The Archaic Period: The Sculpture Of Ancient Greece

1458 Words 6 Pages
The Greeks are well-known for their gods, and the stories of Greek Mythology. This is no surprise given the great collection of mythic statues coming from ancient Greece. In addition to mythology, the Greek artists also took great inspiration from Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Studying the sculptures of Ancient Greece in chronological order allows one to see the series of historical influences on which each period based their works. The most common themes throughout ancient Greek sculpture are mythology, military, human form and posture, the female form, and athletics. Each period built on the conventions from the ones before, it modifying them to fit the skills, and themes of their time.
Archaic Period During the Archaic period,
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The posture is much more realistic than those of the archaic age. Whereas archaic sculptors depicted a rigid, uncomfortable posture, this is not the way most people stand. A more natural weight distribution, with bends in the hips and spine is shown in the Kritios Boy. It is clear that the artist studied natural posture in order to produce this piece. The name for this realistic posture, with adjustments in the human hips and spine is called contrapposto and it was featured in several sculptures of the early and high classic period. …show more content…
For this reason, the artists of the time wanted to impose order and rationality through their works. The philosophy was that humanity was “the measure of all things”, leading the sculptors to strive for realistic appearances in their works rather than idealized ones. They aimed to do so by producing pieces which were more realistic than before. In addition, Late Classical Sculptors aimed to humanize figures from Greek Mythology by showing them in distressed states. The use of rational thought and mathematics was a common theme of the Late Classical Period, and it can be identified in both Praxiteles’ Aphrodite of Knidos and in Lysippo’s Weary Herakles. Both of these works brought controversy due to the use of sexualized nudity, and the humanization of a Greek god. The Aphrodite of Knidos by Praxiteles was one of the first, if not the first, nude statue of a woman. The goddess depicted in the sculpture is shown taking off her garment and getting ready to step into a bath. She appears to be sensual and welcoming, as opposed to erotic. It represents the goals of the sculptors of the time, which was to create a “perfect”, “correct” image of what they

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