A Guide to Classical Art

Welcome to a blog on the best art of all time. I invite you to follow me and discover classical art, learn about it and appreciate it.

The art we will look at is from the classical world, from Ancient Greece and Rome, from their successors Byzantium, Western Europe, the Islamic Empires and the Far East. The classical world was a relatively small space in which many different religions, groups, cultures and artistic styles came into contact with one another. Classical Art is therefore a huge topic that can be approached from many different angles.

We will look at great works of sculpture such as sculptures of Venus by Praxiteles or the Apollo of Belvedere, but also statues of gods such as Zeus or Hera at Olympia or Athena Parthenos in Athens; or we will look at great works of painting like the Laocoön group in Rome or paintings by Paolo Veronese or Titian. We will see ancient cities built on a monumental scale like Ephesus, but also smaller towns like Pompeii or Ostia Antica that show us how people lived in antiquity. We will look at the great works of architecture such as the Pantheon in Rome but also more modest buildings such as early Christian churches in North Africa. We will see beautiful

For people interested in art, reading classical books is a good way to get an idea of the best art which has ever been created.

From the Renaissance up to today, there are many kinds of art books available. But there is a lack of literature concerning Ancient Art.

To fill this gap, I have started a blog about Classical Art: http://classicalart-blog.blogspot.com where you can find information about the greatest pieces of art from Ancient Greece and Rome, as well as links to interesting articles or papers about this period.

This blog will focus mainly on the art of antiquity, which is the best art of all time. In this blog we will cover about anything that has to do with classical art, for example ancient Greek or Roman sculptures, or famous paintings that were inspired by the times of antiquity.


In this section I will talk about some classical art and artists. I have chosen these artists because they have been my favorites for a long time.

I hope you will enjoy their work as much as I do.

Here is the first of many to come:

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most well known artists in the world, and for good reason as well. His paintings are so well crafted that his works continue to be used in modern day advertising and media. He was a true renaissance man working in many different fields, including painting, sculpture, architecture, engineering and natural sciences. His work has influenced the course of humanity and there are few artists who can match him, even after over 500 years since his death.

Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520)

Raphael was a leading painter of the High Renaissance and probably the most famous artist of his era, but he also produced some of the best drawings ever made. He was very successful in his career and became court painter to both Pope Julius II and Pope Leo X, but he died when he was only 37 years old leaving behind a huge body of work that everyone can enjoy today. Michelangelo Buon

What is the best art of all time? The question is impossible. But here a review of the classical art.

The term “Classical” refers to the culture and art forms that came out of Greece in the 5th century BCE and spread throughout Europe, North Africa, and even into parts of Asia, until they were eclipsed by the rise of Christianity in the 4th century CE.

To be clear, this post is not about modern classical music. Hell, it’s not even about modern art. Heck, this post isn’t even about Greek art — because that was only a fraction of what was produced during the period we are examining. Rather, we’re looking at Classical Roman and Pompeii art (which will have their own post later) as well as various other influences on European culture throughout the rest of history up through the present day.

“The Met” is probably the best place in the world to see classical art.

Here are some of my favorite pieces of classical art from around the museum. The paintings and sculptures online are generally not full-sized, so to get a better sense of scale I am including architectural details.

(click on an image for a larger version)

In the early days of the Renaissance, artists were still trying to discover which of the many classical styles they could use. It is easy to assume that because these styles were all classical, they must have been copied from ancient Roman statues and buildings. This is not so. These styles already existed in the Greek world, and artists had been borrowing from them for centuries. What made the fifteenth century special was that artists began to borrow from them deliberately, and in a new spirit of experimentation.

Michelangelo’s David was one of the first great works to emerge from this period of discovery. Its influence has been so profound that if you look at many Renaissance statues since then, you will find that Michelangelo stole their poses and gestures as well!

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