GRK ART 11 - Classicism—the principles or styles...

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Unformatted text preview: Classicism—the principles or styles characteristic of the art of ancient Greece and Rome, imitated in all later stages of Western history The main principles of Classicism: 1. Balance (over asymmetry) 2. Simplicity (not complexity) 3. Restraint (rather than excess) 4. Pursuit of perfection—this is the main focus of Classical art These principles are seen in all forms of expression— literature, art, theatre, etc. as well as in life itself; the Greeks pursued these ideals for both body and mind. • The human form was the main subject in sculpture. • The pursuit of perfection (and beyond) and the evolution of the human form in sculpture can be seen in these c figures/groups of figures: Greek Sculpture and Architecture 1. Kouros figures (c. 800-479 BCE) (Archaic age) 2. Kritian figure (c. 479 BCE) (Hellenic age—early Classical (severe style) 3. Doryphorus (Spearbearer) (c. 44o BCE) (Hellenic age—High Classical) 4. Riace bronzes (c. 460-430 BCE) (Hellenic age—High Classical) 1 2 When drawing a person, how do you start? Bronze horse 8th century BCE 3 Greek warrior, bronze, late 8th c. BCE Mantiklos “Apollo,” c. 680 BCE 4 Kouros figures 800-479 BCE • • • • • • Kouros means youth “arete” was the ideal life size, marble pose adopted from Egyptians characteristic smile the Greeks were the first in Western culture to create a realistic representation of themselves Kouros, marble, 590 BCE Kouros, bronze, 700-650 BCE 5 6 65 years later What are the main differences? Kouros of Anavysos, c. 525 BCE, marble 680 BCE 7 590 BCE 155 year span 525 BCE 8 Kore, c. 530 BCE 10 9 Kritian figure Hellenic Age— Phase 1—Early Classical (Severe style) • • The development of the Kouros figures allowed Greek artists to take the next step towards understanding the human body as a system of parts that act and react to each other’s movements. noble figure serious expression introduction of contrapposto (counterpose) • • 11 Kritian Figure, c. 479 BCE form is accurate, natural, more relaxed Hellenic sculptors’ goal: to imitate nature and create symmetry, balance, and, therefore, beauty. Kritian figure is the first fully nude, lifelike image of man in Western culture. 12 What are the main differences? 13 14 Zeus Hellenic Age— Phase 2—High Classical Bronze statues were created using the lost-wax process increased use of bronze • introduction of increased movement • wax model • clay mold • molten bronze • action-oriented themes • stopping time • blend of idealism and naturalism (human form is perfect, poses become more natural) Zeus (or Poseidon?) c. 450 BCE 15 16 The sculptor Polykleitos (5th c, BCE) wanted to show the potential of the human body—what would a body look like in a state of physical perfection? At this point, Greek sculptors are able to imitate nature and create the human form perfectly and realistically. But within 25 years or so, they stop doing so? Why? 17 18 Polykleitos of Argos was a sculptor and mathematician who created “Doryphorus” or “Spearbearer” (440 BC) • opposition creates balance (tension vs. relaxed tense relaxation) Polykleitos developed a set of mathematical rules (the Canon) meant to achieve symmetry and beauty—body parts were interrelated in terms of proportion. • the figure is relaxed but ready to move tension He divided the body into equal quarters: he creates a body physically perfect (beyond human) top and bottom side to side relaxation Opposition creates balance 1/8 total height? tense Body is perfectly balanced, and sides ‘mirror’ each other even in opposition relaxed Other sculptors used this model to create physical perfection in their own work. 20 Polykleitos’ divisions are taken to an extreme to create exaggerated reality: 1. crest of muscle across waist highlights division between top and bottom Riace bronzes c. 460-430 BCE sculptor: unknown Hellenic Age— Phase 2—High Classical 2. legs are artificially long to match torso length 2. symmetry of 2 sides stressed by deep groove in chest Riace 3. chest muscles