Art After Alexander: The Triumph of Hellenism

After the death of Alexander the Great it was not only the political life of the Mediterranean which changed dramatically. This flamboyant, violent and romantic conqueror, and the general kings who followed in his wake, left an indelible imprint on the artistic world. The Hellenistic Age had begun with a bang – the arts were suddenly more alive than ever before. Hyper-real, fluid, sensual, exquisite. Immerse yourself in the luxury of this era where art became drama, poetry and philosophy, in motion – reflecting the turbulence and grandeur of the times.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Annas, J.E., 1992, Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind, Berkeley
  • Burn, L., 2005, Hellenistic Art: From Alexander the Great to Augustus, Santa Monica, LA
  • Green, P., 1990, Alexander to Actium: The Hellenistic Age, London – this terrific book will give you an excellent background to the period from Alexander through to the nascent Roman Empire and included chapters on Hellenistic art and philosophy.
  • Havelock, C.M., 1981, Hellenistic Art: The Art of the Classical World from the Death of Alexander the Great to the Battle of Actium, NY
  • Onians, J., 1982, Art and Thought in the Hellenistic Age: The Greek World View 350-50BC, London
  • Smith, R.R.R., 1991, Hellenistic Sculpture, London – one of the excellent and very reasonably priced Thames and Hudson art series
  • Stewart, A., 2014, Art in the Hellenistic World: An Introduction, Cambridge


COURSE OUTLINE

  • A brief introduction to Greek art (Geometric, Archaic and Classical) before the Hellenistic Age will give the student an understanding of why the period after Alexander the Great was so radical in terms of art.
  • There will be a short history of the rise of Macedonia, the campaigns and ambitions of Alexander, and the way his successors (men such as Ptolemy, Seleucis, Antiochos and Demetrios Poliorketes) used art to promote divine kingship. This will demonstrate the amazing scope of Hellenistic influence which stretched to the east as far as India, to the south as far as Egypt, to the north into Celtic territories and eventually to the west where it was embraced by the Carthaginians and Romans.
  • Coinage, sculpture, painting, mosaics, vase art and jewellery will be among works studied in detail, revealing breathtaking artistic skill and leading into a study of the strong influence of Hellenism on Roman art, and a tour of some of the greatest collections of ancient artefacts.
  • We will see that many of the works of the Hellenistic Age reflect on the greater political and religious environment of the time, but also on philosophical schools such as Stoicism and Epicurianism and these too will be examined in a way that will suit a novice to Greek philosophy.
  • The influence of Hellenism on Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo will also be included.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Appreciate the rich and dynamic nature and far reaching influence of the Hellenistic Age in terms of history, art, politics, religion and philosophy and the way these things were intricately related.
  • Enjoy a fully illustrated tour of some extraordinary artefacts and ancient sites from the Greek, Egyptian, Near Eastern, Roman and Indian world which will put many of the artworks into relevant archaeological contexts.
  • Have a basic understanding of Hellenistic philosophy, ruler cult and religion.
$110 Limited / $99

<p>After the death of Alexander the Great it was not only the political life of the Mediterranean which changed dramatically. This flamboyant, violent and romantic conqueror, and the general kings who

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29 Nov

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