Good Example Of Greek Sculpture In Archaic, Classical And Hellenistic Period Essay
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Greek Sculptures have portrayed human forms in different ways. Each period has a specific style of artistic value which varies from the usual to the unconventional. Greek sculptors were particularly concerned with proportion and poise of the human body. Some of the pieces created are very distinct that its beauty cannot be compared with other sculptures of other civilizations (Cartwright n.p.).
Techniques vary in Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic period. Few details that are distinct in Archaic survived before the transition to Classical period, one of them is the Hair of Herms. It is the rectangular block of stones with a head on top and a phallus in front. Poses were also observed to be stiff and the hairs were fairly realistic (Collins n.p.). The technique of building the sculpture was distinct in the Classical period. Models were used with the help of clay that was built up on an armature and later copied into the stone (Boardman n.p.). In Hellenistic period, subjects of the sculptures are no longer focused on ideal figures but imperfections were also represented (“Sculpture” n.p.).
There are two main types of statue in the Archaic period, the kouros and kore. The kourus depicts a standing naked male and the kore is an image of a draped female. Several other themes include men on horseback and sphinxes squatting on their hind legs (Collins n.p.). For the Classical period, it also includes human forms but in addition, animals were included in the sculptures. Artists in this period tried to do the subjects more realistically and they are also concerned how the body moves (Boardman n.p.). Lastly, in the Hellenistic period, emotions are the main subject of the sculptures. Facial form and the body’s form of the subject are sculpted to cause an immediate emotional response from the people who view it (“Sculpture” n.p.).
The New York Kouros is one of the most notable sculptures in the Archaic period which is made of Cycladic marble and six fit high. Several groups of kouros were destroyed during the invasion of Persians but the New York Kouros is the most complete group of kouroi that survived the attack. It stands out because the techniques used in the sculptures were advanced compared to the Kleobis, which is made at the same period (Collins n.p.). The design of the Parthenon is what best exemplify the Classical period. The design is depicted as the “High Classical” because it is dramatically realistic. Pheidias, the designer of the sculptures in Parthenon, designed the body forms regularly by making the face looks passionless and calm. Furthermore, the design became the basis for future depictions of Greek gods (Boardman n.p.). Lastly, the most remarkable statue in the Hellenistic period is the Nike of Samothrace. It is made of Parian marble and it depicts Nike who lost her arms and head when a lightning strike at their ship. It is different from other statues because of the wings attached at her back which is a different depiction of human form (“Sculpture” n.p.).
There are different reasons why the themes and ideals shift from period to period. Influence on nearby countries was one factor. The European Greek art was influence by Egyptian sculptures and the Asian Greek are closely influenced by Syrian models in the Archaic Period (Collins n.p.). Celebration in winning war has influenced the abundance of monuments in the Classical period. Statues of heroes and royal families rise as powers like Greece and Macedonia dominate battles (Boardman n.p.). A change of taste marked the Hellenistic period. Subjects shifted from the heroic forms to the unusual. In effect, different subjects were explored and portrayed (“Sculpture” n.p.).
Boardman, John. “The Classical period.” Styles and Periods. Classical Art and Research Centre and the Beazley Archive. Oxford University, 26 Oct. 2012. Web. Retrieved 28 Mar. 2015.
Cartwright, Mark. “Greek Sculpture: Definition.” Greek Sculpture. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 20 Jan 2013. Web. Retrieved 28 Mar. 2015.
Collins, Neal. “Greek Sculpture: Archaic Period (c.600-480 BCE).”Archaic Greek Sculpture. Visual Arts Cork, April 2008. Web. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
“Sculpture.” Boundless Art History. Boundless, 03 Jul. 2014. Retrieved 28 Mar. 2015.
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