by Holli Cole, Penny Pavelsek, Becky Arnold

Geometric Period 900-700 BCE

Style: Pyxis
Function: Cosmetics
Date: 800 BC
Collection of Art
Rhode Island School of Design

Vase designs were covered in linear motifs like spirals, diamonds, and crosshatching. Figures were done in abstract forms using triangles for body shapes, dots for eyes, and rectangles for arms. The figures were shown full frontal or full profile with tiny waists and long muscular legs.

Sculptures of the Geometric Period were done in bronze, wood, ivory, and clay. They may have been used as trophies or for votive statues placed in temples to represent the subject in prayer.

The first temples were built on stone foundations that defined the buildings in rectangles. They had protruding porches with two columns that supported a steeply pitched roof. The roof formed a gable in the facade, or front wall, with an opening just above the door. There was a large audience hall called a cella or naos preceded by a small reception room that served as the vestibule or pronaos. The purpose of these temples was to shelter a statue of the god that the temple was dedicated to.

Perseus Project (November 1996) (November 1996)

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Orientalizing Period (700-600 BC)

Corinthian Oinochoe
Date: 630-615 BC
Miami University
Oxford, OH syllabus

Vase designs of the Orientalizing Period were decorated with large motifs, abstract plant forms and humans, realand imaginary animals. Corinthian style vases were decorated using background and foreground colors in black, brown, red, and white Black Figure vases utilized dark shapes painted against the natural clay. The inside details were painted with white clay slip and reddish gloss.

Miami University

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Archaic Period (600-480 BCE)

Temples were Post and Lintel constructions made mostly of stone and marble. The base of the temple was called the stylobate. ThePeri-style was a row of columns that surrounded all four sides of the temple and supported a lintel area called the entablature.

The top most element of the entablature, the cornice, supported a peaked roof.It was made of a continuous band of carved stone called moldings. At each end, the horizontal cornice of the entablature and the raking (slanted) cornices of the roof defined a triangular gable called the pediment. There were three basic orders of columns during this period: the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.

The Doric order columns were formed of round sections called drums which were joined by metal pegs.A fluted shaft rose from the stylobate without a base. At the top of the shaft was the necking. The capital sits on the necking; it is made of the rounded echinus and the tablet-like abacus.
The entablature of the column included the architrave, the frieze, and the cornice. The height of Ionic order columns was about nine times the diameter of the column at its base; the Doric order had a five and a half to one ratio. The flutes in the shaft were deeper and closer together and were separated by flat surfaces called fillets. On top of these columns was a thin cushion-like abacus with scrolled volutes.

The Corinthian order had elaborate capitals decorated with acanthus leaves and rosettes. They often had scrolled elements at the corners and a boss, or projecting ornament at the top center of each side.

Architectural sculptures were carved in high relief from the pediment space out of separate slabs. The columns on a lot of building were carved like draped women called Caryatids. Friezes decorated the buildings in a continuous band of carved figures set of by carved moldings. They were varied from high to low relief and overlapped, but were all the same height and sat on the same groundline. Triangle shaped pediments were filled on the ends with fallen soldiers and other men who gradually rose until there was a tall, standing figure in the center.

Peplos Kore
Free standing sculptures were usually made of marble and painted in lifelike colors. They were often inscribed with the name of the person who commissioned them.Sculptures were placed on pedestals lining the way from the entrance to the main temple, or for marking graves.

A female statue was called a kore (korai) and depicted clothed priestesses, goddesses, and nymphs. Male statues were called kouros (Kouroi) and represented gods, warriors, and athletes to show fertility. They were always shown nude.These statues were shown in rigid poses with a thin-lipped Archaic smile. As time went on, they were carved in increasingly more lifelike manners with jewelry and different hairstyles. They were sometimes painted in encaustic -a mixture of pigments and hot wax.

Vases were painted with a narrow band of decoration and small figures and eventually there was only one large scene on each side that filled the whole body of the vessel. This painting usually involved the gods in poses of every day life. One popular shape was the Volute krater, a large vessel for mixing wine and water. An amphoraor storage jar, was another, and a kantharos was a type of wine cup. Vases were painted using the Red-figuredecoration -a black background with red subjects outlined with dark pigment.

Date: 540-530 BC
Red-Figure amphora

Perseus Project:
http://www.perseus.image?arch=1990.38.0051 (November 1996)
http://www.perseus.image?arch=1990.38.0077 (October 1996) (October 1996)

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The Transitional or Early Classical Period 480-450

The Kritios Boy
Date: ca 480 B.C.

Freestanding sculpture was done in a naturalistic style using high relief. This means that you can see details like the statue's flesh through its clothing. The figures were hollow cast in bronze because it was a more flexible and stable medium.

The Kritios Boy, unlike most earlier sculpture, appears to be an adolescent. He is an athletic youth, with rounded body forms, large facial features, has a thoughtful expression, and there is no trace of an archaic smile. Characteristic of this period, the figure's weight rests on his left leg, with the right leg bending at the knee.

An example to look for would be the "Riace warriors" 460-450 BC. They were made with great attention to detail (navels, veins, strands of hair, smooth bodies, eyes of bone and glass, and lips and nipples inset with pinkish copper plating teeth)
Vases were painted in Red-figure, with the most famous painter of the time being the Pan Painter. The Pan Painter was inspired by the less-heroic myths. He painted scenes like those in Artemis Slaying Actaeon where Artemis is having the hunter's own dogs attack him.

