381-399 of 399 results  for:

  • Ancient Greece and Hellenistic States x
Clear all

Article

D. C. Kurtz, Elizabeth Moignard, John H. Oakley, Jody Maxmin, Heide Mommsen, Lucilla Burn, Mary B. Moore, Nicolas Coldstream, Beth Cohen, Johannes Burow, Maria Pipili, Bettina Jeske, Margot Schmidt, Diana Buitron-Oliver, H. A. G. Brijder, Ian McPhee, Reinhard Stupperich, Adrienne Lezzi-Hafter, Irma Wehgartner, M. A. Tiverios, Thomas Mannack, A. Lebel, L. Berge, Mathias Prange, Susan B. Matheson and Warren G. Moon

This article covers Greek and South Italian vase painters of the 7th–3rd century bc. Vase painters distinguished by small capital letters have separate biographical entries within this article.

D. C. Kurtz

Ancient Greek vases can be classified by period, place of production, fabric, shape, technique, and decoration. It is also possible to identify styles of individual artists when sufficient vases have been preserved from a single area of production over a significant period and when these display similar decorative figures and patterns. Most Greek vase painters so far identified were active either in Athens during the 6th to 4th centuries bc or in 4th- and 3rd-century bc South Italy. The painters have been more often identified than the potters, partly because scholars have tended to concentrate on vase decoration rather than shape.

Greek vase painting is actually line drawing on the curved surfaces of clay vases made for particular functions to which the figure scenes sometimes allude. Patterns are an integral part of the decoration and remain important even when figures occupy the major part of the painted surface. The rendering of patterns and figures on individual Athenian vases is usually so consistent that one artist must normally have been responsible for both. Since human figures dominate most scenes, it is often assumed that stylistic elements in their execution should be the primary basis for determining attribution. This is, however, incorrect: examination of the figures is only the final stage in the process of attribution. Initially the shape must be examined, then the technique of decoration, the patterns, the iconography, and the overall design of the painted elements. None of these can be assessed in isolation, and attribution remains subjective, although when many features can be taken into account and many contemporary vases are available for comparison this mode of classification is greatly strengthened. Few other art forms, in effect, offer such copious material for attribution....

Article

Luca Leoncini

Marble statue of a semi-nude Venus (h. 2.04 m; Paris, Louvre; see fig. ). Its twisting composition is probably the work of the Greek artist Alexandros of Antioch on the Meander, active in the 2nd century bc, who in turn was inspired by a pre-Hellenistic model. The artist’s name was incised on a block of stone that was found together with the Venus but later lost. A few scholars in the past doubted the connection between the block and the statue and hence the attribution of the work to Alexandros. Some attributed the work to Praxiteles, and the loss of the inscribed block may have been engineered to support this theory. The statue was found in 1820 by a peasant on the island of Melos. When found it was in two pieces, along with other fragments. It was bought by the Marquis de Rivière, who donated it to Louis XVIII, King of France. The latter in turn donated it to the Musée du ...

Article

Celebrated work of antique sculpture. It depicts a nude Venus, her head turned to the left, her hands covering her breasts and genitals (h. 1.53 m; Florence, Uffizi; see fig. ), and is perhaps the work of an Athenian follower of Praxiteles of the 1st century bc, probably based on a bronze original derived from the Aphrodite of Knidos. On the base is an inscription attributing it to Kleomenes the Athenian. The inscription is certainly spurious but, as Ennio Quirino Visconti noted, it may have been copied from an original signature. The statue, which was in the Villa Medici in Rome perhaps from the end of the 16th century, is documented there with certainty in 1638 by the three plates that François Perrier devoted to it in his survey of the most beautiful statues of Rome (Segmenta nobilium signorum et statuarum). In 1677 Pope Innocent XI approved its transfer to Florence, where the following year it was exhibited in the Tribune of the Uffizi. In ...

