“Western civilization has carefully constructed itself in the image of the Greek and Roman Worlds” (Hall, 2007, p. 103). Greek art has incorporated itself even in this generation. We see examples of Greek art in the design of libraries, government buildings, banks and college campuses. (Hall, 2007). It’s more than just classical statues and buildings; it uses art to talk about issues such as the difference in men vs. women, and even culture vs. religion. Throughout the years, it has evolved to fit the period. "Mirrored in light and darkness, in man and woman. In their art as their literature, the ancient Greeks addressed the tension between these polar opposites" (Hall, 2007, p. 103).
Greek art is the backbone of the modern day era. For obvious reasons group two chose to focus on Greek art. We concentrated on the 800 to 100 BCE era and focused mainly on the depictions of the human body sculpted in marble or bronze. As a group, we explored themes based on movement, realism, and baroque elements. To do this efficiently, we used our book as well as Google Art to select different pieces that supported our theme.
The depictions of the human body are incorporated into all the elements described above. First, we reflected on the movement of the body, which is described by Lucy Lamp in a truly beautiful way: "Art exists in time as well as space. Time implies change and movement; movement implies the passage of time. Movement and time, whether actual or an illusion, are crucial elements in art although we may not be aware of it.” Her depiction of art movement is engaging and true. Many Greek sculptures that we focused on involved movement such as, Zeus, sculpted in 460 BCE. Through all the art our group has chosen you can clearly define the movement in the piece.
“Realism, in the arts, the accurate, detailed, unembellished depiction of nature or contemporary life" (Realism, 2016). Greek art is excellent at portraying realism in its work. Many, if not all, of our pieces depict realism. Although realism is not always easy to describe in the works of art, if the viewer studies it long enough and hard enough they can find it. Realism is an important aspect of art; it brings the sculpture, painting, or drawing to life right before the viewer.
Lastly, we focused on baroque, which is defined by Hall as, “To describe extreme emotions, extravagant gestures, and theatrical locations. . .” (2007, p. 159). Baroque is the most interesting aspect of viewing art. One of the best examples of baroque is Nike of Samothrace, which is a marble sculpture from 190 BCE. This represents baroque by the dramatic pose of the Nike landing on the ship despite the great winds rushing against her, which are evident by the swirling drapery. "Its swirling motion suggests the head-wind she struggles against, which, in turn, balances the rushing forward thrust of her arrival. The drapery creates the environment around the figure” (Hall, 2007, p. 159). Baroque is an interesting element that is even more greatly expanded upon in this era.
Overall our group chose Greek art for its extraordinary work as well as its history. By choosing to focus on the mediums bronze and marble, we witnessed the amount of thinking and logic it took to make such a classical sculpture without it falling apart. Furthermore, we focused on the 800 to 100 BCE era allowing us to dive deeper into the history of that time, which gave us a better understanding of the art. Lastly, the use of movement, realism and baroque described the purpose of the human anatomy in relation to one, if not all of the elements above.