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  ANCIENT GREECE  
       
    Images courtesy of
Saskia Ltd.
       
       
  THE ARCHAIC PERIOD

The exposure to Egyptian art and architecture in the late seventh century inspired Greek sculptors and architects to develop a new type of monumental figurative sculpture, and to design and build a new type of monumental temple architecture.

Statuary

Greek kouroi and Egypt:

In the Archaic period, the Greeks developed a monumental stone sculpture for the representation of life-size, nude, young men (kouroi) and life-size, clothed, young women (korai). The kouroi, which were evidently made to serve a funerary purpose at a gravesite, emulate the frontal pose of standard Egyptian statues, but, over the course of the sixth century, are carved with increasingly more realistic anatomy. Faces, however, retain the conventional "Archaic smile." Korai, shown wearing contemporary fashionable clothing, evidently stood as votive offerings in temple sanctuaries.
   
       
  5-8: Kouros, ca. 600 BCE. Marble, approx. 6' 1/2" high. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
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A smiling calf bearer:

A generation later than the New York kouros is the statue of a moschophoros, or calf bearer, found on the Athenian Acropolis in fragments.
 
       
  5-9: Calf Bearer, dedicated by Rhonbos on the Acropolis, Athens, Greece, ca. 560 BCE. Marble, restored height approx. 5' 5". Acropolis Museum, Athens.
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The grave of Kroisos:

Sometime around 530 BCE, a young man named Kroisos died a hero's death in battle. His grave at Anavysos, not far from Athens, was marked by a kouros statue.
 
       
  5-10: Kroisos, from Anavysos, Greece, ca. 530 BCE. Marble, approx. 6' 4" high. National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
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Broken and buried korai:

A stylistic "sister" to the Anavysos kouros is the statue of a kore wearing a peplos, a simple, long, woolen belted garment that gives the female figure a columnar appearance.
 
       
  5-11: Peplos Kore, from the Acropolis, Athens, Greece, ca. 530 BCE. Marble, approx. 4' high. Acropolis Museum, Athens.
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  5-12: Kore, from the Acropolis, Athens, Greece, ca. 520-510 BCE. Marble, approx. 1' 9 1/2" high. Acropolis Museum, Athens.
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Architecture and Architectural Sculpture:

In the sixth century BCE, Greek architects began to build stone temples with gable roofs supported around the perimeter by regularly spaced stone columns. A walled interior space or cella, located within the surrounding colonnade on the temple platform, may have contained additional columns to support the roof beams. The cella housed one or more cult statues, and the exterior of the temple was decorated with painted figural sculptures, notably in the friezes and pediments in the upper part of the building. Two architectural styles developed: the Doric and the Ionic.

Houses for the gods:

Many of the earliest Greek temples do not survive because they were made of wood and mud brick. Archaic and later Greek temples were, however, built of more permanent materials - limestone, in many cases, and, where it was available, marble, which was more impressive and durable.

Plan and proportion:

The Greeks' insistence on proportional order guided their experiments with the proportions of temple plans. The early temples tended to be long and narrow, with the proportions of the ends to the sides roughly expressible as 1:3. From the sixth century on, plans approached but rarely had a proportion of exactly 1:2. Classical temples tended to be a little longer than twice their width.

Ornament and color:

Sculpture and ornament was concentrated on the upper part of the building, in the frieze and pediments. Architectural sculpture, like freestanding statuary, was painted and usually was placed only in the building parts that had no structural function.

Early Doric in Italy:

The prime example of early Greek efforts at Doric temple design is the unusually well-preserved Archaic temple erected around 550 BCE. at Paestum (Greek Pseidonia), south of Naples in Italy.
 



       
 
 
       
       
  5-15: Temple of Hera I (“Basilica"), Paestum, Italy, ca. 550 BCE.
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5-16: Plan of the Temple of Hera I, Paestum, Italy, ca. 550 BCE.
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The pediment problem:

Architects and sculptors were also frequently called on to work together, as at Corfu (ancient Corcyra), where a great Doric temple dedicated to Artemis was constructed early in the sixth century BCE.

