Greek Mythology Depicted Through Bronze Age Artwork

992 words - 4 pages

In Bronze Age sculptures and artwork, Greek mythological scenes are commonly seen decorating a particular art piece. Each piece of work tells a different story of the heroes, gods, and goddesses; stories of love and death, battles and betrayal. Much of Greek mythology is recorded in some form of art. Scene’s from Homer’s The Iliad are clearly depicted through Bronze Age artwork on display at The Getty Villa in Malibu, California.
The Bronze Age is a period that lasted roughly two thousand years, approximately 3200 BC-1200 BC. It was a highly prosperous and competitive period in which pottery was significant, along with the use of metal and bronze for tool making and weaponry. This was a time of flourishing economic, social, and cultural organizations. There are many scenes from Homer’s epic poem The Iliad that were depicted on specific pieces of Bronze Age artwork such as: pottery, coins, and tools.
A sculpture, although not constructed during the Bronze Age, reflects similarities of artwork created during that time. This sculpture by Giovanni Francesco Susini made of bronze, and positioned on a gilt bronze base represents the moment when the Trojan prince Paris abducted Helen, the wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta, and carried her off to Troy. The Greeks then responded by mounting an attack on the city, thus beginning the Trojan war. The grouping of the figures in this sculpture displays the influence of the Italian Mannerist sculpture of the 1600s. The artist Giovanni welded the three bronze figures together in an intensely dramatic composition, almost as if they were on a stage. Paris is grabbing Helen as she is struggling to free herself from his grasp. Beneath Paris lies a women servant who is protesting the capturing of Helen. Although the scene of the sculpture isn’t clearly shown in The Iliad, it is the basis for the plot of the poem, and the beginning of the Trojan War. Homer repeatedly speaks of Helen as being one of the core initiators of the war, “All you Argives flying home to your fatherland, tumbling into your oar-swept ships? Leaving Priam and all the men of Troy a trophy to glory over, Helen of Argos, Helen for whom so many Argives lost their lives in Troy, far from native land!”(2, 105, 203-7) Throughout much of the poem it discusses the fight Menelaus went through to try and retrieve Helen and the struggles of war he put his men through.
A Roman Intaglio gem set in a gold ring displays the image of a chariot rushing past the walls of a city. The image that is being depicted is the one in which the Greek hero Achilles drags the corpse of his Trojan opponent Hector behind his chariot around the city walls of Troy. The artist left out a crucial element in the carving- Hector’s dead body. Perhaps this is to symbolize the protection he received...

Find Another Essay On Greek Mythology Depicted Through Bronze Age Artwork

Hercules Essay

1012 words - 4 pages Heracles is one of the most popular Greek heroes. In classic mythology, Hercules was depicted unbelievably strong and courageous. His deeds were so mighty that when he died, he was brought to Mount Olympus to live with gods. As the son of Zeus and a mortal woman, Alcmene, Hercules was destined to be a hero. Hercules remains the Greek hero as an extraordinary man who often combines his courage and strength as a hero (Harris pg 277). His heroism

Understanding Culture Through the Art of Egypt and Greece

3057 words - 12 pages , and mythological creatures. Mythology was designed to explain how the world works. They depicted these ideas throughout paintings and sculptures. Other popular forms of sculpture were human nudes. Nudity was celebrated in Greece; it was another large part of their culture. They loved to show off the human body, whether it was through physical activity or artwork. Men’s bodies were depicted more often the women’s bodies, from which you can tell

Monsters in Greek Mythology

1790 words - 7 pages also very alike in that they behave in very similar ways, from guarding something or roaming freely and causing chaos. Generally, the monsters in Greek mythology follow this outline and are depicted in a way to show these qualities. Throughout several myths, monsters are described as many diverse creatures. At first glance, they all seem very distinctive. However, each monster is like a combination of several qualities and characteristics that

The Greek Hero's Triumph Over Monsters

1638 words - 7 pages terror, as possessing immense strength and ferocity, which they employed for the injury and annoyance of men. […]”(Bullfinch). The monsters in the Greek myths are antagonists to the heroes and represent evil. An example of a Greek myth monster is, “… The Stymphalian Birds These monstrous birds had wings, beaks and claws of bronze…”. There is also, “… The Wild Boar of Erymanthus The boar was a huge beast that Heracles hunted through deep fields of

The Power of Myth

4019 words - 16 pages limited understanding of archetype, social development and sources of artistic inspiration. The Humanities mythology unit was designed to introduce students to the Greek Pantheon and create a schema from which they could work when reading difficult texts, such as Platoís Republic. In previous years, womenís roles in the various myths studied were limited to their respective mythical categories, such as the ìEarth Motherî or the ìGoddess of House and

