Greece Archaic Arts (700–490/480 BC)

By | August 28, 2021


Archaic architecture developed from the late 8th and 7th centuries BC. At the temple, the basic shape of which has been the elongated cella since the 8th century (location of the cult image). The cella was given a vestibule with two columns, or a circular hall made of wooden supports was placed around it (peristasis); Its wooden entablature consisted of the architrave, above (at the Doric temple) alternating triglyphs and metopes and finally the cornice; the cell wall consisted of adobe bricks with drawn-in beams. The wooden gable roof was covered with a layer of clay or terracotta bricks. In the 7th century BC The forms developed on the wood and clay building were transferred to stone. The Temple of Hera at Olympia (around 600) was designed as a peripteros.

Since that time the Doric order has had its canonical character. The column shape is compact (with entasis), the entablature is heavy and burdensome. Plastic (figurative and ornamental) representations adorn the metopes (in Selinunt temples C and F) and gables (Corfu, Acropolis of Athens). In the ground plan, the cella and ring hall, in the elevation the columns, beams and gables were brought into fixed proportions. Limestone and marble were used as materials; the limestone was plastered. All temples and their sculptural decorations were painted in bright colors; the same applies to the treasure houses at the sanctuaries and others.

On the coast of Ionia in Asia Minor and on various Aegean islands, the Aeolian capital has been found since the end of the 7th century, consisting of two large volutes (Lesbos, Neandria in the Troas); In the 6th century the canonical form of the Ionic capital developed and with it the Ionic order: slender columns on a two-part base, the fluting with dividers; the architrave is divided into horizontal strips; above the cornice formed as a tooth cut. The first temple of Hera was built by Samos at the end of the 8th century. The cella was expanded by 660 (three parts). The temple was demolished around 570; it was replaced by an Ionic dipteros with a double ring hall. Next to him was probably the first stoa, the elongated Greek columned hall.


Since the middle of the 7th century BC The archaic sculpture developed in marble and limestone, sheet bronze and clay. The north-eastern Peloponnese (Argos, Corinth, Sikyon), the Cyclades (Naxos, Paros, Chios) and Crete (Prinias; Daedal works) were involved as art centers, and Samos (Geneleos) joined them in the 6th century. In the type of the naked youth figure (Kuros) the deceased or victorious competitors were depicted, as well as various gods, in addition the clothed female figure was created as a goddess, deceased or as a consecration gift (Kore).

The Kuros type is derived from oriental, especially Egyptian, models in terms of its strict frontality, the crotch stand and the arms close to the body. This fixed formula was maintained until the end of the 6th century, but incorporating details obtained from observations. Famous examples are Apollo von Tenea (560–550; Munich, Glyptothek) and the grave figure of Kroisos (around 530 BC; Athens, National Museum). The statuette from Auxerre (around 630 BC; Paris, Louvre), with its frontality orientalizing, but with the very liveliness of Daedal art, embodies the female image type at the beginning of development, as does a larger than life statue of Artemis, the Nikander von Naxos consecrated to the Delian goddess (mid-7th century BC). Both apparently have wood carving as their model. The larger than life goddess with a pomegranate (Berlin, Antikensammlung) is an Attic work from around 580–560; like the Hera of Samos (Paris, Louvre) it belongs to the earliest Koren of the 6th century. The Koren from the Athens Acropolis, on the other hand, show the late Archaic Attic-Ionic type of the late 6th century BC. With rich robes and ornamental hairstyle. In addition to free sculpture, relief art has developed since the 6th century. The metopes of the Doric stone temples bear reliefs, the strong shape of which had to assert itself between the strict triglyphs (Selinunt 540-520 BC). Early gable sculptures were made in Corfu (Temple of Artemis, early 6th century; today in the museum in Corfu,) and on the Athens Acropolis: gable compositions of temples and treasure houses made of soft limestone (Poros). In the late Archaic period (560–490 / 80 BC) marble was chosen (gigantic gable of the older Athena temple of the Athens Acropolis, around 510; older gable of the Aphaia temple of Aegina, shortly before 500). Narrow, high grave steles with the relief image (profile image) of the deceased (e.g. Aristion stele), created in Sparta hero reliefs with the enthroned hero and his wife.


The earliest evidence are rectangular, painted clay tablets (pinakes; since the 6th century also made of wood), which were made in particular from the 8th to 6th centuries and were used as votive offerings in sanctuaries (examples have come down to us from Aegina, Athens and Penteskouphia near Corinth, among others). According to ezinereligion, great Greek painting, insofar as it was wall or panel painting, is lost. Archaic clay tablets that were used in architecture as cladding panels or metopes (metopes from Thermos, 7th century), or marble panels (disc with the image of the doctor Aeneas; Athens, National Archaeological Museum) show flat colored outline drawings. The numerous preserved vases convey ideas of monumental painting. At first Corinth was the leader with sand-ground, black and red-painted ceramics in the “proto-Corinthian style” (7th century BC; the Chigikanne is famous), then attic with black-figure vases (6th century). They show pure figure painting, with the profile silhouettes arranged on a stand line. Overlapping is common, but no spatial perspective is sought. Shortly before 500 the shortening is introduced, i. In other words, the point of view of the artist (or the viewer) now plays a role in the representation. More recently found tomb paintings (Elmalı, west of Antalya, in Lycia; Tomba del Tuffatore in Paestum, around 480) confirm the stylistic relationship between vase painting and monumental painting before the middle of the 5th century BC. Chr.


In the 6th century, excellent works of small sculptures were created using bronze casting (including statuettes from Dodona), and the glyptic works were also of high quality. The coins show images of deities and their symbols.

Greece Archaic Arts