Ancient Greek Classicism

868 Words4 Pages
Like the Egyptians, artwork and architecture of the Greek Classical Age followed a canon of more freely accepted idealistic forms. While “proportion and order are guiding principles of the classical style” (Fiero 116), other features also played a significant role. These three major ideas, used in combination, are the Humanistic approach, the Realistic approach, and the Idealistic approach. The “Relief with a Dancing Maenad”, is a classical style of art that represents a time when “dance was prized for its moral value, as well as for its ability to give pleasure and induce good health” (Fiero 129). The picture depicted on this marble relief tells the story of a time when women of various ages also took part in specific religious festivals in honor of the goddess Athena, Dionysus and other sacred goddesses. “Self-perception of a young girl in Classical Greece was manipulated through behavioral instruction in the home, through the myths that reiterated social values, and through their participation in rituals that educated them in the values and mores of their community” (Hemingway). The mythical followers of Dionysus, known as maenads, were said to roam the forests singing and dancing with ecstasy. The movement of the dance is suggested by the swaying motion of her diaphanous draperies (Fiero 130).

In contrast to the Egyptians, Greek monuments of Classical architecture were designed to serve the living, not the dead. They believed in celebrating life here on earth, and not in the afterlife. Even though these temples still served as shrines for the gods, they also served as public meeting places and a storage place for religious and local treasures. The Parthenon, on the Acropolis of Athens, was a temple dedicated to the goddess At...

... middle of paper ...

...poetry, architecture, and art - establishing the building blocks for all to follow.

Works Cited

Fiero, Gloria K. "Chapter 5 The Classical Style." The Humanistic Tradition: the First Civilizations and the Classical Legacy. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2011. 113-36. Print.

Hemingway, Colette. "Women in Classical Greece | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Home. Web. 30 Sept. 2011. .

"Parthenon." SUNY College at Oneonta. Web. 29 Sept. 2011. .

"Sappho - Ancient Greece - Classical Literature." Classical Literature - Tragedy, Lyric Poetry, New Comedy, Satire, Epic Poetry ... and Much More. Web. 30 Sept. 2011. .

More about Ancient Greek Classicism

Open Document