Caryatids Picture

The Acropolis of Athens, Greece.
The Caryatids (Karyatides) from the south porch of the Erechtheion.

The Erechtheion is a complex marble building in the Ionic order. The name ''Erechtheion'' derives from Erechtheus, the mythical king of Athens, who was worshipped there. The area around the Erechtheion was considered the most sacred of the Acropolis.
The roof was supported by six statues of maidens known as the Caryatids, instead of the typical columns. A building inscription of the Erechtheion refers to the Caryatids simply as Korai (maidens), while the name Caryatids was assigned at a later time. The second Korai from the western section was removed by Lord Elgin in 1801 and is today located in the British Museum. Several interpretations about the Caryatids have been put forth. The most convincing one supports the view that they constituted the visible portion of the grave of the first King of Athens, Kekrops and were the libation bearers (choephoroi) who paid tribute to the glorious dead.

[ FujiFilm FinePix HS10 ]

© 2011 Jordan Kevrekidis

See also: