Sample History Paper on Styles Used in Ancient Greek Sculptures

Styles Used in Ancient Greek Sculptures


The Ancient Greek art flourished during the Classical Period. It was one of the most important art forms in Western culture during this period, and it inspired all subsequent Western art. Greek art practiced a realistic representation of human figures, animals, and plants. The Greeks were great innovators in the arts, particularly in sculpture and architecture which they developed and improved upon at an even earlier date than those two arts did. Ancient Greece was a civilization that flourished around 900 BC and fell around 250 BC. The main goals and objectives of this research paper is to provide a brief history on Ancient Greek Sculptures and also define the types of styles used in Ancient Greek Sculpture. The research problem that I want to cover in this paper is the styles of sculpture used by Ancient Greeks and how they changed throughout much of their history (. The Ancient Greeks did not just use one sculptural style, they used a variety of them. There are five main styles of Ancient Greek sculptures which are: Early Classical Period, Late Classical Period, Hellenistic Period, Archaic Period, and Proto-Corinthian Period. My goal is to define these styles, give a brief history on each one of them, and show how each One changed into the next one over time. The Ancient Greek sculptures were primarily made out of marble or bronze. Archaic sculpture representation focused on human forms with a slight more literal interpretation of their physical form than Classical sculpture would later display (Fullerton, 2016). The proportioned body portrayed in Archaic sculpture was idealized in the sense that it had no visible flaws; it was depicted as being “perfect.” Understanding these styles used in ancient Greek sculpture is important because it gives a broader perspective on ancient Greek history and also helps with understanding the stages of artistic evolution that led to current forms of art. It is essential to understand how ancient Greek art has influenced the Western world, and why it is important to them.



Ancient Greek sculptures have certain features that have set them apart from the art of many other cultures. The Grecian sculptors used a number of different styles to achieve their effects, which is one of the things that makes Greek sculpture so unique. Sculptors shaped figures using a variety of forms, as well as adding details to make figures more lifelike and realistic. They used many different materials for creating their sculptures, and this is another key part of the sculptural style used in Greek artwork. The Greeks were great innovators in the field of sculpture, but even they started out with a somewhat basic understanding of the craft. This is one of the reasons why there is so much variation in their artwork.

In ancient Greek art and culture, there are many different styles that you can find. The Greeks had a variety of artistic mediums and techniques, including paintings, sculptures and architecture. The sculptures that Greek artists produced have become some of the most iconic works in history (Wace, 2014). The unique styles that they pioneered still show up today, however. Some of the basic stylistic elements found in Greek sculptures are:

– A pose that is different from other depictions of human figures

– Sculptures with a focus on proportions and realism

– Choosing one medium over another

– Combining together styles of sculpture to create a unique effect.

The three prime factors for creating such realistic looking sculptures were: proportion, harmony and balance. The sculptors of the world would have many eyes focused on detail, and the result was incredible accuracy in depicting the human form. Ancient Greek sculpture was quite remarkable for what it did with people, animals and even plants. The ancient sculptors were certainly masters of their craft.

The five main styles of ancient Greek sculptor work can be broken down into:


– The earliest and most traditional style of Greek art. This was the standard of the time and placed emphasis on proportion and detail.

– The sculptures were made from wood, marble or bronze. Half of the body is carved, while the top half is left unfinished to act as a frame for what’s been created.

– Art historians usually identify this style to have originated around 700 BC, though it seems that there was some preliminary work done on this particular style as early as 1500 BC.


– A blend of two or more classic styles in a single piece of art. The Hellenistic style is a more mature and polished form of classic.

– The art forms went beyond understanding human anatomy and looked at how the body moved and how it looked when in action.

– The majority of works in this category are copies of older forms. It is the combination of styles that makes Hellenistic so unique.

– Some aspects of this style include: Classic, baroque, Roman, Egyptian and later Renaissance influences. This was a time period that combined various cultures into one cohesive whole, which resulted in a blending of styles and arts.

– The Hellenistic art form is seen to be depicting more emotions; portraying the dramatic features that are filled with happiness, anger, agony, and humor.

– Much like the classic style, the art was made using marble or stone as its medium. The Greeks also used bronze as one of their primary materials for Hellenistic sculpture work.


– This style is more focused on emotion and religion. The artists tried to convey what they believed was the story of a character through their expression, rather than the physical appearance (Gunther & Bagna-Dulyachinda, 2019).

– Etruscan art preceded Greek art, but greater influence was seen in the Italian region. The Greek influence for this style can be seen in the wearing of garments and jewelry.

– Although there is no real concrete evidence or timeline for when this type of artwork first appeared, it seems that archaeologists have been able to identify Etruscan art from about 500 BC onwards.


– The sculptors worked from their own perspective and were not trying to imitate anything from life.

– This style first appeared around 500 BC, after the birth of Hellenistic Greek sculpture.

– The figures in Attic sculptures were depicted with a greater emphasis on the delicacy and grace of women.

– This is one of the most important styles as it helped inspire many of the later works that we see in other forms of art today (Dillon, 2017).


– The artists in geometric used what is known as key-patterns in their artwork. These key patterns include: triangles, squares, circles and crosses.

– These works are known for their simplicity and symmetry.

– The first use of this style seems to have been around 800 BC. It was the early works of this style that we can see most often among the earlier stages of Greek art.


The early works of Greek sculpture were usually done in wood or marble. Only after the fall of the temple of Apollo at Delphi did sculptors begin to transition from wood to stone. The reason for this was because metal was more durable and could withstand a great amount of wear and tear from weathering, but stone would not break down in that same way. For an artist to be accepted into the ranks of Greek sculpture, he or she had to have a significant amount of skill and talent that surpassed the work previously created by others. These artists also needed to live within a close proximity to an existing temple, so as to have access to the newly found materials, which were being added in greater numbers at this time period. The artists were not always accepted into the ranks of Greek sculpture though. The profession did not become so popular until the seventh century BC (Wace, 2014).

