Meaning and Narrative Techniques in Statue-Bases of the Pheidian Circle

Meaning and Narrative Techniques in Statue-Bases of the Pheidian Circle
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  EDINBURGHLEVENTIS STUDIES Ι V/ORD ANDIMAGE ΙΝ ANCIENTGREECE Edited byΝ. Keith Rutter and Brian Α. Sparkes Edinburgh University Press  Θ 20ω editorial matter md orgmisaθon, Depaτtment of classics, Uniyersiφ of EdinburghΘ 2000 the chapterstheirauthors Edinbωgh University,PIesS Ltd 22 George Squπe, Edinburgh Typeset ßη Times by Noman Tilley Graphics,Northampton andPrinted md bound ßη Great Britain by The UniYer§ity Press, Cmbridge Α CIP record forthis book is availablelτοm the British LibraryISBN 0 7486 14060 (hπdback) ISBN 0 7486 1405 2(paperback)The right ofthe contributo$ to be identified as authorsofthis work has been asserted ßη accordance with theCop}Tight, DeSignS md Patents Act 1988.  4 MEANING AND NARRATIVE TECHNIQUES ΙΝ STATιJE-BASES OF ΤΗΕ PHEIDIAN CIRCLE OIga Palagia Ι τΗ Ε Α ι Μ ο τ τΗι s chapter is to discuss α number οf problems of technique and interpretation posed by the four cult-statue-bases producedby Pheidias and his chiefpupils, Alkamenes and Agorakritos, betrveen about 439 and 415 sc. Pheidias led the way withhis base tbr the Athena Parthenos ßη the Paιlhenon, completed just before the dedication οß thestatue ßη 438.'This was followed by his own base fol the Zeus at Olympia ßη the mid-430s" then by Agorakritos' base for ιhε Nemesis αι Rhamnousaround 430.] Alkamenes comes last, ulith his base for the group ofAthenaand Hephaistos ßη the Hephaisteion,probablycompleted around 4Ι5.Ο What evidencewe have showsthat the bases rvere of stone.decorated with lriezes of widely spaced relief figures ßη stiffposes. The figures οη Pheidias' base at Olympia weremetalwork, those οη the bases of his pupils were carved ßη marble; ιhe evidence οη theParthenos base is Ι amgraτeluΙ to xeni Arapogianni for permission to examineιhε iiagmenis ofthe base and the inteIiol of the cella of the tεηρΙε of ZeuS αι olynrpia; to Charalambos K-itzas fol peτmissionιο examine/G ß472 ß the ΕρßgιαρhßòαΙ Museum and for discussing it with ne; to Maιolis Kores fbl showing me the tiagments of the PaΙthenos and Hephaisteion baseS and foΙ diScuSSin8 ιhεm with me; tο NancyBookidis for permiSSionto examine the neo Attic fragmeni ßη corinth ßηdιο Mary Sturgeon for discussing it with me; to Keνin Clinion, ΑΙαη Shapilo and David Halvey lbr advice; to Evelyn Harrison, Vasilis ΡειταΚοs.Ματτßη Kτeeb(editor οf,η4DΑ(Α)) and Angelos Delivoτιias fοιpemis§ion ιο ιeproduce the drawings Figures 4,,Ι, 4.6, 4.8aÞd 4. l Ι lespecιiVely; and tο John Boπdman for kindly proνiding the phoιoFigure,:ß5, Ι Pausanias ß24,7ß ΡΙßηγ, ΝllχχχνßJ8, TheAihenaPaΙthenos was dedicated ßη 438 sc:Schol.Ar, Ρεαι,ε 605; Leipen 197Ι: 23, η. Ι; Harrison Ι996: 39. 2 Pau§anias ν, Ι 1.8. The daιeofιhe siaτue is esτablished by the inclusion of α porraitof Pantaτkes, Olympic victor for 436 (86thOlympiad):Pausanias ν.l1.3; νß10,6; Morctti 1957:Þο. 3Ι 8. 3 Pausaniasi,33.8.ForιhedaιeofιheiempleandStatue,SeePetrakosl986;90 Ι;Ι987: 318, 4 AccoΙdiÞgιο ιhe constτuction αòòουηιS of the statuegroup,1G ir ,172. The scene οη the hase is ηοt mentioned ßη the ancient Sources. 53  54 oLGAPALAGIA inconclusive. The scenes are remarkablefortheir lack ofnarrative,Themythswererecognisedthankstothenames of thefigurespresumablypuint"d οη th" bu"kground.The absence of narrativeis not uncommon ßη ;onωmporaryvase-painting,whereιhe figures πε namedto make υρ for the 1αòκ of action. We beginwithproblems of technique.Pausanias(ν,11,8) εχρΙßòßΙγ states tha;the figuresοη Zeus' baseweregolden. The base itself vlasmade of Eleusinianlimestone aS attested by fragments of the blooks inside the cella;'the figureswouldhavebeen attached, glolving against α darkbackground.Pausanias(ν.11.10) remarksthat α ledge of Ρπßαηmπble surrounded the sunken floor of the cella ßη front of the statue-base, foming m impluvium that held oliye οßΙ fortheprotection of the ivory