The Parthenon

peggyhughes
Mind Map by peggyhughes, updated more than 1 year ago
peggyhughes
Created by peggyhughes almost 6 years ago
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AS Level History of Art (Classical Greece) Mind Map on The Parthenon, created by peggyhughes on 05/17/2014.

Resource summary

The Parthenon
1 COMPOSITION AND ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES
1.1 From the exterior, was similar to Doric temple
1.1.1 Though had 8 columns rather than 6 (octostyle)
1.1.2 Pedimental sculptures show Athena's birth (from Zeus' head) and her battle with Poseidon
1.1.3 Metopes on outer frieze showed a mythological battle between centaurs and lapiths
1.1.3.1 Contrast between violent past and democratic enlightenment
1.2 Proportions
1.2.1 Sides of the Parthenon were composed in terms of the 'golden ratio'
1.2.2 Greeks obsessed over mathematical theorems, inspired by equations such as Pythagoras's theorem
1.2.2.1 Held maths and science as a direct link to the Gods - was seen as a sacred expression of their cosmic order
1.2.3 Acropolis divided into 12 thirty degree segments, which represented universal order. The Parthenon fitted into two of these segments exactly: 60 degrees
1.2.3.1 60 degrees was the optimum range of human vision, enabling the entire Parthenon to be seen at once
1.2.3.1.1 60 was the sacred number of Athena
1.3 Optical Refinement
1.3.1 Logically and deliberately applied imperfections to achieve perfection
1.3.1.1 Architects Ictinus and Callicrates altered some of the Parthenon's proportions so that the human vision would not make the building appear contorted. Human vision naturally bends straight lines, so lines must actually be bent in order to appear straight
1.3.2 Columns:
1.3.2.1 Columns taper up to prevent them looking thicker at the top - each drum gradually decreases in size
1.3.2.2 Columns lean towards the interior of the building,and the outermost columns lean towards the centre. This prevents the columns looking as if they would topple out the front or sides of the building
1.3.2.2.1 If columns continued, they would meet 4km above the roof of the Parthenon
1.3.2.3 Exterior columns thicker, so they do not appear slimmer when sillhouetted against sky
1.3.3 To stop roof appearing to sag under its own weight, the horizontal cornice is 11cm higher in the centre than it is at either end
1.3.4 Adding curvature to the lines was also more visually pleasing
2 FUNCTION
2.1 From exterior, seems to be a temple
2.2 Likely to have served as a bank or treasury
2.2.1 Heavy bronze doors clarify that it was not a public building
2.2.1.1 Double cella and lack of altar suggest was no temple
2.2.2 Records show it housed the 11m statue of Athena Polis, created from gold and ivory
3 MATERIALS
3.1 Whole Parthenon constructed of white marble
3.1.1 Wealth: rare and expensive
3.1.1.1 One 40 tonne block of marble took 10 men 10 days to quarry
3.1.1.2 By extension, power
3.1.2 Symbolic of purity of democratic society
3.2 Blocks of marble fitted together without mortar or cement, and yet there is not the width of a human air between them
3.2.1 Held in place by metal clamps or 'I' shaped bars
4 CONTEXT
4.1 Construction began in 447 BC and lasted 8 years
4.2 Commissioned by Pericles as display of the wealth and newfound democracy of Athens
4.2.1 Threatened to pay for it himself (and so own it) if the state wouldnt
4.3 Architects: Ictinus and Callicrates
4.3.1 Made no architectural plans
4.4 Sculptor: Phidias
4.4.1 Parthenon Frieze
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