Styles & Periods

Styles & Periods

Aegean Art

Aegean art flourished during the Bronze age at the hub of the ancient Mediterranean.  The style is divided geographically. Cycladic art is characterized by human figurines of clay, limestone and occasional marble.  The figurines, which usually depict females standing with folded arms, move away from the rounded, plump shape of Neolithic fertility figures toward a more stream-lined, geometrical shape.  The statues range in height from a few inches to several feet, and triangles, rather than circles, dominate. The Late Minoan period (after 1700 B.C.E.) is the golden age of Crete, and the dynamic Minoan personality is showcased in the joyful, vigorous style of its fresco murals, pottery and sculpture. The island's vivacity is evidenced in the detailed, fluid individualism of Minoan art. Where Crete was open and airy, the mainland's Mycenaean culture suggested solidity and defense. Citadel walls, sometimes 20 feet thick, were massive enough to be termed Cyclopean masonry, after the mythical race of giants. Mycenaean grave sites contain examples of excellent metalwork in the form of beaten gold masks, bronze daggers and gold cups.

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