I was drawn to the late fifth century of Greek work. On June 323 BC, Alexander the Great died and the Greek society was going through some change. The empire starts to fall a part due to the lack of direction they had after their leader passed away. Alexander’s work of being Greece to Rome begins to disappear after he died. Art became more dynamic and not as idealistic. Hellenistic Style (323-31 BC) became more about the individual. They start to depict normal people doing normal people activities compared to the heroic figures seen in the previous eras of art. There is some artwork that consists of gods or heroes, but they are more expressive. They tried to add more emotion into their art. For example, during this time sculptures had greater amounts of expression in their facial expressions and positioning. I think one of the reasons why I like the Hellenistic style is because of how its soft, naturalistic depictions of people compared to the Archaic and Classical Style. I enjoy how the Hellenistic Style is more focused on the idea of everyday life. I feel like it makes it more relatable and easier to connect with. The amount of emotion and movement in the pieces creates more interest and excitement.
The piece I found on the MET’s timeline is a terracotta vase. It is from the Hellenistic period around 3rd-2ndcentury BC. On the vase it has four women painted on it. The scene is thought to be a bride with her servants. Usually Greek ceramics were made to be used and a certain purpose. The description of the artwork on the MET explained that this vase is unique. The vase’s lid is attached to the top of the it, which means was used for symbolic purposes only. It is thought to be related to a place in Centuripe in Sicily. The detail was created by using techniques like polychromy. It was possibly created to be placed in a tomb. The reason I picked this piece is because I love how detailed this vase is and the scene that it is portraying.
I had the privilege of visiting the Pantheon in person on my junior’s abroad trip. It was much larger than I expected like most places we saw. Pantheon is a place where ancient Romans would worship their gods. Patheon translated means, “to every God.” The amount of detail was incredible. The most obvious feature is the hole in the ceiling, which is thought to bring the Roman people closer to the Gods they worshipped. There are drains placed under the hole for when it rains. The building is one of the oldest in Rome and is a burial place for people like Raphael. The other places we have studied about including the Stonehenge, ziggurats, and the Pyramids all address the spiritual needs of their builders. The Stonehenge was a burial site. It was a place to respect the dead and represent the unknown of what happens after death by arranging the stones based on the sun/moon. The Ziggurat of Ur was built to worship Nanna, the moon goddess. They created a drainage system for winter rain called Ur to escape, which is similar to how the Pantheon operated. The pyramids acted as a burial place as well. They would house the bodies of the rich. The architecture of these places all represent the spiritual intentions of their builders. They differ in the way they are structured and a little in what they were used for. They have some similarities, such as with being connected to a certain person or people. They were all built in respect and dedication for specific people or gods. We have similar sites like this in our current world. There are many statues created in remembrance of influential people like Martin Luther King Jr. and multiple presidents. The idea that these places all have in common is that they act as signs of respect for important individuals.
Below are some of my pictures from my visit at the Pantheon: