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  • Print publication year: 1992
  • Online publication date: March 2008

8a - Art: Archaic to Classical

from 8 - Greek culture, religion and society in the fifth century b.c.


The naturalism of the late Archaic period was distinctly untypical of the Greek artistic tradition as a whole. From the Geometric period onward every successive style of Greek art has regularly been disciplined by strict canons of formal order. The conflict with the Persians, as Herodotus and Aeschylus make clear, was as much a moral as a military one. The story of high classical Greek art is for the most part the story of Athenian art, and it is in the great monuments of the Periclean building programme that the emerging dual nature in the art of the time is most apparent. The clear, patterned forms of Archaic and the simple solidity of Early Classical drapery are replaced by irregular eddies, furrows and shadows. Capturing impressions seems to have become an end in itself in much of the art of the last three decades of the fifth century.
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