In architecture the frieze /friːz/ is the wide central section part of an entablature and may be plain in the Ionic or Doric order, or decorated with bas-reliefs. Even when neither columns nor pilasters are expressed, on an astylar wall it lies upon the architrave ('main beam') and is capped by the moldings of the cornice. A frieze can be found on many Greek and Roman buildings, the Parthenon Frieze being the most famous, and perhaps the most elaborate. This style is typical for the Persians.

In interiors, the frieze of a room is the section of wall above the picture rail and under the crown moldings or cornice. By extension, a frieze is a long stretch of painted, sculpted or even calligraphic decoration in such a position, normally above eye-level. Frieze decorations may depict scenes in a sequence of discrete panels. The material of which the frieze is made of may be plasterwork, carved wood or other decorative medium.[1]

In an example of an architectural frieze on the façade of a building, the octagonal Tower of the Winds in the Roman agora at Athens bears relief sculptures of the eight winds on its frieze.

A pulvinated frieze (or pulvino) is convex in section. Such friezes were features of 17th-century Northern Mannerism, especially in subsidiary friezes, and much employed in interior architecture and in furniture.

The concept of a frieze has been generalized in the mathematical construction of frieze patterns.

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Doric frieze at the Temple of Hephaestus, Athens (449–415 BCE).
Decorative emblems The Circus Bath
The Circus (Bath), UK. Architectural detail of the frieze showing the alternating triglyphs and metope. (John Wood, the Elder, architect)
Ornate molding frieze at Hoysaleshwara temple, Halebidu
Frieze of animals, mythological episodes at the base of Hoysaleswara temple, India
The frieze lining the roof of Yankee Stadium

Achaemenid friezes

Persian frieze designs at Persepolis

Achaemenid frieze designs at Persepolis.

Greek friezes

Frieze at Erechtheum 5th century BCE

Ionic frieze at the Erechtheum, Athens, (421–406 BCE).

Greek frieze designs

Top: Kyanos frieze from Tiryns. Bottom: Frieze of the Erechtheion in Athens, 4th BCE.

Frieze from Delphi lotus with multiple calyx

Frieze from Delphi incorporating lotuses with multiple calyxes.

Indian friezes

Frieze of capital of Lat at Allahabad

Frieze of the lost capital of the Allahabad pillar, with two lotuses framing a "flame palmette" surrounded by small rosette flowers, 3rd BCE

Rampurva bull capital detail

Rampurva bull capital, detail of the abacus, with two "flame palmettes" framing a lotus surrounded by small rosette flowers, 3rd BCE

Sankissa elephant frieze

Frieze of the Sankissa elephant, 3rd BCE

External links

  • Media related to Friezes at Wikimedia Commons
  • Wikisource "Frieze" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.


  1. ^ "Parthenon Frieze". Retrieved May 7, 2017.
Bassae Frieze

The Bassae Frieze is the high relief marble sculpture in 23 panels, 31m long by 0.63m high, made to decorate the interior of the cella of the Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae. It was discovered in 1811 by Carl Haller and Charles Cockerell, and excavated the following year by an expedition of the Society of Travellers led by Haller and Otto von Stackelberg. This team cleared the temple site in an endeavour to recover the sculpture, and in the process revealed it was part of the larger sculptural programme of the temple including the metopes of an external Doric frieze and an over-life-size statue. The find spots of the internal Ionic frieze blocks were not recorded by the early archaeologists, so work on recreating the sequence of the frieze has been based on the internal evidence of the surviving slabs and this has been the subject of controversy.

