Art Key Terms and Visual Analysis

The ancient cultures of Greece and Rome have had enormous reverberations throughout history, even to the present day. In fact, many of the major themes shaping these ancient art forms (worship of an ideal athletic human body, “everything in moderation”, reverence for logic and mathematical harmonies, praise of individualism, democracy) are not only familiar, but powerful factors in shaping contemporary images and art forms. 

For this entry, compare and contrast a modern building or image to a work or artifact from Aegean, Ancient Greek, Etruscan, or Roman culture that expresses a similar theme or cultural value. The modern image could be an advertisement, journal photo, political photo, movie poster, etc. The modern building might be a place of commerce, government, religion, or entertainment. Compare and contrast the formal similarities and differences between the two images.

Conclude by considering how understanding the roots of this theme (or cultural value) in ancient culture might shed light on why it is also important to contemporary culture. For example, if Greek obsession with the human athletic body derives from the idea that their gods took on human, nude form, then what sort of contemporary “gods” have shaped our own society’s obsession with athletic health?

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