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number of Greek reliefs and inscriptions, principally from Athens; fragments from Mycenae and elsewhere; drawings and plans. It will be seen that the • Elgin collection' and 'Elgin marbles' are by no means co-extensive with the sculptures of the Parthenon, to which the terms are sometimes incorrectly restricted.
If it is necessary to justify the conduct of Lord Elgin, in respect of actions which have from time to time been severely censured, it must be pointed out that the Parthenon marbles were suffering daily injury, and that there was no prospect of better care being taken of them. In the fifty years immediately before Lord Elgin four figures had entirely disappeared from the west pediment, and others had been much injured. The frieze was suffering in the same manner, and we are told that the Athenians of that day thought that they heard the sculptures that were removed groaning for the fate of those that were left behind in captivity.
A further justification of his action is supplied by the additional deterioration which the sculptures that were left in position have suffered since Lord Elgin's time. If the visitor will examine the two series of casts of the west frieze of the Parthenon (exhibited behind the east pediment) he will have conclusive evidence on this point. The upper series of casts were taken from the frieze in 1872, and the lower series were taken by Lord Elgin. The later series are the better casts, but the earlier series contain so much that has since perished that they are now of great value. (For further details see p. 46.) A careful comparison of photographs made in 1897 with the casts taken in 1872 shows further lamentable injuries-partly in the loss of particular fragments, and partly in the scaling away of the original surface.
It may be added that Lord Elgin's agents refrained to a large extent from taking sculptures whose removal would involve injury to the surrounding architecture. They took casts of the west frieze, and left the south-west angle metope in its place. The only concomitant injury suffered by the Parthenon was the loss of some of the cornice above the metopes of the south side, and at the south end of the east pediment.
THE PARTHENON. The sculptures of the Parthenon are believed to illustrate the style of Pheidias, the greatest of Greek sculptors.
Pheidias, son of Charmides, the Athenian, was born soon after 500 B.C. His youth was passed during the period of the Persian wars, and his maturity was principally devoted to the adornment of Athens during the administration of Pericles.
. After the glorious repulse of the Persian invasions at Marathon (490 B.c.), Salamis (480 B.c.), and Plataea (479 B.C.), a great part of the Greek world was for a while united in the confederacy of Delos, under the leadership of Athens. From the first some of the confederate states had preferred to contribute money rather than ships or men, for the common defence. The tribute was in the first instance lodged at Delos, but in 454 B.C. the custody of the joint funds was transferred from Delos to Athens. The ground alleged by Pericles for this step was the necessity of placing the treasure in a fortified place of deposit, but, in fact, the change indicated that Athens had now assumed a nearly complete responsibility for naval defence. The Athenian claim naturally followed that, provided the fleet was adequately maintained, the State could not be called to account for its management of the funds, and might spend the tribute on the decoration of the capital city.
Among the chief of the works undertaken under these conditions was the Parthenon, or temple of the goddess Athenè, called par excellence Parthenos or Virgin. The architect was Ictinos, but the
sculptural decorations and probably the design of the temple were planned and executed under the superintendence of Pheidias, who is said to have had a general supervision of the works built under
the administration of Pericles. The building, which stood on the Acropolis of Athens, is shown by inscriptions to have been begun about B.C. 447. It is believed to have been sufficiently advanced to receive the statue of the Parthenos in B.C. 438, and was probably completed about five years later. We learn from an inscription that payments were being made in B.C. 436-5 to "sculptors of the pediment groups' (Brit. School Ann. XVI., p. 196). The Parthenon was of the Doric order of architecture, and was of the form termed peripteral octastyle ; that is to say, it was surrounded by a colonnade, which had eight columns at each end. The architectural arrangements can be best learnt from the model which is exhibited in this room. A view is given in fig. 7. See also the plan (fig. 8) and the sectional elevation (fig. 9). The principal chamber (cella) within the colonnade contained the colossal statue of Athenè Parthenos, now only preserved to us in copies of insignificant size (see below, nos. 300-302). The place occupied by the statue is marked *Athenè Parthenos' in the plan.
