Women in Severe style Greek sculpture

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Athena carving leaning on spear

Severe style: Athena

But just as in the Archaic period, all Greek Severe Style sculptors carved women with their clothes on. Women also did much less moving around, and had a much smaller range of emotional expressions, than the men did. As if to emphasize their inability to move around, most of the Severe Style sculptures of women are either seated or carved in relief, stuck to the stone behind them.

Artemis and Actaeon

Artemis and Actaeon

Zeus throws his spear, but Athena only leans on hers. And while Actaeon fights with the dogs attacking him, naked, and with his arms and legs all in motion, Artemis (who’s supposed to have just been surprised in the bath) is fully dressed and motionless.

From the Severe Style, which people also call Early Classical, sculptors moved on to the true Classical style.

Learn by doing: make a clay statue of a woman doing something
More about Classical sculpture

Bibliography and further reading about Severe style Greek sculpture:

Ancient Greek Art, by Susie Hodge (1998)- easy reading.

Greek Art and Archaeology (3rd Edition), by John G. Pedley (2002) A lot of good information and is pretty readable. Plus, the author is really an expert in this field.

Greek Sculpture: The Classical Period, a Handbook, by John Boardman (1985). The standard text for introductory college classes. Includes the Severe style.

The severe style in Greek sculpture, by Brunilde Ridgway (1970). By an expert, for specialists.

More about Classical sculpture
Ancient Greece
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By |2018-04-15T17:00:59+00:00July 5th, 2017|Art, Greeks|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Women in Severe style Greek sculpture. Quatr.us Study Guides, July 5, 2017. Web. December 10, 2018.

About the Author:

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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