Indeed, if you were a fan of the Japanese art Kintsugi, you may have even wished for the china to not so gently touch the ground. For this would give you the chance to make it even more enchanting.
Also known as Kintsukuroi (Gold repair), Kintsugi is the ancient art of fixing broken pottery with the use of gold, silver or platinum in order to highlight the fractures that are now part of the object’s history… rather than disguise it.
The Archaic Period
Let’s start, for simplicity’s sake, with the archaic period, usually described as between 800 BC and 480 BC. This was the era in which the city-states, or polis, were cemented, colonies were created, and philosophy, as well as her entertaining sister, theatre, were planting their potent seeds.
Originally borrowing heavily from the Egyptian statues in pose and proportions, large scale sculptures at this time usually fell into two categories: the male Kouros, or standing youth, and the female Kore, or standing draped maiden.
Who knew how the Gods would have taken a dedicated statue that was frowning?
While sculpting the ideal body was attempted before the Persian war, it was arguably only perfected after the ousting of Xerxes. Of course Xerxes had nothing to do with it, he’s just the handy marker that separates what Art historians like to deem the archaic period from the Classical Period.
The Classical Period
Covering approximately 157 years, the Classical period includes the height and fall of Athens, starting with Persians and ending with the Peloponnesian war. In between these dramatic conflicts, however, Athens ruled supreme in regards to economics, politics, and importantly for this article, culture.
This was fifth century Athens, after all!
Nothing exemplifies this dedication to the ideal and calculated beauty than Polykleitos of Argos, who formulated a system of proportions that achieved the artistic effect of permanence, clarity, and harmony.
In other words, the figures were to be ideal, but also human.
And then they went a step farther. From 500 BC, Greek artists started to carve, paint and mold real, actual humans! The statues of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, set up in Athens to mark the overthrow of the tyranny, were said to be the first such public monuments.
This final era of Ancient Greek Art is usually marked by the death of that Macedonian prince, Alexander the Great. His grand empire had meant previously isolated cultures came into contact with each other, influencing styles and subjects.
We have finally come to the beauty of flaws in Greek art.
Statues dropped their smug archaic smiles for raw emotions, exhibiting everything from love to pain and death. Solid stances were replaced with full-bodied twists and turns. Heavy folds melted to sheer fabrics revealing detailed, human forms.