classicism n.
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CLASSICISM PowerPoint Presentation


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  1. CLASSICISM Ancient Greece & Rome 800 B.C – 450 A.D.

  2. Philosophy of Art • The arts present the universal idea of beauty through logic, order, reason and moderation. • The purpose of the arts is to show perfection in human form and structure.

  3. Characteristics of the Arts • Art forms focus on the humanistic element • “Super human” images and structures prevail • Stories and dance expand on emotion • Music is intellectual and scientific


  5. Greek Art • Ancient Greece gave us the basis for most of our formal structures and images • Their ideals have been the measuring stick by which other styles were evaluated

  6. The Devine Ratio: Phi • The concept was first promoted by the Greek geometer Euclid • It is based on the Fibonacci Sequence {1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,etc.} • Like Pi, it is an irrational number {1.618033988…} • We just call it 1.618

  7. More on Phi • It is said to exist in nature and dictates the best proportions that are pleasing to the eye

  8. The Golden Section • This is the geometric equivalent of Phi • It can be applied to most works of art to determine their use of the Elements of Art through the Principles of Design • The Greeks were masters in its’ use

  9. The Parthenon • The signature structure of Greek architecture • Innovations include: post & lintel construction, sloping roof, colonnade • A perfect example of the ideal of Phi • Basis for design of Washington D.C.

  10. More Parthenon • Built as a temple to the goddess Athena • Designed to be the feature building of the Acropolis • Uses all Elements of Art in its’ design

  11. How It Probably Looked

  12. The Discus Thrower • Completed by Myron in 450 B.C. • The best example of classic Greek sculpture • Shows the ideal of the perfect human form • Well developed body in motion

  13. The Column

  14. Pythagoras – Music Theory • Pythagoras was the first to experiment with and discuss the science of sound • He discovered that two strings of equal tension produce the same sound. • When divided in ½ the shorter string produces the same pitch 1 octave higher

  15. Ancient Greek Music • Music was inseparable from poetry and dance • It was made up of mostly a simple melody with instrumental accompaniment • Used in story telling and celebration

  16. Major Instruments Lyre Kithara Aulos

  17. Purposes of Music • To tell stories – Many of Homer’s tales were sung to the audience • To dance – either to tell stories or histories or convey emotion • To celebrate – The festivals of the God Dionysus required music for merry making

  18. Greek Drama • Drama was a major source of entertainment in ancient Greece • Performances would last for days usually organized around seasonal festivals • Audiences could be as large as 30,000 people

  19. More Greek Drama • Stories included tragedies and comedies • Tragedies: Stories in which the protagonist loses • Comedies: Stories in which the protagonist wins

  20. Oedipus Rex • Tragedies were quite popular • One of the most famous is Oedipus Rex by Sophocles • It is the story of a man who kills his father and marries his mother to the ruin of all

  21. Medea • Medea by Euripides is considered the greatest tragedy and is still performed today • It tells the story of a woman scorned by her husband • She kills him and later their children in order to protect them

  22. Drama Basics • Presentation is similar to that of the Japanese Noh • All actors are men • Masks are worn to portray emotion and character elements • Plots have many twists and turns


  24. Literature - Homer • Poet writer of great epic tales • The Iliad: The story of the siege of Troy • The Odyssey: The story of Ulysses’ wanderings • These document many of the Greek myths and histories

  25. Plato • Considered the father of modern thought • Developed the concept of the modern Democracy • His writing “The Republic” is written in dialogue form to make his ideas understandable

  26. Socrates • A contemporary of Plato’s • Believed in thought and teaching – ideas and knowledge are living things • One should do what is right even when universally opposed

  27. Aesop • Thought to be a slave in the 6th Century B.C. • Wrote fables that told stories giving a moral message • Used animals as human characters • “The Tortoise & the Hare” is an example


  29. Ancient Rome • Rome was the largest geographic and strongest political empire of Europe for almost 1000 years • While great innovators, they were not the creators that the Greeks were

  30. Roman Art • Because of their Etruscan heritage, the Romans were influenced by the Greeks • Very interested in portraits • Focused on reality more than Greeks

  31. More Roman Art • Later in the history of the Empire, they used art as propaganda for the greatness of Rome • Throughout their history, they only gave religion a passing glace in their art

  32. Innovations • The Romans shared a love of large decorated structures with the Greeks • This lead to advancements in building like: • Concrete • Arches • Domes

  33. Aqueducts • Built to supply the city of Rome with water • When Rome’s population was 1 million, the aqueducts supplied 1 cubic meter per person per day • Arch construction was used to bridge valleys

  34. The Coliseum • Built as a source of entertainment for all • Could seat 50,000 spectators • Trap doors in the floor allowed for different entrances to the field • A whole city existed below stage level • Could be flooded for water battles

  35. Coliseum II • A canopy could be extended to give the spectators shade • Home of the famous gladiator battles • Also battle recreations, animal fights and other gruesome games were seen

  36. The Pantheon • Built as a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets • The dome is concrete and meant to point to he heavens • The opening is 27 feet wide and the source of light

  37. Pantheon II • It’s reflection of the Parthenon is evident from the front view • The temple is a perfect circle capped by the dome • It is another example of Phi • Said to be the model of the US Capitol

  38. Interior Views