Ancient Art

Ancient art includes the diverse forms of arts developed primarily in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia, Rome, India and China. Each civilization had its particular style and has influenced later arts of different cultures. They also give us an insight into how ancient artists worked.

As history reveals, The Jomon’s of ancient Japan first founded pottery as an art form. Ancient art of the Arabs and Persians were a combination of paintings and writings with architecture. In Mesopotamia, the mother of all civilizations, writing and agriculture were discovered. They also enriched the later civilizations with their arts. Sumerians embellished their pottery with paintings and created beautiful jewelry. One of the most fascinating artifacts from that period is a wooden box decorated with lapis lazuli.

As history suggests, Babylonians were said to have discovered the making of bricks which developed into architectural splendors like columns and pillars. Frescoes, tiles and walls were all beautiful and colorful. They also created fantastic artifacts in metal, gems and embroidery. The later Assyrians used stone slabs and sculptures for architecture. Also jewelry making with copper and gold attained perfection.

One of the most artistically rich civilizations is that of Egypt. This civilization was based on religion. Their gods and pharaohs were worshipped devotedly and were depicted widely in their arts. In ancient Egyptian art a sense of proportion and balance was maintained by using orderly lines and shapes. Hierarchy was of vital importance in ancient Egyptian art and the pharaoh was the most important personage and was painted larger than any of the others.

Gods, goddesses and animals as symbolic elements were widely used in ancient Egyptian art. Color was also an important aspect in the arts. Their art reflects a profound knowledge of human and animal anatomy. This ancient art survived through many centuries due to the dry climate of Egypt.

Like Egypt, Greece was the hotbed of civilization. In the ancient art of Greece, pottery sculptures and architecture was prevalent. Greek art is distributed among three periods- Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic. The history of Greek pottery also includes periods like Protogeometric, Geometric, Archaic, Black Figure and Red Figure. The architecture and sculptures of ancient Greece have lasted through the ages.

Ancient Greek paintings have unfortunately not survived long. You can find only a few examples of Greek paintings on terracotta and on tombs and walls. The paintings on pottery are aesthetically pleasing and have survived longer than on any other medium.

Ancient Roman art was inspired by Greek and Etruscan arts. When the villas of Romans were excavated in Pompeii, strong affinity for Greek art was found to be present. Most Greek art survives through their copies by the Romans. The difference lies in the fact that Greeks depicted insights into human life whereas Romans glorified great events and personages through their art.

Apart from these civilizations, ancient art of Minoa during the Bronze Age is famous for its ceramics, frescos, landscape paintings and stone carvings. The ancient Mycenaean specialized in working with gold. Scythian art consisting of gold jewelry are found from Hungary to Mongolia. Their art is small, characterizing their migratory lifestyle. Also ancient Chinese art has significantly influenced all arts of the Far East.

From every conceivable medium like pottery, stone, glass, metal to textiles and categories such as architecture, paintings, jewelry and weapons, ancient art spans all ages and various cultures and civilizations.