Parthenon

Hauntingly Beautiful: Frederic Edwin Church’s Parthenon Sketch


Home of the mythological goddess Athena, the Parthenon is a hauntingly sacred place where the air is ominously rife with magic. Or, at least, that is the mood evoked in Frederic Edwin Church’s (1826-1900) oil sketch of the Parthenon. To create this effect, Church chose to paint the building from below, giving the impression that it looms over the viewer. In reality, this particular view of the Parthenon does not exist, but is rather contrived from composite views and memory. The contrast of red and blue illumination was also almost certainly invented by the artist.
Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, Parthenon, Hudson River School, Romanticism, artificial lighting, Greece, composite view, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American landscape, Architecture, columns, icebergs, nature, Athena, mythology, paintings

Searching for Perfection


Richard Meier’s Getty Center, which sits atop a hill in Santa Monica, is, arguably, the last great building of the 20th century. While some liken the complex to a fortified Tuscan hill town, and Meier himself says that he was thinking of Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli or the Villa Farnese in Caprarola, it reminds me of another ancient hilltop complex, the Parthenon.
Richard Meier, J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Hadrian, Tivoli, Villa Farnese, Caprarola, Parthenon, Athens, Le Corbusier, Architecture, San Diego Freeway, stone, GRiD, Getty Research Institute, construction, drawing