While on my way home one day, I was trying to think of what I could use for my first blog post, when it hit me. I could use the building that I’ve walked by countless times, for my first blog post. This picture is of the New York County Courthouse, in lower Manhattan. This courthouse, in my opinion, resembles that of an ancient Greek temple as it seems as if it was modeled after ancient Greek classical architecture. On the front entrance, it seems that there is a colonade of sorts, which I believe to be of the Corinthian order. I believe this, because the columns themselves appear to be slim and have elaborate capitals, which is what characterizes Corinthian order columns. It also has a triangular pediment, with approximately 13 figures carved in bas relief from a type of stone or granite, perhaps. A security guard had told me that the three statues on top stood for Law, Truth, and Equity. The frieze bears the inscription “The True Administration of Justice is the Firmest Pillar of Good Government”. In my opinion, I don’t think this differs much from the source material, other than the medium, which I am unsure of what it exactly is, but looks like stone. I don’t think the building has a much different function as well, as it serves to represent the courts as holy temples that worship the principles of law, order, and justice.
In addition to this grand piece of architecture in our backyard, I would like to take this time to connect what we learned in unit 1 of Art History to what we learned in our Classical Culture class. In Art history we learned what different sculptures found in the Parthenon and its pediments represent. We learned a lot of the sculptures signified the ascendancy of the Greeks, all their triumphs, their value of civilization over barbarism and rational thought over chaos. Similarly, we learned in Classical culture how the Greeks thought any culture or civilization foreign or unlike their own, were barbaric. Simply because of the fact that those culture were foreign. In fact, Professor Yarrow taught us that the word Barbarians is actually derived from what the Greeks thought of other civilizations. The Greeks couldn’t understand foreign languages, so to them, when other civilizations tried to communicate in their own language it came off as, “Bar…Bar…Bar!” I found this pretty interesting and coincidental since we skimmed over barbarism in Greek sculptures in Art History as well.