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posal, for the reasons stated by him in his evidence and until the month of June 1815, no further step was taken on either side; but at that time a petition was presented, on the part of Lord Elgin, to the House, which owing to the late period of the session, was not proceeded upon. Eighty additional cases have been received since 1811, the contents of which, enumerated in Mr. Hamilton's evidence, now form a part of the collection. The medals also, of which the value is more easily defined, were not included in the proposal made to Mr. Perceval.
Against these augmentations must be set the rise in the value of money, which is unquestionably not inconsiderable, between the present time and the year 1811; a cause or consequence of which is the depreciation of every commodity, either of necessity, or fancy, which is brought to sale.
Your committee, therefore, do not think that they should be justified, in behalf of the public, if they were to recommend to the House any extension of Mr. Perceval's offer to a greater amount than 50001. and, under all the circumstances that they have endeavoured to bring under the view of the House, they judge thirty-five thousand pounds to be a reasonable and sufficient price for this collection.
Your committee observing, that by the act 45 Geo. III., c. 127, for vesting the Townleyan collection in the trustees of the British Museum, sect. 4, the proprietor of that collection, Mr. Townley Standish, was added to the trustees of the British Mu
seum, consider the Earl of Elgin (and his heirs being Earls of Elgin) as equally entitled to the same distinction, and recommend that a clause should be inserted to that effect, if it should be necessary that an act should pass for transferring his collection to the public.
It may not be deemed foreign to this subject, if your committee venture to extend their observations somewhat beyond the strict limit of their immediate inquiry, and lay before the House what occurs to them as not unimportant with regard to the age and authenticity of these sculptures. The great works with which Pericles adorned, and strengthened Athens, were all carried on under the direction and superintendence of Phidias; for this there is the authority of various ancient writers, and particularly of Plutarch; but he distinctly asserts in the same passage, that Callicrates and Ictinus executed the work of the Parthenon; which is confirmed also by Pausanias, so far as relates to Ictinus, who likewise ornamented or constructed the temple of Apollo at Phigalia; * from whence, by a singular coincidence, the sculptures in high relief, lately purchased for the British Museum, and frequently referred to in the evidence, were transported.
The style of this work in the opinion of the artists, indicates, that it belongs to the same period, though
* The penultimate syllable should be pronounced long; Phigalia closes two hexameter verses, one of which is quoted by Pausanias, and the other by Stephanus Byzantinus, from Rhianus, a poet of Crete.
though the execution is rated as inferior to that of the Elgin marbles. In the fabulous stories which are represented upon both, there is a very striking similarity; and it may be remarked in passing that the subjects of the metopes, and of the smaller frize, which is sculptured with the battle of the Amazons, correspond with two out of the four subjects mentioned by Pliny, as adorning the shield and dress of the Minerva; so that there was a general uniformity of design in the stories which were selected for the internal and external decoration of the Parthenon. The taste of the same artist, Ictinus, probably led him to repeat the same ideas, which abound in graceful forms, and variety of composition, when he was employed upon the temple of another divinity, at a distance from Athens.
The statue of Minerva within the temple, was the work of Phidias himself, and with the exception of the Jupiter which he made at Elis, the most celebrated of his productions. It was composed of ivory and gold: with regard to which, some very curious anecdotes relating to the political history of that time, are to be found in the same writers: the earliest of which, from a passage in a cotemporary poet, Aristophanes, proves that the value of these materials involved both Pericles and the director of his works in great trouble and jeopardy; upon which account the latter is said to have withdrawn to Elis, and to have ended his days there, leaving it doubtful whether his death was natural, or in consequence of a judicial sen
tence: but Plutarch places his death at Athens, and in prison, either by disease or by poison.
It has been doubted whether Phidias himself ever wrought in marble; but although, when he did not use ivory, his chief material was unquestionably bronze; there are authorities sufficient to establish, beyond all controversy, that he sometimes applied his hand to marble. Pliny, for instance, asserts that he did so, and mentions a Venus ascribed to him, existing in his own time in the collection (or in the portico) of Octavia. Phidias is called by Aristotle, a skilful worker in stone; and Pausanias enumerates a celestial Venus of Parian marble undoubtedly of his hand and the Rhamnusian Nemesis, also of the same material. Some of his statues in bronze were brought to Rome by Paulus Æmilius, and by Catulus.
