Greek Art and
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Follow along with your worksheet to complete the required questions and activities.
Architecture of Ancient Greece
Greek life was dominated by religion and so it is not surprising that the temples of ancient
Greece built to honor their gods were the biggest and most beautiful. They also had a political
purpose as they were often built to celebrate civic power and pride, or to offer thanksgiving to
the patron deity of a city for success in war.
Complete questions 1 and 2 of Part A (Greek Architecture) in your worksheet.
Then sketch the examples of the Ionic Orders in question 3.
Make sure that you look for the three types of orders in the visuals to
follow on the next slides. Look for examples of all three types.
Greek Orders
The Greeks developed three architectural systems, called orders,
each with their own distinctive proportions and detailing. The Greek
orders are: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.
The Doric style is rather
sturdy and its top (the
capital), is plain. This style
was used in mainland Greece
and the colonies in southern
Italy and Sicily.
The Ionic style is thinner and
more elegant. Its capital is
decorated with a scroll-like
design (a volute). This style
was found in eastern Greece
and the islands.
The Corinthian style is
seldom used in the Greek
world, but often seen on
Roman temples. Its capital is
very elaborate and decorated
with acanthus leaves.
Greek Orders
The Parthenon
Built as a temple of Athena
Parthenos ("Virgin") in the Doric
Style, the Greek goddess of
wisdom on the Acropolis in
Athens. The Parthenon was built
in the 5th century BC, and despite
the enormous damage it has
sustained over the centuries, it
still communicates the ideals of
order and harmony for which
Greek architecture is known.
Can you identify
what Greek order
was utilized?
Temple of Erechtheum
A temple from the middle classical period of Greek art
and architecture, built on the Acropolis of Athens
between 421 and 405BC.
Can you identify
what Greek order
was utilized?
The Erechtheum contained sanctuaries to Athena Polias, Poseidon, and Erechtheus. From the
body of the building porticoes project on east, north, and south sides. The eastern portico,
using the Ionic style, gave access to the shrine of Athena, which was separated by a partition
from the western portion. The southern portico, known as the “Porch of the Maidens” from the
six sculptured draped female figures that support it, is the temple's most striking feature.
The Temple of Apollo
The Greeks built the Temple of Apollo at Didyma,
Turkey (about 300 BC). The design of the temple
was known as dipteral, a term that refers to the
two sets of columns surrounding the interior
section. These columns surrounded a small
chamber that housed the statue of Apollo. With
columns reaching 64 ft high, these ruins suggest
the former grandeur of the ancient temple.
Can you identify
what Greek order
was utilized?
A remarkable feature of this temple is
the use of all three Greek Orders—
Doric outside and Ionic and Corinthian
within. Most of the building is of a hard,
fine-grained grey limestone, but marble
was used for the sculptures and the
more decorative parts, including the
ceilings. The temple has other
peculiarities. It faces north, instead of
east (as did its predecessor) and the
statue of Apollo was placed in an
adyton, or inner sanctuary.
The Temple of Zeus at Athens
The most ornate of the classic orders of architecture, Corinthian
was also the latest, not arriving at full development until the
middle of the 4th cent. B.C. The oldest known example, however,
is found in the temple of Apollo at Bassae (c.420 B.C.). The
Greeks made little use of the order. The temple of Zeus at Athens
(started in the 2nd century B.C. and completed by Emperor
Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D.) was perhaps the most notable of
the Corinthian temples.
Can you identify
what Greek order
was utilized?
Finish up question 3 in Part A (Greek Architecture).
Right mouse click , previous to return to previous slides on Greek
architecture. Are you ready to start Greek Art?? Okay, here we go….
Jewelry of Ancient Greece
The beginnings of Greek jewelry can be traced back to
remote prehistory. Masterpieces of exceptional
workmanship and finesse have been found in Crete
and on other Aegean islands where the Minoan
civilization flourished. To this day Greek silver- and
goldsmiths draw creative inspiration from Homer's
remarkable descriptions of Achilles' shield, of
Aphrodite's girdle, of the gold door knobs in the palace
at Troy.
