The art of Ancient Greece became that pillar and foundation on which all European civilization grew. Three major stages can be distinguished in the history of the development of Greek antique sculpture: archaic, classical and Hellenistic. Each has something important and special. Let's consider each of them.
This period includes sculptures created in the period from the 7th century BC to the beginning of the 5th century BC. The era gave us figures of naked youthful warriors (kuros), as well as many female figures in clothing (bark). Archaic sculptures are characterized by some schematic, disproportionate. On the other hand, each work of the sculptor is attractive for its simplicity and restrained emotionality. The figures of this era are characterized by a half-smile, which gives the work some mystery and depth.
The goddess with pomegranate, which is stored in the Berlin State Museum, is one of the best-preserved archaic sculptures. With external roughness and irregular proportions, the attention of the viewer is attracted by the hands of the sculpture, made by the author brilliantly. The expressive gesture of the sculpture makes it dynamic and especially expressive.
Kuros from Piraeus, decorating the collection of the Athens Museum, is a later, and therefore more perfect work of the ancient sculptor. In front of the viewer is a powerful young warrior. A slight tilt of the head and hand gestures speak of a peaceful conversation conducted by the hero. Disturbed proportions are no longer so striking. And facial features are not as generalized as in the early sculptures of the archaic period.
Most of the sculptures of this era are associated with antique plastic art.
Such famous sculptures as Athena Parthenos, Olympian Zeus, Discobolus, Dorifor and many others were created in the era of classics. History has preserved for posterity the names of the outstanding sculptors of the era: Polyclet, Phidias, Miron, Skopas, Praxiteles and many others.
The masterpieces of classical Greece are distinguished by harmony, ideal proportions (which indicates excellent knowledge of human anatomy), as well as internal content and dynamics.
It is the classical period that is characterized by the appearance of the first naked female figures (Wounded Amazon, Aphrodite Knidos), which give an idea of the ideal of female beauty in the heyday of antiquity.
Late Greek antiquity is characterized by a strong Eastern influence on all art in general and on sculpture in particular. Complex angles, exquisite draperies, numerous details appear.
Oriental emotionality and temperament penetrate the calm and majesty of the classics.
Aphrodite of Cyrene, decorating the Roman Museum of Term, is full of sensuality, even some coquetry.
The most famous sculptural composition of the Hellenistic era is Laocoon and his sons Agesander of Rhodes (a masterpiece is kept in one of the Vatican museums). The composition is full of drama, the plot itself involves strong emotions. Fiercely resisting the snakes sent by Athena, the hero himself and his sons seem to understand that their fate is terrible. The sculpture is made with extraordinary precision. The figures are plastic and real. The faces of the heroes make a strong impression on the viewer.