DRESS AND DRAPERY
IT is necessary for every one who approaches the study of Greek sculpture and painting first to pay some attention to the character of Greek dress. For the human figures which are the subjects of Greek art are in the great majority of cases clothed. And whereas every one necessarily has some small knowledge and understanding of the human figure, very few persons, even very few artists, understand how Greek dress was cut and worn. This dress was astonishingly simple, and yet in its arrangement so foreign to our habits and notions that many learners find the greatest difficulty in understanding it, or in believing that it was in actual use.
It does not, however, appear, in all cases, that the dress represented in Greek sculpture and painting was the dress actually worn. There is in earlier Greek art a good deal of helplessness and convention, and in later Greek art there is what may be called a rhetorical tendency, a striving after a pleasing result without strict adherence to fact. We must therefore be on our guard in reading the evidence as to dress furnished by the monuments. Works of archaic art often present to us elaborate systems of folds and pleats which are quite conventional, and at a later time dress has beyond doubt a tendency to pass into drapery, that is, into dress arranged not for use but for artistic effect, as foil or background. But notwithstanding this, it may be fairly said that in the case of the great mass of Greek statues, and