Monday, December 7, 2009

Greek Art - Pottery and Proportion

Homework: On the sheet with the skeleton, use a colored pencil to mark head lengths down the length of the skeleton.

Background: Artists developed a system for representing the "ideal" human body in their paintings, pottery, and sculptures throughout the history of Ancient Greece. By the flowering of the Classical period, around 500 B.C., every representation of the body had standard proportions, measured in heads. A head is the distance from the crown, or the top of the skull, to the point of the chin. Most adults are about 7 1/2 heads tall. The Greek artists used "heroic" proportions, making their figures a majestic 8 heads tall.

Classwork today: Students received their group and individual grades for the Greek tragedy project.

We looked at and discussed a slide presentation on Greek black figure and red figure pottery, examining artworks that depicted the Labors of Heracles. Many students pointed out the similarities they saw between Greek and Egyptian art: feet pointing in one direction while the torso faces forward, faces seen in profile with one eye visible. One big difference is that the Greeks used overlapping to show depth.

Some sections had time after the presentation to make some gesture drawings using willow charcoal on newsprint. Thanks to the student "models"! You did a good job of holding still.

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