Women in ancient greek art essays

The role of an Athenian woman in Greek society was minimal. By comparison to present day standards, Athenian women were only a small step above slaves by the 5th century BC. Athenian women can be classified into three general classes. The lowest class was the slave women, who carried out more of the menial domestic chores, and helped to raise the children of the wife.

The second class was that of the Athenian citizen woman. The third class was known as the Hetaerae. Hetaerae women were given an education in A lidded container, circa BCE and attributed to a follower of Douris, used to hold makeup or jewelry, depicts a scene of adornment. It is unlikely that gatherings of this size were commonplace for Athenian women, as women were essentially isolated in their individual houses, without the company of others. Be that as it may, it is much more desirable to see a vase painted with the joyous and ultra-feminine atmosphere of wedding preparation and beautification than a woman quietly tending to the house alone.

Ancient Greek Art And Art

Domestic life encompassed young women, too. A red figure water jar from approximately BCE attributed to the Phiale Painter depicts young girls in dance lessons, training to become hetairai. Girls were not given a childhood, per se, rather, they were taught how to be women from an early age. A driving force within Greek culture, to the extreme that physically beautiful people were seen as more divine. While the Greek Gods were represented through the human form, they were not technically humans.


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A red figure lekythos bottle circa BCE attributed to the Group of Vienna is decorated with the story of the beauty contest that sparked the Trojan War. Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite surround Paris, awaiting his decision. The expectations of female beauty within the divine are resting on the shoulders of a mortal man. Beauty is considered a key component of divinity, and yet the winning beauty among three Goddesses is being decided by a human prince.

By bringing this story to women through the medium of vase painting, which allowed illiterate women to understand their own religion, it not only supported the idea that the female form is, at the end of the day, an instrument of beauty, it diluted the divine power of three Goddesses down to their mere sexual attractiveness.

In the same way that depicting the female form as a Goddess drew attention to the cultural importance of the female body, the physical shape of a vase could also have significance. By zeroing in on her sexually desirable body parts, the middleman of the actual human woman behind those breasts is cut out.

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Women are frequently depicted as sexual objects in Ancient Greek pottery, thus providing context for the sexual culture of Ancient Greece. A red figure hydria from BCE attributed to the Harrow Painter depicts a scene that can be interpreted as either a transaction between a hetairai and an Athenian youth, accompanied by his father, or an innocent scene between a mother, her son, and her husband.


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  5. However, the vast majority of scholars argue that this is a scene depicting sexual power dynamics, not domestic roles. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. You can view samples of our professional work here. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays. Comparing Art in the Greek and Roman Eras Greek and Roman arts were both original and distinguished by features which can be compared and contrasted.

    Why does the art of ancient Greece still shape our world?

    In both cultures the major trends in art were set in their ancient periods. However, the comparison and contrasting of both are best restrained to the later periods of each society. Greek art began in the Fifth Century B. It was done mostly in relatively small cities and was usually in honor of some religious or civic event. In Greek society, their art was usually created in the more public places of the time so that the citizens could admire more visual creations in the places in which they spent a large part of their time.

    This era expanded his formal horizons with dramatic posing, sweeping lines, and high contrast of light, shadow and emotions. Greek art mostly includes much pottery, sculpture, architecture and painting. The ancient Greeks made pottery for everyday use; for example cups, jugs and bowls were often used. The few exceptions were trophies that were won at games such as the Panathenaic amphorae. The Panathenic amphorae was a large ceramic vessel that contained the olive oil that was from the sacred grove of Athena. Another exception was that pottery was also used for funeral urns. The range of colors which could be used on pots was restricted by the technology of firing: black, white, red, and yellow were the most common.

    In the three earlier periods, the pots were left their natural light color, and were decorated with slip that turned black in the kiln. In later periods, as the aesthetic shifted and the technical proficiency of potters improved, decorations took the form of human figures, usually representing the gods or the heroes of Greek history and mythology.

    Battle and hunting scenes were also popular, since they allowed the depiction of the horse, which the Greeks held in high esteem. Those who practiced the visual arts, including sculpture, were held in low regard in ancient Greece, viewed as mere manual laborers. A lot of sculptures during the Greek era were based on many different deities and heroes.

    During this period sculpture became more and more naturalistic.

    Greek art essays

    Common people, women, children, animals and domestic scenes became acceptable subjects for sculpture, which was commissioned by wealthy families for the adornment of their homes and gardens. Realistic portraits of men and women of all ages were produced, and sculptors no longer felt obliged to depict people as ideals of beauty or physical perfection. Sculpture is by far the most important surviving form of Ancient Greek art, although only a small amount of sculptures have survived.