The Flying Nike
Red Figure Amphora

Perseus Project: (November 1996) (October 1996)

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The High Classical Period 450-400 BC

Erectheion (Porch of Maides)
Date: 525 B.C.
Six caryatids with Doric order capitals

The architecture of the High Classical Period included houses, temples, marketplaces, and buildings for meetings. These were often decorated with friezes in relief as well as sculpture-in-the-round. Houses were made of stucco and faced with mud-bricks. They were supported by wooden posts and lintels with roofs of terra-cotta tiles. There was usually only one small kitchen, dayroom, diningroom, bedroom, and sometimes a bathroom in these houses.

The Acropolis was used for religious rites in honor of Athena Nike (goddess of victory). Pheidias was the builder in charge of the building. It took 22,000 tons of marble, gold, ivory and exotic woods to build it.

The Agora, or marketplace, was a civic, social, and commercial center of both public and private structures around the Panathenaic Way (ceremonial road). It had a stone drainage system to control flooding, a fountain house for water, and also a racetrack. There was also a temple dedicated to Hephastos, the altar of 12 gods, a building for court business, and stoas (a roof held up by columns) for protection from sun and rain.

Parthenon-The temple of Athena Parthenos (virgin Athena) was a Doric order peripteral temple. The builders refined the structure by making the base of the temple and the entablature curve upward slightly from bottom to top so the horizontal lines did not appear to sag.

The Temple of Athena Nike had an amphiprostyle plan with a porch at each end. The porch faced out over the city and was blind, meaning that it had no entrance to the cella.It was surrounded by parapet with reliefs of Nike Adjusting Her Sandal.

Stela Sculpture were individual panels decorated in relief for memorials, votive offerings and tomb monuments. They were often made of white marble and decorated with a finial or crowning ornament.

Little Girl with a Bird
Date: 450-440 BC
Marble 31 1/2"
Gravestone relief from Paros

Vases were done using the white-ground technique. These devotional or commemorative pieces were painted in tempera paint on a white slip background. A common type was the Lekythos, a one handled pitcher used to pour liquid during religious rituals. They were commonly found in and on tombs show grief and loss.
from the 1927 fletcher Fund

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Classical Art of the Fourth Century

Mausoleum at Halikarnassos

The Orthogonal City Plan was a right-angled city plan of straight, evenly spaced parallel streets that intersected at right angles. The city was divided into sacred, public, and private zones and limited to 10,000 citizens, artists, farmers, and soldiers.This Hippodamian plat was divided into 600 ft. quarters. These quarters were subdivided into 6 rectangular building plots, 100 ft. by 150 ft. This type of plan is still used today.

The Tholos style was a circular plan used for shrines or monuments and administration buildings. Exteriors were decorated with Doric columns and entablatures. They had an inside ring of Corinthian columns adorned with acanthus leave capitals.

Monumental tombs were commissioned by wealthy owners. This is where we get the word Mausoleum. Mausolos, prince of Karia, was entombed at Halikarnassos in Asia Minor and is considered to be one of the 7 wonders of the world.One of the remarkable features was the marble statue of a four-horse chariot and driver that adorned the roof. There were also 250 free standing statues and 50 sculptures of lions around roof.

Sculpture was done using a new canon of proportions which gave specific measurements for the perfectly proportioned body.The three major sculptors were: Praxiteles, Skopas, Lysippos.

Figures were sensitively rendered images with expressions of wistful, introspection, dreaminess, or anxiety. Sculptors developed a taste for depicting minor deities in lighthearted moments. This is also the period when the first fully nude women began to be sculpted.

Aphrodite of Knidos
The Aphrodite of Knidos was the first fully nude female. Previously, nudity was considered a sign of low character in women, but Aphrodite and the Phoenician goddess, Astarte,merged making nudity more acceptable.

The subject of wall Paintings and mosaics was the real world portrayed dynamicly. Violent actions of war were a common theme. They used radical foreshortening to create believable illusions of the real world.
Goldsmiths showed scenes of daily life in the elaborate jewelry they creaated. Romantic embossed designs adorned gold earrings that were formed, like sculptures, using the lost wax technique.

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The Hellenistic Period 3rd century

Laocoon and His Sons

These people sought to portray the individual and specific aspects of everyday life instead of the heroic. The style changed from aloof serenity to individual emotion, and from the dramatic to melodramatic pathos, using lustrous or glittering surfaces and dramatic poses.

The first Theaters were built in the Hellenistic Period. They were semi circular in shape and built into the hillsides. They had a place for orchestras,two and a tiered stage structure with a vertical skene. Theaters had architectural backgrounds and the proscenium was a raised platform.

Corinthian columns began to be more common in this period. They differed from other columns in that the echinus was an unfluted extension of the column shaft, set off by a collar molding called astragal. From the astragal, sprout curly acanthus leaves. They had a flaring abacus with concave sides, and a center relief element called a boss. The entablature has a stepped out architrave and bands of carved moldings including vertical toothlike elements called dentils above the frieze.

Sculpture moved in two directions. It moved away from the classical toward experimentation, with new forms and subjects. It also went back to the classical with aspects of certain favored works. The Pergamene Style developed as a form of expressionism that sought to ellicit specific emotions. Friezes using this style show figures breaking out of boundaries and invading the space in front of them.

Sculpture was much more theatrical, involving complex interactions of space and balancing opposing forces in 3-dimensional space. Dramatic contrasts of light and shade playing over complex forms set off figures in high relief because of deep undercutting. One characteristic of these sculptures was that they showed extreme expressions of pain, stress, wild anger, fear, and despair. The figures impose themselves on the spectator, demanding a response. TheNike of Samothrace is a good example.

Small scale sculpture was commissioned by private patrons. They were affordable terra-cotta figures that were formed in preshaped molds. This portraiture showed ordinary individuals and unusual physical types. Another form of sculpture during this period was the Classical Alternative where sculptors borrowed from classical styles to create pieces that were both conventional and classic.

some information taken from Art History by Marilyn Stokstad

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