The Art of Homeric Greece (11th-8th centuries BC) - History of Art

The art of Homeric Greece (11th-8th centuries BC)

The Trojan War (1200 BC) marked the beginning of the collapse of the Achaean power. There were new Greek tribes in the Balkans - Dorians, who came from the north. They drove out the Achaeans and destroyed their culture to the ground. The Dorian tribes stood at a lower cultural level of development, and with their arrival the prehistoric period of Hellas ended. Cities and palaces were destroyed, trade and navigation were curtailed, ties with the eastern world stopped, internal migration of peoples began in search of new places. Historians call this period "dark ages". Archaeological excavations have shown us a picture of the formation of a new culture, manifested primarily in the funeral rite. The people of this time stopped building tombs common to all family members, and burials were made in an individual grave using cremation, as evidenced by found vessels with burned remains. Against the backdrop of centuries of human reflection on life and death during the "Dark Ages" new features appear. The meaning of cremation was the need to separate the spirit and body. Two parts of the world are divided, two parts of the human substance - the material remains below in the earth, with the mother, and the immortal spirit rises with the smoke of the fire to heaven to the father. "

The period of Greek history from the 11th to the VIIIth centuries. BC. it is customary to refer to as the "Homeric", since the main written source for its study was the poems of Homer "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in which the real history and myth are combined, where the ancient Greek cult of the hero, the brave and valiant warrior is formed. Such were the glorious heroes in Homer's poems: Ajax, Achilles, Diomedes. The image of the hero will pass through the whole further history of ancient Greek art.

In addition to literature, the only significant art in this period was ceramics, which remained in large numbers. There are two stages in ceramics: proto-geometric and geometric. The geometric nature of the vase-covering patterns gave a general name - geometric style - the art of the era.

In the period of geometric style, ceramics stood on a relatively high level both technical (the use of the potter's wheel, roasting), and the artistic level. The main production centers are Argos, Corinth and Attica. In the ceramics there were created many types of household and household utensils, providing not too complicated needs of the then life: simple bowls for food and pots for cooking food, wine bowls decorating the feast table (more elegant in form and ornamentation), and huge amphoras and pithos, intended for the storage of grain, olive oil, wine. The greatest artistic interest is represented by large clay vessels of a cult nature. These vases are richly ornamented. Connected with the cult of the dead, large amphorae were either used as receptacles of ash, or placed as a kind of monument over the grave. Usually the grave was filled with vessels and utensils necessary in the afterlife.

The most typical features of the developed geometric style are embodied in the amphorae of the early VIII century found in the Athenian cemetery found at the Dipilonian city gates, large (over one and a half meters tall) amphorae. BC. From the bottom up, the motifs of the horizontal pattern are gradually enriched. At first these are just parallel lines, then the tapes become wider, the ornament becomes more complicated. Finally, on the expanded upper part of the vessel, a large conventionally interpreted scene of mourning the deceased is given. The conditional nature of the image, the strict rhythm, the geometry of the ornament [meander] perfectly blend with the design of the vase. The aesthetic value of the ceramics of the geometric style consists in the striving of man to introduce into the incomprehensible and chaotic world the element of system and order. This era was a school for Greek artists of archaism and classics, the first period in the development of ancient artistic thinking, when a clear system of coordinates was built, according to which the vase was a model of the cosmos and a new world order.

thematic pictures

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)