Monday, June 21, 2010

Choragic Monument of Lysicrates

What do Athens, Pittsburgh and Sydney all have in common? No, this is not a trick question! Each has a Choragic Monument of Lysicrates.The original monument was built near the Acropolis around 334 BC to commemorate the benefactor Lysicrate's sponsorship of dance. It was one of the first recorded uses of the correct Corinthian order for a monument; a style which would be copied for centuries to follow. Above is the original.I first became aware of the monument while back in college at drawing classes which were occasionally held at the Carnegie Museum of Art. The 'Hall of Architecture' , pictured above, was recently featured in a spread in the World of Interiors magazine (March 2010) with beautiful photographs by Simon Upton. The charcoal sketch at the top of the posting is one of the many I drew of the monument, my favorite in the room. I wish I had photographed all of my drawings better!
The design has been copied and modified over the years after being restored following the Greek war of Independence when it was badly damaged. Often it appears as a folly in a garden, at other times atop a dome and has even been stretched into a lighthouse in Portland, Maine.

Next time you see this classic design, you hopefully will remember its long history. Also make sure to check out the March 2010 issue of WOI for the charming article on the hall of architecture at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh!

11 comments:

BWS said...

Nice posting. Are there any public American gardens using this as a folly? Thanks. Barbara

Terry said...

It's really amazing to see the archetype. We have a number of things inspired by this in Atlanta.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Up here in Maine, it appears as a lighthouse on the end of the breakwater at the entrance to portland harbor,(http://www.freefoto.com/preview/1214-14-40?ffid=1214-14-40&k=Portland+Breakwater+Light%2C+South+Portland%2C+Maine%2C+USA), as a cupola on the Waterville post office, and once appeared, regrettably demolished now, on a building in Haymarket square in Bangor. I've always loved tracing design sources, and this is one of the loveliest.

And weren't those wonderful photos in WOI?

Today's verification word, cruelly, is 'flatab', a cruel reminder to the dilettante that it's time for those 100 crunches...

David said...

Tell me you've got that sketch framed and hanging at home.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

david - i threw them all way years ago and only have crappy photographs of them. They were all huge though - 24x36 or so and each one was done in 5 minutes or so. 'impressions' I think the teacher called them. that charcoal makes a mess!

Woody said...

Haha, my brother's an art major at FIT and the charcoal is everywhere at home. On the walls, the floor. You say the word and my mother is instantly sick.

Blue said...

I saw this only a month ago at the Carnegie in Pittisburgh - on your advice. We also viewed the other halls and the library as you suggested. The Hall of Architecture is wonderful. I'd forgotten the WoI article and have just pulled the magazine off the shelves to look at it again. The miniature Parthenon to the right of the Lysicrates Monument is a beauty!

La Petite Gallery said...

Interesting post as always. Thanks for this info.

yvonne

Freddy Victoria said...

Thanks for a very informative post. I really appreciated how you traced the form back to its original. The last image looks like a great plate, btw. Thank you!

24 Corners said...

Fascinating history and art lesson all rolled into one...I definitely learned something new and very interesting...thank you!

John J Tackett said...

The cupola of the Tennesse State Capital (Nashville) is modelled on the Corragate Monument of Lysicrates.