The legacy, which gives form to a classical tradition, can be identified through the analysis of artistic styles, the consideration of the function and role attributed to art, the evaluation of artistic production and artistic reception.
Although the first aesthetic and formal canons in Western Art are generally thought to have appeared in ancient Greece, the Roman culture, I believe, is the most important for later Western art. The Greeks ' taste for idealism in both the visual arts and architecture are characteristic often associated to the classical tradition. The idealized body and the gracious contrapposto pose of Polykleitos ' 450-450 BCE Doryphoros, as well as the harmonious geometry of the Parthenon 's architecture are two examples of classical elements which can be identified in later Western art.
However, the Roman culture was the first to fully grasp the potential of art and to begin the appropriation processes on which the classical tradition relies. By mastering and putting to use a various range of styles, such as the veristic style during the Republic, the revival of the Greek classical style during the Augustan period and the amalgamation of styles in architecture, Romans demonstr...
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...ious drive behind the production of art is the need to record an individual or collective experience of those social phenomena. The fostering of Christianity by Constantine in late Roman times, the pope 's designation of Charlemagne as Roman Emperor in Early Medieval times, the funding of religious buildings by patrons for their own salvation and the representation of Kings and Queens on facades of Churches and Cathedrals during the Gothic period are all illustrations of that relationship.
It is impossible to be indifferent to the Greco-Roman art in the West - its influence for instance is still clearly visible in the architecture that surrounds us today. The facts that we still find Greek sculpture aesthetically pleasing, that we practice daily similar rituals, or that the notion of empire has still not vanished attests to the longevity of the Classical tradition.
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