ART 101 Chapter 5: Art of Ancient Greece

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2 Oct 2016
Department
Course
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Greek Art, 750-450 BCE
Wednesday, September 28
Greek Art, 750-450 BCE
Map of Ancient Greece;
Aegean Sea,
Mediterranean Sea / Greek
Culture
-Impacted by Egypt and Turkey
-inhospitable land
-lots of rock, stone for building
and sculpture
-the mountains separated
peoples
-this region was constantly in
war
-Proto: believed women were
not important
-however, women were the priestess at the temples of female deities, they owned
businesses, produced textiles and poetry, they were vital to greek economy
-but primarily men were the measure of all things
-self government, democracy
-a land ruled by men not by gods
-rationally tried to understand, ethics, morality, peace, war, they have symposia, men
would sit on couches and drink and talk, contemplate the nature of life
we don't have this in any earlier culture
-the greeks introduced philosophy
-they introduced theater that deals with fate, and behavior and destiny
-they created the architecture that is common to much architecture in the west
-Delphi considered apex of universe where Apollo wrestled a dragon to return peace
to the world
-Greeks continually sought to change and improve existing artistic trends and fashion,
effecting striking stylistic changes over the course of a few centuries
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Greek Art, 750-450 BCE
-this is a strong contrast to the situation in ancient Egypt where there was a desire
for permanence and continuity maintained stable artistic conventions for nearly
3,000 years
-greek art gets more realistic and yet increasingly ideal portrayal of figures over 200
years
-unlike Egypt which was slow and conservative for centuries
Greek and Roman Deities
-According to Greek legend, the creation of the world involved a battle between the
earth gods, Titans, and the sky gods
-the winners were the sky gods whose home was atop Mount Olympus
-Greeks saw their gods as immortal and endowed with supernatural powers but more
than peoples of the ancient Near east and Egyptians
-they also visualized them in human form and attributed to them human weaknesses
and emotions
-the supreme god and goddess were Zeus and Hera and their offspring
-Gods and goddess were people just like you and me
-they took the shape of men and women and they were not perfect, they were wrathful
-Zeus was the father deity and he would get angry and create storms wreaking havoc,
committed adultery many times
- sanctuaries were thought to be sacred sites to one or more gods
-they are very different from Egyptian religious complexes that dramatized the
power of gods or rulers by organizing their temples along staring processional
ways. The greeks treated each building and monument as an independent element
to be integrated with the natural features of the site in an irregular arrangement that
emphasized the exterior of each building as a discrete sculptural form on display
Ceramics
-Athens developed as a major center of ceramic production, creating both sculpture
and vessels decorated with organized abstract designs
-during this time Greeks were trading avidly with their neighbors to the East
-social markers, status markers
-we are looking at pottery as an index of culture
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Greek Art, 750-450 BCE
-every city has its own type of clay so
we can tell by looking at a vessel
where it came from
-it survives in abundance
-pots are found in datable context, so
we can establish a clear chronology
-they were a major source of income,
they were traded
-greek potters signed their works, so
this was considered the greatest level
of art
-they reflect large scale greek wall
painting which is lost
-when Mycenae fell, after a century of
wars, and wars in Turkey, there was
something like 15 pot types and pots
are needed, for cooking and storage, in
mycenaean pots the works are poor
and clumsy
-when we get to the height of greek vases there are over 200 types which shows
technology
-they were specialized, made uses a potters wheel
-ability to control heat and cooling, using a kiln, getting the right type of wood the
quantity, thats what their expertise is in
-the pots are also painted
-pottery in general functions as a memory of these cultures that no longer exist
Funerary Krater from the Dipylon Cemetery, 750-735 BCE, Athens
(ceramic)
-done by an artist or group of artist from the Hirschfeld Workshop
-100 cm
-funerary vessel used as a grave marker
-large funerary vessels like this also functioned to hold the ashes of cremated
individuals
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