style of the Classical period in Greek Sculpture developed from the conventions
of the earlier Archaic Period. Through the Classical period (which
is usually divided into Early, Middle, and Late Classical periods), the
human figure evolved from the one-dimensional rigidity of Archaic kouros
and kore figures, to a more realistic figure which interacted with its
The important concept of weight shift was
first applied to sculpture in the Early Classical period. With this
application, the sculpted figure came to be seen as moving in a direction
through space, rather than merely standing in it, as in an Archaic statue.
The Middle (High) Classical period saw the application of a Platonic
canon of proportions to sculpture; the sculpted figure could represent
the sculptor’s ideal of a ‘perfect’ human body.
Finally, in the Late Classical period,
sculpture began to be realized as a three-dimensional form, which took
up and enclosed space. The figure could be viewed, like a ‘real’
object, from any three-dimensional angle. With the figure spatially
defined, the Classical style gave way to the later Hellenistic period,
during which development of the emotional and dramatic aspects of sculpture
was to continue.