Mycenaean civilisation collapsed. Dark age followed until the beginning
of the 8th Century BC - very little sculpture found from this time. But
the Geometric period emerged when all vases were decorated with geometric
shapes, animals and funerals. They were all highly stylized - eg stick
men etc. Sculpture on a small scale - statuettes and bronze (or clay)
figurines = often dedications discovered at religious sanctuaries (main
ones were Olymlpia, Delphi, Dodona). Very strong Eastern influence in
many works - executed by migrants from the East? Geometric sculptures
= very two-dimensional. Faces meant to be seen frontally as is the torso,
but legs etc from the side (in profile). Male sculptured in nude and females
Mid 7th Century BC - monumental sculpture emerges:
- the impression of durability - a memorial
- simplicity and clarity in its outlines.
First new style = Daedalic (not really monumental ) - 2 dimensional -
very distinctive patterned hair (long). Examples:
(a) Dedication (marble) of Nikandre (from Naxos) at the sanctuary of
Apollo and Artemis, Delos height = 5' 8" (Nat Mus Athens).
(b) "Venus" from Auxerre (Paris) (Limestone, with traces of paint)
- height = 24 1/2" (=c. one third of height of Nikandre figure).
(c) Bronze statuette of a man carrying a ram on his shoulders, from
Crete (head - Daedelic, the dress = Cretan). Later 7th Century BC -
height 7 1/8" - see Boardman's "Greek Art" p 63.
- Egyptian influence? - - the degree of this, if any, is disputed by
scholars. (1) Style emerges in second half of 7th Ceintury BC when there
was Greek contact with Egypt. (2) Similarities in appearance and pose
between the Greek kouroi and the Egyptian male statues (the latter had
very rigid conventional pose - nude, with loincloth - clenched fist
with uncarved cylinder of stone) - but Egyptian pose more static than
Greek. (3) Technique - Egyptians had meticulous craft technique - proportional
schemes for the representation of the human body determined in units
of height - grid system used. But the Greeks were far more flexible
in their approach. General characteristics - slow movement to naturalism.
NB the Archaic smile. Animals - popular - strongly rendered.
Kouroi - First one c 600 BC - very stilted - long hair in complicated
fashion. Examples -
- 'New York" Kouros (Met Mus of Art) and
- Sounion Kouros (Nat Mus Athens).
Between 600 -> 510 BC
- 'better" anatomical detail
- toes curved,
- muscles more realistic,
- legs and waist slimmer.
(cf Tenea Kouros (c 550 BC) - in Munich; kouros from Melos (c 550 BC)
- Nat Mus Athens; Anavyssos kouros - (c 520 BC) - Nat Mus Athens).
Between 510 - 490 BC
(a) Only 2 divisions of stomach muscles; (b) Neck, shoulders, eyes,
collarbone in particular become more "real"; (c) distribution of weight
introduced - cf Kritios boy (Acropolis Museum, Athens) - no archaic
smile - breaking away from old style.
Korai (plural of Kore)
- early 6th Century very masculine and very stylized. 570 BC -> hand
holds drapery. Hair long, heavy often with hats - they carry offerings
Statues used as dedications. Wear:
- Chiton (sleeveless with belt)
- Peplos (sleeveless overgarment)
- Mantle (over one shoulder)
- Epiblema (squarish drape)
550 to Late 6th Century BC:
- Hair in locks - more natural
- Heavy peplos only sometimes worn over chiton - latter = lighter and
- Hand has pulled drapery to the front
- Earrings etc worn - made separately. 530-520 - lead pieces added afterwards
Towards the end of the 6th Century BC texture of drapery becomes more
complicated - body begins to show through - its contours, outline etc
- "really beautiful" kore after 500 BC.
- "Berlin goddess" (also known as "Pomegranate' Kore - from Keratia
in Attica early 6th Century)
- "Hera" from Samos, dedicated by Cheramyes - circa 56O BC (Paris)
- "Peplos Kore"(circa 530 BC) (Acropolis Museum, Athens)
- "Girl from Chios"(P79 of Boardman's GA) (late 6th Century BC) (Acropolis
- "Antenor's Kore"also from the Acropolis (circa 530-520)
- "Acropolis Kore"674 (510-500 BC)