Ancient Greece (850 –31 BCE)

About the time

Ancient Greece is known for its influence on all of Western Culture.  It developed a system of Government called "Democracy" that many natons use today as a basis for modern government (including the U.S.).  The Greek Empire spread around the Mediterranean, and for a long time, the Emperor was treated as a King and God.  The Ancient Greeks also worshipped many Gods and Greek Mythology tells the stories of these Gods.

The Art

Much of the Greek Art depicts mythical stories about the Gods.  The Ancient Greek society also valued physical activity (this is where the Olympic Games started), so much of the art focuses on the physical prowess of the people.

There are three distinct art periods that are different in how they portray human form and how much emotion they have.

Archaic, Classical and Hellenstic



Sculptors and builders used marble.




Archaic Period

                          Kouros- men made of marble                                                                                       Kore- women


What do all kouros/kore have in common?

  • Used as a grave marker
  • Each one is unique.
  • They are facing forward.
  • One foot in front of the other.
  • Happy facial expression.
  • Braided hair.
  • Unnatural or stiff clothing.
  • Women are holding one hand out.


Draw one on your note page.





Classical Period

The body starts to look more real but there’s still no emotion or movement. 


 Harmodius and Aristogeiton

These two men are known for killing a politician at a festival and they are sometimes called “The Liberators.”  Their bodies look more realistic than the kouros but the two men have no facial expressions.  They killed a guy, but their faces look completely calm.












Diskobolus (the man throwing a discus) made in 5th century BCE out of marble.  Discus is a sport in the Olympics, which started in Ancient Greece.


His body looks realistic but his face is too calm.

















This video is of what discus looks like  (turn your sound down or use your headphones please)

Do you think the face or body of "Diskobolus" looks like he’s moving as much as the people in the video or in these pictures? 

 This is a good way to think about how the body looks realistic in classical scuplture, but there is very little emotion or movement.



Hellenistic Period


Sculptures start showing emotion!


Clothing and posture start to look more realistic




 “Laocoon” 50 BCE


Check out his face!  There’s tons of emotion. 

What do you think he’s feeling?



The story:  Lacoon, a priest from Troy, tried to show everyone that the Trojan Horse was a trap by throwing a spear at it.  At that moment, Athena, a Greek Goddess sent two serpents to kill Lacoon and his two sons.








Market woman hellenistic”


Her body and clothing are much more realistic than archaic.  Making art of poor people also became popular in the Hellenistic period.










Parthenon is built on the acropolis in Athens, Greece.  Acropolis means “city on a hill.” 450 BCE 



Colonnade = a row of columns


Colonnades have been used a lot in American architecture. 

The White House                                                                                                      The Lincoln Memorial




Cool fact: The columns tilt inwards a little otherwise they won’t look straight.





Review Test 3


Go to the Review Test Page and click on the third link.  FIll in the answer sheet with the answers and turn it in to Ms. Allekotte for a grade.


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