The sculptural decorations of the outside of the building were : (1) The East and West Pediment Groups, which filled the pediments or gables at the ends of the building. (2) The Metopes or square panels, adorned with groups in very high relief ; these served to fill up the spaces between the triglyphs, or sets of vertical bands, which are supposed to represent what in wood-construction would be ends of beams. (3) The Frieze, a continuous band of low relief which ran along the side walls of the cella and above the two rows of six columns immediately attached to it. (See figs. 8, 9.) The whole was executed in marble obtained from the quarries of the Attic hill, Pentelicus. These several groups of sculpture are described below.
Later History of the Parthenon.
The statue of the Parthenos is known to have been in existence about 430 A.D., but not long after this date the figure was removed, and the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church. Athens was taken by the Turks in 1458, and soon after the Parthenon was converted into a Turkish Mosque, like the Church of St. Sophia at Constantinople and the Gothic Cathedrals of Cyprus.
From this date it probably suffered little until 1687, when Athens was taken by the Venetian General, Morosini. In the course of a bombardment of the Acropolis, the besiegers succeeded in throwing a shell into a powder magazine in the Parthenon, and caused an explosion that destroyed the roof and much of the long sides of the building, together with a loss of more than 300 lives. Further injury was done by Morosini, who made an attempt with insufficient appliances to take down the central group of the west pediment, which was still nearly complete. The workmen had hardly begun to remove the cornices above the figures when the whole of the central group fell to the ground.
PEDIMENT CONTEST OF ATHENE AND POSEIDON / SCULPTURES ITBM
0 10 20 30 40 50 FEET CASTS in B.M
Fig. 8.- Plan of the Parthenon. (After Doerpfeld.)
Fortunately, many of the sculptures had been drawn by a skilful artist before the explosion. In 1674 a painter in the suite of the Marquis de Nointel, French Ambassador at the Porte, commonly supposed to have been Jacques Carrey, made sketches of large portions of the frieze and metopes and of the then extant portions of the pedimental compositions. These drawings are preserved in the French Bibliothèque Nationale, and are constantly referred to in discussions of the Parthenon sculptures.
In 1688 Athens was restored to the Turks, and for more than a century the sculptures of the Parthenon were exposed to constant injury. Some of them were made into lime or built into walls by the Turkish garrison ; others were mutilated by the Turks or by travellers who from time to time obtained admission to the Acropolis, and broke off portable fragments of the sculptures.
In 1749, when the west pediment was drawn by R. Dalton, many figures still remained in position. Not long after, one fell, and others, for fear of accident, were broken up. Several portions also of the frieze, which were seen by Stuart (1752), had disappeared at the beginning of the nineteenth century. On the other hand, the east pediment, being inaccessible, suffered no important change between 1674 and 1800. An account has already been given above of the proceedings of Lord Elgin's agents.
Several portions of the sculptures of the Parthenon have been discovered since the time of Lord Elgin on the Acropolis and its slopes, or in various parts of Europe, to which they had been taken by travellers. These are represented as far as possible in the British Museum by plaster casts.
The following aids to the study of the Parthenon will be found in the Elgin Room:
Model of the Athenian Acropolis, showing the results of the last excavations.
Model of the Parthenon. The model was made by R. C. Lucas, on a scale of a foot to 20 feet, and represents the state of the temple in 1687, after the explosion, but before Morosini had attacked the west pediment.
Carrey's drawings of the pediments. Photographic reproductions of the originals are exhibited. (See also figs. 10, 12.)
A drawing by Pars of the East end of the Parthenon, in 1765.
A portrait of the seventh Earl of Elgin. From the picture in the possession of the Earl of Elgin, K.G.
STATUE OF ATHENÈ PARTHENOS. The colossal statue of Athenè Parthenos by Pheidias was placed within the central chamber of the Parthenon. The figure was made of gold and ivory, and was, with its base, about 40 feet high.