Article

Vergina  

Manolis Andronicos

Village c. 64 km south-west of Thessaloniki, Greece, once the site of ancient Aigai, the first capital of the Macedonian dynasty. Excavations, begun in 1861 and recommenced in 1938, have continued into the early 21st century; structures uncovered include a prehistoric tumulus cemetery, a large Hellenistic palace, a theatre, a small temple, the city walls, remains of houses and eleven monumental vaulted tombs, of which four are royal burial vaults. The many important finds are now in the Archaeological Museum, Thessaloniki.

The palace (end of the 4th century bc) is one of the largest surviving buildings of the Hellenistic period (104.5×88.5 m). Its design is simple but impressive, with rooms arranged around a courtyard to form a harmonious architectural ensemble. The complex is divided by a central axis into two parts, north and south. Along the whole north side runs a long, narrow verandah facing northwards on to the Macedonian plain. The most formal room in the palace is a circular chamber, the ‘tholos’, in which the inscription ‘to Herakles the ancestor’ was found. The most luxurious rooms were in the south wing and had mosaic floors. Only one of these, with rich plant ornament, survives. The east wing, where the entrance was, had a second storey. All the surviving architectural elements bear witness to the care with which the palace was constructed. The theatre dates from the same period. It had stone seats in the first row only; the rest must have been wooden. The ...

Article

D. Evely

In 

Article

Article

Louise Schofield, C. D. Fortenberry, Stefan Hiller, O. T. P. K. Dickinson, Lyvia Morgan, D. Evely, Reynold Higgins, Margaret A. V. Gill and Susan Sherratt

In 

Article

Reynold Higgins

In 

Article

Article

Article

(b Stendal, Dec 9, 1717; d Trieste, June 8, 1768).

German art historian. His writings on the sculpture of ancient Greece and Rome redefined the history of art and provided a theoretical apologia for Neo-classicism. Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums (1764) was a standard reference on the art of the ancient world until well into the 19th century. Winckelmann revolutionized archaeological studies by providing a framework for stylistic classification of antiquities by period of origin, whereas previous antiquarian scholars had concerned themselves almost exclusively with questions of subject-matter. His analysis of the aesthetics of Greek art and his account of the conditions that encouraged its flowering, which highlighted the importance of climate and the political freedom of the ancient Greek city states, had a major impact in the art world of his time. His scholarly celebrations of masterpieces of ancient sculpture were particularly popular and were widely quoted in travel books and artistic treatises.

The son of a cobbler, Winckelmann studied Greek and Latin, as well as theology, mathematics and medicine, at the universities of Halle and Jena. After five years as a Classics teacher in Seehausen, he was employed in ...

Article

Margaret A. V. Gill

In 

Article

( fl Athens, c. 280 bc). Greek sculptor and writer. Though none of his work has survived, three statue bases signed by a Xenokrates and dating from the early 3rd century bc are extant. According to Pliny (Natural History XXXIV.lvxxxiii) he was a pupil either of Euthykrates, the son of Lysippos, or of Teisikrates, the pupil of Euthykrates (thus closely associated with the Sikyonian school of sculpture headed by Lysippos; see Greece, ancient §IV 2., (iv) ), and he ‘surpassed them both in the number of his statues, and wrote volumes about his art’. In the only other mention of Xenokrates in the text of the Natural History (he is also cited in the index to book XXXIV as having written a treatise on the working of sculpture in metal) Pliny named him, along with Antigonos of Karystos, as the source for the observation that the painter Parrhasios was a master draughtsman (XXXV.lxviii). In fact, Pliny’s whole discussion of the history of sculpture and painting is generally regarded as having been heavily influenced by Xenokrates. In this system, both arts gradually evolved towards perfection as each succeeding artist added something new, such as proportion or the rendering of certain details. In both cases the sequence culminated in a great master of the Sikyonian school, Lysippos in sculpture and Apelles in painting. Perhaps because he was a practising sculptor himself, Xenokrates seems to have used formal and technical criteria, rather than a work’s subject-matter or moral effect, to evaluate artistic achievement. Numerous references to the history of painting and sculpture in writers other than Pliny are thought to derive from Xenokrates’ accounts: he was the art critic best known to the Romans of the late Republic, whose taste he greatly influenced....

