Greek art - See articles on various periods (such as classical and Hellenistic), media (such as architecture, bronze, ceramics, glass, and marble), and forms (such as frieze, sarcophagus, sculpture, and vase).
Making generalizations about the
visual culture of any group
of people is a crude endeavor, especially with a culture as diverse
as the Greeks'. With this thought in mind, know that this survey,
as any must be, is tremendously limited in its breadth and depth.
Greece, Cyclades, about 2500 BCE, Male Harp Player, marble, 14.1 x 3.7 x 11 inches (35.8 x 9.5 x 28 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.
Mycenaean Greece, Helladic, Stirrup jar with octopus, c. 1200-1100 BCE, Late Helladic IIIC, terra cotta, height 10 1/4 inches (26.01 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Greece, from Olympia, c. 750-700 BCE, Statuette of a Horse, Geometric Period, bronze, Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emery U, Atlanta, GA. Such bronze statuettes were most often dedicated in sanctuaries as votive offerings. A figurine much like this one appeared in the movie "Black Stallion," and was called Bucephalus.
Greek, Crete, 690-670 BCE, Lyre Player, bronze, height 4 1/2 inches (11.5 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.
Greece, Figure of a Warrior, late 6th century BCE, bronze, Worcester Art Museum, MA. See chiton.
Greek, Attic, Black-Figure Eye Cup with Ships, Archaic, c. 530 BCE, terra cotta, Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emery U, Atlanta, GA. This cup appears to act as a mask when the cup is raised to drink — the eyes staring out, the handles resembling ears, and the foot of the vase appearing as a mouth. The eyes serve an apotropaic function, driving away evil. See anthropomorphism, black-figure, ex voto, talisman, vessel, and votive.
Euphronios (Greek painter), Red-Figure Psykter with Feasting Hetaerae, 505-500 BCE, clay, height 34 cm, diameter of rim 14.2 cm, diameter of stand 14.5 cm, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Greece, Black-Figure Dinos with Ships, 510-500 BCE, clay, height 17.3 cm, diameter of body 36 cm, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Greece, Zeus from Cape Artemision, c. 460 BCE, bronze, National Museum, Athens.
See a second point of view on this sculpture,
a detail of the head,
and a second detail of the head.
Greece, Grave stele of a little girl with doves, c. 450-440 BCE, Parian marble relief, height 31 1/2 inches (80 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Dexamenos (Greek, Chios), Intaglio of a Flying Heron, 5th century BCE, chalcedony, gold, 1.7 x 2.2 cm, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Discus Thrower (Discobolus), Roman copy of an original bronze by Myron (Hellenistic Greek, c. 485 - c. 425 BCE), marble.
A second point of view of the Discus Thrower. See point of view.
Greece, Temple Pendant with the Head of Athena Parthenos, first half of the 4th century BCE, gold, enamel, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Greek, Apollo Belvedere, c. 330 BCE, marble, Vatican Museum.
Detail: the head of the Apollo Belvedere. See fig leaf.
Apoxyomenos (Scraper), Roman copy of an original bronze by Lysippos, a Greek sculptor who worked c. 325 BCE, marble, height 82 inches, Vatican. Apoxyomenos, a gymnast, is portrayed scraping dusty oil from his right arm with a tool called a strigil. Lysippos provided the foundation for Hellenistic sculpture. The sculpture's fig leaf was added later as censorship in the interest of modesty.
Greece, Apulia, South Italy, attributed to the Painter of Louvre MNB 1148, about 330 BCE, Red-Figure Loutrophoros (Type I) with Ovoid Body, terra cotta, height 35 1/2 inches, diameter (rim) 10 1/2 inches (h. 90.1 cm, d. 26.0 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. See red-figure.
Greece, Figurine of Aphrodite Playing with Eros, tanagra, late 4th century BCE, terra cotta, height 18.5 cm, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Greek, late fourth century BCE, Statue of a Victorious Youth, bronze with copper inlays, height 59 5/8 inches (151.5 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.
Greek, Alexandria, Egypt, 220 BC - 100 BCE, Hairnet, gold, garnet, and glass paste, 8 1/2 x 3 1/8 x 3 inches (21.5 x 8 x 7.5 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. See jewelry.
Laocoön and his Sons, Roman copy of a Hellenistic original from c. 200 BCE, marble, height 1.84 m, Vatican. Trojan priest Laocoön and his two sons are attacked at an altar by giant snakes. Pliny said it was the work of three sculptors from Rhodes, Hagesandros, Polydoros, and Athenodoros. The date of the Laocoön is controversial, some scholars arguing for the late second century BCE, others for c. 50 BCE. See pain.
Sleeping Satyr (Barberini Faun), Roman copy after a Hellenistic original of c. 200 BCE, Glyptothek, Munich. With various parts of this sculpture missing, in the state in which it was found, a number of repairs have been made. The right leg is one such modern addition. Not seen here, but visible in other modern photographs are reconstructions of the left forearm and foot.
Hellenistic Greece, Samothrace (island in the North Aegean Sea), c. 190 BCE, Nike on the Prow of a Ship, called the "Winged Victory of Samothrace", gray Lartos marble for the ship's prow, white Paros marble for the statue, height 3.28 m (floor to top of wings) (10 feet 9 inches), Louvre. See Hellenistic and Nike.
Hellenistic Greece, Melos (the Cyclades islands), Aphrodite, known as Venus of Milo, c. 100 BCE, marble, height 6 feet 10 inches (2 m), Louvre. Signed on the base: "[Alex?]andros son of Menides from Antioch-on-the-Meander made it".
Greece, Shallow bowl, Late Hellenistic, 1st century BCE, fused mosaic glass, height 3.43 cm, diameter 13 cm, George Ortiz collection.
The flag of modern Greece.
Also see anastole, ancient, Apollo, archaeology, chiton, colossus and colossal, fibula, flags of Europe, frieze, Golden Mean, muses, mythology, neoclassicism, Nike, numismatics, Renaissance, Roman art, UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects.