Paper Proposal Name of Student: Class, date & school: Subject: Tentative title: ARC 2701 – History of Architecture I On-line Class – Spring 2013 Florida International University The Parthenon, Iktinos and Kallilrates, Athens, Greece, 447 – 432 B. C. E. “The Architectural Perfection of The Parthenon” Description: The Parthenon has the reputation of being “the most perfect Doric temple ever built. ” And by looking at it with the naked eye, one could most certainly agree.
A closer look at the Parthenon’s structure and proportions reveals that there is not a single straight line within the temple; that small fact alone is what sparked my interest in this topic. The genius architects truly out did themselves with the clever use of optical refinements to create a structure that truly resembled perfection. This section will examine the architectural uses of entasis and the various other methods of optical trickery present in the Parthenon.
The skillful approach at these methods by the architects is responsible for the aesthetic perfection of the structure. In addition, I will explore the geometric irregularity that starts at the base, or stylobate of the structure and is a common theme carried on throughout the Parthenon. The temple begins with a foundation that is only of rectangular origin and more resembles a dome shaped floor. I will continue to explore the slight adaptions made by Iktinos and Kallikrates to further perfect the internal structure of the temple.
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These adaptions include small details of varying column diameter and spacing due to the positioning and lighting of the columns in reference to the structure. These minute modifications and illusions created by the architects were able to keep the Parthenon’s structure seemingly perfect regardless of the time of day, or angle the structure was being viewed from. Lastly, I will explore even more subtle features that truly awe the minds of admirers. These include the specific positioning of corner columns with platforms lower to the ground than those in the middle.
Along with examination of the columns out on the peristyle as they are tapered and slightly curved towards the top giving viewers an image where the columns seem thicker and swollen towards the roof, seeming as if the columns are distressed just by supporting the massive weight of the roof. These perfect imperfections and optical illusions put into place by Iktinos and Kallicrates are what make the Parthenon the pinnacle of Greek temple architecture.
Bibliography: Darling, Janina K. Architecture of Greece. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2004. Dinsmoor, William B, and William J. Anderson. The Architecture of Ancient Greece: An Account of Its Historic Development. London: Batsford, 1950. Lawrence, A W. Greek Architecture. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1967. Rhodes, Robin F. Architecture and Meaning on the Athenian Acropolis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
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