Ancient Athenian Building Methods (Agora Picture Book) by John McK. Camp

By John McK. Camp

Whereas this ebook is illustrated exclusively with fabrics from the Athenian Agora, it additionally offers a concise creation to development kinds and methods that would be beneficial to somebody drawn to historic Greek structure. From financing to instruments, and from mason’s marks to the clamps that held blocks jointly, no aspect is passed over during this well-illustrated textual content. the various components of huge constructions, from the rules to the tile roofs, are all mentioned with transparent drawings to point how the full used to be developed.

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56. Watercolor o f a mosaic floor of cut tesserae, from a house west ofthe Areopagus, 2nd century after Christ. 29 57. , showing the use of paint and, at left, the profile ofthe moldings. DECORATIVE ELEMENTS AND PAINTING Decorative moldings regularly adorned certain parts of Greek buildings, for example, the base and capital ofan Ionic column (8,28),the top ofa wall or pier (57), the underside and top of a cornice (front cover). The canons of architecture were so rigid for the Doric and Ionic orders that a specific molding was almost invariably associated with a given location on a building.

Many of the decorative elements of ancient buildings are lost, but the skills by which they were produced are listed in Plutarch’s account, written in the 1st century after Christ, of a classical Athenian building program (L$e ofPerikZes, 12): The materials to be used were stone, bronze, ivory, gold, ebony, and cypress wood; the arts which should elaborate and work up these materials were those of carpenter, molder, bronzesmith, stonecutter, dyer, worker in gold and ivory, painter, embroiderer, embosser, to say nothing of the forwarders and furnishers of the material, such as factors, sailors, and pilots by sea, and, by land, wagon makers, trainers of yoked beasts, and drivers.

58. ), 4th century B . C . From the bottom up: a guilloche, a Lesbian leaf, a bead-and-reel. Athenian buildings were richly painted as well, again according to a set pattern. O n colonnaded structures the paint was confined to certain elements of the superstructure, from the level of the column capitals up through parts of the architrave, frieze, cornice, ceilings, and roof (37, 57, and front cover). Vivid red, blue, and sometimes green were the standard colors, and the use of gilding was not infrequent.

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