World History Episode 2 The Indus Valley Civilization (Time Stamp 2:56)
The Parthenon, Architects: Iktinos & Kallikrates, Sculpture: Phidias, 447-432 BCE (Athens, Greece)
Context in CC: What is a civilization? So John tells us all the things that are symptomatic of civilization and then proceeds to flash us to images of a few places that are representative of civilization and says we’ll talk about them later. This is ancient Greece.
Greater Historical/Art Historical Relevance: Okay so if there’s one thing every person who has taken and introductory art history class remembers its the Greco-Roman orders of architecture. So here’s a break from our regularly scheduled context heavy discussion for a lesson about the three main orders of Greek Architecture!
So there are three primary orders of Greek architecture: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, and the easiest way to tell them apart is by examining their capitals. What’s a capital, you ask? It’s the bit on top of the column. Doric order columns have fairly simple capitals mostly just round sometimes with a decorative element. Ionic capitals a have volutes. Those are the things that look like a rolled up scroll turned upside down on top of the column. Corinthian capitals are definitely the fanciest. They’re decorated with acanthus leaves as well as sometimes volutes.
There are plenty of other differences. Doric architecture usually feels a lot heavier, more grounded. The columns are wider than both Ionic and Corinthian. There are differences in the frieze and other parts of the entablature as well.
Are you confused yet? Is the vocabulary throwing you off. If it is (and even if it’s not) here’s a helpful diagram —-> click here
I had the orders of architecture hammered into my head so many time in AP Art History, Intro Art History, and Ancient Art History that my automatic reaction to seeing a greek building is to categorize it. So of which order of architecture is the Parthenon an good example?
I’ll talk more about Greek art when it Crash Course comes around to Greece, and by that I mean when I get to that episode.