Ancient Greek History

What to Know About Cycladic Art

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When most of us think about Ancient Greece, we tend to think of certain things, such as the city-states, inventions such as democracy and theater, and a legacy of knowledge and education that still influences our culture today. However, before all that could happen, there were some early civilizations that thrived in Ancient Greece. The early people who lived on the various islands in the Cyclades are amongst those early Ancient Greek peoples and learning about them is just as important as it is for us to learn about the eras of Ancient Greece that came much later in Ancient Greek history.One that that the people on the Cyclades was known for is their distinct style of art.  Here’s more information:

Information About Cycladic Culture and Art

Along with the Minoans and Mycenaeans, the Cycladic civilization developed their sense of culture and identity very early on in Ancient Greek history. Although all three of these distinct parts of Ancient Greece existing around the same time, their style of art did differ from one another while also having similarities. The art that came out of the Cyclades is so important when observed on its own, there is even a modern museum in Athens called the Museum of Cycladic Art. Within these walls, visitors can see live examples of this art as well as learn all about its history and importance.

As mentioned above, the ancient culture of the Cyclades flourished early on in Ancient Greece, from around 3300 B.C. to 1100 B.C. We also know that the Cyclades was one of the major early Ancient Greek cultures that was present in the Aegean. As a result of that, we know that Cycladic art is part of a larger group of ancient art known as Aegean art.

Evolution of Cycladic Art and Sculpture

Through the span over 2000 years, Cycladic art evolved considerably. Early examples of Cycladic art came from the Neolithic Era and is basically comprised of pottery that is similar to pottery examples that have been found on the island of Crete that date back to the Minoan civilization. As the Cycladic culture developed, its art got more distinct and elaborate. They were most known for their sculptures and figurines made of various materials, such as marble and even pottery.

One of the most common forms of Cycladic art are the small sculptures, or figurines, that were common in households. Although these small sculptures are often mistaken for idols, art historians shy away from referring to them as idols since that word usage is often associated with religion. However, there isn’t really evidence that they had a religious purpose. Rather, they seem to depict scenes from every day life. Amongst the earliest of these figurines dates from 2500 B.C. and are depictions of musicians who are playing various ancient instruments, which could also indicate how important music was to the culture. As time went on, these figurines got more elaborate and often portrayed the female form. The sculptures also got larger and more elaborate.

As you can see, the ancient art that came out of the Cyclades is an important part of the history and culture of Ancient Greece.


Wikipedia – Cycladic Art

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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