The architecture of Ancient Greece possesses immense value for the contemporary world. Not only is it praised from the artistic standpoint but also is recognized for depicting the state of social affairs of that time. For this reflection, it was chosen to take a closer look at the marble column from the temple of Artemis at Sardi’s. According to the archive page on the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Met, (n.d.) website, the column is believed to be from the Hellenistic period (approximately from 300 B.C.). It is a stone sculpture made from marble; its height is 1421/8 inches (361 centimeters) (The Met, n.d.). The column was gifted to the Met in 1926 from the American Society for the Excavation of Sardis.
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The Marble Column
Carved by the Greek craftsmen, the column served as one of the main support mechanisms within the structure of the temple of Artemis (Figure 1). In making the column, the stones of marble were fashioned together so closely that they did not have to use mortar. The stone blocks were reinforced with the help of metal fittings, and bronze was used for sculpting other decorative accouterments. The existing knowledge suggests that the column was produced of local stone in Sardis.
From the historical perspective, the marble column from the temple of Artemis belongs to the architectural structure that belonged to the fourth-largest Greek temple that had not even been completed. As with other temples, it was meant to be used to praise different gods and goddesses, which represented the center of the entire Greek civilization. From how the column was preserved, we can see that the culture and the beliefs of the Greeks have reached far than anyone had imagined. The impact of the architecture of that time also left a mark on modern architecture.
The most obvious influence examples of how Greek architecture and such examples as the marble column influence modern construction include the White House, The Federal Hall in New York City, and the Jefferson Memorial. For the analysis, the last example will be explored (Figure 2). Started in 1939 and finished in 1943, the memorial belongs to the neoclassical style, which has been heavily impacted by the architecture of Greeks and Romans. The marble columns that support the dome of the building have a similar style to that of the example from the Met. Since marble was also used to create the columns at the Jefferson Memorial, there is no doubt that its architect, Pope, John Russell Pope, wanted to transfer the grandness of the Greek style to pay tribute to one of America’s founding fathers.
To conclude, there are clear parallels between the architectural style of the ancient Greek civilization and the works of modern constructors. The marble columns at the Jefferson Memorial from the Artemis temple are not only reminiscent of the one displayed at the Met but are heavily influenced by the style. If one does not know when the memorial was built or where it is located, a conclusion can be made that the building was excavated somewhere in Greece. The impact of this architectural style is important because it had influences on various styles, from baroque to neoclassicism, and thus shaped the way modern buildings look today.
Jefferson Memorial. (n.d). Web.
The Met. (n.d.). Marble column from the temple of Artemis at Sardi’s. Web.
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