the domain of the individual • Public monuments were also grand, but built by monarchs, not by people • Temper of the time radically changed • Peoples surrounding were quickly attracted to centers of higher civilization; they tried to absorb Greek culture, but they inevitably broadened, distorted, and vulgarized it New Trends in Sculpture • Vigorous new push towards natural ism with interest in differentiation • Humans were characterized by age and personality, but also by emotion and mood • Increasing spcialization in more lyrical moods and gentler emotions • New concepts became subjects for art (personifications (human form of co ncepts like peace) • All three of the above trends were exploted by the citizens of Megara, near Athens when they commissioned new statues for their temple of Aphrodite The Female Nude: A New Theme • Praxiteles most famous creation was a nude Aphrodite • The statue is now lost, but men fell in love with it • Must have been very realistic and beautiful in the pose and paint • New principle: sensuousness o Relaxed hips, rounded forms • Others tried to copy this pose New Problems In The Hellenistic Period: Figures In S
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