Greece Classical Arts (490/480-330/320 BC) Part II

By | August 30, 2021

The high class in the 2nd half of the 5th century BC The ponderation leads to a climax and brings the contrapost to perfection: the shifting of weight on the free leg results in the displacement of the body parts, which is used for harmonious movement and countermovement of the body structure. To this end, Polyklet developed a theory of proportions for the human body, which he discussed in his (lost) treatise »Canon«. Myron’s work (bronze sculpture; the discus thrower and the Athena Marsyas group are secured by copies) leads from the strict style to the high class. Phidias and Polyklet are the two most important sculptors of the 5th century. The latter, active in Argos, created mostly athlete figures from ore. Numerous copies of his spear-bearer (Doryphoros) and the young man who wrapped the bandage (Diadumenos) have been preserved. Phidias, one of the most famous artists of antiquity, worked in the time of Pericles (around 450-429), to whom he was on friendly terms, v. a. in Athens. His enthroned Zeus in Olympia and the standing Athena Parthenos in the Parthenon were giant statues made of gold and ivory over a wooden core, in which he conferred dignity on the idol and which were admired until late antiquity (like most of the great cult images, they are lost). During the construction of the Parthenon, the entire sculptures were created under Phidias ‘ direction: 92 metopes, a 160 m long frieze, the east and west gable composition (large parts in London, British Museum, Elgin Marbles). His co-workers and students mastered the development up to around 370. His or a workshop on Samos is assigned the bronze originals in the Museum of Reggio di Calabria (referred to as the »Warriors of Riace« after their location) Century BC). Around 430 the calligraphic empire style developed in the succession of Phidias in Attica (up to around 400), clearly pronounced in the play of folds e.g. B. the caryatids of the Athenian Erechtheion (Alkamenes or his workshop) and the Nike of Paionios (Olympia, museum), the “wet” robes of Venus Genetrix of Alkamenes or Callimachus (only preserved as a copy; Paris, Louvre), the figures of the Athens Nikebalustrade (Callimachus and others) and the so-called Nereids of Xanthos (London, British Museum).

In the late classical period (400–330 / 320 BC), a new sense of reality emerged in the Argive school following Polyklet’s. The architectural sculpture of the Asclepius sanctuary of Epidauros continued the Attic-Ionic school (rich style) creatively, in contrast to the 5th century, the divine was depicted less distant and sublime, but more human (votive reliefs with depictions of Asclepius). Around 377–371, Kephisodot the Elder made a sculpture of the goddess of peace Eirene with the Plutos boy in her arms for the Agora of Athens. His pupil Praxiteles (active between 380 and 330) and Lysipp (active between 370 and 315) determined the development of the century: Praxiteles through marble works of great grace and sensitivity with sensitive surface treatment (famous are the copies of Aphrodite of Knidos, around 350-330, Rome, Vatican Museums, and Hermes with the little Dionysus boy, around 330, Olympia, museum), the arch-builder Lysipp with slimmer proportions, more agile bodies, expansive gestures and flowing robes. Copies of him include an athlete with a scraper (Apoxyomenos, around 330–320, Rome, Vatican Museums), a Heracles (Herakles Farnese, around 320; Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazionale) and an Eros with the arch (around 330; Rome, Capitoline Museums). The sculptors Timotheus, Skopas, Bryaxis and Leochares were working on the mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Leochares as well as Lysipp created statues of Alexander the great. Also Silanion was considered a master of portraits. According to ethnicityology, it was only these Greek artists from the end of the 4th century that grasped the individual features of a face (archaic and classical art had focused on the type). During the entire 4th century, the production of grave and dedicatory reliefs flourished in Athens (including the stele of Hegeso, around 400; Athens, National Archaeological Museum), the export of which made Attic art widespread.


In the 1st half of the 5th century BC Chr., Whose most important painter was the (like all panel and wall painters) only literarily documented Polygnot, oblique views and foreshortening belong to the repertoire, the figures gain first plasticity through shading, their posture is determined by the contrapost. The painting is now done in four colors. The red-figure vase painting of Attica reflects these innovations to a certain extent. Mike probably represented a more traditional painting. In the last generation of the 5th century, the flat-drawing style was transformed into a painting-spatial style (Reicher style); the tension-laden compositions of the high classics merged into action-poor, psychologically deepened scenes at the end of the 5th century. Zeuxis from Herakleia, Agatharchos from Samos, Apollodorus from Athens and Parrhasios from Ephesus were groundbreaking. While painting in the 1st half of the 4th century fell back on the high classics (Euphranor), a stylistic change then apparently took place (Nikias, Aristides, Pausias and Apelles, court painter to Alexander the Great, and Protogenes, who was active in Rhodes). The Alexander mosaic from Pompeii ismost likely to give the impression of a late Classical monumental painting. The floor mosaic of Pella in Macedonia (early 3rd century) and the frescoes of Kazanlak in Bulgaria (turn of the 4th / 3rd century) and Alexandria in Egypt (necropolis) also convey the structure of color and shape in painting since the late 4th century von Mustafa, early 3rd century) an idea; The tomb paintings of Vergina in Macedonia show the same gestural, excited and sketchy style that was used in vase painting of the late 4th century.

Greece Classical Arts 2