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Greek Art, Classical Period
480-323 BC

Archaic Period
(700-480 BC)
Classical Period
(480-330 BC)
Hellenistic Period
(330-150 BC)

Greek Classical art is mostly performed in sculpting.  Praxiteles (c. 390-c.330 BC), was a Greek sculptor, considered the greatest of his time.  He is said to have lived in Athens about 360 BC.  Praxiteles worked almost entirely in marble.  His work is known only through Roman copies, and in the form of a marble statue, the Hermes with the Infant Dionysus (c. 340 BC).  It was discovered in 1877 during the excavation of the Temple of Hera at Olympia, in Greece, where it had been seen in ancient times by the Roman traveller and chronicler Pausanias.  It is now on permanent display at the Archaeological Museum at Olympia.  The work of Praxiteles shows a humanization in the ideals of the Archaic period of Greek art. His subjects are either human beings or the more youthful and less awe-inspiring deities, such as Aphrodite, goddess of love, Apollo, god of music and prophecy, and Hermes, messenger of the gods.  

His portraits of divinities do not possess the superhuman qualities of earlier Greek works, but instead are wrought with grace and charm.  Praxiteles was especially celebrated for his satyrs, the best-known of which is the Resting Satyr. The below stamps both show works by Praxiteles.   

Greece 1896. Greek Classical Art. Hermes Statue by Praxiteles. Greece 1911. Greek Classical Art. Hermes carrying the infant Arcas.
  • Greece 1896.  Scott # 126.  Hermes Statue by Praxiteles 
  • Greece 1911.  Scott # 211.  Hermes carrying the infant Arcas.

 

Greece. Greek Classical Art. Photograph of Hermes Statue.

In 1906 the "unofficial Olympic Games" were held in Athens, and again a set of beautiful stamps were issued, showing Greek antique athletic themes.  The set is only partially shown and is largely oversized for a better view.

Greece 1906. Greek Classical Art. "Victory". Greece 1906. Greek Classical Art. "Daemon" or "The God of The Games". Greece 1906. Greek Classical Art. "Jumper" with jumping weights. Greece 1906. Greek Classical Art. "Wrestlers".

Greece 1906. Greek Classical Art. "Race of the Ancient Greeks".

Greece 1906. Greek Classical Art. "Atlas offering the Apples of Hesperides to Hercules".

When going through my stamp collections for this page, I was intrigued to see a Swedish stamp showing a Greek sculpture.  The stamp shows the Greek mythological figure "Endymion", a beautiful youth who was loved by the moon goddess Selene.  

She put him to sleep forever, so that she could always enjoy his beauty.  The sculpture belongs to the King Gustav III Museum of Antiquities, Stockholm (Sweden).  The stamp is engraved by Czeslaw Slania.

  • Sweden 1997.  "Endymion".  

Swden 1997. Greek Classical Art. Endymion.

 
Archaic Period
(700-480 BC)
Classical Period
(480-330 BC)
Hellenistic Period
(330-150 BC)

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Revised 24-jul-2006. Ann Mette Heindorff
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