The Greek culture
Published 11 May 2017
The Greek culture is the most interesting culture for me. As a powerful force in the medieval period, there is no doubt that the ways and the art of the Greeks have a great influence on the kind of world and art that we have today.
Although many thought that the Hellenistic period marked the end of the golden age of art in Greece, there is no doubt that artworks from that period of Greece’s reign are of supreme beauty, faithfully describing through timeless sculptures their vast collection of mythology.
One of the most popular artworks from the Hellenistic period is Venus de Milo, which is a depiction of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. The sculpture is known for the mystery presented by its missing arms (Curtis), but another factor to its popularity is the importance of Aphrodite in Greek mythology. Aphrodite, after offering Paris the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta, won the golden apple and became the goddess of beauty, defeating both Athena and Hera. However, Helen, before belonging to Paris, was already a wife of Menelaus, and her flight to Troy with Paris led to the Trojan War.
Another popular artwork from the Hellenistic period is the Winged Victory of Samothrace, also known as Nike of Samothrace, which depicts the Greek goddess Nike. The name “Nike” literally means victory or triumph. There is also Praxiteles’ sculpture of Hermes and the Infant Dionysus.
In Greek mythology, Hermes, the messenger of the gods of Olympus, protected the infant Dionysus, god of wine from the clutches of Hera, who brought destruction to Semele, the mother of Dionysus who is a mortal, but bore an immortal son which later became an Olympian god.
These and many other artworks from this period in Greek culture influenced not only cultures preceding them, but until now, modern people remain in awe as we look in the mirrors of our glorious past that can never be recreated or matched.
Because of these artworks, Greek mythology will forever be remembered and passed on for generations to come.
- Curtis, G. Disarmed: The Story of the Venus de Milo. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.