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Francis Bedford (1815-94)

Portions of the Frieze of the Parthenon [Athens, Greece] 31 May 1862

RCIN 2701021

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The photograph shows marble blocks from the frieze that ran around all four sides of the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The frieze was sculpted probably between 438 and 432 BC. In the early 19th century, Thomas Bruce the 7th Earl of Elgin removed about half of the surviving marble blocks from the Parthenon. In 1816 they ended up in the British Museum. The head of the Prince’s party, Robert Bruce, was the younger son of the 7th Earl. Bedford photographed several of the blocks which remained in Athens. The photograph is signed, captioned and dated in the negative, 'F Bedford Athens', 31 May 1862. See RCIN 2861704 for another print of the same image.