His great reputation, however, was founded upon his representations of the Gods, in which he was supposed more excellent than in human forms, and especially upon his works in ivory, in which he stood unrivalled.
Elidas the Argive is mentioned as the master of Phidias: which honour is also shared by Hippias. His two most celebrated scholars were Alcamenes an Athenian of noble birth, and Agoracritus of Paros; the latter of whom was his favourite; and it was reported, that out of affection to him, Phidias put his scholar's name upon several of his own works; among which the statue called Rhamnusian Nemesis is particularized by Pliny and Suidas.
In another passage of Pliny,
Alcamenes is classed with Critias, Nestocles, and Hegias, who are called the rivals of Phidias. The name of Colotes is preserved as another of his scholars.
The other great sculptors, who were living at the same time with Phidias, and flourished very soon after him, were Agelades, Callon, Polycletus, Phragmon, Gorgias, Lacon, Myron, Pythagoras, Scopas, and Perelius.
The passage in which Pausanias mentions the sculptures on the pediments is extremely short, and to this effect: " As you enter the temple, which they call Parthenon, all that is contained in what is termed the (eagles) pediments, relates in every particular to the birth of Minerva; but on the opposite or back front is the contest of Minerva and Neptune for the land; but the statue itself is formed of ivory and gold." The
state of dilapidation into which this temple was fallen, when Stuart visited it in 1751, and made most correct drawings for his valuable work, left little opportunity of examining and comparing what remained upon that part of the temple with the passage referred to: but an account is preserved by travellers, who about 80 years earlier found one of these pediments in tolerable preservation, before the war between the Turks and Venetians, in 1687, had done so much damage to this admirable structure. The observations of one of these (Dr. Spon, a French physician) may be literally translated thus:
"The highest part of the front which the Greeks called the Eagle,' and our architects the Fronton,' is enriched with a
groupe of beautiful figures in marble, which appear from below as large as life. They are of entire relief, and wonderfully well worked. Pausanias says nothing more, than that this sculpture related to the birth of Minerva. The general design is this:
Jupiter, who is under the highest angle of the pediment (fronton) has the right arm broken, in which, probably, he held his thunderbolt; his legs are thrown wide from each other, without doubt to make room for his eagle. Although these two characteristics are wanting, one cannot avoid recognizing him by his beard, and by the majesty with which the sculptor has invested him. He is naked, as they usually represented him, and particularly the Greeks, who for the most part made their figures naked; on his right is a statue, which has its head and arms mutilated, draped to about half the leg, which one may judge to be a victory, which precedes the car of Minerva, whose horses she leads. They are the work of some hand as bold as it was delicate, which would not perhaps have yielded to Phidias, or Praxiteles, so renowned for (representing) horses. Minerva is sitting upon the car, rather in the habit of a goddess of the sciences, than of war; for she is not dressed as a warrior, having neither helmet, nor shield, nor head of Medusa upon her breast: she has the air of youth, and her head-dress is not different from that of Venus. Another female figure without a head is sitting behind her with a child, which she holds upon her knees, I cannot say who she is; but I
had no trouble in making out or recognising the two next, which are the last on that side; it is the Emperor Hadrian sitting, and half naked, and, next to him, his wife Sabina. It seems that they are both looking on with pleasure at the triumph of the goddess. I do not believe that before me, any person observed this particularity, which deserves to be remarked." "On the left of Jupiter are five or six figures, of which some have lost the heads; it is probably the circle of the gods, where Jupiter is about to introduce Minerva, and to make her be acknowledged for his daughter. The pediment behind represented, according to the same author, the dispute which Minerva and Neptune had for naming the city, but all the figures are fallen from them, except one head of a sea-horse, which was the usual accompaniment of this god; these figures of the two pediments were not so ancient as the body of the temple built by Pericles, for which there wants no other argument than that of the statue of Hadrian, which is to be seen there, and the marble which is whiter than the rest. All the rest has not been touched The Marquis de Nointel had designs made of the whole, when he went to Athens; his painter worked there for two months, and almost lost his eyes, because he was obliged to draw every thing from below, without a scaffold."-Voyage par Jacob Spon; Lyons, 1678; 2 tom. p. 144.)
