July 13
Greek Hellenistic




"Perfect was as important an idea to the Greeks as forever was to the Egyptians." - Janson's


Iktinos, Kallikrates, and Karpion. The Parthenon (view from the west), Akropolis, Athens. 448 - 432 BCE.
Duane Preble, Sarah Preble and Patrick Frank, Artforms. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002) 7th ed., 268.


British Museum's position on ownership of the Parthenon Sculptures


Akropolis Museum's position on ownership of the Parthenon Sculptures











Phidias, Athena Parthenos, c. 438 BCE. Model of the lost statue,
of which was approx. 38' tall. Reconstructed Parthenon in Nashville, TN.











Diagram in exaggerated proportion of the horizontal curvature of the Parthenon.
Richard G. Tansey and Fred S. Kleiner, Gardner's Art Through the Ages. 10th ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1996.


Entasis = a swelling of the shaft of a column, a basic feature of the Doric column










Secrets of the Parthenon



In the Parthenon, the controlling ratio for the symmetria of the parts may be expressed algebraically as:
x = 2y = 1, where x is the larger number and y is the smaller number

Thus, there are eight columns on the short ends of the temple and seventeen on the long sides:
17 = (2 x 8) + 1

More on the ratios of the Parthenon











Plan of the Akropolis at Athens in 400 BCE (after A. W. Lawrence)











Porch of the Maidens, the Erechtheum, Akropolis, Athens. 421 - 405 BCE.











architectural order = an architectural system based on the column and its entablature in which the form of the elements themselves (capital, base, shaft, etc.) and their relationships to each other are specifically defined











Doric Order

Doric = simplicity
The Parthenon
Greek mainland
More sharply defined (more plain)
Emphasis on stability and grace
Massive and weighty
Heavy use of entasis











Kallikrates, Temple of Athena Nike, Acropolis, Athens,
c. 427 - 424 BCE (view from the northeast).

Ionic Order

Ionic = simple embellishment
Temple of Athena Nike
Aegean Islands and coast of Asia Minor
Columns are taller and more slendor
Less entasis
Lighter and more graceful
Fairly fluid style
Continuous friezes
Ionic temples often included caryatids = female figured columns











Corinthian Order

Monument of Lysikrates, Athens, c. 334 BCE.

Corinthian = complex, organic decoration
Monument of Lysikrates
Invented late 5th century by metalworker named Kallimachos
Began to appear about 450 BC, in the early Classic period on the inside of small temples
In the 4th century find it replacing Ionic capitals on the exterior
Curly shoots and leaves of the acanthus plant
Became the standard capital for Roman architects











Corinthian capital, from the Tholos at Epidauros. c. 350 BCE.











Reconstruction drawing of the Treasury of the Siphnians. Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi. c. 525 BCE.











Ground plan of a typical Greek peripteral temple (after Grinnell)

"Typical" Greek Temple plan included:
nucleus (cella, naos) = room in which image of the deity was placed
pronaos = the porch
peristyle = a colonnade
In larger temples the nucleus of cella and porches is surrounded by a colonnade of 6 to 8 columns at front and back, and usually 12 to 14 columns along the sides
Entrance faces east, toward the rising sun
Floor plan not contingent upon order











Alexander the Great's Empire
Caroline Alexander. Echoes of the Heroic Age: Ancient Greece Part III. National Geographic. March 2000: p. 56 - 57.











Alexander the Great with Amun Horns. Four-drachma silver coin issued by Lysimachos. c. 297 - 281 BCE. Diameter 1 1/8".

Alexander the Great
Caroline Alexander. Echoes of the Heroic Age: Ancient Greece Part III. National Geographic. March 2000: p. 55.











Gallic Chieftan Killing His Wife And Himself. Roman copy after original bronze of c. 220 BCE. Marble, height 6' 11".











Dying Gallic Trumpeter. Roman copy after orginal bronze of c. 220 BCE. Marble, height 36 1/2".











Knidian Aphrodite

Knidian Aphrodite. Roman copy after an original of c. 340 - 330 BCE, by Praxiteles. Marble, height 6'8".



According to Pliny, men who visited the shrine of the Aphrodite of Knidos on the island of Cos could not contain themselves. This nude, by the Greek master Praxiteles, was initially rejected by the people who commissioned it because of its provocative nakedness: the community of Knidos bought it and it became a popular tourist attraction. <https://tinyurl.com/polsd6s>
Pliny says one man was driven so wild he tried to have sex with the marble statue.
“A stain,” says the Roman author drily, “bears witness to his lust.” And he was not the first man to fall in love with a statue. The Greek myth of Pygmalion tells of an artist who fell in love with his own creation.












Doryphoros (Spear Bearer). Roman copy after an original of c. 450 - 440 BCE by Polykleitos. Marble,height 6' 6".
Apoxyomenos (Scraper). Roman marble copy, probably after a bronze original of c. 330 BCE by Lysippos. Height 6' 9".