Ancient Greek Sculpting
Joshua



The Greeks were artistic and intellectual people way beyond their time. The art of Ancient Greece was astounding compared to other cultures; paintings that were phenomenal, pottery that was mass produced, and sculptures that looked so human you would think they were living breathing people. Ancient Greek sculpting was the most human like in the world. In each of the statues there was emotion in their eyes and a sense of movement. There are many un-named and many named but I wonder how it changed the
Nike_Photo.jpg
Spoof of the Winged Goddess Nike's statue and how movement was changed in the Hellenistic Era
world. Why did the Greeks adore this humanism style of art? How did it all stay intact?

Where did Greek sculpting originate? The answer is not from a Greek artist’s mind; it came from the Egyptians. The Greeks spread their horizons and marveled at the colossal, free standing statues that were Egyptian art. The Greek artists decided that they wanted to take a crack at it. Much of the art during the beginning was very Egyptian, sporting close to the same image as the statues in the desert country. The arts started to diversify from each other with the Greeks adding more movement, and Egyptians adding nothing. The later art of Greece impacted the world in a great way.

The impact of Greek sculpting changed the course of modern art to what it is today. The sculpting that survived from the empire of Greece, was most notably the early renaissance period of time. People were starting to diversify their styles of art and become freer. Old styles of art mostly depicted figures standing straight and stiff but Greek art showed full movement and expression. One could even say that a statue had a soul if you were of the artsy type. Not to get ahead of myself, but there have been a great amount of artists that use the Greek art style but they have not been recognized. Nearly all renaissance artists used this style but one of the most notable was Michelangelo. Michelangelo while being most recognized for something like the Sistine Chapel did many sculptures such as the David. This utilized nearly everything used in the late Hellenistic periods of Greece art.
There are three different periods of Greek sculpting. There is the archaic, the classical, and the Hellenistic. The archaic is as its name states are archaic. The art is not anything like common belief. Most is stiff and unemotional. The Classical period is the time when art started moving. There was some emotion shown but not much and there was again some depicted movement but not noticeable amount. Also during the classical period, things became more natural instead of beyond belief. Poses looked more natural instead of ram rod stiff. Lastly and the most famous is the Hellenistic period where full depiction of movement and the human anatomy was used. Although the Greeks did not have the resources that the renaissance people had they were still able to make nearly all of their sculptures look like a person had been encased in the statues of the time being that accurate. Even in clothing of the sculptures it seemed as if it would flow in the slightest breeze. Compared to the world the Greece sculptures of old have shown about the greatest detail and humanism in any of the ancient cultures.
The Greek style of sculpting was most likely one of the most popular, and it spread throughout the world. There is also the small fact that sculptures are made from earth drawn materials and they all are much more durable than what would be used in other art sources such as paints and the fragility of pottery. Some notable users of this are the obvious Greek unknown artists but there are greater artists such as the painter of the Sistine Chapel Michelangelo. He used the style known as Late Greek Hellenistic art in most to all of his sculptures. Take the David, if you were to compare this to say the Nike Winged Goddess of Victory you would notice minor differences between the two but overall in comparison there is next to no difference.
Greek sculpting stood out against other sculpting techniques from other kingdoms and dynasties through its humanism. Greek sculpting was until the renaissance the only form of sculpting that showed natural poses and common people. Most other cultures showed gods in poses of power or striking down an enemy. That or they showed nobles and mighty people who thought of themselves high above the government and all others. The Greek people sculpted what appear to be common people and they sculpt gods in a much similar manner. Only when gods were doing outrageous things such as Zeus and his lightning did anything differ between the common and the godly. As stated earlier the humanism is astounding in these sculptures. The sculptors who did these even went as far as getting just the right wrinkles when bending, this shown in many sculptures such as the Dying Gaul. Near the waist of this man you can see his skin wrinkling normally as it does when a human does so. This way of sculpting helped Greeks realize how to understand the human body and it would play an even bigger part later on during the renaissance. The renaissance was a period of realization that the church was corrupt and it was alright to go into human studies and to implement this into sculpting. The old Greek form of sculpting was being revived by renaissance sculptors, and being implemented and probably even improved upon. This style of sculpting is even used today, but in much less numbers than that of old. Without this style of sculpting the world would be a little more abstract and art.
The ancient Greek style of art was magnificent. The artists showed extreme knowledge of the human body in all the wrinkles and detail in the skin. It has stayed preserved for years and lived on even after the fall of the Greek people. It has changed the world and without it, it may be a little harder to get the human body in perspective and study how much the ancients knew.
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Modern Day recreation of the David (with clothes)



Works Cited:

Ellie Crystal. "Crystal links metaphysical and science website." December 07, 2009 http://www.crystalinks.com/greekart.html
"Greek statues and ancient Greek sculptures." December07, 2009. http://www.statue.com/greek-statues.html
"World News.com" December 07, 2009, http://upge.wn.com/?t=ancientgreece/index11.txt