Classicism and Totalitarian Art Misuse of classical Art by totalitarian systems
I was surprised by paintings of Salvador Dali showing the Pharos of Alexandria (2 versions), the Colossus of Rhodes and the colossal Zeus statue of Phidias. But also the Aphrodite of Cnidus or Melos or the wounded Amazon and the Nike of Samothrace can be found in some of his paintings. Sometimes hidden elements of Greek history and mythology exist in his paintings. In his last painting he symbolized, using Aphrodite, his expected death.
Andre Durand Contemporary Mythological Paintings (from Carlos Parada Website) a few maybe provocative images.
A modern version obviously of the goddess Athena (Sir Anthony Caro)
Greek Gods and heroes in Rubens' and Rembrandt's age A short report from Spiros Tzelepis
It is clear that we are witnessing the death throes of the cultural system maintained by the bourgeoisie in its galleries and its museums, Jean Clay
Modern Greek Painters and Ancient Greece
The Era of Heroes Pashalis Aggelidis
Plato and Arts
Who where the two artists of ancient times who competed to see who could paint the visible world most faithfully? “Now I shall prove to you that I am the best,” said the first, showing the other a curtain which he had painted. “Well, draw back the curtain,” said the adversary, “and let us see the picture.” “The curtain is the picture,” replied the first with a laugh.
Parrhasius wrote that he is such a good artist that he has set the limits of Arts so high that others will almost impossible reach. There are many stories of Parrhasisus some probably wrong. For example Seneca wrote that Parrhasius used a slave he obtained from Philip II after he destroyed Olynthus and sold the Olynthians as slaves. Parrhasius tortured the slave because he wanted to produce a realistic image of Prometheus punished by Zeus. The slave died. The painting was set in a temple of Athena. There are some doubts about this story as probably Parrhasius died earlier than the destruction of Olynthus.
The art of the Greeks, of the Egyptians, of the great painters who lived in others times, is not an art of the past; perhaps it is more alive today than it ever was.
The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract.
ERNEST. You are horribly wilful. I insist on your discussing this matter with me. You have said that the Greeks were a nation of art-critics. What art-criticism have they left us?
GILBERT. My dear Ernest, even if not a single fragment of art-criticism had come down to us from Hellenic or Hellenistic days, it would be none the less true that the Greeks were a nation of art-critics, and that they invented the criticism of art just as they invented the criticism of everything else. For, after all, what is our primary debt to the Greeks? Simply the critical spirit. And, this spirit, which they exercised on questions of religion and science, of ethics and metaphysics, of politics and education, they exercised on questions of art also, and, indeed, of the two supreme and highest arts, they have left us the most flawless system of criticism that the world has ever seen.
ERNEST. But what are the two supreme and highest arts?
GILBERT. Life and Literature, life and the perfect expression of life. The principles of the former, as laid down by the Greeks, we may not realise in an age so marred by false ideals as our own.... Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist
In 4 June 470 BC Phaenarete, the wife of an Athenian sculptor, gave birth to her son Socrates... After spending several years in his father's workshop, he decided that his mission in life was not to be a sculptor of figures, but a moulder of souls. (See the discussion of Socrates with the Painter Parrhasius)
Metropolitan Museum Publications Download from there : Greek Art from Prehistoric to Classical (PDF Book)