The Temple of Baal. 1918. Etching, aquatint and drypoint. Dickins 72. 8 5/8 x 13 1/8 (sheet 11 x 17 1/2). A rich impression printed on warm white J. Whatman wove paper. Signed in pencil. $750.
The Temple of Baal, also known as the Temple of the Sun, was located at Palmyra, an oasis of the Syrian desert between Damascus and the Euphrates. The temple was pseudodipteral, 8 Corinthian columns by 15. Its ornaments were possibly of gilt bronze. Soon after the completion of the temple its plan was completely changed by walling up the traditional front and back doors and opening a doorway on the east wall of the cella. This doorway, though not in the center of the temple, lay on the axis of the Propylea. In many ways the temple, with its pyramid roofs and peripteral design, epitomizes the fusion of Near Eastern and Greco-Roman architectural traditions. Palmyra existed in an oasis of the Syrian desert between Damascus and the Euphrates, and grew wealthy from its prominent role in the Roman caravan trade with the East, springing to fame in the 3rd century AD when its queen Zenobia temporarily broke away from the Roman empire to form a powerful kingdom of her own.
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