Friday, February 28, 2014

Classical (Greek and Latin) Influence in Modern Art and Architecture

Hello! On this blog, I'll speak about different examples of modern art and architecture where we can find vestiges of classical Roman and Greek pieces of art. I hope you enjoy them!

The Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago, Illinois

This is the most important library of Chicago's Public Library Program. You can easily see the Greek and roman influence on the architecture of this library. It's easy to understand, because libraries are made for cult and wise people, and the Greeks and Romans are considered to be some of the wisest cultures. The most obvious vocabulary of the building is the Pediment. As you can see in the images above, the pediment (triangular shape of the ceiling) is a modern version of the one in the Parthenon: same shape, but different material. This architectural element, the pediment, is found in classical Greek temples, renaissance and neoclasical architecture, but it was originally developed by ancient Greek civilizaation. The triangular part within  of the pediment, called tympanum,was generally  decorated with reflief sculptures,

"El H. Congreso de la Unión del Estado de Sinaloa," Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico

"El H. Congreso de la Unión del Estado de Sinaloa" is where the legislative power of this federal entity is centered. This is found in my hometown, Culiacan. It's where all the congressmen gather to see what's best for the necessities of the city and the federal entity.  As you can see, the vocabulary imitated from the Classical Roman architecture is the use of columns in the structure of the building. The place you can see in the picture above is Magna de Leptis' ruins in Libya, an important roman city in Cartage. It was constructed during the reign of augustus and Tiberius, and has many of the architectural elements of the roman architecture. We usually see these kind of imitated vocabulary in government buildings, because most of the principles of Democracy come from Ancient Greek and Rome.

"El Angel de la Independencia," México D.F., Mexico

"El Angel de la Independencia" or Independence's Angel, is a monument built in Mexico City to commemorate Mexico's independence. It consists of a 36 mts. column with a 6.7 mts bronze statue of Nike, the Greek Goddes of Victory, also called the " el Angel", located on the top of the column. The Angel has a laurel crown in her right hand, representing victory.And, in her left hand, she holds a broken chain, symbolizing freedom.   The similarity with the column of Trajan is important and visible to naked eye. Trajan's Column also represents victory, and has a human figure on top to represent it and commemorate it.

Percy Jackson and The Olympians Books and Movie

You just have to read the name to know what these books are about. "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" is a book series written by Rick Riordan which talks about what would happen if the Greek Gods were real and they followed the 'most important civilization' which is, according to him, Western (American) civilization. The whole book is about Greek Mythologie, and in it, they mention a lot of different places and buildings that have Greek influence. These  pieces of literature show us how much the Greeks have influenced our lives nowadays. The same author, Rick Riordan, also wrote another series titled "Heroes of Olympus", which not only includes Greek culture, but also Roman culture.

Oakland Stadium, Oakland, California, United States

Oakland Raiders' Home Stadium is definitely based on the Roman Coliseum. As you can see, the similitudes between these two buildings are tremendous. Still, it's not the only stadium inspired on the Roman Coliseum: almost all stadiums copy the architecture, so that more and more people are able to apreciated the show. Back then, the Coliseum was used for watching the Gladiators fight and die, but now the stadiums are used for playing sports or having concerts. You may think it's a big difference, but when you think about it, you discover it's all for entertainment, but the only difference is how people got entertained back then and how they are entertained nowadays.

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