Altar of Zeus: New Style to Old Ideas Essay example

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Hellenistic art, let alone architecture, was a period of dramatic transformations that deterred greatly from the Greek Classical period. While the Classical Greek concepts were not entirely abandoned, the Hellenistic period expanded the formal horizons with dramatic posing, sweeping lines, and high contrast of light, shadow and emotion, something greatly different from the Classical artists ideas. The conventions and rules of the Classical period gave way to experimentation and a sense of freedom that allowed the artists of the Hellenistic period to explore their subjects from unique points of view that they had not previously done. The Altar to Zeus in Pergamon is the perfect representation of the Hellenistic period. Pergamon contained …show more content…
Its architecture has Greek form with a high structure of marble that shows off a large frieze portraying an epic battle on the base’s walls. The cracked figures on the frieze fight violently against each other, and even with the test of time, their features are descriptive and their faces show much varied expression. The most impressive part of the Altar of Zeus is the sculptural frieze depicting the struggle of the gods and the giants. It is clear on the altar’s frieze’s that the artist/sculpture of the alter worked towards a natural view of the characters on them, borrowed from the classical period but sculpted them to be in more of realistic portrayal. The construction of a frieze seemed to be a fairly popular architectural enhancement at the time; this outer frieze is one of the most famous. The sculpted figures on it create a new height of Greek realistic representations and architecture in modeling, composition, and expression of emotion. The emotions of the figures are one of the aesthetics that makes the frieze so unique and beautiful. As the battle scene is unified; the winning and losing sides are clearly cut. The artist makes the battle and its characters easily perceivable. The look of suffering in defeat is on all the giants’ twisted faces. Drastically opposite is Zeus and his fellow gods who are seen as completely expressionless. The overall style of the frieze is very intense, to say the

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