Ancient Greek sculptures were typically made of either stone or wood and very few of them survive to this day. Most Greek sculpture was of the freestanding, human form (even if the statue was of a god) and many sculptures were nudes. The Greeks saw beauty in the naked human body.
Early Greek statues called kouros were rigid and stood up straight. Over time, Greek statuary adopted a more natural, relaxed pose with hips thrust to one side, knees and arms slightly bent, and the head turned to one side.
Other sculptures depicted human action, especially athletics. A good example is Myron’s Discus Thrower Another famous example is a sculpture of Artemis the huntress.
The piece, called “Diana of Versailles,” depicts the goddess of the hunt reaching for an arrow while a stag leaps next to her.
Among the most famous Greek statues is the Venus de Milo, which was created in the second century B.C.E. The sculptor is unknown, though many art historians believe Praxiteles to have created the piece. This sculpture embodies the Greek ideal of beauty.
The ancient Greeks also painted, but very little of their work remains. The most enduring paintings were those found decorating ceramic pottery. Two major styles include red figure (against a black background) and black figure (against a red background) pottery. The pictures on the pottery often depicted heroic and tragic stories of gods and humans.