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Archaic smile or "sign of life"
This rather artificial-looking smile was part of the formula for pre-classical (Archaic) statues. The smile is a sign of life or an indicator that the youth or maiden was at the height of their physical beauty, real, and alive; a mark of the inner ego or animus. Greek culture celebrated the intellect every bit as much as physical valor.
Literally (in Italian), " to stand against." In its fullest meaning contrapposto is the scientifically understood distribution of the weights and balances of the body with corresponding higher or lower hip and shoulder to the weight-bearing leg or side. The Kritios Boy suggests contrapposto but the Doryphoros has been traditionally reckoned to be the first to employ it with full accuracy.
The "canon," standard, or rule, against which all classical and later Roman statuary was measured was Polykleitos' "Doryphoros." The sculptor wrote a manuscript that accompanied the work describing a system of perfect proportions. It was considered to be the most ideal and perfected representation of the male hero-athlete. Anatomically it was correct and the muscles corresponded with the physical motion of walking and carrying the spear. His is perfected and idealized. The figure is mentally engaged with the world as he looks in the direction he walks. He is muscularly developed like a well trained athlete, and he is in full contrapposto.
Refers to the period in Greek art from 480 B.C. to about the time of Alexander the Great's death in 323 B.C. The art of this period is based upon natural models, anatomical and perspectival correctness, and is ideal or perfect. The Doryphoros and The Parthenon are the sculptural and architectural high points of the period. NOTE: The term "classical" can also mean art with convincing naturalism from the Greek Classical, Hellenistic, or Roman eras.
Greek schools that taught the liberal arts and athletic training (hence the name, which means "the place to get naked"). The idea was to train the mind and the body. They began as strength-training schools for hoplite infantry and developed into de facto universities by the Classical Age.
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.
A standing male statue of an archetypal Greek, athletic youth presented nude with one foot set forward, hands down to the sides. As seen in examples from the Archaic period, he is rather rigid and axial in its style. These figures were dedicated at the temples to represent hero-athletes of the games or found in graveyards as memorials.
A standing female statue of an archetypal Greek maiden presented with one hand extended making an offering to the gods. She is always clothed and frequently with the archaic smile. They also were rigid and axial in style and were used as dedication figures at the temples (such as on the Acropolis, Athens).
The greatest sculptor from the school at Sikyon, then an artistic center second only to Athens, and ancient sources classed him with Myron of Eleutherai, Pheidias and Polykleitos. Lysippos introduced a new canon of proportions in which the bodies were more slender. Heads were now roughly one-eighth the height of the body rather than one-seventh, as in the previous century.
Active c. 470–440 BCE. Greek sculptor from Eleutherai (bordering Boeotia and Attica). Ancient sources praise the deceptive realism of his work in bronze, especially statues of athletes. Like Polykleitos, he appears to have been much concerned with issues of composition and motion (rhythmos) and of proportion (symmetria).
The first evidence of this form of paganism dates back to the Mycenaens. It is a religion based on oral tradition and various references, but not on any one text. The Olympian gods were considered to hold supernatural powers and live forever but demonstrate the personality traits of humans as they often succumbed to their passions. Their human form and beauty inspired young Greeks to cultivate and perfect their own appearances.
A term that describes a work of art that is not self-contained but refers to other implied elements outside of its own space and may include a reference to the viewer. Could also be used as a formal description of a composition with extended elements and voids.
A festival honoring the goddess Athena, the warrior goddess of wisdom and the intellect and patroness of the city of Athens. The festival occurred every four years and was characterized by a procession through the city on a sacred way and concluded outside the Partheno n on the Acropolis. It was also celebrated by athletic games and the sacrifice of one hundred cattle.
(b. Argos or Sikyon, c. 450 - c. 415 bc). Greek sculptor. Along with Phidias, with whom he is often compared in the sources, Polykleitos was the most important sculptor in bronze of the 5th century BCE. He wrote a manual (the Canon) and headed the first recorded major "school" of sculptors, which lasted three generations, and he influenced not only the sculpture of his own time but also Hellenistic and Roman sculpture.
His colossal reputation was due in part to the novelty of ideas embodied in an essentially conservative art. For example, he introduced total nudity as a means of enhancing the sensual appeal of mature goddesses; by contrast, he also showed a predilection for the playful activities of adolescent gods. His chief contribution to Western art lies in his aesthetic exploration of female sexuality.
An object that is given in offering to the gods, often an expression of gratitude to the gods.
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