Thursday, August 8, 2013

Greek Art

Bronze Poseidon, 460 BCE

The Slipper Slapper, 100 BCE

Marble Figure of a River God, 440 BCE, British Museum

Marble Kore, 530 BCE

Kouros, 520 BCE
Any trip to Athens must include a day at the Acropolis and a day at the National Museum.  The giant leap in art that was taken in the 5th century BCE comes alive when you see the actual life-size sculptures.  To see statue after statue of the nude kouros and the female draped kore with their formulaic postures of one leg forward, arms down and tense, big eyes, big ears, creepy smile, and then BOOM, jump ahead one hundred years and these marble men are now running, throwing spears, destroying enemies--well, it is truly amazing.  Their heads are turned and their smiles are gone.  Their faces are taut with anxiety.  They are athletes and warriors and gods, the likes the world had never seen before.

 Artists had mastered the three-dimensional form.   Perfect beings were being carved out of blocks of stone or cast in bronze.   It is truly a miraculous time in the history of art.  The human form would not be improved upon until the Italian Renaissance, nearly 1500 years later.  I get chills running up and down my spine every time I look at these pictures.
 

Agora Museum

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