Sculptures of the Parthenon


The main sculptural decorations of the Parthenon include the Chryselephantyne statue of Athena, the East and West pediments, the metopes of the peristyle, and the continuous frieze of the cella.

The temple on its exterior exhibited an abundance of sculptures. Its Doric exterior included the traditional Doric frieze that was decorated with alternating metopes and triglyphs, while the exterior wall of the cella exhibited a continuous Ionic frieze. The pediments of the Parthenon were decorated with elaborate marble statues dedicated to mythological aspects of Athena. The sculptures of the pediment were monumental in size and arranged in dynamic compositions that filled the confined triangular spaces efficiently.

The sculptures of the pediments (aetomata) were severely damaged when the Parthenon was converted to a Christian church and the only record of their arrangement in situ comes to us from the accounts of Pausanias and several drawing made by Jacques Carrey in1674.

The Parthenon’s main function was to provide shelter for the monumental chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statue of Athena


Also see: The Acropolis Art


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