Greece Minor Arts Part 2

Especially the Asian city of Myrina has offered abundant congeries of these Hellenistic terracottas, but many are also those coming from various centers of Sicily. And the types are very varied, created with inexhaustible imagination; because they are not made by hand, but derived from matrices, there are often several specimens of only one type. Sometimes these specimens, which demonstrate freshness of conception and execution, are retouched with the stick and are often covered with a light layer of lime, which served as a basis for the application of colors. From figures of graceful naked women, of teenagers flying Erotes, of joking children, we pass to ugly figures of comedians, old people, exotic characters, and there is no lack of animal figures. This fully corresponds to the contemporary production of small bronzes. There are also reproductions of statues; so we have terracottas reproducing the drunken old woman of Myron of Thebes; in a humorous and vulgar sense, a terracotta from Priene presents the motif of the aforementioned bronze The spinario, from the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome, according to some works of mature archaism, according to others, a Hellenistic work of archaistic art.

According to SUNGLASSESTRACKER, the toreutics, which also includes the art of the goldsmith, was greatly cultivated in the Cretan-Mycenaean age, but from the luxuriant wealth of this period it descends to humble poverty in the following age. Gold is reduced to a few thin ribbons decorated in embossing, with ornaments and with geometricized human or bestial figures; poor survival in poor times of the waning Cretan-Mycenaean custom of burying the corpse surrounded by gold. Metallic ornament is the fibula of the broad-leaf type with engraved decoration with geometric, human and bestial figures. Fibulae of this kind have been found especially in Boeotia, but they must be believed to have been made in Argolis. Add the bronze tripods, of which residues have been found mainly in Olympia, with the fir tree superimposed. Toreutics resumes in the Ionian period.

They are large vessels of sacred use, of which Herodotus informs us, who (I, 14) speaks of the golden craters that Gyges, king of Lydia, dedicated in 685 BC. C. in Delphi, for which the similar vessel of large proportions was given the name of gygádas ; in another passage (IV, 152) the same Herodotus mentions the dedication by samî merchants, in the Ereus of Samo, of a bronze Argolic type crater on which protomes of griffins rose. And bronze craters with protomes of griffins or wild beasts come from various Hellenic sanctuaries, from Olympia, from Delphi, from the Acropolis of Athens, from Ptoion in Boeotia, from Mount Ida, from Calauria, and from non-Greek locations in Asia Minor and of Etruria. We also know the name of a famous toreuta of this era: Theodore of Samo, also known as an architect and sculptor; a silvery crater dedicated to Delphi and a golden one existing in the royal palace of Susa in Persia would have been his work.

Metallic works were adorned with embossed reliefs, precisely as in Cretan-Mycenaean art, but few of these works have survived. We can mention the bronze plate of Olympia, perhaps the residue of a tripod, in which, contrary to what appears in the Cretan-Mycenaean works, the divine and the mythical elements predominate. It is the myth that mainly illustrates these works of toreutics of the Ionic period; typical among them was the bronze relief decoration of the interior walls of the temple of Athena Chalkioíkos in Sparta, the work of Gitiada, architect, sculptor and toreut. The complex of mythical representations in a single monument is precisely from this period of Ionic art: think of the ark, a work of cedar inlay with various other materials, dedicated by Periandro tyrant of Corinth (629-585), in memory of his father Cipselo, in the Heraus of Olympia (Paus., V, 17, 2); think of the decoration of the throne of Apollo Amideo, made by Baticle of Magnesia towards the middle of the century. Street. C. (Paus., III, 18, 9); finally, among the monuments that have come down to us, think of the François vase. Instead the purely zoomorphic or teratomorphic decoration of an orientalizing character is in the golden plates found in Vettersfeld (Brandenburg).

In the archaic ionic art, the jewelery of the person is of no small importance; Ephesus and Camiro (Rhodes) are the places from which these golden jewels have come out in greater quantities, in which we can see the printing, granulation, filigree techniques: they are fibulae, necklaces, brooches, pendants, earrings, armillas; the decoration in these goldsmiths, which span the eighth and seventh centuries, is geometric, floral, and even figurative; Frequent motifs in Camiri goldsmiths are the human head in front with a wig-like hair, and the figure of Artemis persica or the goddess pótnia th ē rõn (lady of the beasts). On the other hand, few are the Greek goldsmiths that have come down to us from the sixth and fifth centuries. C.; perhaps this scarcity is due to the Persian invasions.

The question of the téttiges or golden cicadas, which were used as an ornament of the long hair, also worn by men, and which were in connection with the crobylus (v.), Reconnects with the goldsmiths of these centuries. Finally, for the technique they are reconnected with the golden rings of Cretan-Mycenaean art, the rings, perhaps Phocean, found in Etruria and Sardinia, with figures or fantastic scenes engraved in the golden bezel.

Greece Minor Arts 2