Archaeological research has determined that the site of the present ruin of the temple of Apollo was in continuous use since the archaic period, the existing temple is the last of four on the site and designated Apollo IV. Pausanias records that this last sanctuary was dedicated to Apollo Epikourios (helper or succourer) by the Phigalians in thanks for delivery from the plague of 429 BC. The architecture of the temple is one of the most strikingly unusual examples of the period, departing significantly from the norms of Doric and Ionic practice and including what is perhaps the first use of the Corinthian order and the first temple to have a continuous frieze around the interior of the naos. From the style of the frieze it belongs to the High Classical period, probably carved around 400 BC. Nothing is known of its authorship: despite an ascription of the metopes to Paionios (since refuted), the frieze cannot be associated with any sculptor, workshop or school. Instead Cooper identifies the artists of the frieze on morellian evidence as a group of three anonymous masters.The frieze was bought at auction by the British Museum in 1815 where it is now on permanent display in a specially constructed room in Gallery 16. While the British Museum possesses most of the sculpture, eight fragments believed to belong to the frieze are in the National Museum, Athens. Copies of this frieze decorate the walls of the Ashmolean Museum and London's Travellers Club.

Beethoven Frieze

The Beethoven Frieze is a painting by Gustav Klimt on display in the Secession Building, Vienna, Austria.

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch (; Norwegian: [ˈɛdvɑʈ ˈmʊŋk] (listen); 12 December 1863 – 23 January 1944) was a Norwegian painter, whose best known work, The Scream, has become one of the most iconic images of world art.

His childhood was overshadowed by illness, bereavement and the dread of inheriting a mental condition that ran in the family. Studying at the Royal School of Art and Design in Kristiania (today’s Oslo), Munch began to live the bohemian life, under the largely negative influence of the nihilist Hans Jæger, who did, however, urge him to paint his own emotional and psychological state (‘soul painting’). From this would presently emerge his distinctive style.

Travel brought new influences and new outlets. In Paris, he learned much from Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, especially their use of colour. In Berlin, he met Swedish dramatist August Strindberg, whom he painted, as he embarked on his major canon The Frieze of Life, depicting a series of deeply-felt themes such as love, anxiety, jealousy and betrayal, steeped in atmosphere.

But it was back in Kristiania that his legendary work The Scream was conceived. According to Munch, he was out walking at sunset, when he ‘heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature’. That agonised face is widely identified with the angst of modern man. Between 1893 and 1910, he made two painted versions and two in pastels, as well as a number of prints. One of the pastels would eventually command the fourth highest nominal price paid for a painting at auction.

As his fame and wealth grew, his emotional state remained as insecure as ever. He briefly considered marriage, but could not commit himself. A breakdown in 1908 forced him to give up heavy drinking, and he was cheered by his increasing acceptance by the people of Kristiania and exposure in the city’s museums. His later years were spent working in peace and privacy. Although his works were banned in Nazi Germany, most of them survived World War II, ensuring him a secure legacy.


An entablature (; nativization of Italian intavolatura, from in "in" and tavola "table") is the superstructure of moldings and bands which lies horizontally above columns, resting on their capitals. Entablatures are major elements of classical architecture, and are commonly divided into the architrave (the supporting member immediately above; equivalent to the lintel in post and lintel construction), the frieze (an unmolded strip that may or may not be ornamented), and the cornice (the projecting member below the pediment). The Greek and Roman temples are believed to be based on wooden structures, the design transition from wooden to stone structures being called petrification.

Frieze (horse)

Frieze (1949 – after 1960) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare best known for winning the 1952 Epsom Oaks. She won her first four races before finishing fourth to Zabara in the 1000 Guineas. She defeated Zabara decisively in the Oaks and won the Yorkshire Oaks later that year. She failed to reproduce her best form in two subsequent races and was retired from racing at the end of the year having won seven of her ten starts. She made little impact as a broodmare.

Frieze (magazine)

frieze is a contemporary art magazine, published eight times a year from London.

Frieze (textile)

