The name of the stylistic period that began with the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE) and ended with the annexation of Egypt to the Roman Empire (30 BCE). At that time, the Near East and Egypt were exposed to Greek culture through the conquests of Alexander. The Hellenistic kingdoms that were subsequently established used Greek artistic conventions -- often for the purposes of propaganda -- and the wealthy, Greek-speaking elites commissioned art for their private enjoyment. Art became more varied in subject matter and style and was often highly dramatic, exaggerated, tragic, passionate, and intense. The empirical search for beauty, which characterized the classical period, was replaced by a new sense of realism including the ugly side of life, an interest in the world of dreams or the subconscious, graphic violence, and representations of non-Greeks. Action and emotion are typical stylistic features of Hellenistic art and are underscored frequently by employing an open composition.