Amazons in Art

Indeed the great wave of enthusiasm for depicting Amazons in art, either on vases or in friezes, happened after the Battle of Marathon in 490 BCE.
By the sixth century BCE, as the craze for Amazon scenes grows, we see Hercules in combat with Amazons on lots of vases.
Some images are very vivid and powerful.

The battle between Greeks and Amazons was a favorite
theme with the sculptors of friezes.  Greek artists
emphasises,   the national dress of the combatants,
the womanhood of the Amazons contrasted with the
manhood of their enemies.  Uniformly in the friezes
the Amazons are beautiful.  Those who have fallen
are treated by the artist with peculiar tenderness;
those who are brought to bay are spirited and valiant.
Those who are for the moment victorious show no
savage exultation.

The famous free-standing statues of Amazons which have come down to us, and which inherit the artistic tradition
of the masters of the fifth century, show the same
sympathetic treatment.  the face is calm and ideally
beautiful, the body is that of a young woman in her prime, strong, supple, and graceful, dressed in a short
tunic which leaves one breast bare.
There are also examples of the mounted Amazons in
sculpture.  Perhaps one of the finest bits in existence
is the fragment of horse and woman-rider from Epidaurus, now in the National Museum at Athens.  This
Amazon wears a short belted tunic and also a mantle
fastened about her neck.  She is remarkably lithe
and beautiful; she sits her horse perfectly; best of all
is the contrast between her slender body and the
powerful and sinewy frame of the animal.

The types of Amazons in vase-painting are numerous.
They are shown in every conceivable situation indicative
of their prowess in battle and in the hunt, on foot, on
horseback, in chariots, preparing for combat, taking
the ephebes' oath, bearing away the dead, and so on.
Such then in a general way is the tradtion of the Amazons,which had an important place in
Greek art and literature.

                                                 Florence Mary Bennett
                                             Religious Cults Associated With The Amazons


In the Louvre's collection of Greek antiquities, there's a curious piece of Attic Black Figure pottery shaped like a bell with one side cut away.  The women warriors prtrayed on the Lourvre epinetron are Amazons, whose images began to appear on Greek ceramics in the seventh century B.C.E.  During the Classical age (about 500-323 B.C.E.), the motif became so popular, it was given its own name- amazonmachy- and could be found on architectural friezes, jewelry, and ceramics of every description.
      J.D-Kimball  Warrior Women

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