During the campaign of Alexander the Great as the greatest conqueror of his time, his father, Philip of Macedon tried to unite the Greek city-states. During this time, Hellenistic period was born creating a major advancement on their art. It was also in this period, that a global battle in commerce and cultural influences which are apparently dominated by the Greeks. The Greek Hellenistic period span from 323 B. C. up to the Battle of Actio in 31 B. C. The Hellenistic period paved the way to many transformations of Greek art.
Though the Classical concepts in art were not thoroughly abandoned, the birth of the Hellenistic period made the artists create different and unique art concepts. The artists during this time explored and manipulated their imagination on their subject. It was also during this period that higher degree of Naturalism took place as a logical conclusion to great sculptors like Praxitelis and Lysipos whose works demanded for the art representation of the human figure.
In a Greek art (Boy Jockey), the bold expression of energy and power during great pressure was represented. The change of focus of the Hellenistic art from religious and naturalistic ideas and concepts to human expressions, psychological concern and theatrical background, paved the way to the sculptures that includes the natural physical surroundings with creative landscaping and theatrical groupings. The Nike of Samothrace is a sculpture that embraced the true meaning and understood the world through the application of certain techniques and aesthetic conventions.
The winged goddess with her outstretched wings gracefully prevents the stone from falling due to gravity. The sculpture also represented the physical human presence and the external force within it. The representation evidently speaks for the Greeks acceptance of the physical power of human being and all other external forces acting on it. The Hellenistic art in sculpture also represents human condition, state of mind and inconsequential moments of life.
It is represented through sculpture like a sleepy satyr, an old woman, a twist of torso and the swing of Aphrodite’s sandal. The statue of the beautiful Venus was contrasted by the monstrous appearance of Pan who happens to seduce her as she attempts to repel him with her smile. During this period, the statues of Aphrodite, Eros, Dionysius, Pan and Hermaphrodites were manipulated in styles and configurations to give way to the theme of eroticism. In order to represent the unique physical beauty of women and the Greek world, statues of female nudes gain popularity.
The statues of Venus in various orientations and poses were created and displayed in halls of many museums i around the world. Among the greatest work that personifies beauty is the sculpture of Venus de Milo. Many Hellenistic sculptors were not contented in depicting the true physical appearance of their subject. They included some variation through express the inner world. These variations were characterized through the depiction of physical characteristics that deceived inner feelings and thoughts.
The most important work considered during that time is the statue of Hygea which combined the concepts of Classical Greek art in its refinement and Hellenistic aesthetic ideals on its facial expression of concern to the previous condition that existed before her. Works Cited “Art of Ancient Greece. ” Museum Quality. 29 April 2009 http://www. huntfor. com/arthistory/ancient/anc_greek. htm Green, Peter. Alexander The Great and the Hellenistic Age. Orion Publishing Group Limited, 2008.
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