The Sculptures Of The East And West Pediments Of The Temple Of Zeus At Olympia

2157 words - 9 pages

Use of Movement and Characterisation in the Sculptures of the East and West Pediments of The Temple of Zeus at Olympia The architectural sculpture of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia dates from between 465 and 457BC. Putting the temple into historical context, this was a somewhat flourishing time in Greek history, drama, and philosophy. In 490BC, the Athenians won a great victory at Marathon against the Persians, and in 480BC the Persians sacked Athens but were eventually defeated in a naval victory for the Athenians at Salamis. Greek tragedy was thriving during the fifth century, with Aeschylus’ Oresteia being written roughly around the same time as the sculptures for the temple of Zeus were created, and fifth century philosophy was developing ideas regarding how one should act in society. This information proves to be relevant to our understanding of the development of Greek sculpture in this period, and encourages us to recognise how the sculptures on the Temple of Zeus at Olympia may reflect this prosperous time of Greek history.
In this essay, I will specifically be discussing the use of movement and characterisation in the two pediments of the Temple of Zeus, and how they enhance the narrative of the two stories depicted. I will also explore how the sculpture on these pediments represent the ‘flourishing’ period of Classical Greece - a period when the Greeks were celebratory of their defeat of the Persians, and when new ideas were starting to emerge from sculptors adapting concepts from Greek drama and philosophical ideas.
In his publication, E.N. Gardener argues against the lack of appreciation for the sculptures on the east and west pediments of the Temple of Zeus:
‘The real greatness of these magnificent sculptures has not been as much appreciated as it deserves. We are apt to compare them with the matchless marbles of the Parthenon and feel disappointed, forgetting that they were produced some twenty years earlier, and in the artistic history of the fifth century twenty years is a long period.’
I would certainly agree with this statement. I would argue that the sculptures on both these pediments are impressive examples of early classical sculpture, successfully introducing the depiction of emotion which was lacking in the archaic period. The sculptures receive expression in suitability to the story that is depicted on the pediment, establishing more of a naturalistic element to the architectural sculpture compared to that of the archaic period. In some cases, gestures and emotions are more restrained than others ; however this does not mean to say that the sculptors were incapable of depicting emotion, but rather they chose not to express it on certain figures, for reasons that I will discuss in further detail later in this essay. In order to explore how the movement and characterisation of the sculptures enhance the narratives, I will now discuss each of the myths in...

Find Another Essay On The Sculptures of the East and West Pediments of The Temple of Zeus at Olympia

Comparing the Sculptures and Different Structures of Cathedrals

576 words - 2 pages Comparing the Sculptures and Different Structures of Cathedrals The Cathedral was a symbol of authority and religious achievement to people of the Middle Ages. Both Romanesque and Gothic style cathedrals are monuments to the skill and creativity of medieval people. Upon entering a Romanesque or Gothic style cathedral, one would have noticed that the function of these houses of worship is very similar. They are each an urban religious

Zeus The Great God Of Mount Olympus.

1369 words - 5 pages all his children Zeus gave man all he needed to live life in an ordered and moral way.Zeus had many Temples and festivals in his honor, the most famous of his sanctuaries being Olympia, the magnificent "Temple of Zeus", which held the gold and ivory statue of the enthroned Zeus, sculpted by Phidias and hailed as one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World". Also the Olympic Games were held in his honor. The Nemean Games, which were held every

The Character Differences of Hesiod's Zeus and ovid's Jupiter

1236 words - 5 pages Prometheus' trick. He later retaliated and took fire away from mankind. Hesiod never makes Zeus out to be cunning or full of trickery. Zeus lacks those characteristics, allowing his intelligence to shine through. The most common characteristic of Jupiter in Ovid's Metamorphoses is his unrelenting lust for mortals. Ovid shows an ugly side of Jupiter, illustrating the god's affairs in succession. First, Jupiter rapes Io; next he rapes Callisto. At

The Temple of Athena Nike

1099 words - 4 pages , which was used for similar things. Utilized continuously by Bronze Age Greeks, the temple also served as a military base. References to Nike, the goddess of victory, also strengthened the luck associated with this structure and, therefore, its appeal as a fort. It also was arranged to face an altar to the east. Furthermore, the location affected the use of stone, as the natural shapes and quality of local marble inspired the Doric and Ionic

