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Visual Arts in Pre-historic Greek Artworks Essay


Pre-historic Greek artworks have influenced cultures and arts in many countries around the globe, especially in the sculptural and architectural arts. Right from the Roman Empire in the West to the Far East including Japan, ancient Greek artworks are a source of inspiration (O’Kelly 1982, p. 88).

The Greek architecture left a lasting impression in the architectural design of public buildings. Contemporary buildings and the ancient Roman arts copied a lot of things from the Greek. This paper compares the Parthenon, a well known surviving building of ancient Greek with the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, which is a piece of contemporary architectural artwork.

The Parthenon building on the Acropolis, in 5th BC to replace an old temple destroyed during an invasion (Beard 2010, p.12). The temple building in Athens and it acted as a sign of Athenian dominance in the Greek Peninsula.

The War Memorial Opera House located in San Francisco on Van Ness Avenue opposite the City Hall opened its gate to the public in 1932 (Couret 1998, para. 2). The building was among the last main American building built in the Beaux-arts style. This style of art borrowed a lot from the ancient Greek and Roman architectures.

The Parthenon building.

The Parthenon (Neils 2005, p. 3)

The War Memorial Opera House.

The War Memorial Opera House (SFWMPAC Online n.d, n.p)

The Parthenon building to served as a temple for one of the goddesses of Athens. It was built to offer thanks to Athena the goddess for their success and victory in the war. In fact, the name originated from a cultic statue housed in one of the rooms, in the temple.

The building later invaded and turned into a church in honor of the Virgin Mary. On the other hand, the War Memorial Opera House was built to commemorate the people who died during the World War I. It also served to host the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center since 1932 when it opened its doors (‘Parthenon, Lovell Minnick and Fisher Lynch Conclude Acquisition of H.D. Vest Financial Services’ 2011, para. 2).

Classical Doric order or style, which, is normally calm and sturdy was used in building both buildings (Michos 2002, para. 7). The Parthenon, credited as one of the perfect Doric temple ever built in the world while the War memorial Opera House constructed using paired columns, an application of Doric order (The Webby Awards 2001(R) Will Take the Stage at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House’ 2001, n.p).

Doric style applied the directly standing columns on flat pavements known as stylobates and alternated metopes a feature common with the two architectural works under consideration. Ionic columns were also clearly used in both buildings.

The materials used to make the two pieces of architecture were different mainly because of the different in their respective location. Wooden roofs, marble tiles and marble statues made up the Parthenon’s interior. Other materials used in the building were ivory and gold, and it stood on a limestone rock.

Coffered ceiling; large aluminum and glass paneled chandelier made up the War Memorial Opera house’s interior. Sculptures are a common occurrence in the two buildings despite the difference in age (Clark 1997, para 5).

An explosion destroyed the Parthenon, but the War Memorial Opera house in San Francisco continues to stand. It maintains a lasting impression of the ancient Greek architectural designs, and buildings (Kaldor 2010, p 23). Technologically, the building has advanced, but it refuses to let go of its ancient world’s ‘theater feeling’.

Until late 20th century, the Parthenon laid destroyed, but the Greek government set out to revive the ancient building. Now it is meant to become a museum, but unfortunately, the original design cannot be recovered. Only an impression of it is possible.

References

Beard, M., 2010. The Parthenon, Profile Books.

Clark, A., 1997. After the quake: Andrew Clark attends the re-opening of San Francisco’s refurbished War Memorial Opera House Financial Times, pp. 08-08.

Couret, C., 1998. San Francisco’s historic opera house re-opens, The American City & County, 113(9), pp. 28-28.

Kaldor, A., 2010. Great opera houses: masterpiece of architecture Masterpieces of Architecture Series. Antique Collectors’ Club, the University of Michigan.

Michos, I., 2002. The enduring question about the Parthenon, Financial Times, , pp. 06-06.

Neils, J., 2005. The Parthenon: from antiquity to the present. Cambridge University Press.

O’Kelly, M., 1982. Newgrange: Archaeology, Art and Legend, London: Thames and Hudson.

Parthenon, Lovell Minnick and Fisher Lynch Conclude Acquisition of H.D. Vest Financial Services, 2011. Entertainment Close – Up, , pp. n/a.

The Webby Awards 2001(R) Will Take the Stage at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, 2001. United States, New York: PR Newswire Association LLC.

SFWMPAC Online, n.d., San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Center. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Visual Arts in Pre-historic Greek Artworks." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/visual-arts/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Visual Arts in Pre-historic Greek Artworks'. 7 May.

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