Architectural sculpture was used on temples and similar buildings throughout the Archaic period.
The Early Classical period can be seen in a work such as The Charioteer of Delphi from the Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, c. 470 B.C., representing the king's driver from a grouping that included chariot and horses (De La Croix, Tansey, and Kirkpatrick, 150). The charioteer is an example of the Severe Style. The figure is three dimensional but contained:
The bearing of the entire figure conveys the solemnity of the event commemorated, for chariot races and similar contests at that time were competitions for divine favor, not sporting events in the modern sense (Janson 104).
The size of the figure and of the group of which it was a part shows an economic change, with more community-based artwork on a much grander scale than was seen in the Geometric period. The Greeks had become a more powerful state, recognized as such in the world after their defeat of the Persians. Athens was now the cultural and economic center of all of Greece, and artists from all parts of the Greek world were drawn to Athens (Kjellberg and Saflund 105). This also contributed to the Severe Style as the people of Greece manifested a sort of austere grandeur in their art of the period, with stern simplification of outline and surface, fixed pose, firm stance, and immobility of expression (De La Croix, Tansey, and Kirkpatrick 149).
The Severe style developed after 480 B.C. with works such as The Riace Bronzes (c. 460-450 B.C.), showing a stern simplification of outline and surface, a fixed pose, firm stance, and immobile expressions. Sculpture in the Classical Period presents works of ideal beauty, balanced in composition and with figures given a rigidity suggestive of a structural column but with a degree of flexibility suggesting a living body. In the Late Classical Period, sculpture continued to show the humanizing tendency that began much earlier in ...
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