In the Land of the Temples

Images from In the Land of the Temple by Joseph Pennell (1860 – 1926), 1915

Reproductions of a series of lithographs made by [Pennell] in the land of temples [i.e. Greece], March – June 1913, together with impressions and notes by the artist.

Joseph Pennell died in 1926, more than 75 years ago, so these images are out of copyright, as is the text.

[picture: I. Aetna over Taormina]

I. Aetna over Taormina

“For years I wanted to make this drawing—and for days after I reached Taormina I had to wait before I could make it: for a curtain of mist hung over the sea and land. Then suddenly in all its glory the great white, snowy cone, borne on clouds, came forth above the sea and shore. And Hiroshige and Claude and Turner never imagined or dreamt of anything [...] [more...]

[picture: II. The Theatre, Segesta]

II. The Theatre, Segesta

“Nothing, not even Taormina, is more magnificent than the set scene of the Theatre; how poor and mean must have been the forgotten mummers! The scene will exist till the end of time—even though scarce anyone climbs the mountain-side and, fagged out, drops in one of the thousands of empty seats hewn in the [...] [more...]

[picture: III. The Temple Over the Canyon, Segesta]

III. The Temple Over the Canyon, Segesta

“Everyone advised me to go to Segesta, and I am glad I wemt, but I should never have known how wonderfully the Greeks made architectural compositions if I had not seen the Grand Canyon. There I saw Nature’s compositions: here was one made by man—finer, though not so [...] [more...]

[picture: IV. From Temple to Temple, Girgenti]

IV. From Temple to Temple, Girgenti

‘Not only are the lines of the hills, looking toward the sea, perfect, but the builders of these, as of all the temples, took advantage of the lines in the landscape, making the temple the focus of a great composition; an art no longer practised; but the temples of the gods of Greece were more important than the notions of local [...] [more...]

[picture: V. The Columns of Castor and Pollux, Girgenti]

V. The Columns of Castor and Pollux, Girgenti

“This is not a restoration, but a re-building. The re-builders worked better than they knew, and made a delightful—and popular—subject for every artist who goes to Girgenti.” (p. 5) [more...]

[picture: VI. Sunrise Behind the Temple of Concord, Girgenti]

VI. Sunrise Behind the Temple of Concord, Girgenti

The Land of Temples is the land of effects—and they must be seized when they are seen. I had no idea of making this drawing; but as I reached the temple, the sun rose behind it, and I never saw it so huge, so mighty, as that morning. So I drew [...] [more...]

[picture: XXXII  The Temple of Nike From Mars Hill, Athens]

XXXII The Temple of Nike From Mars Hill, Athens

“This is the grandest grouping of the Acropolis. The way in which the whole, in solemn square masses, piles up—the temple dominating all—is marvellous. It is finer, I am sure, [...] [more...]



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