Alexander the Great lived between 356 BC to 323 BC. The name Hellenistic is derived from Greek word Hellas. Hellenic age stands for the period when Greek culture was pure and unaffected by other cultures. However, as time went by, the Greeks associated with people from other parts of the world. The Hellenistic period is the period when the Greek culture blended with other cultures from Africa and Asia. Alexander the Great is said to be the one who led the blending of cultures. He was the King of Macedonia and stood as an outstanding speaker.Many changes happened during the rule of Alexander, a situation that led to initiation and advancement of various activities. Some of the main improvements within the Greek culture was an improvement of architecture and visual arts (Honour and Fleming 56).
During the age of Alexander, visual art was an aid to diversify stylistic and subject matter development. During the Hellenistic period, art had a strong sense of history. Due to its great work in the creation of visual art, it would later result in great libraries and museums like those found in Pergamon and Alexandria. Artists from the Hellenistic period adapted and copied early styles as they made great innovations. They made artifacts that represented the Greek gods. For instance, the popular portrait and image of a nude Aphrodite (Honour and Fleming 23). This image was created to reflect secularization of religion in history. Further to that, they made expressions of Dionysos that represented the god of wine as well as the conqueror of the East and Hemes. Hemes was a representation of the god of commerce. In the museum, they also represented Eros, who personified love.
During the age of Alexander, the new international Hellenistic milieu was created to show the wide range of subject matter with a small precedent in Greek art. They represented unorthodox subjects like grotesques. The portraits and images made during that period represented the Hellenistic popularity (Burgan, 12). It also led to improvement of art in the Roman Imperial period. Romans became the collectors of Greek art thus making them decorate their country villas and townhouses with Greek sculptures. For instance, the paintings on the wall of Boscoreale that echo Hellenistic Macedonian paintings as well as bronze. During the Alexander age, Rome became the capital for Hellenistic art production.
Another outstanding characteristic of the Hellenistic period during the Alexander’s age was architecture. This field of architecture led to the construction of large complexes and vast urban plans that were hard to find in 5th century BC. This resulted in an innovative city planning where instead of manipulating land through correction of faults, the architectural designs changed to natural setting. Due to this innovative ideas, there was a multiplication of amusement centers like parks and theatres. Therefore, this came as an advantage during that period, as there were opportunities to expand the towns and cities of Tigris and Antioch. Due to this strong architectural designs, certain cities were founded like Alexandria in Egypt.
The architecture, from the 8th century B.C. in Greece, focused on the construction of monuments that were rectangular or square in shaped and had columned porticoes. These innovative ideas devised by the Greeks had three unique styles specifically for big buildings. These were the Ionic, the Doric as well as the Corinthian. Each of the innovations can be said to be different and unique. Therefore, it can be concluded that they came up with what the Westerners, as well as others around the world, refer to as "classical" architecture. However, the Greeks were also influenced by Cretan and Egyptian models (Cunningham, Reich and Fischer-Rathus 2). Greece during that period offered enough stones to construct ambitious markets, temples as well as other buildings, most of which were public buildings. Therefore, this period saw the initiation of complex buildings and other unique architectural designs. This can be seen in most of the towns and cities in Greece and Egypt today.
Another impact was that classical Mediterranean art, as well as architecture, were closely linked with the society that invented them. The role of classical styles within those societies is attributed to the flexibility of the Greek art that originally was absent. This is because the Greek structures raised were meant to be used. For instance, marketplaces and temples were part and parcel of urban life. This led to improvement of trade and increase in revenue in those cities. It also led to the expansion of the Greek empire. Again, it made Classical art flexible to meet the needs of the artists. The situation also improved Classical dramas that were viewed as examples of high art that were performed ot the elite only (Honour and Fleming, 54). For example, a town like Athens exists in the memory of the majority of many people due to the creativity of the philosophers and writers. The diverse audiences that came to the performances of some plays by specific authors, like Sophocles also contributed to the existence of Athen.
In conclusion, the age of Alexander saw improvement in visual art and architecture. The period was known as the Hellenistic period. The art of this period was referred to as classical art, as it was full of innovation. For instance, some of the visual structures had portraits and sculptures that represented various gods. These structures were placed in various museums and brought many traders to that country. Again, the architectural designs led to improved and well-decorated towns. It led to massive building of marketplaces and temples that attracted many people due to their magnificence.
Burgan, Michael. Empire of Ancient Rome. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2009. Print.
Cunningham, Lawrence, John Reich and Lois Fichner-Rathus. Culture and Values: A Survey of the Humanities, Volume 1. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.
Honour, Hugh and John Fleming. A World History of Art. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2005. Print.