1818: The Parthenon’s surviving metope and its absent counterparts

Commented by: Eleonora Vratskidou

Lord Elgin’s removal of the Parthenon marbles caused intense reaction among European intellectual and artistic circles. Several artists and travellers visually recorded the conspicuous emptiness of the temple’s entablatures, along with the numerous written commentaries on the topic. Pitzamanos’ watercolour is the only known visual account by a Greek observer, made three years before the Greek uprising against the Ottoman Empire. While registering what seems to be a significant loss, his image at the same time renders as abstraction the humble Turkish dwellings surrounding the temple, revealing the tensions underlying perceptions and appropriations of the multitemporal and multicultural site of the Acropolis.

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