Ancient Greece And The Golden Age Of Hellenic Art

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The excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the 18th century provided the world with an incredible source of artworks ranging from fresco’s, paintings, sculptures, mosaics and ceramics. These artworks have been a major source of information about art and history in the ancient world. However, what is significant about many of the art works is their connection to Ancient Greece and the the Golden age of Hellenic Art. So why this fascination for the ancient Greeks? It was a sign of sophistication to know about ancient Greece and it was fashionable especially amongst the wealthy class to replicate ancient Greece in their daily lives. It is important to remember that Pompeii and Herculaneum was at the time a seaside resort for the rich and the elite. They built large and beautiful villas and could afford to fill them with Greek art. Many had commission artists from Greece to create this art. To quote Paul Zanker, professor of art history in his lecture on Italian art ‘To Live with Myths in Pompeii and Beyond’ “these myths have fully retained their exemplary character and have in no way been reduced to a decorative repertoire. Just as for the Greeks, here, myths had the power to speak to an individual about his own situation, to stir up emotion and to provide guidance”. End of quote. CHANGE SLIDE Most of the artworks come from the private villas. A striking feature of these residences is their magnificent floor mosaics. Floor mosaics have given insights as they depict
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