Notebook

Notebook, 1993-

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Archaic


Greek
650 - 480 BC
Corinth
Athens
Kouros and Kore
From black-figure vase-painting to red-figure


Archaism - general interest in the 'purity' and 'simplicity' of early styles
Archaic Smile - especially during the second quarter of the 6th cent. BC



Oxford Dictionary Of Art
Archaic - Term applied to Greek art in the period before the Classical period, roughly from about 650 BC until about 480 BC (the date of the Persian sack of Athens). The Archaic period is marked by the development of the life-size stone statue (the kouros and kore) and by the change from black-figure vase-painting to red-figure. Corinth was the leading centre of early Archaic art, gradually giving way to Athens. [Chilvers, Ian, Harold Osborne, and Dennis Farr, eds. Oxford Dictionary Of Art. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.]


Archaic Smile - Conventional smiling expression, often seen in Greek statues of the Archaic period, especially during the second quarter of the 6th cent. BC A smile was suggested by drawing the mouth upwards in a clear, flat curve applied to the surface of the face. Various and conflicting theories have been offered to explain the convention, which has been described by John Boardman as an expression of 'strained cheerfulness'. According to one view it may have originated in the technical difficulty of fitting the curved mouth into the block-like form which the early sculptors of Kouroi gave to the head: certainly as the century progressed the increasing use of chisels led to a disappearance of the block-like character and the archaic smile gave place to a straighter, graver, and more serious or almost sulky expression of the mouth. Other writers have suggested that the smile was intended to express a state of health and well-being. A similar shift from a patterned smile to a more naturalistic gravity may be seen in some Gothic sculpture, e.g. figures carved early and late in the 13th cent. at Banberg Cathedral. [Chilvers, Ian, Harold Osborne, and Dennis Farr, eds. Oxford Dictionary Of Art. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.]


Archaism - The taste for and imitation of earlier, especially primitive, styles. Quintilian (1st cent. AD) mentions collectors who preferred Archaic Greek art to that of later periods, but a general interest in the 'purity' and 'simplicity' of early styles began in Europe only in the 18th cent. in conjunction with the Greek and Gothic Revivals. The archaisms of the German Nazarenes and the English Pre-Raphaelites were matched by a renewed interest in the products of the 'childhood of art', works which were then prized for their 'charmingly naive' character. In modern movements this taste for the naive and archaic has been swallowed up in a general reassessment of the elemental and the primitive in the history of art. [Chilvers, Ian, Harold Osborne, and Dennis Farr, eds. Oxford Dictionary Of Art. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.]



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Random House Dictionary of The English Language
Archaic adj. 1. marked by the characteristics of an earlier period; antiquated. 2. [of a linguistic form] currrent in an earlier time but rare in present usage. 3. [cap.] pertaining to or designating the style of the fine arts, esp. painting and sculpture, developed in Greece from the middle 7th to the early 5th century B.C. Cf. classical [def. 2], Hellenistic [def. 5.]. 4. primitive. [< GK archak(s) antiquated, old fashioned = archai(os) old + -ikos -IC]

Archaism. 1. something archaic, as a word, expression, or mannerism. 2. the use of something archaic. [[Urdang, Laurence, ed. Random House Dictionary of The English Language. New York: Random House, 1968.]




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