Summer School 2021

Understanding Greek art

Dr Jessica Nitschke, Research Associate, Department of Ancient Studies, Stellenbosch University

Who commissioned Greek art and how was it used? Why are so many Greek statues nude? What was the function of vases? Was Greek sculpture painted? Through a close examination of examples of sculpture and painting from primarily the ‘Classical’ period (5th to 4th centuries BCE), this course provides an introduction to Greek visual culture. Specifically, it considers how Greek culture helps us to understand why Greek art looks the way it does, and how we can use art to better understand Greek society.


1.Patron and artist

2.Gods, heroes, men

3.Nudity and nakedness

4.Vases and painting

5.The significance of colour


This course will be offered on Microsoft Teams. Participants will be sent a link.


Recommended reading

Cartledge, P. 2011. Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stewart, A. 2008. Classical Greece and the Birth of Western Art. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


Date: 1822 January 
Time: 11.15 am