Ancient Greek Art.

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Ancient Greek Art
Melissa Edwards
Submitted: 3/25/13

Because so many centuries and different phases encompass "ancient Greek art" what I'll try to do rather briefly, here, is to break it down into some manageable chunks, thus giving each period its due. Greek civilization passed through three broad stages: the Archaic period, the classical period, and the Hellenistic period. However, for now, it's important to know that ancient Greek art was mainly comprised of vases, sculpture and architecture and lasted around 1,600 years.

In around 450 B.C., the Athenian general Pericles tried to consolidate his power by using public money, the dues paid to Athens by its allies in the Delian League coalition, to support the city-state’s artists and thinkers. Most of all, Pericles paid artisans to build temples and other public buildings in the city of Athens. He reasoned that this way he could win the support of the Athenian people by doling out plenty of construction jobs; at the same time, by building public monuments so grand that people would come from far and wide to see them, he could increase Athens’ prestige as well as his own.

While there are numerous acropolises in the world, there is only one Acropolis. An acropolis (in Greek, acro=high, polis=city) is any Greek citadel in a high location. The Acropolis of Athens is located on the top of a steep rock outcrop in the middle of the ancient city, which covered with the ruins of Classical Period temples and structures and topped with the Parthenon. According to Prebles’ Artforms, “rites were performed on altars placed in front of the eastern entrance; the interior space held a forty-foot statue of Athena. The axis of the building was carefully calculated so that on Athena’s birthday the rising sun coming through the east doorway would fully illuminate the towering (now lost) gold-covered statue” (Frank).” The Greeks developed three Architectural Orders: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Each Order comprises a set...
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