Main periods of greec sculpture Essay
Main Periods of Greek Sculpture The Greek sculpture knows three main periods. They are Archaic period, Classical period and Hellenistic period. As Richter states, the roots of these periods are “in the needs of religious and communal life of the citystates” (Richter, 1951). The Archaic period (VII B.C.
– VI B.C.) is characterized by imperfection of forms which resulted in the generalized image, impersonal countenances (the statues wore the so-called “archaic smile), and traditional poses. The figures were rigid and had something in common with Egyptian sculptures. Usually it was votive or sepulchral sculptures which represented nude youths (kouroi) and draped female figures (korai). By the end of the fifth century B.C.
the Greek sculptors “learned to understand in detail the structure of the human figure” (Richter, 1951) and overcame the static character of their figures. The Classical period of the Greek sculpture which is often called its Golden Age begins approximately in the fifth century B.C. The figures’ poses became more natural and realistic. But due to the works of Phedias which had a very strong impact on contemporaries sculptors, the idealism became the major characteristic of Greek sculpture of this period (Richter, 1951).The IVth century B.C.
was marked by the transition to Hellenistic period. The display of female nudity was no longer prohibited. Due to intercultural exchanges of Alexander The Great era, the Greek sculpture became influenced by artistic traditions of India and Egypt. The majority of sculptures of both Classical and Hellenistic periods were nudes. But in Hellenistic periods the common scenes of life became widely spread as well as representations of domestic animals.
The sculptures were often commissioned by prosperous citizens for decorations of their gardens and houses and until the Hellenistic period the sculpture was never made for pleasure. This fact made of sculpture an industry. We should stress that there was no difference in sculptural representation of gods and humans.ReferencesRichter, G. M. (1951).
Three Critical Periods in Greek Sculpture. Oxford: Clarendon Press.