Greek art


The Greek art is the result of the mix of different elements of Greek culture during its development, elements that were the basis of Western culture. With the human body as the fundamental motif of their works, they sought a way to express movements and emotions through it, associating it at all times with the myths of the time, literature and daily life in Greece. Greek art models have been classics for those of us today and their architectural styles have been recreated for many years.


What is Greek art?

Greek art is a mixture of elements that together formed the basis of Western and Greek culture through the adoption of ancient cultures and the perfection of the elements that it included, creating a new and innovative art.


Characteristics of Greek art

Greek art is a broad and interesting subject, its main features and characteristics are the following:

  • Use aesthetic idealism to give a perfect vision.
  • His works have proportionality and balance.
  • They seek to represent the human figure in a perfect way, both in drawing and sculpture, so they focused largely on athletics to show perfect, muscular bodies.
  • It is based on anthropocentrism .
  • They manifest nature as an idealized form full of simplicity and proportion, clarity and unity.
  • His knowledge in anatomy was extensive.
  • They highlighted the gods Zeus and Athena at all times.
  • They focused on the use of Greek mythology to make their sculptures.


Greek art was part of the Hellenistic culture and it was not a homogeneous type of culture as it had a variety of tribes that formed it that at the same time were united by common ancestors who shared the same language and religion . The historical antecedent that marks the starting point of Greek art was the Invasion of the Dorians in the 12th century BC It arose together with the crisis of Athenian democracy and the Peloponnesian wars that were already shown in the type of dramatic sculpture of the time that together with realism they tried to express human feelings without neglecting the religious part.


The historical origin of Greek art dates back to the movements carried out by peoples during the Bronze Age , a period between the first and second millennia before our time, approximately in the years 1100 and 100 BC. The invasions of the Balkan Peninsula by the Achaeans created different colonies in which the Greeks imposed their civilization, resulting in a civilization with similar characteristics.

Stages of Greek art

  • Geometric Stage : Originated between the 10th and 8th century BC. Its name comes from the type of pottery that was made. The human figure appears highly schematized and the vessels used in funeral rituals predominated . The main theme of this period was death and it occurred mainly in Athens. During this period, pixels, pitchers, triglyphs and sculptures were created.
  • Greek art What is it, characteristics, background, history, stages, worksArchaic Stage : It is located from the 8th to 6th century BC and is characterized by the expansion of the Greek polis using tyranny as propaganda. Within its commercial activity , important changes take place and the first cities and temples appear that changed sculpture and ceramics. Importance was given to religious worship so important stone religious buildings and sanctuaries were built.
  • Classical Stage : Understood between the V to IV century BC and in this stage Greece reached its fullness in all fields, mainly in the field of sculpture . It was influenced by the culture of Egypt and Babylon from which a cultural miscegenation emerged. The style of art at this stage was called severe style, and bronze and marble were the most widely used materials.
  • Hellenistic Stage : Between the 3rd to 1st century BC Greek culture spread across the Mediterranean . It is the most baroque stage of art and there was a great demand for architectural, sculpture and painting works.

Importance of Greek art

Greek art is the basis of European and Western culture, setting a precedent that remains today, its classical models and sculptures have been created throughout history . In addition, it was the basis of neoclassicism , which we see represented in different public buildings and of a solemn nature.


The main element was the columns made of limestone or marble . They built theaters, stadiums and racetracks, but the most important was the temple that kept the statue of the divinity. Their temples were rectangular and had rooms with the image of a God. The columns had to have three parts: the architrave, the frieze and the cornice and they enjoyed great proportion and harmony.


It was their main artistic manifestation and they focused on the human body that represented different heroes, divinities and people. They attached great importance to proportion , balance and beauty using marble and bronze . They went from representing static figures to creating figures with movement and realism .


Religious , civil and funeral themes were pitched and it was considered an art. They painted on tables and ceramics, maintaining the hegemony of lines and drawings full of colors. They used tempera paint and encaustic with fresco paint. The most used colors were red, yellow, black and white. They staged legends and historical battles , portraits, cartoons and landscapes.

Representatives of Greek art

  • Polykleitos
  • Phidias
  • Voyeur
  • Hornbills
  • Agoracritus

Outstanding works

  • Parthenon
  • Erechtheum
  • Epidaurus
  • Apollo
  • Discobolus
  • Diadumber
  • Athena of Varvakeion

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