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art periods

Late Bronze Age





Early Archaic

High Archaic

Late Archaic


Early Classical

High Classical

Late Classical


Early Hellenistic

High Hellenistic

Late Hellenistic










Because the absolute date of creation of most ancient art works is unknown, scholars usually discuss art works in terms of a relative chronology, or series of periods in which particular styles predominated. The names given to the period and style of an art work might then be identical, particularly in the case of original art work. In the case of a copy, however, the period refers to the time when the copy was made, whereas the style refers to the style of the original art work that the copyist followed. These relative periods, with their corresponding dates, are as follows:
  • Late Bronze Age: 1550-1100 B.C.; the period comprising the peak of Minoan power and influence, the rise of Mycenae as a cultural capital, and the eventual decline of civilization throughout the Aegean world.
  • Sub-Mycenaean: 1100-1025 B.C.; the period after the apparent collapse of Mycenaean civilization in mainland Greece (also known as the Dark Ages), in which some continuity with the Mycenaean artistic traditions is nevertheless exhibited.
  • Proto-Geometric: 1025-900 B.C.; the period during which artists, particularly potters, begin to experiment with technical refinements, new shapes, and abstract decoration.
  • Geometric: 900-700 B.C.; the period during which attention to patterns of geometrical forms prevailed, and human and animal figures were rendered as a series of geometric forms, such as lozenges and cylinders, with little attention to anatomical structure.
  • Archaic: 700-480 B.C.; the period in which the beginnings of Greek monumental stone sculpture and other developments in the naturalistic representation of the human figure are found.
    • Early Archaic: 700-600 B.C.
    • High Archaic: 600-520 B.C.
    • Late Archaic: 520-480 B.C.
    Classical: 480-323 B.C.; the period comprising the rise in the political supremacy of Athens (its "golden age") to the expansion of the Greek world under the rule of Alexander the Great of Macedon.
    • Early Classical: 480-450 B.C.
    • High Classical: 450-400 B.C.
    • Late Classical: 400-323 B.C.
    Hellenistic: 323-31 B.C.; the chaotic period from the Death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.), and the subsequent dissolution of his empire to the victory of the Romans over the Greeks at the Battle of Actium (31 B.C.), comprising a truly cosmopolitan or international range of artistic trends.
    • Early Hellenistic: 323-250 B.C.
    • High Hellenistic: 250-100 B.C.
    • Late Hellenistic: 100-31 B.C.
    Roman: 31 B.C.-4th c. A.C.; the period in which the Greek world was under the rule of the Romans, for whom and under whose patronage many Greek artists worked.
    • Augustan: 27 B.C.-A.D. 14
    • Julio-Claudian: A.D. 14-68
    • Flavian: A.D. 69-96
    • Trajanic: A.D. 98-117
    • Hadrianic: A.D. 117-138
    • Antonine: A.D. 138-192
    • Severan: A.D. 193-235
  • Modern: 19th-20th c. A.C.

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