Sunday, April 25, 2010


Here’s a pencil and watercolor sketch of the Erechtheum, an Ionic temple built on the Acropolis near the Parthenon in Athens. The porch on the left is supported by caryatid figures.

Sketching a famous subject like this is an extraordinary experience, because you can see the echo of this structure in so many other buildings that it has inspired. Only by drawing it do you fully appreciate it. All the proportions and details in this architecture seem perfect, which makes it impossible to capture in a hasty drawing.

A local came up to me and I asked her to write the name of it in Greek.

Wikipedia on Erechtheum


Jon Hrubesch said...

I had heard on a history program a while back ago that the Roman columns are fashioned after the much more modest homes of the time that tied reeds together (I'm assuming to build a porch-like covering) at the doorway. I just thought that it is interesting to think that wealthy buildings today (wall street, banks etc..) have a design that is inspired by a much more modest lifestyle. Irony!

Anonymous said...

Brings back memories. I love Athens. It's dirty, noisy and full of concrete sprawl, but nothing can spoil the joy of eating a local, incredibly tasty tomato and watching the Acropolis up there above it all.

Actually, the Greek letters on the drawing say "NAOS APOLLONA" which means "Temple of Apollo". The Erechteum isn't a temple of Apollo, but maybe that friendly local had a little nap in an ancient history class back in school?

Gordon Napier said...

Greece is the word today. I've just been drawing Spartans!