Comparison Of Treatments Of Native Americans In The East And West

1622 words - 6 pages difficult. Throughout the 1800 many Native Tribes were taken from their lands east of the Mississippi and marched to new lands in the west under the Indian Removal Act of 1830. One such march of the Cherokee Nation from Georgia to Oklahoma and was called by them “the trail where they cried” or the Trail of Tears all of which was the result of signing of the New Echota Treaty. The deadline for voluntary removal was May of 1838 and by the the

The Symbolism of West Egg and East Egg in The Great Gatsby

912 words - 4 pages In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, a working class mistress and a wealthy bootlegger pay the ultimate price for having lovers outside of their social structure. The social structures in the novel do not revolve solely around the poor, the working class, and the wealthy. Fitzgerald creates a divide between those inheritably rich and those who have worked for their riches. The symbolism of West Egg and East Egg, two fictional communities

The Climax of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

1571 words - 6 pages The Climax of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Steven Spielberg directed "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" in 1984. It is an action/adventure movie and is set in the year 1935. The main character that plays a big part in the movie is Indiana Jones (played by Harrison Ford) who is an archaeologist with a difference. Indiana's sidekicks through out the film are Willie Scott (played by Kate Capshaw) who is a

Similarities between WW1 and The destruction of the Second Temple

689 words - 3 pages be used as slave laborers or to be killed.What episode in Jewish history is depicted in this scenario?Most people would say this was the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis in 1943. But in fact it was the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in the year 70The destruction of the Second temple and the attack on the Warsaw Ghetto, although separated by nearly two thousand years have and eerie sameness.The Germans sealed off the

Sculpture Work of East and West

748 words - 3 pages communication between the carved image and the shape of the block it was carved from.The sculptures of the east mainly about the carved work illustrate how a carved sculptural image, designed as a series of rectangular masses, can preserve the mental qualities of stone mass, weight, permanence. Many design essentials are the product of religious tradition. The crucial regularity and frontality of the image are planned to suggest the endless being

Clash between cultures of east and west.

1154 words - 5 pages perceives all the creatures as possessing a sacred quality and it should be treated with tenderness. East is closed and west is open. A closed mentality cannot put up with new truths and values. This closed mentality in the Ottoman Empire regarded the printing machine as an invention of the Evil and released fatwas in order to forbid it within the empire. However, at the same time, the west was using it to distribute the new ideas to other people

Torn Veil of The Temple and Jesus´ Death

2252 words - 9 pages concepts while building on Mark’s revelation that Jesus is God. Matthew demonstrates through references to the Old Testament, Mark and through connections within his own composition that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s Eschatological and Salvific promise. “This expansion brings the preternatural signs surrounding the death of Jesus to a dramatic climax: at the moment of Jesus’ death, the temple curtain is torn and the righteous dead are raised

Similar Essays

A Purely Greek Wonder: The Statue Of Zeus At Olympia Done In Turabian Style With Endnotes For A Greek History Class Final Exam.

1245 words - 5 pages famous and most people have heard of it, not that many can actually name all seven because of the seven, only the Pyramids remain virtually undisturbed. The other six are: the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus at Rhodes, the statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Pharos at Alexandria. Philo of Byzantium compiled the list we commonly use today c. 225 BC in Alexandria, Egypt in his On

The Interference Of Zeus Essay

2055 words - 8 pages promise to Thetis, Achilles’ mother (Kip 15). Following Zeus’ orders, Athena convinced a fool on the Trojan side to take a shot at Menelaus, son of Atreus. Athena redirected the arrow to not be fatal since Zeus’ objective was not to terminate anyone this time. Because the shot was fired, peace disolved and war raged again. Zeus’ orders led to deaths that could have otherwise been prevented by peace. Again, Zeus sent Athena to save Achilles

Cross Cultural Connection Of The East And West

2016 words - 8 pages , Japan offered many fruits and vegetables and it was determined the land was as fertile as Florence was, in the eyes of Carletti. Carletti also discusses the birth of Christianity in the East, particularly in Japan. At this point in time the Spanish have moved toward Hispanicization. It is best exemplified in the Philippines. After 1571, the Spanish converted nearly 85% of the island to Roman Catholicism and was a leading example of how the West

Temple Of The Winds Essay

1440 words - 6 pages not know this. He grew up as a woods guide, and it was there, in the forest, that he met Kahlan. At that time, she did not know that he would be Lord Rahl, and he did not know that she was the Mother Confessor. Their love transcended far beyond important people marrying important people.Cara Cara is a Mord-Sith, a rank not to be born into, but to be chosen for. She wears her blood-red skintight leather at the slightest hint of danger. While she was