againsithehumidclimateof Olympia.Examinationof the mπble ßη situhasrevealed that themarble isßη factPentelic:Pheidiasseemsto haveimported Attic stonesfromhome.Neda Leipen hasarguedthat Pliny's descriptionof the birthof Pandora οηthe Parthenos baseascaeΙatumest(Ν1/ χχχνß18)implies that it wasmetalwork.6ΡΙßηγ, hovvever,ιrses the same verbfor the sculpturedmarble colum drums of the Aιtemision at Ephesos:columnaecaelatae (ΝΗ χχχνß95), Most scholars have questioned themetaiworktheorybecausethe six surviving blocks fromþecore of theParthenosbase are of Pentelic mπble,' The front blocks of the base do ηοι survive andmayßη facthavebeen ofEleusinian limestone,as wasthecase with the bases ofZeus at Olympia andof Athena and Hephaistosßη theHephaisteion.sGorhamStevens'reconstruction of theParthenosbase, showing α high-relieffrieze carvedßη Pentelic marble,has proved extremely influential.' Horvever,thefourth-centuryinνentories λf thePaιτhenon, listing οηΙγobjects ßη gold, silver,bronzeandivory, includethe Parthenos base among the treasures.'o This maybe taken tο imply thattheflguresrveremade ofgold (or gildedsilveror gilded5 Düφfeld ßη Adler et αΙ, Ι892: ΙΙ-15, figs 4-8; Mallwitz 19'ΙΖ|229: Gadbery Ι988: ι54-9. 6 ieipen 197 1: 24, 27. That the flgures οηthe baseweremade ofgoldand ivory likethe Iesiof ihe statuewassuggestedby BecaftiΙ95Ι: 57, 7 The blocks mustcome fiüm the cole becausethey cary anathyrosisοη αΙΙ four sides, Inih. Byruntin"ρ.τßοd theywerelecut and reusedwhen the Parthenonwasconνertedinto α Ciτistian cλurch. ΤhÝγ πε cunently storedinside the PaΙthenon, See Dinsmoor |sic,gz-a, fig. 1; Sτevens Ι955:240-76:LeipenΙ971: 23, ng,6Ι; Gadbery Ι988: ι60 5, ε ßhατ the flont blocksmay havebeen of Eleusinianlimestonewas Suggested byDinsmoor Ι 92Ι : Ι 29, followed by SchuchhardιΙ975: Ι 20, η, 5, SτενεηsΙ955: 240 76arguedthaι the εÞιßε basewasof Pentelic marble, 9 SÝvens Ι955: 270,2, f,g. 19; Delivorrias Ι988: 53-64;Haσison t996:50 Ι Ι0 TheAthenaParthenos,δescribeι]asthegoldenstafueinthecella(ÜyaλμaχpUσoýV   ' .J Ýν .6 ¸«ο"ομπÝδφ), its shßεΙιΙ (Þ Üσπßò) and its base (τü_βÜθρον) were listed among ιie Ρσιhεηοη treasuιes which did ηοι includemσbles: Haris 1995:130,  MEANINGANDNARRATIVETEcHNIQUES 55 §- ,,,' Figure 4.Ι Block from the Hephaisιeion statue-base (Athens,Hephaisteion; photo: American School ofClassica] Studies at Athens: Agora Excavations)bronze) and pinnedonto the Stone. Α Smallhelmet with gold cheekpiecesand αη ivory crest, describedßηthe same inventories as comingfrom thebase, may be cited as additionalevidence." As uie haveηο evidence ofiyory attachmentstomarble reliefs of the classicalperiod, it is easier toacceptthθm asadheringto metalwork figures. Besides, α relieffrieze ßηivory and goldwould haveechoedthe materialsofthe statue. And sincePheidias' other base \vas decorated withgolden figures,it is reasonableto aSSumethat he would haveemployed the same technique οη the Parthenos base. Thequestion, however,remainsopenfor lackof adequate evidence. Α block of Eleusinianlimestone(Figure4.1),found reused ßη α Byzantinewallinside the Hephaisteion andattributedtothe frontof the base of the Statue group by Dinsmoor, òαττßεSf,Ve dowelholes for theattachment off,gures(Dinsmoor194Ι: 105-10). Dinsmoor suggested that the crowningmouldings may have been ßη Eleusinian limestone, but Pentelicmarbleis equallypossible. Agorakritos'base at Rhamnous, for example,combinesPentelicmarble rvith α crowningmember ßη Eleusinianlimestone,l'The rectangularcuttings οη the face ofthe Hephaisteion block Iecall those ßη the Eleusinian limestone blocksforming the background of the Erechtheionfrieze,which consisted of Separately carνedflguresßη Parianmarble. The similarity of the dowelholes indicates that the figures ΙΙ HτIis Ι995: l16,1Gii:1421.123 5;Ι424α,319,21; 1425,245J, Foracriιicalview of this evidence, see Leipen Ι97Ι: 27. Ι2 onthecrowningmemberofιheHephaisteionbase:Dinsmooτ1941:l08,Rhamnous base: PairakosΙ986: 90, f,g, l.
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