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The term for Greek art of the late 4th to late 1st centuries bc. During this period Greece lost its political importance and new centres of patronage emerged in Asia Minor, Egypt, and then Rome, leading to cosmopolitan influences and diverse styles of art. The harmony and beauty of the preceding Classical period gave way to dynamism and individuality. Sculpture showed great technical expertise and, at its best, drama and emotion, as in the Laocoön of c.25 bc, now in the Vatican Museum, Rome. During the 19th century, when Greek art of the Classical period was well known, Hellenistic art was dismissed as decadent.

Subjects: Art.

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