CLASSICAL ART AND ARCHITECTURE

 

Building upon earlier Egyptian art conventions and later imitated by Roman artists, Classical Greek art aimed an idealized yet still realistic rational beauty that still influences Western art to this day.  By contrast, Roman art often tended to portray people realistically, warts and all, even when they were rulers.

 

Greek temples:  Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns/orders.  How many of these can you find on buildings in America?

 

*Parthenon:  Ruined temple on Athens' acropolis (fortified hilltop), dedicated to the “virgin goddess” Athena.

 

Caryatids:  Statues that also served as columns for the Erechtheion, another temple on the Acropolis.

 

Nike of Samothrace:  Attributed to Pythokritos; "winged victory."  Projects an image of sailing through the air.

 

Laocoon and His Sons:  Compare faces with Egyptian art, earlier Classical art.  Which portrays emotions more?

 

Achilles Bandaging Patroclos' Wound:  Compare eyes with Egyptian conventions.  Which is more realistic?

 

Aphrodite of Knidos:  Praxiteles, sculptor.  Compare to Mycenrius and His Queen (Egyptian art).

 

Roman arch vs. post and lintel system:  Former more self-supporting, can span greater distances without using as much rock in support as the latter.

 

*Colosseum:  Practical (held 50,000 people), efficient, aesthetic appeal; pilasters.  Many gladiators, animals died in it to entertain masses; today is a ruin in Rome.

 

Triumphal arch:  created to humiliate enemies, symbolize putting on yoke of slavery.

 

*Pantheon:  Very large dome (142 feet high, 142 feet wide in diameter), hole in top to admit light, air; built (ca. A.D. 118-125) by Hadrian in Rome.  Plumbing still works!

 

Trajan’s column:  150 scenes carved in 658 foot long freize winding slowly up column of stone.  125 feet high.  Commemorates this emperor’s battles in Romania, Hungary; fair & realistic in portraying enemies as worthy opponents, not easily beaten.