Greek art of the classical era

This gallery focuses on the period in Greek art that spanned between roughly 480 to 323 B.C. I chose this theme because Greek pottery, statues, and metalwork really showcase what life in Greek Society was like. There were many big changes that happened in this period and I think that it is very important we recognize this. Pottery paintings changed to Red on Black rather than White on Black, sculptures focused more on the human figure and tried to capture it's essence in their work. Metalwork was generally in bronze. It is a very interesting time period in art.

This amphora depicts Theseus attacking an Amazon. I chose to include it in my collection because it is a prime example of the "red on black" paintings/etchings that were popular during the classical period. It was made an estimating 440 B.C. by the School of Polygnotos. Notice that much of the art of this period depicted great battles of the time as well.
This eye-catching vessel is of a doe. Notice the symmetry of the proportions of the head and the detail of the muzzle. Notice the spotting on the sides as well as the well-detailed head, which remarkably resembles a live doe. This piece was probably used to carry wine like an amphora or some other kind of drink. It is a very creative piece from the era and was created sometime during the 5th or 4th century and was probably a fusion of the two different time periods and is a ceramic. It sits in The Museum of Fine Arts at Houston, TX.
This two-handed cup ,which was commonly used in greek society, features a red on black figure of a woman. It depicts a woman with a head dress with her eyes closed. It was made out of Teracotta and sits in the Dionisio Pinhero And Alice Cardoso Pinheiro collection and it’s original title was Taca Apulio de Figuras Vermelhas.
In this piece of art, I want to point out how much attention was given to the details of the man’s head. The curly beard and hair was a big identifier for Greek art. There isn’t much known about this actual sculpture, but if you look closely you can see that the lines and shape of the man’s features are parallel with each other, aligned almost perfectly. This sculpture was created right before the Classical period ended and could be a fusion of the era that came after as well as the Classical period being sculpted in or around 320 B.C.
This Tetrobol which is a fraction of a Drachma or Ancient Greek currency has the head of the Goddess Artemis who was the Goddess of the Hunt and had the Head of the Bull on the opposite side. It was made between approximately 470 and 430 B.C. I chose to include this piece to give some background to what life was like back in the Classical Greek period since Ancient Greeks were largely and almost exclusively Hellenistic (believed in more than one God/the Pantheon/Polytheism)
In this sculpture, Aphrodite, whom the Greeks considered the Greek Goddess of love and beauty, is holding up or rather being a support for a mirror. This probably stood in a Greek woman’s home and held a mirror. It also includes twin Cupid’s as we call them today (Eros to Ancient Greeks) and most likely fit in with the overall theme of love and beauty due to the fact that it held a mirror up. It is important that we realize the overall theme of the piece as an insight into a Greek woman’s part of everyday life.
Dolls were an important part of young women’s lives, when they hit adolescence, they would offer up their childhood things to Artemis the virgin Goddess in hopes that she would bless them with motherhood, as they got older. This surely commemorates this act of sacrifice as well as shows the importance of it in Greek Culture. The bird also could represent the Goddess Artemis whom which many birds were linked to. I chose this to also show what life was like in Greek society.
This sculpture of two hands clasped, which was apparently part of a grave stele, might have symbolized the help from the Gods or passed relativesas Greeks were welcomed into the afterlife as well as a farewell from the deceased’s family. The hands are not symmetrical and the lines are clearly defined. They were incredibly detailed for the Classical period and were titled “Fragment of a grave relief” and are speculated to have been created in the first half of the 4th century B.C.
This helmet or curiass is decorated with heads of Phyrygian helmets and carry an inscription which translates to “For Athena – Spoils from the enemy.” Bronze was a popular material out of which battle helmets were made and this would have been pretty common for every warrior to wear during battle. It was created some time between 400 and 300 B.C. and is part of the Levett Family Collection.
These are two sets of bronze horse armor ,or horse trappings, these include breastplates, and prometopidion which is armor that protected a horses head in battle. They have faces and figures on them that most likely represented Gods of War. In this piece some of the armor are inlaid with different precious materials and would have been created for use at ceremonies. Two big parts of Ancient Greek life were war and ceremonies that were celebrated year round.
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