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Athena Parthenos

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Athena Parthenos
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{{Italic title}}(File:Tetradrachm of Athens, 126-125 BC, head of Fidias sculpture Athena Parthenos.JPG|thumb|upright|Tetradrachm of Athens, 126-125 BC, showing the head of the Athena Parthenos by Phidias)
missing image!
- NAMA Athéna Varvakeion.jpg -
upThe Varvakeion Athena reflects the type of the restored Athena Parthenos: Roman period, 2nd century CE (National Archaeological Museum of Athens).
Athena Parthenos (; literally, "Athena the Virgin") is a lost massive chryselephantine (gold and ivory) sculpture of the Greek goddess Athena, made by Phidias and his assistants and housed in the Parthenon in Athens. Despite the dynamic architectural characteristics of the Parthenon, the statue of Athena was designed to be the focal point.NEWS,weblink Athena Parthenos by Phidias, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 2017-09-28, Its epithet was an essential character of the goddess herself. A number of replicas and works inspired by it, both ancient and modern, have been made.It was the most renowned cult image of Athens,The Athena Parthenos was featured on contemporary reliefs commemorating Athenian treaties and for the next century and a half on coins of Hellenistic monarchs avid to proclaim their Hellenic connections, see Hector Williams, "An Athena Parthenos from Cilicia" Anatolian Studies 27 (1977, pp. 105-110), p 108f. considered one of the greatest achievements of the most acclaimed sculptor of ancient Greece. Phidias began his work around 447 BC.Andrew Stewart gives 446.{{citation needed|date=September 2015}} Lachares removed the gold sheets in 296 BC to pay his troops, and the bronze replacements for them were probably gilded thereafter; it was damaged by a fire about 165 BC but repaired.{{citation |first=William Bell |last=Dinsmoor |title=The repair of the Athena Parthenos: a story of five dowels |journal=American Journal of Archaeology |volume=38 |number=1 |date=1934 |pages=93–106 |doi=10.2307/498935 |jstor=498935}} An account mentions it in Constantinople in the 10th century.Gisela Richter, Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, p 220 with ancient references, noted by Gorham P. Stevens, "Concerning the Parthenos" Hesperia 30.1 (January 1961, pp. 1-7) p. 2.

Description

(File:Athena Parthenos Harpers.png|thumb|upright|An illustration of Athena Parthenos)The ancient historian Pausanias gave a description of the statue:}}(File:Account of the construction of Athena Parthenos by Phidias.jpg|thumb|upright|Account of the construction of Athena Parthenos by Phidias)The general appearance of the Athena Parthenos, although not its characteristics and quality, can be assessed from its image on coinsL. Lacroix Les reproductions des statues sur les monnaies gracques (Liège) 1949, pp 266-81. from its reproductions as miniature sculptures, as votive objects, and in representations on engraved gems.Leipen 1971.This statue is a depiction of Athena after winning a combat. With her left hand she supports a shield with carvings of an Athenian battle against the Amazons. On her right, rests the winged Goddess of victory Nike.BOOK, Archaic and Classical Greek Art, Osborne, Robin, 82, Her left knee is slightly bent, her weight slightly shifted to her right leg. Her peplos is cinched at the waist by a pair of serpents, whose tails entwine at the back. Locks of hair trail onto the goddess's breastplate. The Nike on her outstretched right hand is winged; whether there was a support under it in Phidias' original has been much discussed;Gisela Richter decided there was not and summarized the discussion in "Was there a vertical support under the Nike of the Athena Parthenos?" Studi in onore... Calderini e Paribeni (Milan) 1956, pp 147-54. evidence in surviving versions is contradictory. The exact position of Athena's spear, often omitted, is also not fully determined, whether held in the crook of Athena's right arm or supported by one of the snakes in the aegis, as N. Leipen restores it,Leipen 1971:29. following the "Aspasios" gem.The statue was 26 cubits (around {{height|m=11.5}}) tall and stood on a pedestal measuring 4 by 8 metres.NEWS,weblink Athena Parthenos by Pheidias, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 2017-02-24, The sculpture was assembled on a wooden core, covered with shaped bronze plates covered in turn with removable gold plates, save for the ivory surfaces of the goddess's face and arms; the gold weighed 44 talents, the equivalent of about {{convert|1100|kg|lb}}; the Athena Parthenos embodied a sizeable part of the treasury of Athens.{{citation |first=Samuel |last=Eddy |title=The gold in the Athena Parthenos |journal=American Journal of Archaeology |date=1977 |volume=81 |number=1 |pages=107–11 |doi=10.2307/503656 |jstor=503656}}According to Ian Jenkins in The Parthenon and Its Sculpturees "Athena was portrayed as a warrior resting after successful combat. A figure of winged victory alighted on the palm of her outstretched right hand, while her left hand supported a round shield. A spear rested against her left shoulder. The goddess was draped in the simplest form of tunic, the peplos, her shoulders and chest hung with the aegis, the snake fringed, fish-scaled poncho that had been the gift of her father Zeus and had protective powers" (p. 82).BOOK, Jenkins, Ian, The Parthenon Sculptures, 2007, Harvard University Press, 82-82,

