Classic Architecture

Hello everyone! This past week it dawned on me that August was approaching, and with that comes back to school. I am beyond excited to be back in the class room. I have been preparing for the upcoming semester by going through old art history notebooks. This helps to refresh my memory on material that I may have forgotten about. This week I decided to focus on Classic Architecture. I will be discussing some Greek classics!

During 447 B.C., the construction of the Parthenon started during the peak of the Athenian Empire. This period is also known as the High Classical Period. The architects behind this temple were Iktinos, Kallikrates and Phidias. The temple would reside at the Acropolis of Athens or the top of the city. It was dedicated to the goddess Athena, who was the patron goddess of Athens and people built it in her honor. The base level of the temple celebrates her wisdom. In the center of the temple, there was a statue of the Goddess Athena.

The temple was built with 100,000 tons of marble which had to be transported from a quarry, which was not close to the construction site. Skilled craftsman carved the blocks of marble on site. The columns of the temple are on the Doric style, which was a straightforward and simple design. The columns had smooth round capitals with a squared off base. Above this are the triglyphs, metopes and a frieze which ran all the way around the four sides of the building. This was an Ionic element on a Doric style temple, but the architects combined elements from both styles.

The parts of the Parthenon, a Doric temple. | Art lesson plans ...

Eventually, over years of sustaining damages from the elements, it was rebuilt because the Persians had ruined the temple due to their barbaric lifestyle. It soon became the largest temple built by the Greeks. It was highly decorated with ornate detailed carvings. The temple has a slight inward appearance due to careful calculations. This was done to achieve lightness and elegance within the temple.

The design and style of this building had a great influence due to its refinement. The Parthenon became a bench mark that architects needed to meet when developing a design for a building that needed to meet the perfection of the Parthenon. Some examples include, the Temple of Augustus and Livia in Vienne, France and La Madeleine in Paris, France. This became such a replicated design due to its representation, which was the birthplace of democracy.

Temple to Augustus and Livia 2 Photograph by Sally Weigand
Temple of Augustus and Livia
La Madeleine in Paris, France - Encircle Photos
La Madeleine

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