The Bronze Age is a period that lasted roughly two thousand years, approximately 3200 BC-1200 BC. It was a highly prosperous and competitive period in which pottery was significant, along with the use of metal and bronze for tool making and weaponry. This was a time of flourishing economic, social, and cultural organizations. There are many scenes from Homer’s epic poem The Iliad that were depicted on specific pieces of Bronze Age artwork such as: pottery, coins, and tools.
A sculpture, although not constructed during the Bronze Age, reflects similarities of artwork created during that time. This sculpture by Giovanni Francesco Susini made of bronze, and positioned on a gilt bronze base represents the moment when the Trojan prince Paris abducted Helen, the wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta, and carried her off to Troy. The Greeks then responded by mounting an attack on the city, thus beginning the Trojan war. The grouping of the figures in this sculpture displays the influence of the Italian Mannerist sculpture of the 1600s. The artist Giovanni welded the three bronze figures together in an intensely dramatic composition, almost as if they were on a stage. Paris is grabbing Helen as she is struggling to free herself from his grasp. Beneath Paris lies a women servant who is protesting the capturi...
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...ing hide the heavy weapon drove, ripping down and in through the breastplate finely worked, tearing the war-shirt, close by Hector’s flank it jabbed but the Trojan swerved aside and dodged black death.” (7, 222, 289-95) Homer writes many descriptive fight scenes throughout the poem that closely portray the painting on the storage jar.
The bronze age played a big role in producing arts and tools that showed life of the gods and goddesses within Greek mythology. The depictions of war heroes, acts of hatred, and act of love are all aspects of Homer’s The Iliad and personified in works of art from that time period. Seeing the correlation between the words of Homer and the bronze age artwork allows the details of mythology to be forever embedded in the history of Greek culture.
Homer, . The Iliad. Penguin Books, 1998. Print. Translated by Robert Fagles
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