Romanticism

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