Sculpture Frieze Of The Siphnian Treasury, Delphi, Archaic Greek. C.530 525

691 words - 3 pages

The Siphnian Treasury was built at Delphi by the people of Siphnos, sometime before 525 BC, after a lucky strike of silver on their island. The porch is supported by Caryatids (figures of women), and there are friezes on all sides. This is the earliest known instance of a continuous narrative frieze. The Siphnian Treasury is one of the most securely dated monuments of the Archaic period. This makes it extremely important, since the date of so much else is pinned on it. The friezes on the West and South sides however have significant portions missing, making identification of their meanings difficult to decipher.The sculptural decoration of the Siphnian Treasury exhibits two rather distinct styles. This is probably because of a division of work between two sculptors and their workshops. This hypothesis seems to be confirmed in an inscription on the north frieze, where one of the artists ta ...view middle of the document...

" 1East Frieze of the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi"The right half of the frieze (below) shows a duel at Troy, with Trojans to the left and Greeks to the right looking on. The left half of the frieze (above) shows the gods in council, deciding the outcome of this duel. The pro-Trojan gods are to the left: Ares, Aphrodite, Artemis, Apollo; the pro-Greek to the right: Athena, Hera, Demeter. Zeus at the center supervises the (missing) weighing of the fates of the contestants."1North Frieze of the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi"The frieze is the fullest sculptural representation of the fight with the Giants in the Archaic period. The gods fight from left to right. Important figures are Hephaistos at the left, with his bellows; Dionysos; Themis on her lion chariot; Apollo and Artemis; Hera, Athena and Ares. The Giants are shown as warriors, but some throw stones and the defeated are naked."1East Pediment of the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi"The centre-piece of the pediment shows Apollo and Herakles struggling over the tripod, with Zeus standing between them. Artemis assists Apollo. At the sides are other figures, horses, and chariots, which seem unrelated to the central theme. These are shown in smaller scale. The pediment is unusual in having the lower parts of the figures engaged with the back wall, and the upper parts carved in the round with the background deeply recessed."1South and West Friezes of the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi There is a image of a women being carried off in the South frieze, which often people have thought to represent a rape scene. Four major fragments preserve two pairs of horses, two nude rider, a quadriga with chariot approaching an altar, a second quadriga and a second chariot. The pair of horses at the right end of the scene walk; others appear to move at a faster pace. The significance of the altar is unclear. Approximately two-thirds of the West frieze has been preserved, consisting of two long blocks, P and Q. From the short return on its left end, we know that P is a corner block occupying the left third of the frieze.


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