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Denis Baly

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The sublime entablature and sculpture of the Parthenon's pediment and frieze. Here we can also see the resolution of what Trachtenberg refers to as the "angle problem." This is briefly explained here, in Trachtenberg's own words: "The "angle problem" has to do with the unsightly stretching of the last metope in the frieze of a Doric temple, as the last triglyph became displaced outward from the center of the corner column to the corner itself in order to accomodate the increasing dimensions of column and architrave. The problem was solved by "angle-contraction," or simply narrowing the spacing between the corner columns for the required distance, which, as it turned out, contributed to the visual integrity of the temple by lending added solidity to the corner. Thus a virtue was made of necessity. But the Parthenon went further: Its contraction of the corner interaxial distance is double the amount necessary to correct the irregularity in the frieze. This introduced a new reverse irregularity in the frieze (the last metope would now be too narrow) which was compensated for by progressively narrowing the metopes from the corner to the center bay" (91). (Source: Trachtenberg and Hyman, Architecture, from prehistory to post-modernism: the western tradition, 1986)


Athens, Greece



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