Ancient copies

missing image!
- Strangfrod shield pushkin.jpg -
upPlaster cast of the British Museum's 3rd-century CE Roman marble Strangford Shield (Pushkin Museum)
A number of ancient reproductions of all or part of the statue have survived.

Replica at Nashville

(File:Athena Parthenos LeQuire.jpg|thumb|upright|Reproduction of the Athena Parthenos statue in Nashville)
missing image!
- AthenaAlanpainting.jpg -
upSculptor Alan LeQuire painting the detail of the Athena Parthenos replica during the gilding phase
A modern copy by Alan LeQuire stands in the reproduction of the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee.WEB,weblink Athena, February 9, 2018, Metro Government of Nashville & Davidson County, Tennessee, LeQuire, a Nashville native, was awarded the commission to produce the Parthenon's cult statue. His work was modeled on descriptions given of the original. The modern version took eight years to complete, and was unveiled to the public on May 20, 1990.The Nashville Athena Parthenos is made of a composite of gypsum cement and ground fiberglass. The head of Athena was assembled over an aluminum armature, and the lower part was made in steel. The four ten-inch H beams rest on a concrete structure that extends through the Parthenon floor and basement down to bedrock, to support the great weight of the statue. LeQuire made each of the 180 cast gypsum panels used to create the statue light enough to be lifted by one person and attached to the steel armature.Nashville's Athena stands {{height|ft=41|in=10}} tall, making her the largest piece of indoor sculpture in the Western World.BOOK, Melton, J. Gordon, J. Gordon Melton, Baumann, Martin, Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices,weblink September 21, 2010, ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, California, 159884203X, 234, 2nd, It stood in Nashville's Parthenon as a plain, white statue for twelve years. In 2002, Parthenon volunteers gilded Athena under the supervision of master gilder Lou Reed. The gilding project took less than four months and makes the modern statue appear that much more like the way that Phidias' Athena Parthenos would have appeared during its time. The 23.75-karat gold leaf on Nashville's Athena Parthenos weighs a total of {{convert|8.5|lb|kg}} and is one-third the thickness of tissue paper. {{Citation needed|date=September 2017}}

Notes

{{reflist|group=note}}

Citations

{{Reflist}}

Further reading

  • Bruno, Vincent J., ed. 1974. The Parthenon. New York: Norton.
  • Cosmopoulos, Michael B., ed. 2004. The Parthenon and its sculptures. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Harris, Diane. 1995. The treasures of the Parthenon and Erechtheion. Oxford: Clarendon.
  • Neils, Jenifer, ed. 1996. Worshipping Athena: Panathenaia and Parthenon. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press.
  • --. 2005. The Parthenon from Antiquity to the present. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Pollitt, J. J., ed. and trans. 1990. The art of ancient Greece: Sources and documents. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

External links

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{{Phidias}}{{Acropolis of Athens}}

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