Some of the most influential masterpieces of the western world were created as the result of a two century long building program in Archaic and Classical Acropolis. In the 6th century BCE a multitude of freestanding votive Kouroi and Korai were dedicated on the rock, and in the 5th century BCE the sculptures of the Parthenon lead the classical evolution.
Take a look at all the heads in line: one face looks toward our space, while the next looks forward in the mosaic's space. These line-of-sight shifts oscillate back and forth as we move our attention from head to head to generate a rhythmic interchange reminiscent of the iambic trimeter of poetic verse: x - u - x
Hermes stares at us (x), the leading horse stares forward (-), the second horse stares at us with emphasis (u), Hades stares forward (-), and Persephone stares behind us (x).
The Charioteer of Delphi is one of the most important sculptures of ancient Greece partly because it vividly represents the passage from the Archaic conventions to the Classical ideals. It exemplifies the balance between stylized geometric representation and idealized realism, thus capturing the moment in history when western civilization leaped forward to define its own foundations that braced it for the next few millennia.
Korai statues are the female equivalent of Kouros. There are several distinct differences between the two, with the most significant one being the fact that Kouros statues were almost always portrayed in the nude, while Kore were always clothed. Consequently, when studying the statues, we tend to focus on the development of anatomy in Kouros, and on the development of the dress for the Kore along with the facial expression.
Kouros, as was the case with the Kore statues, were almost always approximately life-size (some much larger), and with few exceptions were made of marble. They are depicted standing in a frontal pose with their left leg moved forward, their arms close to their bodies touching the side of their thighs, and they exhibit an almost strict symmetry as the different parts of the anatomy are depicted as simple geometric forms.
What has survived to our day from Minoan art provides insight into the culture that flourished in Crete during Prehistoric times. The art of the minoans speak of a society of joyous disposition, in touch with their environment, and in awe of the logical order of the natural world. Above all, the unearthed artifacts reveal a people who had developed a high degree of self-respect and a keen eye for observing and adopting to their physical environment.
Also see: Ancient Greece photographs for more Art