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Art Timeline

Patera handle in the form of a youth (late 6th century B.C.)

From the late 6th century B.C. to the early 5th century B.C., Greek made bronze paterae, or shallow basins, with figural handles. A typical youth sculpture stands on a palmette or a ram's head; however, this sculpture depicts a youth standing on a cicada which symbolizes antiquity. Cicadas were one of the most famous insects in Ancient Greece. It was a symbol of autochthony and they appear in the coinage of Athens, Zankle, and other city-states because they were earthborn and spontaneously generated from the soil. Furthermore, the combination of cicadas and youth may depict the myth of Eos, goddess of the dawn, and her Trojan lover, Tithonos, who was made immortal by Zeus at the request of Eos. However, Eos forgot to request for eternal youth that is why Tithonos aged away and turned into a wizened, chirping cicada (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d.).

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Statuette of Herakles (last quarter of 6th century B.C)

Herakles is a Greek god who is the mightiest son of Zeus and slayer of the most dangerous creatures. He is the greatest amongst other Greek heroes. He is portrayed in the statue not only as a hero of extraordinary strength and vitality, but also as a beautifully groomed and civilized individual. This bronze sculpture was probably commissioned for dedication to a sanctuary. Further history of legends about Herakles is that he performed several feats throughout his lifetime. This includes accompanying the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece, taking part in the Calydonian boar hunt, and engaging in an expedition against Troy (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d.).

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Sounion Kouros (590-580 B.C)

Sounion Kouros also known as the Statue of Kouros is noble figure of a youth that is one of the earliest freestanding sculptures in Attica. It is a classical depiction of a male youth which is nude, with left leg striding forward and hands clenched on the sides. Most statues were made in the Archaic period - 7th to 5th century B.C. - to serve as grave markers at that time or as dedications to sanctuaries of gods. The Greeks learned how to quarry stone and form statues from the Egyptians, that is why this follows the Egyptian art which exudes simplicity. Furthermore, Greek sculptures portray male with nudity. This sculpture may appear as stiff and uninteresting; however, it exemplifies two of the most important aspects in Archaic Greek art which are the interest in life-like vitality and the concern with design (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d.).

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Grave stele of a little girl (450-440 B.C.)

Grave Stelai is one of the Greek sculptures that are erected on graves in memory of the deceased. This portrays a little girl who stands in profile, exudes seriousness and her face is serene and strong. She holds a dove affectionately close while the other dove is depicted to be freed. It is like saying a farewell to her beloved doves. In the early times, children's grave markers are pictured as the children with their favorite pets. These doves must be the little girl's favorite pets. This sculpture is made out of Parian marble which is highly prized at that time because of its antiquity (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d.).

Statuette of the Diadoumenos (1st century B.C.)

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Connoisseurship and the origins of the discipline of art history began in the Hellenistic period. It was common that in this period, Greek statues in the 5th century B.C. were replicated. Its grace and slender forms is associated with the late Hellenistic taste in art and interpretations. This is made in Terracotta which is the most abundantly used because of its availability and inexpensiveness. The Greek city of Smyrna on the west coast of Asia Minor was among the most important copying centers, statues of the Classical and Hellenistic periods were replicated (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d.).

Relief with a dancing maenad (27 B.C.-14 A.D)

"As female votaries of Dionysos, maenads abandoned themselves to orgiastic festivities. They celebrated the rites of the god with song, dance, and music in the mountains, often clothed in animal skins." This is a dancing maenad who carries, the thyrsos, an object characteristic of Dionysos' retinue, which consists of a fennel stalk crowned with a pinecone and ivy berries. Analysis of her introspective expression, it contrasts with the exuberance of her drapery. Euripedes also described women as how they fell under the spell of Dionysos sing and dance in a state of ecstatic frenzy. It was expressed in his tragedy, the Bacchae: "When the ebony flute, melodious/ and sacred, plays the holy song/ and thunderously incites the rush of women/ to mountain,/ then, in delight, like a colt with its mother/ at pasture, she frolics, a light-footed Bacchant." (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d.).

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Statuette of a woman (3rd century B.C.)

This is one of the Tanagara figurines which were brightly colored with water-soluble paints. The woman in this statue has the red pigment in her hair. Also, it is styled in the melon coiffure with rows of twisted strands of hair. Furthermore, it can be seen that black pigment originally colored her eyebrows, eyes, and other details. Her flesh was painted with pale orange pink. Other interesting details is that are seen in the statue is that it is painted with original white slip and traces of blue pigment which is an expensive paint that is applied only in Tanagara figurines (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d.).

Statuette of a veiled and masked dancer (3rd-2nd century B.C.)

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There is a complex motion of the dancer that is depicted in the statue. This can be seen through the interaction of the body and the layers of the dress. The undergarment of the figure can be seen that is heavily trailed. Also, the figure wears a lightweight mantle that allows the motion to be further expressed. The woman's face is covered by a veil and her extended foot shows a laced slipper. "This dancer has been convincingly identified as one of the professional entertainers, a combination of mime and dancer, for which the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria was famous in antiquity" (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d.).

Statue of Pan (1st century A.D.)

This is the statue of Pan, the goat god, which is his usual form that includes shaggy hair, bearded man with the legs, horns, and tail of a goat. His head is turned sharply to the right and his back is bent. The statue was possibly a part of a fountain complex where the statue has a missing container which water may have gushed out. The strong torsion of the figure and the exaggerated facial expression are typical of the high baroque style developed during the second century B.C (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d.).

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Statue of Aphrodite (1st or 2nd century A.D)

Aphrodite, the goddess of love, is portrayed here as though surprised at her bath. Her arms reach forward to shield her breasts in a gesture that both conceals and reveals her sexuality. Statues of Aphrodite were abundant in the Hellenistic period. All of these statues were inspired by the works of the famous Greek sculptor Praxiteles. His work was the first statue that depicted Aphrodite without clothing. It was claimed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It exudes the same kind of modesty that of the Knidia and the Medici Venus (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d.).

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