Oil Sketch, "Parthenon, Athens, from the Northwest (Illuminated Night View)", April 1869 Brush and oil paint, black chalk on thin cream paperboard. Gift of Louis P. Church. 1917-4-671.
What is this?
The Parthenon viewed at night from the south is lit aritificially from within the structure by fireworks.
This object is full of stories
Church was on the Acropolis when a pyrotechnical display was staged for the king and queen of Greece. In this oil sketch, Church captures a dramatic moment when the fireworks reflect on the Parthenon.
The museum holds the largest collection of Frederic E. Church objects in the world. Donated by the artist’s son, Louis P. Church, the gift was solicited by Charles W. Gould, a museum trustee, and by the painter Elliot Clark, who acted as an agent for the Hewitt sisters. The Parthenon oil sketch on display was likely painted in the studio after a quick graphite study that Church executed (with color notations) while observing the fireworks display. The black and white sketch is also included in the Church collection.