Article

Martha C. Nussbaum

(b Athens, c. 428/427 bc; d ?Athens, c. 354 bc).

Greek general, historian and writer . From a wealthy Athenian family, he became an enthusiastic follower of Socrates. Shortly before Socrates’ death, he left Athens. He served as a general under Cyrus in Asia Minor and later accepted the patronage of Sparta, where he settled and wrote most of his major works. His writings include histories (Hellenica, Anabasis) and narratives of Socrates’ philosophical activity (Memorabilia, Apology, Oeconomicus, Symposium).

Xenophon’s Memorabilia, written some time between 370 and 354 bc, includes two dialogues (III.x.1–8) between Socrates and contemporary artists. The historical status of the two conversations is unclear, but since Xenophon’s aim was to show that Socrates had made new beneficial contributions to the city, it may be assumed that the ideas expressed in the dialogues would have been found both correct and novel by Xenophon’s audience. In the first, Socrates asks the painter Parrhasios how he uses colour to represent (...

Article

O. T. P. K. Dickinson

In 

Article

Susan Sherratt

In 

Article

Zagora  

R. A. Tomlinson

Site on the west coast of the Greek island of Andros in the Aegean, which was established in the 9th century bc and flourished for approximately two centuries before being abandoned. It occupies the flat top of a promontory, with sheer cliffs on all sides except the north-east, which was defended by a massive fortification wall. The settlement was clearly sited for defensive reasons rather than convenience, and this reflects the troubled period of its existence, the Greek Dark Ages. The fortification wall (9th century bc) is a most interesting and rare example of Dark Age defensive works. It is some 140 m long and varies in width from around 4 m at its northern end to about 3 m at the only gate, near its southern end. It is built of unworked local schist and marble. The gate is set back, with an outwork to the north flanking the entrance passage. Within the fortified area, part of the town has been excavated by ...

Article

Zeuxis  

Susan B. Matheson

( fl late 5th century bc–early 4th).

Greek painter . Zeuxis of Heracleia achieved wealth and fame as a painter in Athens around the time of the Peloponnesian Wars (431–404 bc ). Pliny (Natural History XXXV.xxxvi.61) stated that Zeuxis began working in the fourth year of the 95th Olympiad (397 bc ) and that writers who dated him to the 89th Olympiad (c. 424 bc ) were mistaken. According to Pliny, Zeuxis was the pupil of either Demophilos of Himera or Neseus of Thasos. Both were active around 424 bc , perhaps explaining the confusion of other authors concerning Zeuxis’ own date.

No paintings by Zeuxis survive, but ancient descriptions of his style suggest that he used painterly methods rather than line to create an illusion of three-dimensional form and depth. His main rival, Parrhasios , continued the linear tradition of Apollodoros by emphasizing outline and using hatching to suggest light and shade. Anecdotes record informal competitions between Zeuxis and Parrhasios in the creation of optical illusions (see Pliny: ...

Article

Susan Langdon

[now Ayios Vasilios]

Site of an Early and Late Bronze Age town in the Corinthia of southern Greece, midway between Argos and Corinth. Excavations at the Zygouries Hill in the Kleonai Valley were conducted by Carl Blegen in 1921–2 for the American School of Classical Studies, revealing an important sequence of Bronze Age settlements. The Early Helladic (eh) phase (c. 3600/3000–c. 2050 bc) was the most abundantly represented, with at least ten houses of mud-brick on stone socle construction arranged close together on narrow streets. The rectangular, flat-roofed, two- and three-roomed structures with fixed central hearths provided one of the first definitive examples of Early Bronze Age domestic architecture. Contemporary graves yielded a broad variety of eh pottery, small gold, silver and bronze ornaments, numerous figurines and stone tools. Like its neighbours Tiryns, Asine, Lerna and Ayios Kosmas, Zygouries suffered a severe destruction at the end of ...