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Why is Greek art important?

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(Athens, ca. BC) - Artists in ancient Greece thought of art as a way of creating order out of chaos - taming wild things and them into something human and good. Greek musicians took noise and turned it into regular patterns of sound, with rhythms, melodies, and harmonies. Greek musicians sang songs and played the lyre and pipes and a kind of tambourine. Greek philosophers like Pythagoras tried to figure out the mathematical patterns of music: how music and numbers were related to each other. Greek plays, which started as a kind of musical performance, brought music together with explorations of ethical questions and contrasted irrational emotion (often personified by female characters) with calm reasoning (often embodied by male characters).


Kritios Boy (Athens, ca. BC) Greek architects also thought of their buildings as bringing order out of chaos; they took unformed rocks and carved them into regular blocks, and used them to form temples. They thought that architecture and music shared an interest in rhythm.


Achilles kills Penthesileia just at 本文来自织梦

the moment that they ll in love 本文来自织梦

(Athens, ca. BC)Greek sculpture was the same way: sculptors carved the naked male body, the height of perfect reason and control, and showed these men fighting scary forces of chaos: centaurs, Amazons, giants, foreigners, monsters. Nude women only came into Greek sculpture with the Hellenistic, as part of an artistic movement to carve chaos itself that also brought statues of foreigners, drunks, old people, and children.


Greek painters were concerned with the same issues. In the Bronze Age they painted battles ween men and their enemies. In the Classical period, Greek pottery shows us, once again, scenes of the struggle ween order and chaos: men fighting monsters, satyrs drinking and partying. But the paintings, which more often represent gods, also show us that to the Greeks, the gods themselves were often forces of chaos, and religious ritual represented mans effort to control the gods and force them into the realm of reason.

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Ancient Greek Art, by Susie Hodge ()- easy reading.


Greek Art and Archaeology (rd Edition), by John G. Pedley () A lot of good information and is pretty readable. Plus, the author is really an expert in this field.

The Archaeology of Greece: An Introduction, by William R. Biers (revised edition ) Biers writes very clearly and has a lot of good pictures. 本文来自织梦

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.


Professor Carrs PSU page


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