Hellenistic Art

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Hellenistic Art. The Search for the Aim or Truth. What is beautiful? That which “aims at its purpose” Aristotle When we strive for perfection. The Greek Ideal: Creating the Perfect Individual Archaic thorough Hellenistic. Ideal Archaic Causal? Markers? Classical Causal? Markers? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Hellenistic Art

Hellenistic Art

Hellenistic ArtThe Search for the Aim or TruthWhat is beautiful?That which aims at its purpose AristotleWhen we strive for perfection

The Greek Ideal: Creating the Perfect Individual Archaic thorough HellenisticIdealArchaicCausal?Markers?ClassicalCausal?Markers? Late Classical Causal? Markers?Classical to Hellenistic Causal? Markers?3





Hellenistic?The Greeks called themselves Hellenes- they were citizens of HellasThe Macedonians (under Alexander the Great) carried Greek culture throughout the known worldHellenistic means Greek like or in the Greek styleThe Hellenistic era experienced an age of eclecticism, a new awakening of the diverse knowledge and theories present in Greek culture. Instead of contemplating and debating ideals, logic, extinguished emotion, or consummate beauty, people would explore and analyze reality.Hellenistic art focuses on emotion, individuality, and realism- what is actually there and visible with the eyes.In portraiture, more than the precision of the traits represented, the artist seeks to represent the character of his/her subject. In the great statuary, the artist explores themes such as suffering, sleep or old age, which were unthinkable in Classical Greece.


PaintingAlmost no painting survives from this time period. All that we have are from vases and mosaics based on the paintings.GnosisStag HuntHellenistic300 BCE from Pella, GreecePella was the capitol of Macedon and the birthplace of AlexanderMosaics at Pella are Pebble mosaicsDetail of a much larger work.Set in the floorSigned by the artistSubtle gradations of color and valueMuscles/cloaks are all delineated by shadingSkiagraphia (literally shadow painting)

Battle of IssusHellenistic100 BCEKey PieceAlexander at left young, brave, no helmet charges into battle -Darius III (Persian) center horrified, fleeing-Crowded filled with excitement-Roman floor mosaic (small bits of stone and cut glass (tesserae) glued to the floor) based on an original Greek mural -Foreshortened horse in center frameCopy of a painting by Philoxenos of EretriaDETAILS!!!! The modualted color, the composition, the reflection of the mans face in the shield, the cast shadows!


ArchitecturePolykleitos (the Younger)Theater of EpidaurosHellenistic 350 BCE-Theaters often held a view of the sea, as the sea play an important role in many Greek dramas-Acoustics were excellence; every one of he 12,000 spectators could hear-Stage was the circle or orchestra and is encircled by the audience on three sides-stage had removable and modest sets -represents the growing emotionality of the Greeks as they enter the Hellenistic period-also important to have both comedy and tragedy Auditorium was always built into a hillside

21Tholos at DelphiHellenistic350 BCE-A round temple which represents perfection to the geometry minded Greeks-The first central religious institution in the west Interior columns Topped with a Corinthian capital- they were only used for the interior of sacred spaces

Choragic Monument of LysikratesHellenistic334 BCEMonument to a contest that a wealthy man wonFirst time Corinthian capitals were used on the outside of a Greek building


24City of Priene in Turkey. Streets were right angles. Built into sloping hill. Considered the ideal Greek city

25The heart of Priene was the agora or market place, which was bordered by stoa (or covered collonades). These housed shops and city offices and were a hallmark of Hellenistic cities. Hellenistic builders commonly mixed building orders.Altar of Zeus at Pergamon (Modern day Turkey)Hellenistic 175 BCEaltar placed on an elevated platform up a dramatic flight of stairs-reference to the Parthenon with its use of the frieze, that is 7 feet high and 400 feet long-The frieze is actually below the columns rather than above them.-The 400-foot long frieze is composed of Zeus leading the gods to battle the giants (gigantomachy).-Very emotional with the amount of violence occurring-The sculpture is carved very deep into the stone.-Dynamically involves the viewer-the viewer is now at eye level to the scene rather than looking up to it.-This parallels the Greek victories over the Gauls (barbarians) in a recent war and Alexander the Greats defeat of the Persians, with the gods defeat over the giants in mythology


SculptureAthena Battling Alkyoneosfrom the Altar of Zeus at Pergamon175 BCE Very natural and dynamic-Emotional-Accuracy in the anatomical structures and muscles-Taken at the peak moment of the scene-peak drama-Athena is the center piece, and it shows her extreme power and strength. (She was the goddess of the city.)Nike flies in to crown AthenaPlay on the Parthenon- its based on the east pediment of the Parthenon

Dying Gaul from Pergamon Hellenistic200 BCE

-Very naturalistic and dramatic-Expression represents his anguish-The dying and defeated man all of a sudden becomes noble.-Man sculpted may have been the trumpeter in the battle.-Barbarian foe, unkempt hair and mustache -meant to be seen in the round-Lots of emotion -Twisted and moving body-Note: Gauls became the French.

33Nike of SamothraceHellenistic190 BCE-Very emotional and dynamic-Deep carvings to create a great contrast in light and dark-Was originally sculpted for a fountain-her clothes are sculpted as though they are soaking wet-it is a memorial of Greek victories and as such is a piece of propaganda-This is an excellent example of the statue being a part of the idealized world (perfect body) as well as being within nature (statue is incredibly lifelike).Hand once held the crown of victoryHellenistic sculptures are meant to interact with their environments

35Venus de MiloHellenistic150 BCEKey Piece-S curve long and flowing pose, very sensuous and erotic- meant to tease the viewer-one hand held an Apple (an attribute of Venus) the other released her robes as they fall to the floor-very softly modeled forms light and shadow play on the surface

37Just because this made me smile

Aphrodite, Eros and PanHellenistic150 BCEMeant to be a play on the Aphrodite of KnidosPart parody, part sensualThe figures are almost laughing. Very different from the stoic and serious statues of the classical era.

Note Eros- Hellenistic sculptors knew how to sculpt children-

(Earlier sculptors portrayed children as mini adults.)

Sleeping Satyr, or the Barberini FaunHellenistic220 BCE

40Seated BoxerHellenistic100- 50 BCEKey Piece-The boxer is not portrayed as a god or a hero-he is a man who has been defeated.-He has scars, a broken nose, deformed ears, and is aging.-The sculptor portrays him at the peak moment of his realization that he may no longer be considered a great athlete.-The human form is no longer idealized, but rather naturally imperfect.-note that Greece is now a province of Rome after 146 BCE

42Athanadoros, Hagesandros, and PolydorosLaocoon and His SonsHellenistic 100 BCEKey PieceRoman copy-Laocoon (a Trojan priest) defied Apollo by trying to tell the Trojans, "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts." Apollo punished him my giving his sons and him to a sea creature.-This masterpiece was the most celebrated art in antiquity.-Very deep carvings-light and dark-Accuracy in anatomy-Very dynamic with the bodies twisting and intertwining together, emotional-It was a major inspiration for Michelangelo.