|Classical art owes its lasting
influence to its simplicity and reasonableness, its
humanity, and its sheer beauty. The first and greatest
period of known classical art began in Greece at about
the middle of the 5th century B.C.. By that time, Greek
sculptors had solved many of the problems that faced
artists in the early archaic period.
By then, classical sculptors
had learned to represent the human form naturally and
easily, in action or at rest. They were interested chiefly
in portraying gods, however. They thought of their gods
as people, but grander and more beautiful than any human
being. They tried, therefore, to portray ideal beauty
rather than any particular person. Their best sculptures
achieved almost godlike perfection.