Thursday, 18 March 2010

Unit 2 - DVD - The Classical Tradition. Chapter 4 - The Legacy of Greece

I watched my first DVD and read my first (massive) chapter of the text book this week. 

I have made quite extensive notes and don't intend to put them all on here as well.  So I'm not even going to go back through my text book but just pop down the some of the stuff I remember most....

  • The ancient Greeks hugely influenced Western arts and culture. 
  • Statues, sculptures etc would have been brightly coloured and ornate.  With silver, gold and jewels not the plain white that we tend to think of
  • Lots of statues are Roman or later copies.  Most painting we only know about from descriptions.  Some vase painting remains.  Can see architectural remains e.g. The Parthenon. 
  • The Elgin marbles are from the Parthenon and are NOT gigantic spherical 'marbles' as some people (!) may have previously thought!

Archaic - 7th to 5th century
Classical - 5th century onwards

Kouroi - idealised male youth.  Stiff and always same stance and emphais on muscular frame - always nude
Kouros - female idealised - always clothed

Idealisation to naturalisation and realism - basis of Western art

Foreshortening - realistic rather than stylised

See image for evolution of realism.

 Vase paintings - black figure or red figure 

Architectural styles
Doric - Simplest style - plain fatter columns, unadorned capital, no base, embelishments tend to be in addition to the structure.  Used as outer of building.  Placed according to rule of eye, illusion of symmetry rather than actual 
Ionic - thinner columns, base and carved capital.  Embelishments used within structure, carving and statures throughout.  Buildings designed to be viewed from front 
Corinthian - Much more adornment to capital, flat roofy bits.  Used inside buildings rather than as outer structure

Questions to ask
  • What did they look like originally?
  • What colours and adornments would have been used?
  • Who made it?
  • Why was it made?hat was the orignal setting?
  • What was the orignial function?
  • What was in the mind of the artist?
  • What was the impact on society?

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