As we explore Greek art and architecture, we will see how the Greeks laid the foundations for Western style to be continued for many centuries. As the founders of Democracy, of humanist philosophy, and the Olympic games, it is no surprise that their artists, as well, anticipate modern concepts of perceptualism, of artistic progress and competition, and the Western "way of seeing".
For example, we will see that Classical Greek statues begin to be presented and perceived not as solid, permanent and immobile stone, but as soft, warm flesh; figures who pause and think, showing reason and decision-making powers. They are figures who move with graceful organic movements. They interact psychologically and physically together, stand in relaxed poses (CONTRAPPOSTO) and assume the confidence of a new age. The same development is demonstrated in Greek vase painting, where the interaction of the athletes, muses or gods, seen spatially and with anatomical accuracy, creates an idealizing reality of a perfect, heroic world.
|For a view on the importance of Athens:
|For a PBS site on the Greek culture|
|For the Elgin Marbles (sculptures taken from Acropolis by Lord Elgin)|