Test Announcement 123
Greece underwent many changes during the Early Classical period, ca. 480-450 BCE. It is framed by the dramatic victories against the Persians in 490 and 480, and the transition to the High Classical period in 450. During this thirty-year period, artists imbued their creations with restraint to heighten the visual expression of what defined Greek civilized conduct. It was a time of some of our most ambitious programs in architecture, sculpture and painting. This is also the time when democracy (demos=people and kratos=power) was developed and implemented as the form of government in Athens.
Among the many significant developments in Greek art at this time, 450-400 BCE, perhaps the most prominent is what is known as the Periclean building program on the Acropolis. The statesman Pericles convinced the Athenian assembly in 454 BCE to support his request to relocate the Delian League funds from the sacred island of Delos to Athens to be used in rebuilding architecture on the Acropolis. This decision produced the Parthenon (replacing the Older Parthenon), the Propylaia, Erechtheion and Temple of Athena Nike. The extensive project employed a great number of skilled and unskilled laborers, while attracting the leading artists of the day. Over the course of nearly fifty years Athens expanded as an empire, while enduring military losses, the plague, and a protracted war with Sparta. Nevertheless, the achievements in the visual arts during the High Classical period reverberated throughout Greece and in later centuries. It became the standard to which later powerful cities, Greek and Roman, responded with unique interpretations.
The Late Classical period, 400-323 BCE marked a fascinating time when well known artists were commissioned to make sculpture in the wider Greek arena. Artists worked on the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos (present Bodrum in western Turkey), and the renowned Lysippos traveled to northern Greece as the court sculptor to Alexander the Great. Artists became famous and a new emphasis on the individual in society became the trend.