Ancient Greek statues have a long history, spanning over eight hundred years. Any body sculpture artists would be lying if they said they were not, in some manner, influenced by the body art sculpture of the Ancient Greeks. The body statue formed by the Ancient Greeks is classed into three different periods – the Archaic period (eighth century BC to 5th century BC), Classical period (5th century BC to 4th century BC), and Hellenistic era (fourth century BC to first century BC). These sculptures of the Classical and Hellenistic era directly influenced Roman sculpture and even trendy western sculpture today.
The first era of historical Greek sculptures was influenced by the body art statue of the Ancient Egyptians. The traditional Egyptians first brought body art statue to importance by emphasizing excellence of the human form. Even therefore, the traditional Greek sculptures of the time were considered unnatural and inflexible. The body sculpture of this time is criticized for showing that they were assembled in pieces. These statues are today referred to as Kouros (for male) and Kore (for female). They are known for their subjects standing tall and erect, looking straight forward with arms at the sides. A modern body sculpture artisans will seldom use the Kouros and Kore type of these sculptures.
The Classical period of these sculptures begins with the conquer of the Persians at Marathon. This military victory led to giving the body sculpture artists a way of confidence and with it, an desire to convey practicality to body statue. The advancement of this era in ancient Greek sculptures is that the contrapposto stance, in which one leg of the subject is extended to express a change in weight and also the presence of gravity. An example of the contrapposto stance of Classical ancient Greek sculptures is Discobolos by the body sculpture artist, Myron. The Discus Thrower shows the stress of his position and the results of gravity on him. Myron cast the original in bronze instead of the marble that’s popularized in reproductions of ancient Greek sculptures.
The Hellenistic era of ancient Greek sculptures lasts up to the Roman attack of Greece in the first Century BC. The expansion of the Greek empire at this time is responsible for the widespread influence of Greek body art sculpture. This era is known for vastly improving upon the poses and lively progress begun within the Classical era of ancient Greek sculptures. The masterpiece of this period is regarded the Nike of Samothrace body sculpture. The dynamic of movement is thus precise the breeze blowing through the feathers of the wings and the folds of the attire can be seen with indescribable detail.