Ancient Greek sculptures have a very important place in the history of sculpture as it was greatly influential and laid the foundation for Roman sculptures. Myron, Phidias, Polyclitus, Praxiteles, Scopas, and Lysippus are among the most famous artists in Ancient Greece.
Archaic period (8th to early 5th century BC)
This was the first period of Greek sculptures and a great Greek influence of Ancient Greek Sculptures can be noted at this time. There was an emphasis on creating perfection in human form. However, most of the statues created during this time period appear very rigid and unnatural.
They reflected a body being assembled in pieces much in the way a mannequin might be created today. Despite the shortcomings, the Greeks were the first to create free-standing statues during this period.
Classical period (5th to 4th century BC)
Discobolos (The Discus Thrower) by Myron in the Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome is one of the most famous classic Greek statues from this period. Myron’s athlete engaged in the discus throw boasts vigorous and convincing movement in a perfectly made form.
His flexing muscles and concentrated expression create the impression of a tightly stretched bow a moment before the string is released.
Hellenistic period (late 4th – 1st century BC)
This period starts near the end of the 4th century and lasts until the Roman invasion in the 1st century. It was during this time that the Greek Statues and Sculpture spread throughout the world as the Greek empire continued to expand. During this period, an even greater emphasis was placed on generating dynamic movement and extreme poses in the art.
The Greeks used many different types of materials in their sculptures including stone, marble, and limestone as these were abundant in Greece. Other materials such as clay were also used but due to their brittle nature very few have survived.
By the early 19th century the systematic excavation of ancient Greek sites brought forth a plethora of sculptures with traces of multicolored surfaces. Some of these traces are still visible to the naked eye even today, though in most examples the remaining color has faded or disappeared entirely once the statues were exposed to light and air.
Ancient Greek Sculptures
Greek sculptures are very important as the vast majority of them tell us a story about Gods, Heroes, Events, Mythical Creatures and Greek culture in general.