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    Hellenistic Period and Classical Age

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    What where the artistice achievemnts of the Hellenistic period in comparison to those of the classical age. How exactly were they different?

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    To answer this question, let's first review a bit of Greek history. The Classical age began around the time of the sack of the Acropolis by the Persians in 480 B.C. and ended around the time of Alexander the Great around 323 B.C. This general time span can be further divided into the Classical period (480 - 400 B.C.) and late Classical period (400 - 323 B.C.).

    In the world of art, the great strides made by the Greeks were in the area of sculpture - particularly sculpture which represented the human body. We don't have as many examples of Greek painting today, although we know that they did produce that type of art as well. Before the Classical period, Greek figural sculpture tended to be rather stiff, lacking in natural bodily proportions and limited in the amount of realistic definition and details throughout the body. The figures were typically standing straight up, with hands by their sides, and nude. The general name for this type of figure was the "kouros", which simply means "youth". A good example of this in the New York Kouros, which dates to c. 600 B.C.

    Around 480 B.C., we see a shift in figural sculpture in Greece with the statue called the Kritios Boy. This statue shows a nude youth standing straight up, but he is different than the older kouros statues because his physique was modeled much more naturally and the size of his body parts in relation to one another was more like that of a real person. But even more significant than this was his stance; the Kritios Boy is seen in a stance called "contrapposto". This simply means that he is depicted to look like he is standing with his weight shifted onto one leg while his other leg is more relaxed. While ...

    Solution Summary

    Hellenistic period and classical age are examined. How these are different are determined.