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Ancient Greece in Art

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Ancient Greece’s culture greatly esteemed the ideals of beauty, moderation, harmony, stability and balance, among other values.  Culture had these values incorporated within the day to day life of the Greek people, impacting on all areas of their social life including art (Kleiner, 2009). Illustrations of these values could be seen in all forms of art coming out from the antique Greek society. Same values are depicted from contemporary Greek art, which will be analyzed in view of the social, political and cultural environment of ancient Greece (Stavrou, 2010).

Art provides a representation or a picture of how a given society views life and other things within their environment. Greek art portrayed their social values and their high regard for order and perfection; which also extended to their political and cultural life (Pomeroy & Donlan, 2007). In all these various forms of art, ideals of aesthetics, harmony and balance are also presented in contemporary Greek art of the 20th and 21st century (Stavrou, 2010).

The above picture shows a Greek vase. The earthen water vase made from clay is a common feature in many homes. Beautifully adorned with drawings and patterns all around it presents great aesthetics to the viewer. It is a pleasing piece of art to look with the analogous colors and shades of brown complementing each other. The people of Greece appreciated beauty in all aspects of their social life (Honour & Fleming, 2005).

The above pictures show different forms of art depicting philosophies, ideals and values within the ancient Greek society. Finding words that could collectively describe the pictures may not be such an easy task, for such excellent pieces of art. Nevertheless, a lengthy look at the different arts reveals beauty, uniformity and stability. The beauty is clearly revealed by the appealing nature of the vase, the wonderful design of the Parthenon temple pillars and entrance, and the magnificent display of the arrayed rocks in figure 3. A greater sense of the aesthetic appeal from the separate art forms is achieved from the balancing of the different aspects of the art into a harmonious relationship with each other. The Greeks viewed their society as made up of different sections. Leading ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and Socrates had laid ideals adopted within their culture, describing order as resulting from unity of all section of the entire Greek society (Honour & Fleming, 2005). Ancient Greeks viewed the undesirable chaos as a consequence of incongruence between all vital aspects of the society. All cultural, political and social developments within their society consequently reflect great harmony and agreement uncharacteristic of many ancient societies.

Social stability is an ideal that was immensely espoused by the ancient Greeks (Stavrou, 2010). The architectural design of the Parthenon, as seen in figure 2, had pillars all around it to offer support to the entire temple. Security was assured of all adherents flocking to the ancient temple (Pomeroy & Donlan, 2007). Another depiction of their unique stability can be illustrated by the arrangement in figure 3. The tapering structure looks fragile at first, but a lengthy look reveals the smaller holding the upper stones. Stability within the entire ancient Greek was yearned for by all of its members.  Despite the fact that it was divided into city states, ancient Greece was still a unified and stable society, held together by their unified ideals (Pomeroy & Donlan, 2007).

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