Ancient Greece

Classical

Even though this period is so brief, when you think of ancient Greek art, you likely think of the art produced during this period: the Parthenon, the noble caryatids on the Erechtheion, and the perfect proportions of the Doryphoros.

c. 450 - 400 B.C.E.

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Who owns the Parthenon sculptures?
Who owns the Parthenon sculptures?

Ancient Greeks made them, Ottomans captured them, Venetians blew them up, and the British took them away.

Temple of Athena Nike on the Athenian Acropolis
Temple of Athena Nike on the Athenian Acropolis

Don’t overlook this stunning, little temple, often called the pearl of the Acropolis.

Egyptian blue on the Parthenon sculptures
Egyptian blue on the Parthenon sculptures

Discover ancient sculptures as they were meant to be seen: in vibrant color.

The Erechtheion
The Erechtheion

Perched on a cliff high above Athens, this complex temple is very different from its neighbor, the Parthenon.

<em>Plaque of the Ergastines</em>
Plaque of the Ergastines

Bits of the Parthenon have been spirited all over the world—in Paris, a fragment shows religious life in Athens.

The Athenian Agora and the experiment in democracy
The Athenian Agora and the experiment in democracy

We recognize ancient Greece as the birthplace of democracy, but what did democracy really mean to the Greeks?

<em>Nike Adjusting Her Sandal</em>, Temple of Athena Nike, Acropolis, Athens
Nike Adjusting Her Sandal, Temple of Athena Nike, Acropolis, Athens

Compare this off-balance image of the goddess of victory to earlier classical sculpture.

The Parthenon, Athens
The Parthenon, Athens

Learn about the great temple of Athena, patron of Athens, and the building’s troubled history.

<em>Grave stele of Hegeso</em>
Grave stele of Hegeso

See the mastery of form developed in the Classical period translated to private art on this solemn gravestone.

Myron, <em>Discobolus (Discus Thrower)</em>
Myron, Discobolus (Discus Thrower)

Coiled with athletic energy, balance, and the promise of movement, see the potential of an idealized human body.

Caryatid and Ionic Column from the Erechtheion
Caryatid and Ionic Column from the Erechtheion

These graceful female figures replace columns—how did human form and architecture relate in ancient Greece?

Phidias, Parthenon sculpture (pediments, metopes and frieze)
Phidias, Parthenon sculpture (pediments, metopes and frieze)

Discover stunning depictions of gods, heroes, and mythical beasts in the most influential sculptures in history.