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Art in Classical Societies

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Throughout the history of mankind, art has manifested itself in a variety of ways. It has indeed played a key role in the civilization of man. The desire for man to appreciate aesthetics was imminent in the development of artistry work. The fact that art not only gives man the desired beauty, but offers entertainment to man while at the same time serving as the custodian of the society’s culture. Historians for instance have been able to discover a lot about ancient civilization through the study of ancient artfacts. By studying the paintings discovered in the tombs of the pharaoh’s revealed much about the Egyptian’s belief in life after death. This research paper discusses the importance of selected pieces of art drawn from the ancient civilization.

Classical Greece

Discobolos (the discus thrower) is one of the famous statues that were made by Greek sculptors during in the classical era. Sculpture is one of the genres of art that the ancient Greeks employed in storage of vital information. Statues were a common phenomenon in this civilization since one had to have only a single glance at it and then his/ her imagination would do the rest of the job. During period, the statues were also found to be crucial in the decoration of churches and other important buildings. They gave these buildings the aesthetic value they so badly desired. Important city squares were also to derive their beauty from sculptural work.

      As time moved, people came to discover statues to be a way of showing one’s status. The Classical Greeks investing in statues. The rich people men in the society were able to identify

themselves with the most famous sculptors of their times. The sculptors would make statues through which the men would be remembered long after they were gone. These statues were represented an important step in the civilization. They were vital in the departure of man from a simplified view thing to a more complicated perspective. The people’s culture was also vital in the development statues. The fact that rich men wanted to stand out

from the commoners meant that they embrace aesthetics. This way, competition among the sculptors grossly enhanced the quality of the statues that were made.

Hellenistic Greece

      This period, being a transition from the Classical period, artistic achieved further refinement. Painting as an art was greatly appreciated by the Greeks in this era. Panel Painting, wall painting and polychromy were all embraced. A good example of painting work of this period is the Fayum mummy portraits and similarly the Severan Tondo. The paintings

represented the culture of the people. For example, a painting of the tombs tells you that these

people buried their dead and therefore cremation automatically fades away from your mind.

 On the other hand, the paintings of people having worship postures tells you that these

people had a belief in some form of supreme powers.  

      The culture of Hellenistic Greeks was greatly modified by paintings. Paintings have the

ability of eliciting creativity in a man’s mind. Through thinking creatively, people were able

to modify construction plans of their buildings. During these days, doing things routinely was

common, however, with painting, an artist’s level of creativity was not limited but instead

free. Culture on the other hand also affected the paintings. The artist in

their painting work used materials drawn from their culture. They drew what they saw, and  later modified it with time.

Etruscan Civilization

      Religion was an important element of the Etruscan people’s art. There could not have

been a better way of showing the people’s close connection to God than use of figurative

sculpture as was the case in terracotta, especially in churches. The statues for example, were

made large enough, comparable to the life size of objects. By their ability to express life after

deaths, the statues in church were highly respected during this civilization. They greatly

influenced the life of people. They restored peace and calm among the people especially

during hard times. They gave people the strength to soldier since their presence signified the

presence of supreme power, to which they could resort to whenever they were faced with

problems. The people’s culture in return determined the development of sculptural work.

Roman Republic

      Portraits are just but one of the many genres of art that describe this civilization. Evidence

of massive use of artistry work through portraits is seen in the Roman coins. Portraits of Denarius and Julius Caesar just but an example of the importance of the artistic work

 during this period. The portraits further tell us about commerce during this period. Presence

 of uniform coins, traceable through the portraits indicates further that there existed

geographical boundaries beyond which leaders of the Roman Republic could not extend their powers.

Roman Empire

      The artistic works of this period increasing were the increase of Christian imagery.

Through sculpture, the people’s culture is perfectly described during this period. For instance,

whereas in the past images portraying Christian and pagans could both feature on the same

Piece of artistic work, this was not to be the case beginning from fourth century through

seventh century A.D. Art was therefore very important in communicating one’s belief during

 this period. The culture of the people defined the nature of artistic work. This is witnessed

when Christians shun away from statues bearing the image of men since from the Old

Testament, this would be translated to mean idol worship.

      Art played a key role in the civilization of man. Different genres of art have been useful

throughout the civilization. Sculptural work was key in conveying crucial messages

throughout different periods.

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