And then I thought of a question that I am curious of your answer to...Which period of Greek sculpture do you admire most?
First, there was the Archaic Period, where the Greeks implemented Ancient Near Eastern artistic traditions of rigidity and complete frontality, where interaction with the universe about the statues was kept at its minimal.
Then there was the Classical Period which was filled with more lively sculptures, as I personally believe that these sculptures have been more publicized in society. It was the time when Greek sculptors and philosophers began to embrace and emphasize the ideas of movement and realism, as they used their tools to ignite them within the carved bodies. And as these great thinkers began to depart from the constraints of stillness held in the previous sculptures, revolutionary concepts like the contrapposto stance (according to dictionary.com, = a representation of the human body in which the forms are organized on a varying or curving axis to provide an asymmetrical balance to the figure...In other words, it's a principle of weight shift in the visual arts) began to shape and set themselves in stone.
And finally, there was the Hellenistic Period of Greek sculpture, where not only the emotion and technique within the carved bodies heightened, but also the range of subjects that were carved. Instead of only creating models of philosophers and athletes that exhibited the ideal human body, many other types of people were portrayed such as lower-class citizens. And with the more accentuated lines and curves of the carving technique paired with the intensified emotions, the faces and gestures of the figures began to be presented much more dramatically and provokingly. With these sculptures that had evolved greatly from the motionless, emotionless pieces of work of the Archaic Period that had changed to the more realistically and smoothly rendered human bodies of the Classical Period, one can say that the ever-stretching minds of the Greek sculptors and thinkers had not stopped at pushing themselves through the barriers of societal expectations and ideas, even the expectations of people living today like us.
I guess just by comparing the sizes of the last three paragraphs, you can easily figure out which period of Greek sculpture I prefer...And you are right, I do prefer to mostly admire the Hellenistic Period! But this is not to say that I don't appreciate the other two periods--I definitely love the way that sculpted figures of the Classical Period look as if they're about to come alive, as I admire the way the Archaic sculptures symbolize an unbreakable connection between the Greek civilization and the Near Eastern civilization that didn't allow any boundaries to counter it.
As you ponder the differences between these three periods of Greek sculpture, which one of them seems to cause the greatest reaction from within you? Please share what you think; and even if you can't decide between them, feel free to share any ideas you may have on what you think of Greek sculpture in general. :)