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Geometric art is a phase of Greek art, characterized largely by geometric motifs in vase painting, that flourished towards the end of the Greek Dark Ages, it was 900 BCE to 700 BCE. Its centre was in Athens, and it was diffused amongst the trading cities of the Aegean. It·s divided in 4 stages: Protogeometric, early, middle and late metric periods.

Neck Amphora Late Geometric

Pyxis (box with lid),


Protogeometric vase


Protogeometric art- During the Protogeometric period (1050-900 BC) the shapes of the vessels have eliminated the fluid nature of the Mycenaean, the form has become strict and simple and they are divided into horizontal decorative bands with a few written geometric shapes within, usually concentric cycles or semicircles engraved with a caliper.

Early Geometric period- In the Early geometric period (900-850 BC) the height of the vessels has been increased, while the decoration is limited around the neck until the middle of the body of the vessel. The remaining surface is covered by a thin layer of clay, which during the cooking takes a dark, shiny, metallic color. That was the period when the decorative theme of the meander added to the pottery design, the most characteristic element of geometric art.

Middle geometric period At the Middle geometric period (850-760 BC), the decorative zones appear multiplied by creating a laced mesh, while the meander dominates and is placed in the most important area, in the metope which is arranged between the handles

Late Geometric period While the technique from the Middle Geometric period was still continued at the beginning of 8th century BC some laboratories enriched again the decorative organization of the vases, stabilized the forms of the animals in the areas of the neck and the base of the vase, and introduced at the main metope between the handles, the human form. This was the first phase of the Late Geometric period (760-700 BC), in which the great vessels of Dipylon placed on the graves as funeral monuments, and represent with their height (often at a height of 1.50 m) and the perfection of their execution, the highest expression of the Greek geometric art.


A striking change appears in Greek art of the seventh century B.C., the beginning of the Archaic period. The abstract geometric patterning that was dominant between about 1050 and supplanted in the seventh century by a more naturalistic style reflecting significant influence from the Near East and Egypt. Trading stations in the Levant and the Nile Delta, continuing Greek colonization in the east and west, as well as contact with eastern craftsmen, notably on Crete and Cyprus, inspired Greek artists to work in techniques as diverse as gem cutting, ivory carving, jewelry making, and metal working.

Statue of a kouros (youth)

Volute-krater (vase for mixing wine and water)

Statuette of Herakles

Antefix with the head of Medusa


The art of the Classical Greek style is characterized by a freedom of movement, freedom of expression. During this period, artists begin to expand the formal aesthetic boundaries while they worked in expressing the human figure in a more naturalistic manner. They were able to replace the strict asymmetry of the figure with a free flowing form more true to life, while they approached an ideal aesthetic vision through stone and bronze



Pan and Maenad large plaque



The Hellenistic period begins in 323 with the death of Alexander the Great and ends with the battle of Actio in 31 BC. While Philip of Macedon conquered and united the Greek city-states, his son Alexander the Great embraced on a campaign that found him the conqueror of a vast empire which included Greece, Persia, the Near East, and Egypt. During this period the city-states begin to give way to a more global culture, and the entire Mediterranean sea and the Middle East flourish in a background of conflict, commerce, and cross-cultural influence, with the Greek ideals and language dominating the scene.


Dying Gaoul

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Sleeping Satyr