Around 450 BC Athenian general Pericles tried to consolidate his power by using public funds, the taxes paid to Athens by his allies in the League of Delians, to support the city-state’s artists and thinkers.
Most importantly, Pericles paid artisans to build temples and other public buildings in the city of Athens.
In this way, he argued, he could gain the support of the Athenian people, granting many building contracts, and at the same time building grand public monuments that would be visited from far and wide, thereby increasing the prestige of Athens as well as his own.
Much of our knowledge of classical Greek art comes from stone and clay objects that have been preserved for thousands of years. We can conclude, however, that the themes we see in these works—the emphasis on pattern and order, perspective and proportion, and the human being—are also present in less enduring creations such as ancient Greek paintings and drawings.
PIC: Khan Academy, history.com, Art in Context, The Guardian