Parthenon and Lincoln Memorial

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Adam 1
Jean-Luc Adam
Mr. Viarengo
Period 6
29 October 2012
As many people know, the architects of many buildings have used a multitude of techniques and methods from ancient architecture to build newer buildings. For example, the Capitol Building uses Greek and Roman architecture in its columns, while the Washington Monument is in the style of an Egyptian Obelisk. One of the monuments, the Lincoln Memorial, is based off the styles and methods of the Architecture of the Parthenon. Because of this, there are many similarities, but also differences, between the Parthenon and the Lincoln Memorial. The architects of the Parthenon were Iktinos, Kallikrates, and Phidias. Although not much is known about Iktinos and Kallikrates, other than that they were partners in designing the Parthenon, Phidias was a very distinguished sculptor and architect at the time. While Iktinos and Kallikrates oversaw the structural aspect of the Parthenon, Phidias oversaw and designed all of the art and the sculpting aspects of the project. “Phidias is famous for three monuments to Athena on the Athenian Acropolis (the Athena Promachos, the Lemnian Athena, and the colossal Athena Parthenos for the Parthenon) and the colossal seated Zeus for the Temple of Zeus at Olympia” (Britannica). His last major project, the statue of Zeus, is considered one of his greatest masterpieces, along with the Athena Parthenos. After completing the statue of Zeus, Phidias died less than a year later in 430 b.c. More than 2000 years later, architect Henry Bacon toured Europe and was inspired by the buildings he saw in Greece, including those with the art of Phidias such as the Parthenon and the Athena Parthenos. He liked it so much that, “He decided to incorporate that style into his design for the Lincoln Memorial,” (National Park Service). Henry Bacon lived from 1866 to Adam 2

1924, in which he designed the Lincoln Memorial, his last and most well-known creation. Along with Henry Bacon, another artist who contributed to the Building of the Lincoln Memorial was Daniel Chester French, who sculpted the statue of Lincoln. Born April 20th, 1850, French, before he was a sculptor, was a Lawyer and a Judge, among other occupations.

In Ancient Greece, the Greeks widely believed in Gods and Goddesses such as Zeus, Poseidon, Aphrodite, and Athena. The patron Goddess of Athena was Athens, and the Athenians believed that pleasing their patron Goddess would give them good luck and fortune. This may be one of the reasons that Athena Parthenos and the Parthenon were built. Another believed reason that the Parthenon was built was that the leader at the time, Pericles, wanted to show the power and wealth of Athens. In comparison, the Lincoln Memorial was built to honor the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. One of the reasons that Bacon had for basing the memorial on the Parthenon was to draw a parallel between the two governments- “What better way existed to remember a man who struggled to defend democracy, than to model his tribute after one found in the birthplace of democracy?” (National Park Service).

In terms of the monuments themselves, the Parthenon and the Lincoln had many similarities and many differences. For instance, both of the monuments were designed in the Greek temple style. They both hold Doric columns-the Parthenon had 86, while the Lincoln Memorial had 36 columns. Although there are many more columns in the Parthenon, the Lincoln Memorial has much larger columns. Doric columns came from the Doric order, a style of architecture that contains columns, a beam or stone ridge across the top of the columns, and a triangular prism top. The Doric order is very prominent in the Greek temple style. However, even though the Lincoln Memorial and the Parthenon were primarily based in the Greek temple style, the Lincoln memorial has many differences from the original Doric order. For example, on the top of the Lincoln memorial, the prism is not triangular, but rather...
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