Jewelry of Ancient Greece
In antiquity jewelry also accompanied man after life; being deposited with the dead along with
other personal objects, which is why many pieces are found in excavations of graves. Many of
the traditions of the ancient Greeks were adopted by Christianity, such as the custom of
dedicating jewelry to the gods in order to thank them or to seek their protection.
This custom lived on in the new religion in the form of
votive offerings, whereas that of burying man together
with his beloved possessions died out. The use of
jewelry as amulets continued too: the coins of the
founders of Byzantium, Constantine the Great and his
mother Helen, were worn as phylacteries, as was the
cross, paramount symbol of the Christian faith.
Jewelry of Ancient Greece
The great changes that mark the Hellenistic age (330-27 BC),.initiated by the conquests of
Alexander the Great and increased contacts with the East and Egypt, affected the art of jewelry
too. Not only is the abundance of gold astonishing but also the creation of new types of jewelry
and the introduction of other decorative themes.
A new style was achieved by using semi-precious and even precious stones, such as chalcedony,
cornelian, amethyst, rock crystal and principally garnets.
An important type of earring appeared around 330 BC
and predominated in Hellenistic and early Roman times:
the hoop with finial in the form of heads of animals,
maenads, negroes or of a full figure of Eros and other
Complete question 1 of Part B (Greek Art).
Done yet?? If so, let’s move on to something for which the Greeks will
always be remembered… Greek Sculpture.
Sculpture of Ancient Greece
Greeks portrayed the gods in very similar
fashion as they did the regular humans. There
were no distinctions of size or body make up in
their sculpture which would suggest that the
gods where greater or more powerful than the
humans. This is also similar in Greek stories,
where the gods are shown to have very human
characteristics, both good and bad.
The Greeks were blessed with a large supply of marble, which was what they used most in their
sculptures. Bronze was also used in their artistic work of humans.
There are three main periods of Greek Sculpture; Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic.
Sculpture of Ancient Greece
The Archaic period was the earliest period in Greek Sculpture which started around 600
B.C. and lasted until 480 B.C. These works have a stiff and ridged appearance similar to
that of the Egyptian sculpture.
The second period, the Classical period, was between the Archaic and Hellenistic
times. The Classical period shows a very large shift from the stiff Archaic to a more
realistic and sometimes idealistic portrayal of the human figure. Females, after the
5th century B.C., were depicted nude, often with flowing robes. The robes gave the
sculpture the idea of movement and realism in an effort by the artist to show humans more
The third period, the Hellenistic period, started a little before 300 B.C. To the average
person, it is more difficult to see the distinctions between the Classical and Hellenistic
period. Both periods did the majority of their sculpture as nudes. The Greeks portrayed a
young, vigorous, and athletic person in their works. These works idealized the individual
and in a way, attempted to capture the idea of youth and strength in their design. The
works reflect the commonly held views of youth, strength, and courage which were
encouraged in the Greek City states.
Complete question 2 of Part B (Greek Sculpture).
Now that we understand the periods of Greek sculpture, let’s take a look at
some. Please select two of the following three sculptures to analyze.
Art of Ancient Greece
c. 450 BC
Roman marble copy after the bronze original by Myron
height 155 cm (61 in)
Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome
Select two of the three
sculptures and complete art
analysis exercise on your
Art of Ancient Greece
The "Agamemnon" Mask
Gold, from Tomb V at Mycenae
Sixteenth century BC
National Archeological Museum, Athens
Select two of the three
sculptures and complete art
analysis exercise on your
Art of Ancient Greece
Venus de Milo
Parian marble, h 2.02 m (6 1/2 ft)
Found at Milo
130-120 BC
Musee du Louvre, Paris
Select two of the three
sculptures and complete art
analysis exercise on your
You should now be finished with your entire worksheet.
We hope you have enjoyed this brief tour of Greek Art and
Architecture. We hope to see you again soon!