Siphnian Treasury at Delphi

erected 530 BC

 09_siphnian-treasury

The road to the Oracle at Delphi and Temple of Apollo, was lined with different Greek treasuries. One of these was erected in 530 BC by the inhabitants of the Ionian island city-state of Siphnos. It has been reconstructed using fragments from the neighboring Cnidian Treasury. The pediment is supported by two caryatids instead of pilasters. Below the pediment runs a continuous frieze. Lavish sculptural décor fills the frieze, and the sections depict the Greek Gods vs. the Giants; Heracles vs. Apollo; and the Trojan War.

Starting to the extreme left, there are two lions pulling the chariot of Cybele, and mauling an anguished giant. In front of them, Apollo and Artemis advance together, shooting their arrows. A dead giant lies broken at their feet, while one flees. Three bear shields, to the right. Artful overlapping takes advantage of spacial possibilities, creating a masterful relief of dramatic atypical relationships. Siphnians were rich from gold and silver mines, and it was one of the first entirely marble structures.

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One Response to “Siphnian Treasury at Delphi”

  1. Didier LAROCHE architecte Says:

    very nice colouring of Hansen’s drawing. Congratulations!

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