In the history of textiles, frieze (French: frisé) is a Middle English term for a coarse woollen, plain weave cloth with a nap on one side. The nap was raised by scrubbing it to raise curls of fibre, and was not shorn after being raised, leaving an uneven surface. Panni frisi, "Frisian cloths", appear in medieval inventories and other documents. Frieze was woven in the English Midlands and Wales, and in Ireland from the fourteenth century, and later in Holland as well. A similar textile is baize. In Old Norse, such cloth was called vaðmál (wadmal), and lengths of wadmal were a medium of exchange, especially for the poor who had neither cattle nor silver. Wadmal could be used to pay property tax.In the seventeenth century Frize was applied to linen cloth, apparently as from Frisia, an unconnected usage.Coarse frieze was manufactured in England for export to Ireland in the nineteenth century. "Frieze cloth, a mixed and for the most part an unraised fabric, has been manufactured for a series of years, and continues so to be, probably, in increasing quantity", wrote Samuel Jubb in 1860. "This cloth is heavy and sound, rather than fine in quality. It is made... almost entirely for the Irish trade" Frieze was to be seen Jubb noted impassively, worn so threadbare it was reduced to "the merest expression of threads crossing each other at right angles... on the back of an Irish pig-jobber or that of an Irish reaper." The Ulster, a long loose overcoat as worn in Ulster, was made of frieze. Irish frieze found its way to North America: a stock of hooded coats that was brought to Detroit in 1701 included twenty-three made of frise d'Irlande.The term frieze can also be used for the curly nap frieze fabrics have, as well as the action of raising the nap, which differs from standard methods. Today, frieze is also a term applied to a textile technique used in modern machine-loomed carpeting, as well as the textile produced. Carpets made with this technique are known for their resilience, due to a high twist rate, outperforming standard cut or loop pile carpets.

Frieze Art Fair

Frieze Art Fair is an international contemporary art fair in London, New York, and Los Angeles. It takes place every October in London's Regent's Park. In the US, the fair has been running on New York's Randall's Island since 2014, with its inaugural Los Angeles edition taking place February 2019. The fair is staged by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, the publishers of frieze magazine. Frieze Art Fair features more than 170 contemporary art galleries, and the fair also includes specially commissioned artists’ projects, a talks programme and an artist-led education schedule.

Frieze group

In mathematics, a frieze or frieze pattern is a design on a two-dimensional surface that is repetitive in one direction. Such patterns occur frequently in architecture and decorative art. A frieze group is the set of symmetries of a frieze pattern, specifically the set of isometries of the pattern, that is geometric transformations built from rigid motions and reflections that preserve the pattern. The mathematical study of frieze patterns reveals that they can be classified into seven types according to their symmetries.

Frieze groups are two-dimensional line groups, having repetition in only one direction. They are related to the more complex wallpaper groups, which classify patterns that are repetitive in two directions, and crystallographic groups, which classify patterns that are repetitive in three directions.


Heat setting is a term used in the textile industry to describe a thermal process usually taking place in either a steam atmosphere or a dry heat environment. The effect of the process gives fibers, yarns or fabric dimensional stability and, very often, other desirable attributes like higher volume, wrinkle resistance or temperature resistance. Very often, heat setting is also used to improve attributes for subsequent processes.

Heat setting can eliminate the tendency of undesirable torquing. At the winding, twisting, weaving, tufting and knitting processes, the increased tendency to torquing can cause difficulties in processing the yarn. When using heat setting for carpet yarns, desirable results include not only the diminishing of torquing but also the stabilization or fixing of the fiber thread. Both twist stabilization and stabilization of frieze effect are results of the heat setting process. Heat setting benefits staple yarns as well as bulked continuous filament (BCF) yarns. Heat setting often causes synthetic fibers to gain volume as well. This volume growth is commonly described as "bulk development". All processes using temperature and/or moisture to give textiles one of the above-mentioned attributes are known as heat setting. The term "thermal fixation" is used less frequently. In the carpet industry, the process is exclusively called "heat setting".

La Chaire a Calvin

La Chaire a Calvin is a rock shelter near the village of Mouthiers-sur-Boëme in the Département of Charente, situated in the valley of the Gersac stream. The shelter is on a cliff which faces south east. The rock face of this rock-shelter has a sculpted frieze dated to the Magdalenian period; approximately 15000 years BP.

This site was studied by Pierre David from 1924 onwards, who discovered the frieze in 1926. It was further studied by Bouvier in the 1960s.


In classical architecture, a metope (μετόπη) is a rectangular architectural element that fills the space between two triglyphs in a Doric frieze, which is a decorative band of alternating triglyphs and metopes above the architrave of a building of the Doric order. Metopes often had painted or sculptural decoration; the most famous example are the 92 metopes of the Parthenon marbles some of which depict the battle between the Centaurs and the Lapiths. The painting on most metopes has been lost, but sufficient traces remain to allow a close idea of their original appearance.

