May 24, 2010

Reinterpretation of the Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 9:34 pm in Elgin Marbles

I came across this interesting re-interpretation of the Parthenon Frieze recently. Be sure to follow the link to the original post to see the images of the actual artwork.


Sculpturally Alive

I hadn’t visited the blog, eternallycool, in awhile and found this stunning artwork in one of
their recent postings. Spanish photographer, Eugenio Recuenco, along with art director assistance by Eric Dover, and make-up artist Lewis Amarante, photographed live models and created his interpretation of Greek classical sculpture, inspired by the marble figures of the Parthenon.

We have included only a portion of the entire panel, but you’d have to agree that it is a
stunning reinterpretation of the sculpture found in the pediments and friezes of the Athenian temple. The tonal quality he has chosen and his use of chiaroscuro lighting effects, gives us the opportunity to look at the well-known marble figures with a new, dynamic perspective.

You can see the real thing up close and personal at the British Museum, or in Athens, at the
old Acropolis Museum. On our first visit to London several years ago, we visited the Duveen Gallery, where the infamous Elgin/Parthenon Marbles are housed, but I haven’t seen the statuary at the Acropolis Museum, or the few remaining fragments still attached to the Parthenon itself. I was surprised at how moved I was by this collection of sculpture as we wandered around the crowded gallery. It was a pretty intense experience, though I wonder what the impact would be seeing those last remnants high up in the pediment, and frieze, of the actual building in their original location. As the viewer, you are so far removed from them, since they are ten stories above you, can you entirely appreciate their power without the more intimate, eye level museum experience?

It is one of many arguments made in relation to the Elgin Marbles. Should they be in Britain at all,
or should they be returned to Athens, even if on their return they would still be housed in a museum. One of the reasons sited for keeping them in London, is that there was no place to display them in the old Acropolis Museum. Well, the Greeks have sought to rectify that issue in constructing a brand new museum with the intent of providing a gallery dedicated to the Marbles just as they British did with the Duveen. It is a debate that has been going on since the marble figures were removed from Athens 207 years ago.

If you have never seen the actual Parthenon sculptures, the Recuenco figures are not a substitute,
but they will elicit a response that is in keeping with the spirit of the originals.

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