Week 3 Assignment: Classical Societies Essay Sema Ramdas HUM 205 Instructor. Collis October 7th, 2012 For centuries Classical societies have lent their contributions to art and have amazed us then and still continue to do so. Art is a broad topic and in order for us to explain a specific piece of art we must first analyze the artwork precisely. I am choosing art from Classical Greece, Hellenistic Greece, Etruscan Civilization, Roman Republic, and Roman Empire society and I will examine a piece of art from each of those periods.
The art works that I have chosen from each period are Polykleitos the Younger, theater, Epidauros, ca. 350 B. C. E, from the Classical Greece period, Portrait bust of Alexander the Great, Roman copy of a Greek original of ca. 330 B. C. E, from the Hellenistic Greece period, Tomb of the Reliefs, Cerveteri, third century B. C. E from the Etruscan Civilization, Temple of Vesta, ca. 80 B. C. E. , Rome from The Roman Republic, the Colosseum, Rome, dedicated 80 C. E. from the Rome Empire. The Polykleitos the Younger, theater, Epidauros was a place where the Greeks gathered to watch plays.
This outdoor amphitheater was capable of seating up to sixteen thousand people and it was built into the slope of the hillside. The hills would echo the actors’ voices. The Greek dramatists usually wrote plays to be acted in this theater based on actual events. For example Agamemnon, dramatizes the story of the murder of the Greek king, Agamemnon, who upon returning from the Trojan War was slain by his wife and her lover. The relationship between the art and the culture is they were very oriented with their history, and enjoyed the merriment of the plays and public gatherings.
The genre of the art influenced the culture by showing the Greek people as being close to one another and liked being in the company of their people. Portrait bust of Alexander the Great showed that the interest that he Greek people had in their leader. He was responsible for expanding the Macedonian Empire. The relationship between art and culture is that everyone feared Alexander, they knew his capabilities and what his accomplishments were and how he got them done. He brought about a mingling of Eastern and Western cultures through his policies and conquests, he also believed in interracial marriages.
He brought people together through his means as well as their history and their cultures. The Etruscan Civilization has many artworks that show the type of people they were. The Tomb of Reliefs was one such piece of art. This type of tomb was used to bury families and this particular tomb could hold as much as forty bodies. Much like the Egyptian tombs these tombs were furnished with gold, weapons and vases which made it a target for grave robbers. The relationship between the art and the culture shows the value this civilization places on family, that even after death they remain together.
The culture influence that genre of art because this civilization placed pride in their families and wanted to know that even in death they are comfortable. The small round Temple of Vesta was located at the east end of the Roman Forum and this was a holy spot since the earliest times; the temple was rebuilt several times. The building contained holy objects, including the Palladium, a statue of Pallas Athene which the Romans believed had been rescued by Aeneas from the flames of Troy. The shrine contained the sacred heart of the goddess, and its fire had to be re-lit by the Vestals each March 1 by rubbing two sticks together.
Here the Vestals also kept sacred water and the sacred cake (mola salsa) used in many rites of the state religion. The relationship between the art and culture is that these people had sacred beliefs and celebrated them annually. They help strong to their beliefs and honored them by building temples to commemorate them. The culture influenced this genre of art by letting the people carry on their traditions generation after generation. The Roman Empire has guided us in the world of art by giving us works like the Colosseum, this was dedicated in 80 C. E.
This was a place that people would gather for entertainment. This type of building was developed by the Romans, and unlike the Theater Epidauros this theater housed over fifty thousand people. This amphitheater was built because it was official policy that the states should provide entertainment for the public. This entertainment included bloody combat, human versus human, human versus animal, animal versus animal and naval battles. The relationship between art and culture was that the government saw an importance in keeping the public entertained and did something about it.
They had the interest of the people at hand, even though the morals may have been questionable. The genre of The Colosseum is manifestation of that culture stone, and stood as a symbol of the Romans and their sports. References 1. Ancient Library Sources (from Peter Aicher, Rome Alive: A Source Guide to the Ancient City, vol. 1, Bolchazy-Carducci: 2004, http://www. romereborn. virginia. edu/ge/TS-064. html 2. Benton, J. R. & DiYanni, R. (2008). Arts and culture: An introduction to the humanities, Combined Volume (3rd ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.