Painting was the favorite form of art in ancient Greece. It used to be more important than sculpture.
Ancient Greek authors and historians, such as Pausanias and Pliny, thought the paintings on the walls of particularly temples and other public buildings were equally – if not even more – brilliant and significant as the buildings and the sculptures.
Wall painting began its development during the archaic period, and at the beginning, it was on the same level as vase painting.
By the end of the Hellenistic period, wall painting had improved drastically. The top Greek painters used shadows, perspective, foreshortening, modeling to reveal contours in forms, interior and landscape backgrounds.
They also used different colors to create a sense of distance in landscapes.
The images that we can see on Greek vases may give us a feel of how those walls probably looked like. Hoverer, none of the vases from the classical period survived.
All the vases, plates and cups that we have in museums were producer much earlier, during the archaic era.
The fresco technique included a preparation of the wall, which was covered with a fine layer of white covering. Then the artist would use a sharp instrument, often an obsidian chip, to sketch the key features and the most important details.
While the surface was still wet, the artist would apply the colors. Since the colors were soaked in, the image created that way was fairly durable.
What was the most appreciated form of art in ancient Greece?
It was painting.
How do we know about ancient Greek wall paintings when none of them survived?
Greek authors and historians wrote a lot about famous painters and their works.
What are the frescoes and how did they survive?
Fresco painting is a special kind of painting on the inner walls of the buildings. The fact that those are inner, and not outer walls probably helped.
How did ancient Geeks get colors for their paintings?
They found them in nature and got them from plants, animals, precious stones, and earth.
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