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Greek Art

Greek Art

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Published by audreypillow

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Published by: audreypillow on Feb 11, 2010
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Geometric Style
At first, Geometric pottery was decorated only withabstract designs, but toward 800 BC humans andanimals began to appearThis is the Dipylon vase, c. 750 BC, from the DipyloncemeteryBelongs to a group of very large vases that served asgrave monumentsOn the body of the vase we see the dead man lying instate, flanked my mourning figures; below is a funeralprocessionThe width, density, and spacing of the bands are subtlyrelated to the vessel, but interest in representation isminimalThe figures are highly stylized and repeated at regularintervals; this is a silhouette style that cannotaccommodate overlappingThe figures merge into an overall decorative patternDuring this era, the two greatest Greek artisticachievements were the Homeric epics in literature, the
 Iliad 
and the
Odyssey
; but the visual art of this perioddoes not hint at the accomplishment and power of thosepoems. During this period, painting and sculpture hasnot developed as much as poetry; the Geometric style ishighly formulaic and mostly funerary
 
 
Orientalizing Style
By about 700 BC new motifs began to appear and Greek art entered a new phase, the profoundly transformingOrientalizing style, which looks to Egypt and the NearEastRepresents a new monumentality and variety with muchexperimentationThis is a large amphora (vase for storing wine or oil)from Eleusis:
The Blinding of Polyphemos and theGorgons Chasing Perseus
Compared to the
 Dipylon Vase
: ornamentation issecondary; the major areas are given over to storytellingand figural representation of heroes, gods, monstersThis shows the blinding of the giant one-eyed CyclopsPolythemos by Odysseus and his companions, who thegiant had imprisonedThe slaying of another monstrous creature is depicted onthe belly of the vase but it has been damaged; we seeonly two figures, the gorgons (sisters of Medusa), andthe goddess AthenaTwo technical advances during this time: outlinedrawing and incision (scratching in details with aneedle; this allows the artist to create overlappings andinterior lines to delineate anatomy, dress, hair, etc
 
 
Archaic Style
Orientalizing period was transitional; as artists assimilated elements fromthe East, the Archaic style emerged; in this era we see the unfolding of theartistic genius of Greece, not only in vase painting but in architecture andsculptureArchaic vase painting introduces signatures of artists, distinctive artists’styles and some of the first clearly defined personalities in the history of art; this was the great era of vase paintingThis vase represents the
black figure technique,
in which the entiredesign is silhouetted in black against the reddish clay and all internaldetails are incised; this technique favors a layered, two-dimensional effectthat complements the curvature of the vaseThis vase by Psiax,
 Herkales Strangling the Nemean Lion,
c.525 BC,shows a man facing unknown forces in the form of terrifying creatures; itis grim and violent, with heavy bodies locked in combat, almost merginginto a single unit:Lines and colors have been added with the utmost economy to avoidbreaking up the massive expanse of black, yet the figures show a wealthof anatomical knowledge and skillful foreshortening that they give anillusion of existing in the roundOnly in details such as the eye of Herkales do we still find the traditionalcombination of front and profile viewsThis style was not confined to vases; there were murals and panels toobut none survive today

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