Classical Art

Surviving Pitsa Panel from Archaic Greece

Classical Art, also known as Classicism, refers to paintings and sculptures created by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Decorative arts began around 1050 B.C. in Ancient Greece, and was later passed down to the Ancient Romans. Classical Art set the precedent for much of Western Art, including themes that would appear in art for centuries. Many speculate that the look of Classical Art is the direct result of Greek ideologies. In particular, Greeks seemed to have a refined view of humans, and, in particular, believed perfection was possible for humans.

Many scholars analyze Classical art and see a restraint on the part of the artists. There is a conservatism with which Classical artists generally paint. The paintings show restraint in the expression of themes. Greek artists also generally went to great lengths ensuring their paintings were physically rational. This means that the proportions of objects, people, and backgrounds were carefully mastered.

Panel Paintings on wooden boards were very respected, in addition to sculptures and wall paintings. Paintings generally depicted portraits, figural scenes, and still-lifes. Paintings were done with wax, but not many survived to the present day. Greek art spread to Egypt and Italy, in addition to other cultures that adopted certain hallmarks of classical art. Throughout the millennia, there have been many classical revivals, most notably in the Middle Ages and again a couple centuries afterward, which is often referred to as Neoclassicism.

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