Art Timeline - What is Ancient Greek Art?

The Art Timeline above precisely indicated the most important art styles through art history. In the beginning, Art of the Ancient World is home to one of the world’s premiere encyclopedic collections of antiquities, featuring more than 85,000 works of art from Egypt, Nubia, the Near East, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, and Anatolia. These works range in date from about 6500 BC to AD 600 and include diverse media—sculpture, jewelry, coffins, mummies, coins, weapons, architecture, vases, carved gems, musical instruments, and mosaics.

There were many phases from the 16th century BC, until the Greeks suffered defeat at the hands of the Romans at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. The phases are roughly as follows: Mycenaean Art occurred from roughly 1550 to 1200 BC on the Greek mainland. Although the Mycenaean and Greek cultures were two separate entities, they occupied the same lands, successively. The latter learned a few thing from the former, including how to build gates and tombs. Though there are many phases of Ancient Greek Art, there are two of them as the most important and symbolized ones that are introduced below. 

Classical Art (480 - 323 BC) was created during a "golden age", from the time Athens rose to prominence, to Greek expansion and right up until the death of Alexander the Great. It was during this period that human statues became so heroically proportioned. Of course, they were reflective of Greek Humanistic belief in the nobility of man and, perhaps, a desire to look a bit like gods - as well as the invention of metal chisels capable of working marble.



Finally, Hellenistic Art (323 - 31 BC) - quite like Mannerism - went a wee bit over the top. By the time Alexander had died, and things got chaotic in Greece as his empire broke apart, Greek sculptors had mastered carving marble. They were so technically perfect, that they began sculpt impossibly heroic humans. People simply do not look as flawlessly symmetrical or beautiful in real life, as those sculptures - which may explain why the sculptures remain so popular after all these years.

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