Athens Local News

Art and Architecture

Pericles programs encouraged the construction of new buildings, art, and drama. The Parthenon was one of Athen's greatest architectural achievements. It set the style for all later temples for the next 200 years. It was known for its excellent craftsmanship and design. Within the temple was a giant statue of Athena, goddess of wisdom and protector of the city of Athens.

Pericles entrusted the construction of the temple to Phidias , an Athenian sculptor. Phidias and other Athenian sculptors worked to create figures that were graceful, strong, and perfectly formed. Their faces showed neither laughter nor anger, only serenity. Greek sculptors sought to capture the grace of the human body in motion by stressing the values of order, balance, and proportion. These standards became the defining characteristics of classical art. Phidias and other architects and sculptors also developed unique architectural style that continue to influence architecture. The pillars that supported the roofs of temples like the Parthenon serve as an excellent example. The Greeks developed three unique tops or capitals for the columns. They were the Doric (used on the Parthenon), Ionic, and Corinthian. Please see the example below for a visual explanation.