Wheler, who travelled with Spon, and published his work at London (four years later) in 1682,
says, says, "But my companion made me observe the next two figures sitting in the corner to be of the Emperor Hadrian and his Empress Sabina, whom I easily knew to be so, by the many medals and statues I have seen of them.” And again, "But the Emperor Hadrian most probably repaired it, and adorned it with those figures at each front. For the whiteness of the marble, and his own statue joined with them, apparently show them to be of a later age than the first, and done by that Emperor's command. Within the portico en high, and on the outside of the cella of the the temple itself, is another border of basso relievo round about it, or at least on the north and south sides, which, without doubt, is as antient as the temple, and of admirable work, but not so high a relievo as the other. Thereon are represented sacrifices, processions, and other ceremonies of the heathens' worship; most of them were designed by the Marquis de Nointel, who employed a painter to do it two months together, and showed them to us when we waited on him at Constantinople."
Another French author, who published three years earlier than Spon, a work called "Athenes Ancienne & Nouvelle, par le S de la Guilletiere; à Paris, 1675,"-says, "Pericles employed upon the Parthenon the celebrated architects Callicrates and Ictinus. The last, who had more reputation than the former, wrote a description of it in a book,* which he
composed on purpose, and which has been lost; and we should probably not now have the opportunity of admiring the building itself, if the Emperor Hadrian had not preserved it to us, by the repairs which he caused to be done. It is to his care that we owe the few remains of antiquity which are still entire at Athens."
In the Antiquities of Athens by Stuart, vol. ii. p. 4, it is said, "Pausanias gives but a transient account of this temple, nor does he say whether Hadrian repaired it, though his statue, and that of the Empress Sabina in the western pediment, have occasioned a doubt whether the sculptures, in both, were not put up by him. Wheler and Spon were of this opinion, and say they were whiter than the rest of the building. The
statue of Antinous, now remaining at Rome, may be thought a proof that there were artists in his time capable of executing them, but this whiteness is no proof that they were more modern than the temple, for they might be made of a whiter marble; and the heads of Hadrian and Sabina might be put on two of the ancient figures, which was no uncommon practice among the Romans; and if we may give credit to Plutarch, the buildings of Pericles were not in the least impaired by age in his time; therefore this temple could not want any material repairs in the reign of Hadrian.”
With regard to the works of Hadrian at Athens, Spartian says, "that he did much for the Athenians" and a little after, on
*Folio Edit. Paris, 1620. p. 6.
his second visit to Athens, "going to the East he made his journey through Athens, and dedicated the works which he had begun there and particularly a temple to Olympian Jupiter, and an altar to himself."
The account given by Dion Cassius, is nearly to the same effect, adding that he placed his own statue within the temple of Olympian Jupiter, which he erected.*
He called some other cities after his own name, and directed a part of Athens to be styled Hadrianopolis:† but no mention is made by any ancient author, of his touching or repairing the Parthenon. Pausanias, who wrote in his reign, says, that "the temples which Hadrian either erected from the foundation, or adorned with dedicated gifts and decorations, or whatever donations he made to the cities of the Greeks, and of the Barbarians also, who made application to him, were all recorded at Athens in the temple common to all the gods."‡
It is not unlikely, that a confused recollection of the statue which Hadrian actually placed at Athens, may have led one of the earliest travellers into a mistake, which has been repeated, and countenanced by subsequent writers; but M. Fauvel, who will be quoted presently, speaks as from his own examination and observation, when he mentions the two statues in question; which, it is to be observed, still remain (without their heads) up
*B. 69, c. 16. + Spartian, p. 10, Paus. Att. p. 5. Ed. Xyl.