Art and Architecture • Dark Ages through the Archaic Period
The Dark Age • c. 1000 - 750 BCE
Proto-Geometic Pottery • c. 1000 - 800 BCE
Terra-Cotta Centaur c. 950
Proto-Geometic Krater c. 950
Proto-Geometic Amphora c. 950
Geometric Pottery • c. 800 - 700 BCE
The “Dipylon Krater c. 750 BCE
The “Theban Krater” c. 700 BCE
The Archaic Period • c. 750 - 479 CE
Pottery of the Archaic Period • c. 700 - 479 BCE
The Oriental Phase • c. 700 - 600 BCE
There are three clearly distinguishing features of the Orientalized period: 1. Extravagant ornamentation 2. Floral motif 3. mythological animals
“Analotos Amphora” c. 675
The “Animal Pitcher” c. 650
Proto-Corinthian Aryballos c. 650
Corinthian Olpe c. 600
“The Blinding of Polyphemus” amphora c. 650
Though the Greeks would copy their eastern neighbors during the late phase of the Dark Age, they would become suspicious of extravagance in the Archaic Period. Realism and balance would come to dominate what would be distinctively Greek art.
Archaic Pottery • c. 600 - 479 BCE
“Black Figure” pottery derives its name from the method of glazing the clay. Rudimentary shapes would be glazed (in black) and detail would be added by etching lines into the glaze after firing.
“The Achillies” amphora c. 530
“The Suicide of Ajax” c. 540
“Dionysus” kylix c. 540
“Heracles and the Nemean Lion” amphora c. 525
In each of these examples we see black figures crated by the glaze and etching . So, “Black Figure” pottery is easy to identify by its black figures!
Greek potters later learned that even more detail could be produced by reversing the glazing process producing a “negative effect.” This style came to be know as “Red Figure” since the figures are the color of the clay, highlighted by the glaze.
Note how the black glaze causes the figures to stand out in more detail.
On this amphora we see both styles combined for added effect (c. 540)
Black Figure Red Figure
Not only does the Archaic Period see dramatic innovation in pottery, it is also the period when distinctively Greek Architecture begins to appear.
Greek architecture is divided into three distinct phases: 1. Doric 2. Ionic 3. Corinthian
The Doric style, with its thick unadorned columns, dominates the Archaic period. The Ionic and Corinthian orders will emerge in the Classical period.
Basilica, Paestum Italy c. 550 BCE
Temple of Hera Paestum, Italy c. 460 BCE
Temple of Aphaia Aegina, Greece c. 500 BCE
Plan and Reconstruction of Temple of Aphaia
Temple of Concordia Agrigento, Italy c. 430 BCE
Stone statuary of the Archaic Period is dominated by two different types of art with two different functions: Pedimentery sculpture as decoration on public buildings and votive figurines used for religious purposes in temples.
Votive sculpture most often represents male and female youth and are thus categorized as Kouros (young male) and Kore (young female) statues.