A fine, clear detail of two of the Eight Winds around the top of the Tower. Vitruvius, who credited astronomer Andronicus (Andronikos) as the architect, wrote:
"Some have chosen to reckon only four winds, the East blowing from the equinoctial sun-side, the South from the noonday sun, the West from the equinoctial sun-setting, and the North from the polar stars. But those who are more exact, have reckoned eight winds, particularly Andronicus Cyrrhestes, who on this system erected an octagon marble tower at Athens, and on every side of the octagon, he wrought a figure in relievo, representing the wind which blows against that side; the top of this tower he finished with a conical marble, on which he placed a brazen triton, holding a wand in his right hand; this triton is so contrived that he turns round with the wind, and always stops when he directly faces it: pointing with his wand, over the figure of the wind at that time blowing."
The two winds shown in this detail are the east wind, Apeliotes, with a harvest of fruit, grain and honey on the left, and the south-east wind, Euros, whose heavily folded garments are said to indicate heavy clouds. The conical marble roof can still be seen, but the weathervane has been lost.
The daguerreotype, with its smooth, fine surface provides the perfect vehicle for displaying such detail. Girault de Prangey again crops tightly so the detail fills his frame, and the resulting image is one of great intensity.
The artists' reference numbers suggest possibly nine studies may have been made of the Tower of the Winds in various formats. One is now in the collection of the Bibiothèque nationale de France and one was sold at Christie's in May 2003 (lot 14). Another shows the view adjacent to the Tower but not the building itself.