The term ancient masterpieces is used when referring to the artistic period between prehistory and the Middle Ages. It was during this period that ancient art appeared. It is linked to religion, but is shown differently in each civilisation. Among the peoples who left their mark on the ancient period were the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Art already took all its forms during this period: painting, monuments, and many others. Ancient art has never stopped evolving, following the course of influential cultures.
Ancient art in Egypt
Ancient art in Egypt began during the Nagada (3800BC) which developed over 650 years during the Egyptian Predynastic period. It was especially marked in the burial field, i.e., everything related to the dead, tombs, etc. Art had an important place in the funeral rites at that time. In this region, coffins and tombs had a unique architecture, and this was the case worldwide.
Despite many circumstances, ancient Egyptian art has maintained its diversity and authenticity, but there are certain features that have disappeared. The Roman Empire left its mark on it by leaving the Fayum portraits. There are also some marks of Byzantine art.
Until the Lagid dynasty in 30BC, Egyptian artists preserved their identity.
It spread to many countries and left its mark. It is characterised by sculptures, pyramids, statues and much more.
Ancient art in Mesopotamia
Ancient Mesopotamian art began during the period of the hunter-gatherer societies. Since Mesopotamia is like the cradle of humanity, it holds a great place in the history of ancient art.
It is very distinct from the arts of other countries: it is sophisticated with the use of a wide variety of techniques. It is presented in various forms: sculpture and pottery while using materials such as stone, terracotta, and the whole range of modifiable materials.
During this period, painting did not play an important role. Paintings were very rare, most of them were geometric shapes and plants. Sometimes you can find breathtaking paintings.
The ancient art of Mesopotamia during the period of the Archaic Dynasty was mainly represented by the masterpieces in the cemetery of Ur. These are the two statuettes and a chest with drawings. For the Paleo-Babylonian period, it is the Burney plaque in which a nude goddess with wings is represented. Concerning the Assyrian period, there was a new era with the appearance of animal sculptures in bronze, copper and various materials.
Ancient Greek art
Ancient Greek art was the most influential of its time, although it was inspired by several cultures. It developed generally in architecture and sculpture.
Through Alexander the Great, the Greeks had a great privilege, as they were able to learn about and benefit from Indian and Asian culture. It is in this period that the Greek-Buddhist art was born, which is characterized by the famous techniques of the East. Ancient Greek art spread throughout Europe after the renaissance. The aesthetics, the sophistication and the features of extreme detail attracted the East.
It had come to an end when the Roman culture was established. This culture had totally disrupted Greek civilisation. Even if many works appeared after that, they were not of the same quality as those before.
Ancient Greek art can be divided into 3 main periods: the Archaic period, the Hellenistic period and the Classical period.
Ancient art in Rome
Ancient art in Rome began in 753 BC, namely during the foundation of Rome, and ended in 476 when the Western Empire fell.
Because it is attached to ancient Greek art, some historians state that ancient art in Rome copies it. It was also inspired by many civilizations.
It is characterised by its architecture. Many buildings were constructed during this period, and they are still visible today. The public monuments are of an incredible diversity, there were large and solid amphitheatres. These monuments were filled with many statues.
Even though the empire was over, ancient Roman art had not disappeared. It joined Byzantine art and Christian art, which were flourishing at that time. It is presented in various forms: portraits, mosaics, and theatre. The influence of Renaissance, Classicist and Neo-Classicist artists can still be seen.
Ancient art has an important place in the history of art. It is also invaluable.