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.

greek sanctuary grid
Ancient Greek sanctuaries housed colossal cult images, temples, treasuries, and copious cult accoutrements, but they were also important artistic hubs.

Greek sanctuaries as artistic hubs

Preconceived notions of Black people are seared into our country’s collective consciousness; without an overhaul of the “black=slaves in perpetuity” trope, damaging stereotypes become ossified as facts for future generations.

Black Figures in Classical Greek Art

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