Greek Architecture and Architectural Sculpture

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Christina Katsougiannopolou

FAH207 Lecture 2 MAY17/2012 Greek Architecture – Temple Building and Architectural Sculpture Greek landscape - Distinct characteristic; small coastal plains, mountains, some greenery – dramatic landscape - Landscape influence the way Greeks build and fashion their buildings, esp. public buildings Greek Architecture/Temples (1) - Greek temples set on a very conspicuous spot – a hilltop, somewhere that can be seen anywhere - Temple surrounded by buildings – the whole area around the temple considered to be sacred - Religious practice influence the way temples were built  A Greek temple was not so much a place of worship, but a permanent ‘house’ of a god or goddess.  It did not offer space for congregation, unlike the Christian church.  Focal point of ritual and worship was the altar, usually placed in front of the temple  Different temples were dedicated to different gods and ritual practice involves sacrifice (i.e. bloodless sacrifice – offers gifts to the gods; or blood sacrifice using animals) - Temples could also fulfill a variety of secondary functions, such as that of a treasury (i.e. Parthenon) Temple and Community - Temples were very important factor of community building for the polis - Polis = city or citizen state; Greek city-states aren’t politically unified – usually fought each other - By 700 BC, city-states were formed on most areas of Southern and Central Greece and on the coast of Asia Minor; each polis included an urban settlement and a surrounding territory - Temple building was an endeavour in which the whole community took immense pride in – expensive projects - Temples were built and rebuilt due to fire and other natural disasters - Competition between city-states – which one will build the most lavish temples  Temples become pilgrimage signs; people flocking from all over the world to see them – the divinity/god was popular but also the building itself was popular Greek Architecture/Temples (2) - Typical plan of a fully developed classical Greek temple includes:  Cella or Naos: room for cult image  Pronaos: antechamber  Opisthodomos: multifunctional room in the back of the temple  Peristyle: rows/colonnades of columns surrounding temple; colonnades can be doubled  Pteron/-a: ‘wing” - Colonnades on the sides of temple  The typical layout of a classical temple has the number of columns on the small sides doubled on the long sides (plus one column)  6 on 13, or 8 on 17 columns - Concept of order, symmetry and proportion was extremely important in Greek architecture Greek Architecture/Temples (3) - Other features that make Greek temple building unique in many ways are so-called refinements or optical illusions/tricks that very often Greeks used  Influenced by the Egyptians - Classical Greek Architecture employs a number of sophisticated devices in order to correct the optical appearance of temple, such as ‘curvature’ and ‘entasis,’(swelling) even if they required huge efforts on the side of the builders - When one uses curvature, allows for a more natural, organic appearance of the building (straight lines looked sagged when starring from the horizon, while curved lines looked more appealing) and also for practical reasons (allows for easier drainage of rain water) Greek Architecture/ Temples (4) - Greek temple architecture follows a basic scheme:  a stylobate and columns (with base and capital), which support an entablature.  The entablature consists of: architrave, frieze, pediment - Within this general scheme, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders can be distinguished.  They are named after the ethnic characteristics and dialects predominant in certain geographical areas as a result of migration movements at the end of the 2nd Millennium BCE. - These different architectural orders were introduced at different times:  Doric order evolves through the 7th c. BCE out of wooden architecture  Ionic order was fully developed in the 6th c.  Corinthian order is first found on the interior of a late 5th c. BCE temple, and increasingly used on the exterior of buildings since the 4th c. BCE - The Doric order: heavy and sturdy; Ionic order: ornamental, elegant, more feminine - Doric was preferred in mainland Greece, and in Western colonies - Ionic in Asia Minor and the Greek Islands, and also influenced Athens Doric Order vs. Ionic Order - Doric: column directly on stylobate, simple capital; in the entablature, there’s a frieze decorated by the triglyph and metopes - Ionic: ornate base on stylobate, deeper ridges with its fluted column, capital stylize with floral design (volute) – influenced by eastern architecture; the entablature has a continuous frieze and more simpler than the Doric in this respect - Both styles emerged roughly at the same time, very late 7 c. (Doric probably earlier, but debatable) Greek Architectural Sculpture - Includes sculptures in the pediment; friezes; cult statue/image; acroteria (large figural tiles?) - The selection of themes for mythological sculptures was determined by the patron deity of the temple, local history and myth, as well as the specific interests of the city (or social group, or individual) who commissioned the temple (e.g., Parthenon in Athens). - Architectural sculpture was very likely understood as a precious ornament that was meant to delight the deity as whose ‘house’ the temple functioned. - Architectural sculpture is found not only on temples, but also on other types of architecture, such as altars (e.g., Pergamon altar). - Architectural sculptures in marble were painted, like all sculpture. Certain attributes (e.g., bows, arrows) were made from different materials and then attached. th Plan and reconstruction of the Heroon at Lefkandi, 10 c. BC - Not a temple - ‘heroon’ = a shrine for a heroized individual who is honored with a cult after death - Building measured 50x10m - Two most prominent burials were located under the floor - The grounds around the building were used also for burials, probably of the local elite - Materials used for the building were common during the Dark Age: stone, mud brick, thatch and timber - Male burial: cremation; female burial: inhumation - Horse burial: indicates the high status of the dead; horses were aristocratic ‘status symbols.’ - Permanent ‘temples’ (i.e. ‘houses’ for the gods) were only built in the geometric period (8 c. BC) th  Before this time, worship of the gods took place in the open air, in sanctuaries with altars Dreros, Crete: Reconstruction of shrine and Apollo cult figure “(
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