Ancient Greece/Hellenistic Era THE ARTS AND CRAFTS OF ANCIENT GREECE AND THE HELLENISTIC ERA

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Nike of Samothrace Title: Winged Victory of Samothrace Medium: Marble Date: BC Dimensions: 244 cm (96 in.)

Transcript of Ancient Greece/Hellenistic Era THE ARTS AND CRAFTS OF ANCIENT GREECE AND THE HELLENISTIC ERA

Ancient Greece/Hellenistic EraAncient Greece/Hellenistic Era
The Arts and Crafts of Ancient Greece and the Hellenistic Era.
Ancient Greece/Hellenistic Era
Religion in Ancient Greece played a huge role in life, so it is not surprising that the temples of Ancient Greece were the biggest and most beautiful. They also had a political purpose as they were often built to celebrate civic power and pride, or offer tributes to the patron god of a city for success in war. Common mediums for arts and architecture are wood, clay, Pentelikon Marble, Pink of Epirus Limestone, and many types of stone also. Hellenistic art is the art of the Classical period dating from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC to the emergence of ancient Rome as noted by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt in 30 BC. A lot of art within this period are of animals along with humad characteristics, and highly driven by the worshipping of gods within the Ancient Greek culture.
Nike of Samothrace
Medium: Marble
Nike of Samothrace
The Winged Victory of Samothrace is one of the masterpieces of Hellenistic sculpture. This exceptional monument was unearthed in 1863 on the small island of Samothrace in the Northwest Aegean. The sanctuary at Samothrace was dedicated to the Cabeiri; gods of fertility whose help was invoked to protect seafarers and to have victory in war. The goddess of Victory (Nike, in Greek) is shown in the form of a winged woman standing on the prow of a ship, braced against strong wind blowing through her clothes. With her right hand cupped around her mouth, she announced the event she was dedicated to commemorate. The offering of a statue of Nike perched on a ship was a religious act in honor of these gods. It has also been suggested that this monument was dedicated by the Rhodians in admiration of a specific naval victory. The type of ship depicted and the gray marble used for the prow and base of the statue both suggest that this is a Rhodian creation.
Venus de Milo
Venus de Milo
The statue has sometimes been thought to be a replica, inspired by an original from the late 4th century BC, because of its resemblance to the Aphrodite of Capua; a similar style Roman work, copy of a Greek original. The Venus de Milo certainly shows the classical tradition, but would appear to be a classicizing re-creation dating from the late 2nd century BC. However, the sculpture reflects innovations that appeared during the Hellenistic period, between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC. The spiral composition, the positioning of the figure in three-dimensional space, and the small-breasted, elongated body are characteristic of this period. The goddess is arrested in time, holding her legs together as the drapes of her clothes roll over her hips. Her nudity contrasts with the effects of light and shade of the work.
Barberini Faun
Barberini Faun
The meaning and the function of the figure can only be appreciated when you go round the other side of the statue. The little horse's tail that becomes evident from the back shows the young man as a satyr, one of those half-animal beings from the entourage of Dionysus, the god of ecstasy. So this is not a human being at all, but a mythical being. So it fits that his size is much bigger than human dimensions.
All of this now explains the most important features of the portrayal: intoxication, debauchery and sexual craving belong to the character of a satyr. They demonstrate the power of Dionysus, in whose honor the statue was presumably put in a sanctuary.
Drunken Old Woman
Drunken Old Woman
This marble statue, Old Drunken Woman, also known as Drunk Old Woman, or Old Drunkard, has many definitions of realism. The subject of the sculpture is a drunk, old woman kneeling over a jug of wine. The subject matter of the sculpture is an excellent example of social realism. Social realism in art was a new concept in the Hellenistic Age, unlike the proper and idealized forms of goddesses and heroes from the Classical Period, Hellenistic sculptures, such as Old Drunken Woman, took a look at what was really going on in Greek society. Artists depicted unpleasant and deeper emotions, various states of consciousness and more unknown humans. The artist responsible for the Drunk Old Woman touches on less than ideal issues such as old age, poverty, despair, and drunkenness. Sculptures such as this remind modern day thinkers that there was more to Greek life than the grandeur, beauty, and excess often shown in Classical art.