The Head of Poseidon

1506 words - 6 pages The Head of Poseidon Greek mythology is thought to be very fascinating to many people; I personally wanted to learn more about it and the Hellenistic period. A new cultural age was led by Alexander the Great when he took over Egypt and the Near East, historians refer to this period as Hellenistic. The Hellenistic period started when Alexander died in about 320 BCE and continued approximately three eras, pending the dual killing of Queen

Similarities between Greek and Egyptian Mythologies

2138 words - 9 pages lives of many Egyptian Pharaohs and Grecian Kings who continued the trend, marrying their sisters to keep bloodlines pure and wealth within the family. Marriage within the immediate family appears in both Greek and Egyptian mythologies. Both Greek and Egyptian traditions also contain tales of adultery. In Greek mythology, Zeus had numerous lovers and wives, besides the Goddess Hera, his main love, who is often depicted as being jealous

Mythological Creatures

1087 words - 4 pages made by Hephaestus and they were a gift for Aeëtes. The Kourai Khryseai were golden women Hephaestus made to attend him in his household. Lastly, Talos was a giant bronze man made to protect Europia. There were most likely more than just these automatons in greek and roman mythology but theses are the best known. Furthermore, the automatons were not as well know as the dragons and giants of mythology. Additionally, “The giants of Greek mythology

Greek and Roman Mythology

1577 words - 6 pages Romans of that time period. These patterns show relationships that would be considered unacceptable and unheard of in this day in age but may have been popular back then. The Greeks relied on mythology to guide them through life. If these stories were important to the people of Greece and Rome, than it is only nature that they must have adapted this life style as their own. As shown throughout Greek and Roman mythology, immortal gods have very

Collapse of Bronze Age Greece

4148 words - 17 pages reason why the Greece Age remained for such a long time. They created a great civilization on the Island of Crete. The second great civilization of the Greek Bronze Age was the Cycladic society. They created their society on the islands of the Aegean. They were considered a large contributor to the overall success of Bronze Age Greece. However, they were never as significantly important as the Minoan society. Lastly, the Helladic society was

Limestone Statue of Aphrodite Holding Winged Eros

1803 words - 7 pages her level yet. In addition, he was still not fully developed, and still had a lot to learn with that curious mind of his.Q5: Why was Aphrodite fully dressed with drapery, like a modest woman?A5: The reason is that all of the women back in Ancient Greek times covered themselves fully because they respected their bodies; whereas, men and all of the athletes were often depicted completely nude.Q6: What was the significance of Aphrodite being depicted

Similar Essays

How Egyptian And Greek Culture Is Reflected Through Their Respective Mythology

1259 words - 5 pages born after the birth of Geb and Nut. When this balance is upset with the birth of Nut's children by the use of magic and deception, Ra is furious. Ra decides that his children and grandchildren must be sacrificed into elemental form, while allowing Nut's offspring to survive. In Greek mythology Uranus dishonorable behavior causes his downfall, just as it will cause the undoing of his successor Cronus who obtains power through disreputable means

Through Cultural Diffusion, Greek Mythology Became Part Of The Roman Pantheon; Greek Thought Affects Us In Almost All Areas Of Life, And Its End Is Humanism.

1129 words - 5 pages Through cultural diffusion, Greek Mythology became part of the Roman Pantheon; Greek thought affects us in almost all areas of life, and its end is Humanism.Before we understand the affects of Greek Mythology and thought, we must first learn the origins and development of the Greek ideas. Greek religion originated from the worship of one god, who was called Zeus, and developed into the worship of many. Idolatry is usually a corruption of a truer

Similarities And Differences Between Ancient Greek And Byzantine Art

2052 words - 8 pages . The purpose of this investigation is to compare and contrast art in ancient Greece and Byzantium. Recognizing the similarities and differences between two related cultures is vital in understanding the evolution of art from one culture to another. Within this investigation designs/patterns and symbols will be researched in the Greek Classical Period (ca. 480-323 BCE) and the Byzantine Golden Age (ca. 850-1050 BC). Artwork within the cities of

The Evolution Of Celtic Mythology Essay

1741 words - 7 pages was lost, but the mythology was kept alive through contemporary Christian sources. Because it is hard to find materials written in Gaulish, it is assumed that the pagan Celts could not read or write or that their druids were forbidden to write about certain myths. [1: Matson, Gienne, revised by Jeremy Roberts, "Celtic Mythology A-Z," Second Edition. Chelsea House, New York, 2004, 2010. ]Unlike many of the Greek myths, which have their origins in