Comparing Roman and Greek Art Essay example

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Comparing Roman and Greek Art

Throughout history art has consistently reflected the cultural values and social structures of individual civilizations. Ancient art serves as a useful tool to help historians decipher some important aspects of ancient culture. From art we can determine the basic moral and philosophical beliefs of many ancient societies. The differences in arts purpose in Greece and Rome, for example, show us the fundamental differences in each culture's political and moral system. The primary objective of Greek art was to explore the order of nature and to convey philosophical thought, while Roman art was used primarily as a medium to project the authority and importance of the current ruler and the greatness of
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The Protogeometric and Geometric periods are good examples of such advanced thinking. The beginnings of the Protogeometric period display a distinct interest in mathematical order. During this period, artists decorated vases with circles and symmetrical patterns. As the dominant style changed from Protogeometric to Geometric, this order and precision was amplified. The popular ?circle and semicircle patterns were replaced by linear designs, zigzags, triangles, diamonds, and meanders? (Cunningham, 40). The increased interest in order seems to have been a reflection of the Greek fascination with nature, and man?s relationship to nature.

This interest in the order of nature eventually evolved into a fascination with the human form and the idea of human perfection. The way in which the perfect human form was portrayed by Greek artists was of a highly intellectual nature. The early sculptors of the period explored basic human anatomy and its aesthetic value, creating such sculptures as the Kritios Boy, of the Acropolis. The precision and realism of this sculpture captured a more accurate portrayal of the human form than ever before seen. This accomplishment in itself showed strong advancements in intellectual thought, and inspired future generations to further explore aesthetic and order. Artist such as Polyclitius later envisioned human perfection as a series of mathematical proportions. The
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