In terms of structure, metopes may be carved from a single block with a triglyph (or triglyphs), or they may be cut separately and slide into slots in the triglyph blocks as at the Temple of Aphaea. Sometimes the metopes and friezes were cut from different stone, so as to provide color contrast. Although they tend to be close to square in shape, some metopes are noticeably larger in height or in width. They may also vary in width within a single structure to allow for corner contraction, an adjustment of the column spacing and arrangement of the Doric frieze in a temple to make the design appear more harmonious.


The Parthenon (; Ancient Greek: Παρθενών; Greek: Παρθενώνας, Parthenónas) is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered the zenith of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and Western civilization, and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. To the Athenians who built it, the Parthenon and other Periclean monuments of the Acropolis were seen fundamentally as a celebration of Hellenic victory over the Persian invaders and as a thanksgiving to the gods for that victory. As of 2007 the Greek Ministry of Culture was carrying out a programme of selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partially ruined structure.The Parthenon itself replaced an older temple of Athena, which historians call the Pre-Parthenon or Older Parthenon, that was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BC. The temple is archaeoastronomically aligned to the Hyades. Like most Greek temples, the Parthenon served a practical purpose as the city treasury. For a time, it served as the treasury of the Delian League, which later became the Athenian Empire. In the final decade of the sixth century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

After the Ottoman conquest, it was turned into a mosque in the early 1460s. On 26 September 1687, an Ottoman ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by Venetian bombardment. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures. From 1800 to 1803, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed some of the surviving sculptures with the alleged permission of the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. These sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles or the Parthenon Marbles, were sold in 1816 to the British Museum in London, where they are now displayed. Since 1983 (on the initiative of Culture Minister Melina Mercouri), the Greek government has been committed to the return of the sculptures to Greece.

Parthenon Frieze

The Parthenon frieze is the high-relief pentelic marble sculpture created to adorn the upper part of the Parthenon’s naos. It was sculpted between c. 443 and 437 BC, most likely under the direction of Pheidias. Of the 160 meters (524 ft) of the original frieze, 128 meters (420 ft) survives—some 80 percent. The rest is known only from the drawings attributed to French artist Jacques Carrey in 1674, thirteen years before the Venetian bombardment that ruined the temple.

At present, the majority of the frieze is at the British Museum in London (forming the major part of the Elgin Marbles); the largest proportion of the rest is at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, and the remainder of fragments shared between six other institutions. Casts of the frieze may be found in the Beazley archive at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, at the Spurlock Museum in Urbana, in the Skulpturhalle at Basel and elsewhere.

Pergamon Altar

The Pergamon Altar is a monumental construction built during the reign of king Eumenes II in the first half of the 2nd century BC on one of the terraces of the acropolis of the ancient Greek city of Pergamon in Asia Minor.

The structure is 35.64 metres wide and 33.4 metres deep; the front stairway alone is almost 20 metres wide. The base is decorated with a frieze in high relief showing the battle between the Giants and the Olympian gods known as the Gigantomachy. There is a second, smaller and less well-preserved high relief frieze on the inner court walls which surround the actual fire altar on the upper level of the structure at the top of the stairs. In a set of consecutive scenes, it depicts events from the life of Telephus, legendary founder of the city of Pergamon and son of the hero Heracles and Auge, one of Tegean king Aleus's daughters.

In 1878, the German engineer Carl Humann began official excavations on the acropolis of Pergamon, an effort that lasted until 1886. The excavation was undertaken in order to rescue the altar friezes and expose the foundation of the edifice. Later, other ancient structures on the acropolis were brought to light. Upon negotiating with the Turkish government (a participant in the excavation), it was agreed that all frieze fragments found at the time would become the property of the Berlin museums.

