Ancient Greece: c. 800 – 31 B.C.E.

Ancient Greek art was collected in ancient Rome, studied during the Renaissance and formalized in the 19th century. It is the most influential art ever made.



Euphronios, Sarpedon Krater
Gods carry away the dead on a pot looted from a tomb, trafficked out of Italy, bought by the Met, and finally returned.

Euphronios, Sarpedon Krater


This pot stood above a grave, and the female mourners depicted on it tear out their hair in grief.

Terracotta Krater







Exterior side A (detail), Panathenaic prize amphora of a chariot race, 490-80 B.C.E., red-figured cup, attributed to the Foundry Painter, Attica, Greece © The Trustees of the British Museum.
Running, wrestling, and boxing: like today, athletic victory would bring you fame and prestige in ancient Greece.

Olympic games





Eleusis Amphora
This ancient pot depicts not one, but two myths: Perseus slaying Medusa and Odysseus blinding the cyclops.

Eleusis Amphora


The island of Siphnos used its great wealth to earn the favor of the gods through art, architecture, and offerings.

Siphnian Treasury, Delphi



The god Apollo spoke through his priestess at Delphi, and Greek cities competed for his favor with offerings.

Sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi








Contrapposto
The ancient Greeks mastered the naturalistic representation of the human body, and the Renaissance revived it.

Contrapposto


The Erechtheion, 421-405 B.C.E., Classical period, Acropolis, Athens
Perched on a cliff high above Athens, this complex temple is very different from its neighbor, the Parthenon.

The Erechtheion