Greek Hellenistic Sculpture
The Hellenistic period (323 BCE-31 BCE) was one of the most fertile in Greek history. Its canonical dates stretch from the death of Alexander the Great, under whose influence Greek culture and civilization spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia, to the decisive Battle of Actium.
The nearly two centuries that comprise this remarkable era were distinguished by new patterns of migration and settlement, as native Greeks relocated to the Empire's new strongholds in Alexandria and Antioch (Egypt and Syria). These population shifts catalyzed a fusion of foreign artistic representations and techniques with indigenous traditions and practices both in Greece and abroad. It is for that reason that Hellenistic influences and vestiges of Greek culture could be found as far to the east as northern ancient India (Afganistan and northern India today).
During the Hellenistic period, artists explored human emotions and states of consciousness, with works ranging from the starkly realistic to the grandly theatrical. Large dedications, often sponsored by individuals or kings, reflect these new trends, as do masterpieces such as as the Lykosoura monument, the Great Altar at Pergamon, the Lesser Attalid Dedication, and the Nike of Samothrace; all of which are remarkable for their expressiveness and enduring fame.