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Greek And Roman Art Essay

1346 words - 5 pages

2(The title of your paper should be two spaces down from the heading above)

Lady N Sanchez

Visual Expressions in Society

Prof. LeRonn Phillip Brooks, Ph.D

Tuesday, March 03, 2010

Greek and Roman Art

Art has always been considered one of the earliest manifestations of culture; this is because it fulfills mankind's need to interpret and express everything around them including their lifestyle and spiritual beliefs. Greek and Roman art gave Western art its classical foundation in form, line, structure, and meaning. These two periods gave a great deal of impact and inspiration to our arts and our lives. Many of our structures and sculptures have at least some form of influence from these classical periods.

Greek art was developed through several cultural phases such as geometric, archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic. Geometric was characterized by the use of geometric shapes while the archaic style developed from the use of oriental motifs. The Classical period was composed of idealistic human figures with emphasis on naturalism, grace and sophistication, depicted with drapery. The Greeks were the first to glamorize the perfection of the human body during the archaic period. Using balance and proportion the Greeks sculpted what they considered to be the perfect male and female forms.

An example of Greek art during the archaic period would be the Panatheanic Amphora (Fig. 1) located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Panathenaic Amphora is a terracotta vase which would have been awarded as a prize to a worthy champion of the Panathenaic Games held in Athens. The vase has two handles, an opening at the top and a body that bulges out from the top and then it narrows in the bottom. From left to right, the artist has depicted a foot race. The movements of the athletes are fluid and they are overlapping one another as a way to give more depth to the picture. It's archaic as we can see that depiction of the athletes is naturalistic and the movements are fluid. You can clearly distinguish their movements, their extremities (arms and legs bend) as well as their different faces (every man's beard is slightly different). The faces and legs are viewed in profile while the torsos are turned frontally; this reflects the late archaic period.

The Greeks believed that man was the measure of all things; they wanted to create something completely different other than what their predecessors had developed. In general, art is meant to convey the sentiments of a time, and it is obvious that the following piece is trying to illustrate the epitome of femininity, as perceived by the Greek community. In Fig. 2 we can see a marble grave stele of a little girl with doves in which she is holding two doves, saying farewell to them. One can see the sorrow in her eyes as she looks down at the bird saying farewell. This stele depicts her as she would have been in life. Here the little girl holds two doves, one with its beak...

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