Have you ever wondered why the ancient collections of an art museum inspire people? Generally, art is used to tell stories about civilization, places, cultures, conquest and so on. For example, most of the ancient Greek art symbolizes European civilization and historic accomplishments. However, Greek art isn’t the only important type. Ancient Roman, Egyptian, and Asian art (such as Indian and Chinese) has had a significant impact on history.
I started thinking about this when I was at a conference venue in Hobart – as they had heaps of ancient art on the walls. Maybe as we walk down this artsy memory lane, this article might inspire a new love of art in you as well?
Has Ancient Art Influenced Human Development?
It’s common for every culture to create and develop their art. As part of their culture or social lifestyle, people need to preserve their heritage. Since the Stone Age, human beings have used arts and crafts to display their history and orientation. In Africa, ancient art was used to appease the gods, display their heritage, and frighten external aggressors (enemies). Regardless of the origin, ancient art has influenced different civilizations, and it has been the take-off point for contemporary art.
Since primitive cultures didn’t follow a specific design, the styles of ancient arts followed their respective periods of evolution. Each piece of ancient art (single or collection) was created in its unique style, and it was used by philosophers, kings, artists, thinkers, and commoners.
Greek Ancient Art is Significant in History
Before the Romans conquered the Greek, the latter had developed a rich ancient value from their arts. However, between the periods of 30,000 B.C.E. to 400 A.D, Greek arts (paintings and sculptures) were displayed in most public places of Athens. Some were nude displays of human bodies that expressed different moods, stories, and beliefs of that era. Also, most artworks of the ancient civilizations were displayed by Egyptians, Chinese, and Romans.
Even dance steps and religious rituals were also expressed in various forms of art. According to myths and legends; the Parthenon was the temple of the Greek goddess – Athena. It’s believed that ancient Romans copied their artistic and architectural designs from this building and other Greek inspirations.
Why is Art History Important?
Ancient art is not as colorful as contemporary designs. However, it was important for custodians of most cultures around the world to express their ideologies, and thoughts with art. In museums, arts don’t fail to evoke emotions in enthusiasts and students of history. Originally, the Greek ancient art became very popular around 450 B.C.
After a female nude statue was sculpted by Praxiteles, many artists across Europe saw this masterpiece as a symbol of female beauty and fertility. Antique art has also contributed to the economies of most societies. Usually, ancient arts are smuggled and stolen because of their high economic values. These ancient pieces come as original antiquities that have seen many centuries and are regarded as uncommon crafts.
Art and crafts are decorative items that have been integrated into different lifestyles. Different artistic designs have been used to enhance the appeal of objects like weapons, furniture, bowls, buildings, pitchers, etc. It was the conquest of Greeks by the Roman Empire that promoted a lifestyle using arts to depict social status. During the 146BC, the statue of (Emperor) Augustus Caesar was all over Rome. A close look at this Prima Porta statue shows a similarity of facial features with ancient Greek arts.
So, one of the importance of Greek’s ancient art is the influence it has on Roman art. The symbolism, colors, and elements of ancient arts are being taught to students in universities. This aspect of humanity has brought educational development, knowledge, and inspiration to students that have chosen to be scholars in this field. Even Nazi Germany copied the same artistic materials that were used by the Greeks.
An extra tip! As I mentioned before, I was on a trip to Tasmania when I first started researching this topic. I will write more about the experiences there soon – like the amazing fine dining options in Hobart!