The artwork that appeared at this time was mainly done using marble and stone, but was soon expanded to include terracotta and bronze. Some notable places where terracotta sculptures could be found are: Greece, Italy and Egypt. The primarily used materials for these works are still similar to those used today, with some additions in the form of metals like silver, gold and copper. In each style, there were different materials used to create different effects. Stone was the foremost material used for ancient Greek sculptors. This is because it was a stable resource that allowed for a substantial amount of detail to be carved into the stone while maintaining strength and durability (Gunther & Bagna-Dulyachinda, 2019). The first use of stone was seen in early Aegean sculpture, around 3500 BC. The Greeks began to use marble in the mid-late 5th century BC.

As with any masterful work, there are certain aspects that make the pieces created by these ancient Greek sculptors so unique and unique. A lot of their sculpture had some kind of religious theme or meaning to it, and they did take this a step further by trying to perfect the human figure. The Greeks were also masters at using multiple materials in order to achieve their desired effect. The creation of different mediums within the sculptural craft was one way that allowed for the shaping of intricate details into full-sized sculptures. In addition to making stone sculptures, the ancient Greeks used bronze as one of their chief material for creating artworks and figurines (Dillon, 2017). This is one of the most important aspects that separates classical Greek art from all other styles found throughout history. The Greeks were so skilled in their craft that they were able to create sculptures that were looked upon for centuries after their deaths. Many artists today still look to the works created by the ancient Greeks as a source of inspiration and guidance. These are truly some of the greatest artists of all time and will be forever recognized as such.

Styles, Materials and Techniques in Ancient Greek Sculpture

The ancient Greeks were also a very advanced civilization, with a way of life that was advanced beyond what anyone was doing at the time. Their architecture was one of the most advanced, and their use of materials was something that had never been seen before. This is also true for their art work. Ancient Greek sculpture began as early as around 3200 BC or so, however it wasn’t until around 530 BC that we started to see the technology used in creating sculptures start to grow in complexity and detail. Greek sculptors learned both stone carving and bronze-casting from the Egyptians and Syrians, while the traditions of sculpture within Greece were developed by the two main groups of settlers from Thessaly – the Ionians and Dorians. The Early Greeks were able to create a number of different things, including wooden statues and columns made out of several different materials (Jenkins, 2006). The most common materials used to create these sculptures were marble and limestone. These are very hard and sturdy minerals which allowed for incredible detail to be added into the sculptures without them breaking or losing their form over time. The unique styles found in Greek art are often seen as the most important aspect. They have been widely copied and used by artists all over the world and continue to influence the creations of today.

The Greeks also had a keen sense of form, and were able to create sculptures that blended various styles together together in a cohesive way. This gave Greek sculpture a very distinct look and feel that has not been duplicated since. In many instances, these styles were seen as being more mature than what was seen in other parts of the world at this time. The detail was incredibly smooth, yet still had a sense of essence surrounding it (Fullerton, 2016). While many people think that Greek sculpture doesn’t have much variety, this is not true at all. The ancient Greeks were always looking for new and interesting ways to bring the spirit of their gods and goddesses, along with their stories, to life.

What the Ancient Greeks Did for the Art of Sculpture

The ancient Greeks relied on a number of different materials in order to create and carve sculptures that were at least partly made out of stone. They had a great understanding of how these materials reacted under various conditions, which allowed them to use their resources in the most efficient way possible. The artists did not simply go out and hunt down stones themselves; they also used limestone quarries and fired earth/clay/sand into bronze molds which would then be melted down into silver or gold statues later on. The ancient Greeks also used a number of different metals in order to create sculptures. They would first form the metal into the desired shape, and then pour molten bronze into a mold to be formed. The same was true for silver and gold. The artists took great care when it came to these metals as they didn’t just want a single statue, but instead wanted sculptures that would last for generations to come (Jenkins, 2006). They did this in order to ensure that the many myths and legends surrounding their gods and goddesses would never be forgotten. Their styles of art were used by artists all over the world, and are one of the main reasons that they continue to be so widely copied.

A notable aspect of the ancient Greek sculptors was their ability to create full-sized statues that were life-sized. This is something that saw a great deal of use in later artists throughout history, but it was often used even more so by the ancient Greeks. The statues were not only made to look lifelike; it was also important for them to have a sense of being “alive”. Some even had hair and fur, as well as tongues and ears. By adding these small details, Greek sculptures had some very special effects. The ancient Greeks also had an incredible understanding of how to work with multiple materials in order to create extremely realistic sculptures (Gunther, 2019). They used whatever was needed in order to achieve the results they were looking for. This helped them create some of the most intricate sculpted items in history. In essence , the ancient Greeks created true art. Their sculptures had a sense of excellence that was rarely seen before, and has inspired artists throughout history. It is because of their contributions to the sculpting world that many people are able to enjoy sculptures today.





Dillon, S. (2017). Approaches to the study of Greek sculpture. The Diversity of Classical Archaeology, 1, 223-234.

Fullerton, M. D. (2016). Greek Sculpture. John Wiley & Sons.

Gunther, Y. H., & Bagna-Dulyachinda, S. (2019). From Realism to Idealism: Ancient Greek Sculpture in the Classical Period. Literature & Aesthetics, 29(2).

Jenkins, I. (2006). Greek architecture and its sculpture. Harvard University Press.

Wace, A. (2014). An Approach to Greek Sculpture. Cambridge University Press.