Hum100 - Artistic Themes from Ancient Cultures: Greece and Rome

1237 Words Jan 18th, 2009 5 Pages
Artistic Themes from Ancient Cultures: Greece and Rome

It is hard to think of the ancient world without looking at the Greek and Roman empires. Although similar, the Greek and Roman empires are two different cultures. They existed from 500 B.C.E. to 500 C.E. (Fiero, 2006). One constant in both cultures was their pursuit of perfection in their art and architecture. This paper will examine this pursuit of perfection in both cultures and how their impact is felt in the modern age.
One of the most stunning facets of ancient Greece was the art that was created. The Greek artisans made the jump from mere rough images during the Minoan time, to the startling life like sculpture and art of the Greek culture. This time is referred to as the
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By the end of the classical age, Greek sculptors had reached perfection in form and movement. This meet “Aristotle’s idea of excellence as the exercise of human will dominate by reason” (Fiero, 2006).
Excellence was shown in the architecture of the day as well. Known the world over, the Parthenon is seen as the ideal Greek structure. Built using the Doric order, every aspect of the Parthenon is built to eliminate negative optical effects to maximize the beauty (Fiero, 2006). Even though the structure itself is magnificent, the artwork that adorned the building is impressive as well. Many of these pieces are now in the British Museum in London; they showcase men on horseback, gods, centaurs, and many other Greek themes.
Unfortunately, much of the legacy from the Greek art world has been lost. Luckily, the Roman Empire took many of the same fundamentals used by the Greeks and adapted it to their own style. There are many examples of Roman sculpture and architecture still existing in the world today. Each of these pieces showcases how the Romans struggled to achieve perfection in their own way.
Roman sculpture turned towards the celebration of Roman victory and homage to the gods and Emperor. Like the Greeks, the Roman artists moved towards the realism aspect of sculpture. Many of the pieces are beautifully crafted and look startling real. In contrast with the Greeks, the Romans focused more on the reality and eschewed the use of idealism…