relaxed, back muscles tensed and perfect found off the coast of Italy in 1972 (about 500 miles from Athens) • 4. deep spinal groove figures of warriors 5. eliminating coccyx (tailbone) improves line of back • they appear realistic but their anatomy is physically impossible 21 22 Hermes and Dionysus Sculptor: Praxiteles Phase 3: Late Classical (4th Century style) 400-323 BCE) Hellenic Age— Phase 3—Late Classical increasing naturalism—graceful, sensual figure • • use of drapery increasingly common •gentle, Note exaggeration of curve as compared to Kritian figure relaxed pose exaggerated contrapposto became known as the Praxitelean curve • • Hermes Holding the Infant Dionysus, c. 340 BCE 23 24 Dying Gaul c. 230 BCE marble Sculptors: unknown —Hellenistic Age Aphrodite of Cnidus Sculptor: Praxiteles Hellenic Age— Phase 3—Late Classical Hellenistic sculptors maintained Hellenic principles of proportion and naturalism but expressed more realism (as opposed to idealism) and depictions of violence and melodrama • This is the first female nude in Greek sculpture • Also known as the “modest Venus” • this is a Roman copy of the Greek original Aphrodite of Cnidus, Praxiteles, c. 340 BC 25 Laocoon Group c. 50 CE marble Sculptors: Hagesandros, Polydoros, and Athanadoros Laocoon was a Trojan priest who warned the Trojans about the wooden horse the Greeks sent as a “gift.” 26 • maintained principles of proportion Hellenistic oSculpture f idealism), everyday scenes, • but expressed more realism (instead accurate depiction of age, emotion, 323-31 BCE eccentricity, melodrama “..even when Greeks bring gifts, I fear them, gifts and all.” Virgil, The Aeneid 27 28 Greek column styles—also known as “orders” Greek Architecture The temple is the Greeks’ great architectural achievement • The temple is a house for a god or goddess capital • post and lintel construction upright posts (columns) hold up a Ionic Corinthian • plain capital • scrolled capital • slender column • capital decorated with acanthus leaves • no base architrave Doric • thick column horizontal member, the lintel or • base • slender column Stonehenge is post and lintel construction • base 30 29 Parthenon Architects: Ictinus and Callicrates Hellenic Age the Parthenon atop the Acropolis, Athens H 31 Most of the major temples of the Acropolis were rebuilt under the Pericles’ leadership (originally damaged during Persian invasion) 32 Parthenon 447-438 BCE (built in only 9 years) dedicated to Athena, goddess of war and wisdom and as a victory monument (defeat of Persians) • • • construction directed by Pericles overlooks Athens from highest point of Acropolis 33 The Parthenon may have been built using specific mathematical proportions called the Golden Ratio which makes proportions more pleasing to the eye. 34 Floor plan of Parthenon Most things in nature follow the Golden Ratio. Look at your own fingers for example. Measure the length of the longest finger bone. Then measure the shorter one next to it. Divide the longer one by the shorter one. You should get a number close to 1.618. All parts of the human body are proportional to the golden ratio. 2 inches The Golden Ratio is approximately 8 to 5 or 1.618÷1 a b In other words, given a line of a certain length, the whole length (a+b) is to the longer section a as 8 is to 5. (8÷5=1.6) 35 2 ÷ 1.25= 1.6! 1.25 inches 36 1. columns swell slightly in center (eye sees thinning in rows of parallel lines) 2. columns tilt slightly inward 3. floor rises 4 inches in middle (counters eye’s tendency to see horizontal lines sag in center exaggeration of how the eye would see this temple without its refinements Use of rigid proportions results in optical illusions. Ictinus and Callicrates introduced subtle variations called refinements into the Parthenon to avoid or correct for this. Therefore, there are almost no straight lines in the building. 37 ...
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2011 for the course HUM 101 taught by Professor Neubeck-connor during the Spring '11 term at Moraine Valley Community College.

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