In Berlin, Italian restorers reassembled the panels comprising the frieze from the thousands of fragments that had been recovered. In order to display the result and create a context for it, a new museum was erected in 1901 on Berlin's Museum Island. Because this first Pergamon Museum proved to be both inadequate and structurally unsound, it was demolished in 1909 and replaced with a much larger museum, which opened in 1930. This new museum is still open to the public on the island. Despite the fact that the new museum was home to a variety of collections beyond the friezes (for example, a famous reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon), the city's inhabitants decided to name it the Pergamon Museum for the friezes and reconstruction of the west front of the altar. The Pergamon Altar is today the most famous item in the Berlin Collection of Classical Antiquities, which is on display in the Pergamon Museum and in the Altes Museum, both of which are on Berlin's Museum Island.

It was announced that on September 29, 2014 the Pergamon Exhibit will be closed for the duration of 5 years for a complete remodeling of the exhibit hall, including but not limited to construction of a new glass ceiling and a new climate control system. The exhibit is scheduled to reopen in late 2019 or early 2020.

Queen Victoria Memorial, Lancaster

The Queen Victoria Memorial in Lancaster, Lancashire, England, is a Grade II* listed building. It stands in the centre of Dalton Square, Lancaster facing Lancaster Town Hall.

It was erected in 1906, being commissioned and paid for by James Williamson, 1st Baron Ashton.The monument was designed by Herbert Hampton (1888–1927) a prolific sculptor and stone carver who also designed the exterior of the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster

Temple of Athena Nike

The Temple of Athena Nike (Greek: Ναός Αθηνάς Νίκης, Naós Athinás Níkis) is a temple on the Acropolis of Athens, dedicated to the goddess Athena Nike. Built around 420 BC, the temple is the earliest fully Ionic temple on the Acropolis. It has a prominent position on a steep bastion at the south west corner of the Acropolis to the right of the entrance, the Propylaea. In contrast to the Acropolis proper, a walled sanctuary entered through the Propylaea, the Victory Sanctuary was open, entered from the Propylaea's southwest wing and from a narrow stair on the north. The sheer walls of its bastion were protected on the north, west, and south by the Nike Parapet, named for its frieze of Nikai celebrating victory and sacrificing to their patroness, Athena Nike.

Nike means "victory" in Greek, and Athena was worshipped in this form, representative of being victorious in war. The citizens worshipped the goddess in hopes of a successful outcome in the long Peloponnesian War fought against the Spartans and their allies.

The Gold Smelters

The Gold Smelters, also known as the Barbican Frieze, Bryer's Frieze, Gold Refiners, or abridged as Gold Smelters, is an outdoor frieze relief by J. Daymond, installed along Aldersgate Street in London, United Kingdom. It was saved from a building demolished in the 1960s and re-erected in its present location by the Corporation of London in 1975.

Trajan's Column

Trajan's Column (Italian: Colonna Traiana, Latin: COLVMNA·TRAIANI) is a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, that commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near the Quirinal Hill, north of the Roman Forum. Completed in AD 113, the freestanding column is most famous for its spiral bas relief, which artistically represents the wars between the Romans and Dacians (101–102 and 105–106). Its design has inspired numerous victory columns, both ancient and modern.

The structure is about 30 metres (98 feet) in height, 35 metres (115 feet) including its large pedestal. The shaft is made from a series of 20 colossal Carrara marble drums, each weighing about 32 tons, with a diameter of 3.7 metres (12.1 feet). The 190-metre (620-foot) frieze winds around the shaft 23 times. Inside the shaft, a spiral staircase of 185 steps provides access to a viewing platform at the top. The capital block of Trajan's Column weighs 53.3 tons, which had to be lifted to a height of c. 34 metres (112 feet).Ancient coins indicate preliminary plans to top the column with a statue of a bird, probably an eagle, but after construction, a statue of Trajan was put in place; this statue disappeared in the Middle Ages. On December 4, 1587, the top was crowned by Pope Sixtus V with a bronze figure of St. Peter, which remains to this day.

The column was originally flanked by two libraries, which may have contained Trajan's scroll-written despatches from his Roman-Dacian Wars. Filippo Coarelli suggests that such scrolls are the basis both of the column's design and its spiraling, sculpted narrative. The column shows 2,662 figures, and 155 scenes; Trajan himself appears on the column 58 times.

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