Old Market Woman
Old Market Woman
In my opinion, this piece of art shows an old, tough, hardworking, and dedicated lady. The detail in her face shows lines of stress, yet an expression of contentment which to me appears as a provider. She does not look helpless like a drunk or beggar, and she does not look happy enough to be attending a festival. The Old Market Woman is a supporter and portrays her story and history in her facial expression, posture, and clothing. The upper half of her body is the focal area for me, as it shows her strength and struggles.
Seated Boxer
Seated Boxer
The Seated Boxer was found in Rome in 1885, and is just about complete, except for the missing eyeballs. The seat is new. The statue represents a naked boxer of a strong frame, his hands armed with the boxing-gloves made of leather. The man is evidently a professional "bruiser" of the lowest type. He is just resting after an encounter, and no detail is spared to bring out the nature of his occupation. Swollen ears were the conventional mark of the boxer at all periods, but here the effect is still further enhanced by scratches and drops of blood. Moreover, the nose and cheeks bear evidence of having been badly "punished," and the moustache is clotted with blood. From top to toe the statue exhibits the highest grade of technical skill. One would like very much to know what was the original purpose of the work. It may have been a dedicative statue, dedicated to a victorious boxer at Olympia or elsewhere. A bronze head of similar brutality found at Olympia shows that the refined statues of athletes produced in the best period of Greek art and set up in that precinct were forced at a later day to accept such low companionship.
Demosthenes
Demosthenes
Demosthenes of Athens is widely considered to be the greatest orator of ancient Greece. Early on in his career, he recognized that the rise in power of Philip II of Macedonia was a danger to the independence of Greece and initiated a lifelong aggressive anti-Macedonian policy, which he pleaded publicly to the Athenians and the citizens of other Greek city-states. More than fifty Roman portraits of Demosthenes are known, an eloquent testimony to his continued popularity in Roman times. All the existing portraits appear to reflect a single Greek original, most likely the posthumous portrait statue by the sculptor Polyeuktos erected in the Agora (marketplace) of Athens in 280 B.C. The fine head captures the orator in a characteristically harsh, unhappy yet determined expression—the attributes of a noble fanatic, great mind, and passionate patriot.
Laocoon
Date: 200 B.C.
Dimensions: 208 cm × 163 cm × 112 cm (6 ft 10 in × 5 ft 4 in × 3 ft 8 in)
Laocoon
This is a famous ancient sculpture of Laocoön, which El Greco must have seen, was unearthed in Rome in 1506. Like it, El Greco's painting shows the climatic moment when the bearded priest struggles for life. One son lies dead, and the other will soon follow. But El Greco placed these mythological characters and the Trojan Horse against the backdrop of Toledo. At the right stands two figures, perhaps gods viewing the scene. They are complicated by a third head and the leg of an unfinished figure. These mysterious figures and the view of Toledo have prompted many speculations about El Greco's intention. Is this a reference to a contemporary religious controversy, a moralizing allegory, or an allusion to the tradition that Toledo was founded by descendants of the Trojan heroes? Probably it is impossible to know. It may simply be that El Greco was motivated to match the virtuosity of a famous ancient statue with his own masterful invention
Dying Gaul
Dimensions: 29 1/2 in x 31 in x 62 in
Dying Gaul
So when and how was this outstanding artifact discovered? Sometime between 1621 and 1623, the marble statue was found by a nephew of the pope, the art collector Cardinal Ludovici Ludovisi, during excavations on the foundations of his villa. The good Cardinal knew he had stumbled upon a thing of value. He immediately invested in restoring the sculpture, including the addition of a new right arm and the removal of the last vestiges of color pigment with acid and pumice stone. From that moment on, the Dying Gaul became all the rage in Europe and, eventually, a “must see” on the Grand Tour. Eighteen museums hold plaster copies from the Baroque era. Thomas Jefferson had it on his wish list for Monticello.
Gaul Killing Himself
Dimension: 2.11 m (6 ft. 11 in.)
Gaul Killing Himself