“You cannot step into the same river twice.”
“The invisible connection is stronger than the visible.”

(after Heraclitus, 530–470 BC)

The works of art in this room are exhibited in chronological order, to illustrate the great periods of Greek art (1–6). Some of them can be precisely dated to a decade: Greek masters followed the artistic patterns they inherited from their predecessors, but they also kept on renewing them. Sometimes change was slow, as in the case of Geometric pottery (8–10), sometimes it was revolutionary, as with the invention of the red-figure technique in Athenian vase painting (ca. 525 BC, 16), or finding new expressions for balancing the sculpted human figure (the introduction of contrapposto in the early 5th century, 21). All this created radically new possibilities for the representation of movement.

The works of art represent a number of genres and span about half a millennium, but they still have something in common. In each period, artists created precisely constructed, one-of-a-kind compositions. This effort is palpable both in the composition of painted vases, and in the principles governing the representation of the human body.

Accuracy in composition is also characteristic in the representations of the human figure (20). The chorus of dancers on the Geometric hydria, or the sculpted forms of the Perinthos kouros fit into long-standing artistic traditions; their harmony derives from the beautiful execution of inherited models.

Classical works of art represent free movement, and the depicted gestures affect the entire body (21–23). Human figures are also characterised by a strict inner order, where harmony is created through the synthesis of movements.