Eye Candy for Today: Alma-Tadema’s Pheidias and the Frieze of the Parthenon

Pheidias and the Frieze of the Parthenon, Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Pheidias and the Frieze of the Parthenon, Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Pheidias and the Frieze of the Parthenon, Lawrence Alma-Tadema; oil on wood panel, roughly 28 x 44 inches (72 x 110 cm); link is to the file page on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the collection of Birmingham Museums, UK.

Also known as Phidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to his Friends, Alma-Tadema’s painting shows the great Greek sculptor and architect showing off his frieze in the Parthenon, the temple in Athens dedicated to the goddess Athena, of whom Phidias also created the
monumental statures known as the Athena Parthenos and the Athena Promachos, inside and outside the temple.

Historians have identified some of the figures in the painting as Pericles, Socrates and other known individuals of the time.

I love the way Alma-Tadema has lifted us up on the scaffolding near the ceiling with Pheidias and his guests, and heightened the drama with contrast between the darkness in the rear portion of the scaffolding and uplighting from the chamber below.

Watch your step!

 
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