Ancient Greece Art

Ancient Greece Art

Ancient Greek art stands out among that of other ancient cultures for its development of naturalistic but idealized depictions of the human body, in which nude male figures were generally the focus of innovation. The Ancient Greeks became known for their perfection in art.

Periods of Greek Art

1. Archaic Period

The Greeks from the Archaic Period made sculptures of men called Kouroi and women called Korai. These statues had similar features and stood stiffly with their arms at their sides.

2. Classical Period

During the Classical Period, Greek artists began to sculpt people in more relaxed postures and even in action scenes. The most famous works from this era include the statue of Zeus at Olympia and the statue of Athena at Parthenos.

Ancient Greece Art
The statue of Athena at Parthenos

3. Hellenistic Period

After Alexander the Great conquered much of Asia, the sculpture and artwork of the Greeks became influenced by the cultures and people they had conquered. This period is called the Hellenistic Period. This period saw new subjects including women, children, and common people appear in Greek art. Famous works from this era include the Venus de Milo, the Dying Gaul, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

Ancient Greece Art
Winged Victory of Samothrace

Greek Sculpture

Greek sculpture was meant to show perfection. They wanted to create lifelike images of near perfect humans. Unlike the Romans, the Greeks never showed human imperfections in their art.

Greek Columns

Greek Architecture was intertwined with their art. A big part of their architecture was their columns. The Greek columns have been used in western architecture for the past 2500 years. In Greek Architecture there were three main types of columns that were used: The Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. See below for examples.

Ancient Greece Art
Ancient Greek Order
Ancient Greece Art
Labelled elements in columns

Greek Painting

Written record shows that the Greeks enjoyed painting and that it was one of their most important types of art. However, very few of their paintings have survived as they were painted on wood panels or walls which have since been destroyed.


Ancient Greece Art

One place where Greek painting did survive was on pottery and ceramics. We can tell from the intricate detail and quality of work that the Greeks were very talented painters.


Greek art and architecture had a significant influence over western art for thousands of years to come. Much of Roman art and architecture was borrowed from the Greeks. Later, the artists of the Renaissance were inspired by the work of Greek artists.

Interesting Facts about Ancient Greek Art

  • Many of the original Greek sculptures were painted in bright colors and often included elements other than stone such as metal and ivory.
  • The painting of pottery was considered a high art form. The artists often signed their work.
  • The most famous of the Greek sculptors was Phidias. He was the artistic director of the Parthenon.
  • The Greeks used the lost-wax process to make bronze statues. This made it easy to make multiple copies of a statue.

If you want to know all about Ancient Greece, click here and read this post that explains the geographical, political, social and cultural aspects of this ancient civilization.


Ancient Greece Art

1. What were Archaic Period sculptures of women called?

a. Olympia

b. Hellenistic

c. Korai

d. Ionic

e. Doric

2. What was a common feature of sculptures from the Archaic Period?

a. Subjects stood stiffly with their arms at their sides

b. People were shown in action scenes

c. They were of common people and children

d. All of the above

e. None of the above

3. During what period did Greek artists begin to sculpt people in more relaxed poses and action scenes?

a. Classical Period

b. Hellenistic Period

c. Roman Period

d. Greek Archaic Period

e. Modern Greece

4. Which of the following was a style of column used in Greek architecture?

a. Doric

b. Ionic

c. Corinthian

d. All of the above

e. None of the above

5. What type of art are the Ancient Greeks most known for?

a. Painting

b. Photography

c. Drawings

d. Illuminated manuscripts

e. Sculpture

6. Why did so few Greek paintings survive?

a. Because they used water based paint

b. Because they destroyed an artist paintings when he died

c. Because they painted on wood panels and walls

d. Because they didn’t paint

e. All of the above

7. On what type of art did some Greek painting survive?

a. Pottery

b. Sculptures

c. Clothing

d. Columns

8. What do art historians call the unique style of Greek art developed during the Classical Period?

a. Impressionist Style

b. Cubism

c. Expressionism

d. Severe Style

e. Pop Art Style

9. During what period was Greek art influenced by the many cultures conquered by Alexander the Great?

a. Classical Period

b. Hellenistic Period

c. Roman Period Greek

d. Archaic Period

e. Modern Greece

10. True or False: The artists of the European Renaissance were inspired by the Ancient Greeks.



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