The Origins, Development, and Impact of Greek Sculpture

The Beginnings of Greek Sculpture

Greek sculpture was an aesthetic tradition that began in the 7th century BC with the advent of Archaic period. Before this time, there is evidence from mainland Greece and Crete of small-scale human figures carved in stone and clay, although these figures have been interpreted as idols or votive offerings. The earliest surviving large-scale example of ancient Greek sculpture is a marble kouros (a male figure) from Attica dated to around 600 BC. This statue was an important development because it marked the beginning of a shift away from stylized representations to more naturalistic forms. It is also notable for its sense of movement and balance, making it one of the most iconic pieces of ancient Greek art. Following this breakthrough, many other sculptures were created in different media such as bronze and terracotta over the next few centuries. These examples often depicted gods or heroes in action poses and with realistic facial features, furthering the development towards realism which would become a staple feature of later Classical period sculptures (480-323 BCE).

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