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Ancient Greece


Cnidian Aphrodite (Roman copy) 300 BC. Done by Praxiteles. 1st completely nude figure of Aphrodite. Statue became a synonym for absolute beauty ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece Classical and Hellenic
Sculpture The Nude Dudes
New Vocab -Contrapposto -Pathos
Recovered from ruins of the Acropolis-differs
significantly from earlier Kourous- stands in a
realistic way- with weight shifts-no more
symmetry- faint s-curve
  • Contrapposto- standing at ease, a balanced
  • Leg that carries the weight is the engaged leg,
    the other is the free leg
  • Major discovery- learning how to show the body at
  • Gives a new animation to the body-archaic smile
    is no longer needed- expressions are now more
  • Each muscle shows the new balance of weight in
    the Spear Bearer- even the head
  • The measure of true human beauty

Spear Bearer (Roman Copy) 450-440 BC by
  • The Severe Style-
  • Started with the introduction of Contrapposto
  • describes sculpture between 480 and 450 BC
  • Charioteer- 1st large scale Greek bronze
    sculpture- contrapposto is present despite heavy
  • Left foot is the engaged one
  • Folds of clothing are much softer than archaic
    sculpture- reflect the behavior of real cloth-
    shows the pull of gravity
  • Animated expression, very solemn

Charioteer, 470 BC
  • Movement in statues--
  • Could only be achieved after the invention of
  • Large, free-standing sculptures in motion is the
    greatest achievement of the severe style
  • Poseidon- in the act of throwing trident (or
  • Pose is athletic, a gesture rather than in mid
    action- a divine action

Poseidon (Zeus?) c.460-450 BC, Bronze
  • - condenses a sequence of motions into a single
    pose- much more complex
  • Brings in era of the mature classical style
  • All sculpture was effected by new freedom

Discobolus, Roman marble copy of Greek bronze c.
450 BC by Myron
  • Carved as a pediment sculpture
  • Tells the story of Niobid who bragged about her
    children to Apollo and Artemis- the Gods killed
    her children and shot an arrow in her back
  • The drapery serves as a dramatic device- shows
    the violence in her pose
  • Purpose was to show a beautiful female body in
    strenuous action
  • Unites suffering and motion

Dying Niobid, c.450-440 BC
Pathos- suffering conveyed with nobility and
restraint- meant to touch us rather than horrify
Three Goddesses, east pediment, 438-432
Also fits into pediment, drapery adds to ease and
spaciousness of the sculpture Architectural
sculpture is clearly moving away from the
confines of the pediment
Characterized by great sense of rhythm
Horsemen, west frieze of Parthenon c. 440 BC
Phidian Style- Phidian was the chief overseer of
artistic enterprises sponsored bu Pericles-
Parthenon sculpture fits under this category, but
many different artisans worked on them
  • Why is she taking off her shoes???
  • Rhythm and grace in an awkward position
  • Figure is strongly detached from background
  • Garment makes her look wet

Nike, balustrade of Temple of Athena Nike,
410-407 BC
  • Pre-Hellenic, 4th Century Sculpture--400-100 BC
  • The period after the Peloponnesian War and before
    the rise of Alexander the Great
  • From Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, funerary
  • structure probably derived from Egyptian idea-
    very un-Greek
  • Scopas- recognizable style
  • Of the Parthenon tradition, but the physical
    violence depicted is very un-Classical

Scopas, Battle of the Greeks and Amazons, east
frieze Mausoleum, 359-351 BC
  • 1st completely nude figure of Aphrodite
  • Statue became a synonym for absolute beauty

Cnidian Aphrodite (Roman copy) 300 BC Done by
  • Sense of complete relaxation
  • S-curve of body
  • Faint smile
  • Probably Praxiteles greatest accomplishment

Hermes, by Praxiteles, c. 300-320 BC
  • Lysippus- another great name in 4th c. sculpture
  • New sense of proportion- more slender body,
    smaller head
  • Shows athlete scraping himself with a
    scraper-common motif
  • Both arms are horizontally extended, diagonal
    line of the free leg, unruly hair- freedom of
    3-dimensional movement

Apoxomenos (Scraper)Roman copy of a Greek bronze,
c. 330 by Lysippus
  • Hellenistic Sculpture-
  • Hellenistic period defined by the spread of Greek
    culture by the conquests of Alexander the Great
  • Sculpture began to be produced in far reaches of
    the empire
  • Characterized by action, pathos, movement

Dying Gaul, Roman copy of a Greek bronze, 230-220
  • Commemorates defeat of the Gauls, a Celtic tribe
    that invaded Asia Minor
  • Shows ethnic type- facial structure and hair
    type, rope around neck
  • Shares heroic nudity of Greek warriors- seen as
    worthy foes
  • Has a new animal quality- very physical process
    of dying

  • Mrs. Field says You wont ever forget this
  • Depicts a drunken satyr, asleep
  • In a state of dreaming- troubled expression,
    convulsive gesture
  • Get your mind out of the gutter!

Barberini Faun, Roman copy, c.220 BC
Frieze Detail
  • Carved to a great depth-almost detached, no
    longer confined to pediment
  • Depicts the battle of the gods and giants- a
    popular theme- now symbolizes specific rulers
    victories- like the Near East tradition- divine
    kingship was re-introduced with Alexander
  • Dramatic force, writhing movement

  • Shows dramatic internal and external forces- wind
    suggests that figure is air born, animates
  • NEW relationship between form and the space it

Nike of Samothrace c.200-190 BC
  • Found in Rome in 1506, greatly influenced
  • Represented sublime tragedy to the people of the

The Laocoon Group (Roman copy) 1st c. AD
  • Produced for private ownership
  • Broader range of subject matter than monumental
  • Everyday subjects
  • Same love for movement and action

Veiled Dancer c.200BC