“It is fit that the Past should be dark; though the darkness is not so much a quality of the past as of tradition. It is not a distance of time, but a distance of relation, which makes thus dusky its memorials.
What is near to the heart of this generation is fair and bright still. Greece lies outspread fair and sunshiny in floods of light, for there is the sun and daylight in her literature and art. Homer does not allow us to forget that the sun shone,–nor Phidias, nor the Parthenon.”
Henry David Thoreau
Previously I have offered brief discussions with regard to the role that Phi (Φ) supposedly plays in relation to form and the understanding of artistic creativity.
The Golden Ratio (Φ) also known as the Golden Section (Latin: sectio aurea) or Golden Mean.
Other names include extreme and mean ratio, medial section, divine proportion, divine section (Latin: sectio divina), golden proportion, golden cut, golden number, and mean of Phidias.
Phidias, or The Great Pheidias (in Ancient Greece Φειδίας; c. 480 – 430 BC), regarded as one of the greatest of all sculptors of Classical Greece, painter and architect, who lived in the 5th century BCE.. His Statue of Zeus at Olympia was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
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Although it appears that no original works in existence can be attributed to him with certainty, numerous Roman copies in varying degrees of supposed fidelity are known to exist.
Phidias designed the statues of the goddess Athena on the Athenian Acropolis, namely the Athena Parthenos inside the Parthenon and the Athena Promachos a colossal bronze statue of Athena which stood between it and the Propylaea,a monumental gateway that served as the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens.
“These marbles, the works of the dreamers and idealists of old, live on, leading and pointing to good. They are the works of visionaries and dreamers, but they are realizations of soul, the representations of the ideal.
They are grand, beautiful, and true, and they speak with a voice that echoes through the ages. Governments have changed; empires have fallen; nations have passed away; but these mute marbles remain–the oracles of time, the perfection of art.“
Image Credit © Fig. 1 Artist Unstated, (Title Unstated)The Parthenon, (Date Unstated)
Image Credit © Fig 2 Parthenon Sculptures, (Details Unstated)
Image Credit © Fig. 3 Parthenon
Image Credit © Fig. 4, Alexandros, Venus de Milo,
Image Credit © Fig. 4, Phidias, Heracles, c. 500 BCE
Image Credit © Fig.5, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Entwurff einer historischen Architectur by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach; engravings by Johann Adam Delsenbach (Leipzig, 1725)
Image Credit © Fig. 6, The Varvakeion Athena reflects the type of the restored Athena Parthenos: Roman period, 2nd century CE
Image Credit © Fig.7, Horsemen, detail of a frieze from the Parthenon at Athens, British Museum, London