5-17: West pediment from the Temple of Artemis, Corfu, Greece, ca. 600-580 BCE. Limestone, greatest height approx. 9' 4". Archaeological Museum, Corfu.
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Caryatids and giants:

The sixth century BCE also saw the erection of grandiose Ionic temples on the Aegean Islands and the west coast of Asia Minor.

5-18: Reconstruction drawing of the Siphnian Treasury, Delphi, Greece, ca. 530 BCE.
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  5-19: Gigantomachy, detail of the north frieze of the Siphnian Treasury, Delphi, Greece, ca. 530 BCE. Marble, approx. 2' 1" high. Archaeological Museum, Delphi.
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Vase Painting

Artists' signatures:

Vases continued to be painted in the black-figure technique, but with large, framed panels painted with figures, replacing the earlier arrangement of horizontal bands. Around 530 BCE, the new red-figure technique was introduced, and for a little while vases were painted using both techniques (bilingual vases). Eventually, however, painters preferred the advantages of red-figure and abandoned the black-figure technique. Red-figure vase painters at the end of the Archaic period show figures articulated and foreshortened in three dimensions. Labeled figures and artists' signatures also appear on Archaic painted vases.

5-20: KLEITIAS and ERGOTIMOS, François Vase (Attic black-figure volute krater), from Chiusi, Italy, ca. 570 BCE. General view (left) and detail of centauromachy on other side of vase (right). Approx. 2' 2" high. Museo Archeologico, Florence.
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Exekias, black-figure master:

The acknowledged master of the black-figure technique was an Athenian named Exekias, whose vases were not only widely exported but copied as well.

5-21: EXEKIAS, Achilles and Ajax playing a dice game (detail from an Attic black-figure amphora), from Vulci, Italy, ca. 540-530 BCE. Whole vessel approx. 2' high. Vatican Museums, Rome.
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"Bilingual" painting:

The birth of this new technique came around 530 BCE, and the person responsible is known as the Andokides Painter, that is, the anonymous painter who decorated the vases signed by the potter Andokides.

5-22: ANDOKIDES PAINTER, Achilles and Ajax playing a dice game (Attic bilingual amphora), from Orvieto, Italy, ca. 525-520 BCE. Black-figure side (left) and red-figure side (right). Approx. 1' 9" high. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
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Euphronios, and red-figure:

One of these younger and more adventurous painters was Euphronios, whose krater depicting the struggle between Herakles and Antaios reveals the exciting possibilities of the new red-figure technique.

5-23: EUPHRONIOS, Herakles wrestling Antaios (detail of an Attic red-figure calyx krater), from Cerveteri, Italy, ca. 510 BCE. Whole vessel approx. 1' 7" high. Louvre, Paris.
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Rivals of euphronios:

A preoccupation with the art of drawing per se may be seen in a remarkable amphora painted by Euthymides, a contemporary and competitor of Euphronios.
   
       
 
 
       
       
  5-24: EUTHYMIDES, Three revelers (Attic red-figure amphora), from Vulci, Italy, ca. 510 BCE. Approx. 2' high. Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich.
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The female nude:

Interest in the foreshortening of the human figure soon extended to studies of nude women.

Aegina and the Transition to the Classical Period

Evolution and revolution:

The design of temples undergoes considerable refinement over the course of the sixth century. The design and placement of architectural figural sculpture are made more unified and consistent, while at the same time, individual figures are given a more lifelike quality of movement and expression.

5-25: Temple of Aphaia, Aegina, Greece, ca. 500-490 BCE.
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5-26: Model of the Temple of Aphaia, Aegina, Greece, ca. 500–490 BCE. Glyptothek, Munich.
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5-27: Plan (left) and restored cutaway view (right) of the Temple of Aphaia, Aegina, Greece, ca. 500-490 BCE.
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  Archaism to classicism:

The sculptures of the Aegina pediments were set in place when the temple was completed around 490 BCE.
   
       
  5-28: Dying warrior, from the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaia, Aegina, Greece, ca. 500-490 BCE. Marble, approx. 5' 2 1/2" long. Glyptothek, Munich.
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  5-28: Dying warrior, from the east pediment of the Temple of Aphaia, Aegina, Greece, ca. 490-480 BCE. Marble, approx. 6' 1" long. Glyptothek, Munich.
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