The Siphnian Treasury Frieze
Timothy Ashmore -100797805
Denis Fidanov –
Peter Gracey -
Prof. Susan Downie
November 13th 2012
Agard, Walter R , Notes on the Siphnian Treasury, (1938) Vol 42 pp.237-244, Archeological institute of America, (JSTOR)
There is a big similarity between the frieze on the Siphnian Treasury and black and red-figure vases in the terms of techniques and style used as pointed out by Agard. The south side of the frieze contains two scenes of abduction which could be an act of rape towards Leukipos’ daughter. Agard states this scene has been appropriated into vase painting “the closest approach to the abduction scene occurs on a Chalcidian Vase” (Agard 237), however there has been no discovery of an exact representation of this scene in Greek art. Further possible influence of this style is shown on sarcophagi from Klazomenai and black-figure vases where the same body figure is depicted as was stated in the article. There is a controversy with the different sections of the frieze, “The general judgement of archaeologists and critics has been that the borth and east friezes represent a distinct artistic advance over those of the south and west. (Agard 234). This is quite interesting because there is an overall large difference in the friezes, the north and east are made with a lot of skill though many critics argue that they are not aesthetically arranged, the composition is not good. The west and south friezes have a great composition but the artist did not bear the same skill.
Burgess, J S. 2004. “Early Images of Achilles and Memnon?,” Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica. Vol. 76: 33-51. (JSTOR)
This article doesn’t discuss the Siphnian Treasury but is still important. It discusses the representation of Achilles and Memnon in early art. The author makes a few crucial remarks which are relevant to the east frieze at Delphi. First he says that two women always flank the figures, these are the figures of Eos and Thetis (pg. 34). They are always separated by a border, which likely represents the separation between divine and mortal (pg. 37). On an attic bowl there is a staff with two birds placed between Achilles and Memnon, which is interpreted as the scales in a scene of psychotasia (pg. 37). Two images of Achilles and Memnon exist on the bowl, one with the staff between them, and the other to the right without a staff. The proposed reason for this is that the divine scene, the one of psychostasia, is always on the left, and the mortal scene is always to the right (pg. 44). This is important because on the east frieze of the Siphnian Treasury the Council of the Gods (where the scene of psychotasia is located) is on the left of the image, and the battle scene from the Trojan War is on the right. This article serves as additional evidence for the interpretation of Achilles and Memnon as the figures in the east frieze.
Moore Mary B.. The Gigantomachy of the Siphnian Treasury : Reconstruction of the three Lacunae. In: Bulletin de correspondance hellénique. Supplément. Supplément 4, 1977. pp. 305-335.
Moore deals controversies concerning the Gigantomachy scene on the frieze of the Siphnian treasury. Picard and Coste-Messeliere who wrote the excavation publication say “Iris guided the chariot, while Zeus prepared to attack the two giants who appear near the forelegs of the horses.” (Moore 307), suggesting that Zeus may have been walking as oppose to being on a chariot. Though on the normal representation of the Gigantomachy Zeus is usually about to get on the chariot as show in many black-figure vase paintings, suggesting that they were influenced by the Gigantomachy frieze, as Moore states it is a very popular scene to be depicted on vases, and since it has not been seen beforehand it was believe that that’s where the influence came from. It is difficult to say exactly how the gigantomachy was depicted as…