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Three Civilizations in Southern Greece: Cycladic, Minoans,Mycenaeans

Cycladic – portable sculptures of stylized standing women and seated men playing musical instrument;
linear abstraction, clear lines

Minoans – built palaces, with columns of bulbous capitals, painted features with long sinuous curves and
exaggeratedly narrow waists

Mycenaeans – cyclopean masonry marked by corbelled vaulting; shaft graves with opulent burial

funerary mask

* in repousse (“push back” through a hammer)

* with curlicue ears

Repousse – “to push back”, a type of metal relief sculpture in which the back side of a plate is hammered
to form a raised relief on the front

Corbel arch – vault formed by layers of stone that gradually grow closer together as they rise until they
eventually meet

Cyclopean masonry – a type of construction that uses rough, massive blocks of stone piled one atop the
other without mortar; named after Cyclops

GREEK ART (Sparta, Corinth, Athens)

Patronage and Artistic Life

Achievement of artists (Greek potters and painters)

Golden age for artists

Signature as symbol of accomplishment and advertisement

Polykleitos (canon of human proportions)

Iktinos (nature of ideal architecture)

Phidias (artistic program on the Acropolis)


* Grave monuments (kouros, kore)


An exemplum of male beauty


In contrapposto

Greek Hellenistic Sculpture


More movement
Great variety of expression

Common subjects include childhood, old age, despair, anger, and drunkenness

Employs negative space more freely

Not meant to be placed against a wall

Meant to be seen in the round

Greek Pottery

Reflection of Greek painting

Vessels were everyday items

Served as tomb monuments

May reflect scene of the deceased lying on a bier surrounded by mourners

Chariots and warriors complete the grieving procession

Greek Pottery Motifs: geometric patterns and Orientalizing style

Things to Remember

Introduced the concept of classical art

Temples highly influenced the European architecture; with set of columns embracing the cella
where the god is housed; set apart from the city

Theaters built of cut stones

Known for paintings on Greek pottery (geometric, Orientalizing)


idealized the human form

the beauty of the nude body

expression of gamut of emotions

used marble although other media include bronze, limestone, terra cotta, wood, gold, and iron

used contrapposto (Classical and Hellenistic)


had metallic accessories – thunderbolts, harps

highly idealized

heavy musculature

Archaic art – upright figures; animating smiles

Classical – contrapposto

5th century B.C. – idealized body types

Hellenistic – greater range of expression and movement

Sample Images

Lion Gate, limestone, c. 1300-1250 B.C.E., Mycenae, Greece

Minoans (Toreador Fresco, c. 1400 B.C.E., fresco, Archaeological Museum, Herakleion

Spring Fresco, c. 1650 B.C.E. fresco, National Archaeology Museum, Athens

Snake Goddess, c. 1600 B.C.E., gold, ivory, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Kouros (Youth), c. 6000 B.C.E., marble, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;
Peplos Kore, c. 530 B.C.E., marble, Acropolis Museum, Athens

Aristodikos Kouros, Marble, 1.95 tall, c. 510-500 BCE (National Archaeological Museum of Athens)

Dying Warrior from the Temple of Aphaia, Aegina, c. 500-490 B.C.E., marble, Glyptothek, Munich,

Gods and Giants from the Siphnian Treasury, c. 530 B.C.E., marble, Delphi, Greece

Polykleitos, Doryphoros/Canon, c. 450-440 B.C.E., Munich Museum, Munich, Germany

Myron, Discobolus/The Discus Thrower, 450 B.C.E., marble copy from a bronze original, National Roman
Museum, Rome

Three Goddesses, from the Parthenon, 438-432 B.C.E., marble, British Museum, London; introduces wet

Athena Battling Alkyoneos, from the Pergamon Altar, 175 B.C.E., marble, State Museum, Berlin

Laocoon and his sons

Amphoras, krater, and kylix

Greek foot race, Hercules and the Nemean lion, Apollo with lyre

Exekias, Ajax and Achilles Playing Dice, 540-530 B.C.E., Vatican Museums, Rome

the Red Figure (side A) is by the Andokides Painter, and the Black Figure (side B) is by the
Lysippides Painter.