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Word Count: 891
The Hellenistic period begins in 323 with the death of Alexander the Great and ends with the battle of Actio in 31 BC While Philip of Macedon conquered and united the Greek city-states his son Alexander the Great embraced on a campaign that found him the conqueror of a vast empire which included Greece Persia the Near East and Egypt During this period the city-states begin to give way to a more global culture and the entire Mediterranean sea and the Middle East flourish in a background of conflict commerce and cross-cultural influence with the Greek ideals and language dominating the scene During the Hellenistic period art underwent dramatic transformations and evolved on the road paved previously by the Classical artist While the Classical Greek concepts were not entirely abandoned the artist of the Hellenistic era expanded his formal horizons with dramatic posing sweeping lines and high contrast of light shadow and emotions The conventions and rules of the classical period gave way to the experimentation and a sense of freedom that allowed the artist to explore his subjects from different unique points of view During this period the Idealism of classical art gave way to Realism which comes as a logical conclusion to the efforts of the great fourth century sculptors Praxitelis Skopas and Lysipos who worked towards a more realistic way of expressing the human figure The subtle implications of greatness and humility of the high Classical era see the Charioteer of Delphi are replaced with bold expressions of energy and power during the moments of tension as evident in the Boy Jockey While the interest in deities and heroic themes was still of importance the emphasis of Hellenistic art shifted from religious and naturalistic themes towards more dramatic human expression psychological and spiritual preoccupation and theatrical settings The sculpture of this period abandons the self-containment of the earlier styles and appears to embrace its physical surroundings with dramatic groupings
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