Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Difference Between Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Art

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Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic art all differ in one way or another. Archaic, which was the first period in Greek art, introduced red-figure vases and temples. The Classical Period in Greek art is known for the introduction of the three orders of columns Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Sculpting also became popular and heroic idealized figure fade as the commonality of life-like natural figure increase. As the Classical period renovates into the Hellenistic Period, architecture and sculpting are still the focus points in Greek art. The Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Periods of art differ as shown in Ajax and Achilles, The Kritios Boy, the Nike of Samothrace, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

The Archaic Period of art in Ancient Greece was a time of rapid change and development. The emergence of artistic forms and skills peaked ca. 600-500 BC. Red-figure vases, one of the most popular styles of vase painting in the Archaic period, Started in Athens in 500, BC. Artisans painted the background around the figures black, and painted the details of the figures on reddish clay with a brush. An example of this process would be Ajax and Achilles, by Exekias. This piece shows Ajax and Achilles playing a game of checkers. Another example of red-figure vases is the calyx rater. Euphronios created this piece, which indicates the death of Sarpedon from the story of the Trojan War, but Euxitheos signed it. The story, as told in the Iliad by Homer, indicates that Sarpedon was the son of Zeus and Europa and was a Trojan leader. At Troy, Patroclus killed Sarpedon while Sarpedon was attacking the Greek camp. On the vase, it shows a scene where the Greeks and Trojans are fighting over Sarpedons body, while Sleep and Death are lifting him to take him home. Hermes is present, because he was the messenger of the gods and thought to be important. The Archaic Period was also known for the construction of temples. An example of a temple would be the Hera I at Paestum. This temple was made in the Doric order, 560-550 BC. In this particular temple, the columns are closely spaced. In sculpting, the forms were much like the Egyptians, rigid, feet spread and flat, yet one in front of the other. In the Classical period, The other two orders of columns are introduced, along with new sculpture styles.

In the Classical Period, sculpture and architecture became more popular, and the style of sculpture changed from the idealized, heroic image to flowing, natural style, showing muscle tone, bones, fat, veins, emotion, etc. The change all began with the Porch of Maidens from the Erechtheion. Instead of the rigid all-the-same sculpture, the Porch of Maidens had graceful, flowing attire, along with loose, sinuous hair. The body was in a contrapposto pose, which means the weight was on one leg, while the other was bent, and the head was slightly tilted. Another example of the Classical Period sculpture was the Kritios Boy, by Kritios. This sculpture, like the Porch of Maidens had the contrapposto pose. It was to represent to ideal human form. The Classical Period also introduced the three orders of columns Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The Doric was the most popular order and most widely used, as shown in the Iktinos and Kallikrates from the Parthenon. This building is in the Doric order. All major lines are slightly curved, and archaeologists now believe the curves were for grace and beauty, not to correct optical distortion. The Ionic order is more intricate than the Doric, having scrolls and volutes at the top. The Corinthian is the most decorative of all the three orders. The Corinthian order is believed to have been created from the ionic, by having elegant leaves at the top, while still having volutes and scrolls like the Ionic order. The Romans used the Corinthian order more than the Greeks. As the Classical period transformed into the Hellenistic Period, the popularity of the elegant, natural sculptures and architectures remained notorious.

As Alexander the Great took control over Greece, the love of sculpture and architect did not alter. The Nike of Samothrace, as known as Victory of Samothrace, shows the elegance and flow of the Hellenistic art. The drapery seems to be clinging to her body as if it was wet, but it is blowing against her body because she is going at such a rapid speed. It appears as if she raised her wings to land. The sculpture meant her to be descending to the prow of the ship, while her clothes are still responding to the fast movement. An example of Hellenistic Architecture would be the Temple of Olympian Zeus. This temple was originally built in the Doric order in the sixth century, but when the Romans took over Greece in the end of century, Emperor Hadrian changed the order to Corinthian. The temple columns were 8.

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The Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Periods of art differ as shown in Ajax and Achilles, The Kritios Boy, the Nike of Samothrace, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. From Archaic to Classical to Hellenistic, the forms and types of art differ. In the Archaic, statues were rigid, resembling the Egyptians. In the Classical period, sculpting was relaxed and became more graceful and less rigid, and new orders of columns were made. As the Classical moved to the Hellenistic, the sculpting was even more life-like than the Classical, and movement was more common.


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