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Acropolis and Olympian Zeus, Athens

John Fulleylove (1844-1908)


Signed, inscribed with title and dated 1901

Watercolour with pencil

7 x 5 inches

'Chris Beetles Summer Show', 2021, No 52

‘The emperor [Hadrian]’s greatest monument was the Olympieum, or temple of Olympian Zeus, situated to the south-east of the Acropolis, on the right bank of the Ilissus. The foundation of the temple had been laid by Peisistratus nearly 700 years before, and the work had been considerably advanced by Antiochus Epiphanes nearly 400 years later; but it was reserved to Hadrian to complete the great undertaking, which he did in a municent style. Unfortunately only fteen of the hundred or more Corinthian columns of Pentelic marble are now standing, occupying but a small part of the vast platform (about 2200 feet in circumference) on which the temple stood. But such is the grandeur of the columns, rising to a height of nearly 57 feet and fully 51⁄2 feet in diameter, that they form one of the most imposing ruins in the world. Even before the commencement of the temple of Peisistratus, the place was regarded with peculiar veneration as the traditional site of a temple erected by Deucalion, the survivor of the Flood; and in the days of Pausanias a cleft was to be seen in the ground, into which the subsiding waters were said to have sunk, and where, every year, the people cast in wheaten meal kneaded with honey, probably in memory of those who perished in the Deluge.’
(J A M’Clymont, Greece, London: A & C Black, 1906, pages 211-212)

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