Category Archive 'Sculpture'
13 Jun 2019

Bull’s Head From Persepolis

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Chicago Oriental Institute’s colossal head of a bull from Persepolis.

Carved from dark grey limestone and highly polished, the head measures over two metres high and a metre and a half wide and weighs an estimated ten tons. Enormous yet beautifully sculptured, the head was attached to the body of a bull that still stands as one of a pair flanking the northern portico of the so-called Hundred-Columns Palace (also called the Throne Hall).

Entrances to important buildings were frequently ‘protected’ by pairs of colossal animals (some of which were mythological guardian creatures) in the ancient Near East. And the pair of bulls the Chicago head was once associated with would have been no different. The bodies of the bulls were carved in relief on the side walls of the portico, whereas the heads were carved in the round.

Sometime in the past, perhaps when the city was sacked, both heads became detached from their bodies. They were found not far from the bodies during excavations in 1932/3 by archaeologists from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute. Unfortunately, the ears and horns, which were clearly not carved from the same block of stone but added separately, were not recovered.

23 May 2019

Diana and Stag

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Joachim Friess, Diana and Stag automata drinking cup, 1620, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

href=”https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/193623″>Elizabeth Cleland, 2017:

This object was prized, though not unique; other versions survive, all targeted at the wealthiest clientele. A wind-up mechanism once moved the group forward on hidden wheels, making it vibrate as if with life. Uniting modern technology, precious casework, and visual appeal, automatons were celebrated as a novelty entertainment for guests of the most moneyed classes. Removing the stag’s head reveals a drinking vessel; the diner in front of whom the piece stopped had to drain the cup.

HT: Karen L. Myers.

22 Apr 2019

“I Was Killed Near Rzhev”

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Hybridtechcar:

In the Rzhevsky district of the Tver region, near the village of Khoroshevo, a memorial to the Soviet Soldier will be installed, which will be visible from the federal highway M-9. The monument commemorates the heroism and courage of the Red Army soldiers who fought in the bloody battles for Rzhev and on the perimeter of the Rzhev-Vyazma ridge. The project of the memorial was designed by the sculptor Andrei Korobtsov from Belgorod. His work “I was killed near Rzhev” became the best among 19 projects. Construction will begin this year and will be completed by the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory in 2020.

06 Aug 2018

Julius Caesar

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Bust of Julius Caesar. Romano-Egyptian, ca. 100s BC. Green basalt, 17 5/16 × 10 ¼ × 9 13/16 in. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Doesn’t he look wily?

30 Nov 2017

“Most Beautiful Woman of the Middle Ages”

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Uta von Ballenstedt (c. 1000 — 23 October before 1046), a member of the House of Ascania, was Margravine of Meissen from 1038 until 1046, the wife of Margrave Eckard II. She is also called Uta of Naumburg.

When Umberto Eco was asked with which women from European art he would most like to spend the evening, he replied: “In first place, ahead of all others, with Uta von Naumburg.

08 May 2017

Japanese Elephant

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— Elephant.
Place of origin: Japan
Period: Kamakura period, 1185-1333
Date: ca. 1250
Medium: Wood, metal, crystal, and pigments.

Via Belacqui.

09 Apr 2017

Ołobok Madonna

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Madonna of Ołobok, Late 12th century. Lime wood, gesso, polychrome. The earliest specimen of romanesque wooden sculpture preserved in Poland. The statue served as a reliquary, as indicated by a hollow in the throne where the relics were kept. From a Cistercian convent established in 1213 in Ołobok in Great Poland. The statue references the theological concept of Sedes Sapientiae, the Throne of Wisdom, characteristic of early medieval liturgy. It symbolizes the idea of Mary as the throne for the Incarnated Logos (Christ), in accordance with the dogma of the Mother of God, adopted by the Council of Ephesus in 431. National Museum, Warsaw.

19 Nov 2016

Statue of a King

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king
Sculpture of an Enthroned King, ca. 1230–35, Made in Lombardy or Veneto, Italy, Metropolitan Museum.

15 Aug 2016

The Portonaccio Sarcophagus

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PortonaccioSarcophagus1
Portonaccio Sarcophagus, 2nd Century A.D., Museo Nazionale Romano

Kuriositas profiles an exceptionally spectacular ancient sculpture featuring particularly realistic and fine battle scenes:

It was discovered in 1931 near Via Tiburtina, in the eastern suburbs of Rome. Its front depicts a symbolic picture of a battle which is on two levels. The carving remains to this day an incredible achievement – the dark and light contrast beautifully to produce a veritable chiaroscuro effect. This skill involved was superlative.

The sarcophagus was probably used in the burial of a Roman general who was closely involved in the campaigns of Marcus Aurelius. He is seen on the front of the sarcophagus, frozen forever in a charge against his enemies. Yet the face of the high ranking officer for which the sarcophagus was intended is left blank.

It is thought that it was left blank with the intention of the sculptor creating a death mask of the general in that position. Yet perplexingly it has been left unfinished and we can only guess at the reasons for that. We will never know if some form of shame descended on the general before his death or why it was his family or friends decided that he was to be left nameless and faceless for eternity.

Certainly it was not for expediency or money. This sarcophagus would have been incredibly expensive to create and would probably have taken over a year to create. Plus the rest of it (and thus his reputation) was left intact. You can see his troops laying in to their barbarian enemies with gusto. Some are already on the ground, others apparently beg for his mercy. …

The military insignia which can be seen on the upper edge of the casket allows us to try to figure out the identity of the man. It shows the eagle of the Legio IIII Flavia and the boar of the Legio I Italicai. Historians who have studied the casket have pointed towards Aulus Iulius Pompilius. He was an official of Marcus Aurelius who was in control of two squadrons of cavalry which were on detachment to both legions for the duration of the war against the Marcomanni (172-175AD).

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Portonaccio Sarcophagus, 2nd Century A.D., Museo Nazionale Romano

08 Jul 2016

Sculptors’ Workshop, Circa 1900

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SculptorsWorkshop
Photographe anonyme. Atelier de sculpteurs, vers 1900

21 Nov 2015

This Siren Has Wings and a Beard

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Siren
A Greek Late Archaic- maybe Etruscan – Bronze male siren.

Who knew that there were male sirens?

via Belacqui.

12 Nov 2015

Philosopher

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AntikytheraPhilosopher
Bronze portrait of a philosopher recovered from the Antikythera shipwreck (crafted circa 240 BC)

Am I mistaken, or did somebody insert a pair of cartridge bases for the eyes?

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