Category Archive 'Sculpture'
22 Sep 2014

Sigiriya, Lion Gate

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Sigiriya1
Sigiriya2
Sigiriya3

Sigiriya, built by King Kassapa I (477–95), Sri Lanka.

Hat tip to Madame Scherzo.

17 Sep 2014

Memento Mori

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RenedeChalon

Displayed in the Saint-Étienne church in Bar-le-Duc, France is the figure of René de Chalon, Prince of Orange. The prince died at the young age of 25 during the siege of Saint-Dizier in 1544.

Rather then memorialize him in the standard hero form, his wife requested (or René himself requested, or possibly both) that he be shown as “not a standard figure but a life-size skeleton with strips of dried skin flapping over a hollow carcass, whose right hand clutches at the empty rib cage while the left hand holds high his heart in a grand gesture.”

Hat tip to Hello, Tailor via Leah Libresco.

12 Feb 2014

Bronze Statue of Apollo Confiscated by Hamas

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It seems that, either on land in Gaza or under the sea nearby, last summer, some ignorant and greedy barbarians came into possession of an unusually intact and highly artistically significant Hellenistic bronze statue of Apollo. Reports differ, but apparently the priceless statue was briefly being offered on Ebay for $500,000, probably only a fraction of its actual value. Its finder, we are told, chopped off a few fingers for testing, thinking that the statue might be gold. Police representing the Palestinian authority, Hamas, subsequently seized the statue, and it has disappeared.

We can only hope that the nearby civilized state of Israel will take steps to secure possession of this important art object on behalf of the rest of the nations of the West.

Businessweek, January 30th: The Apollo of Gaza: Hamas’s Ancient Bronze Statue

The Guardian, February 10th: ‘Priceless’ bronze statue of Greek god Apollo found in Gaza Strip — Hamas officials seize statue after it appears on eBay — Doubt cast on fisherman’s claim to have found item in sea

Businessweek, February 10th: New Details Emerge in Mystery of Bronze Apollo Held by Hamas

The Verge, February 11th: Ancient statue of Greek god Apollo discovered in Gaza strip

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

23 Nov 2013

Dancing Satyr

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Dancing Satyr of Mazara del Vallo, fourth-century B.C., Greece

Wikipedia:

The over-lifesize Dancing Satyr of Mazara del Vallo is a Greek bronze statue, whose refinement and rapprochement with the manner of Praxiteles has made it a subject of discussion.

Though the satyr is missing both arms, one leg and its separately-cast tail (originally fixed in a surviving hole at the base of the spine), its head and torso are remarkably well-preserved despite millennia spent at the bottom of the sea. The satyr is depicted in mid-leap, head thrown back ecstatically and back arched, his hair swinging with the movement of his head. The facture is highly refined; the whites of his eyes are inlays of white alabaster.

Though some have dated it to the 4th century BCE and said it was an original work by Praxiteles or a faithful copy, it is more securely dated either to the Hellenistic period of the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, or possibly to the “Atticising” phase of Roman taste in the early 2nd century CE. A high percentage of lead in the bronze alloy suggests its being made in Rome itself.

The torso was recovered from the sandy sea floor at a depth of 500 m (1600 ft.) off the southwestern coast of Sicily, on the night of March 4, 1998, in the nets of the same fishing boat (operating from Mazara del Vallo, hence the sculpture’s name) that had in the previous year recovered the sculpture’s left leg. …

Restoration at the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro, Rome, included a steel armature so that the statue can be displayed upright. … [I]t is on permanent display in the Museo del Satiro in the church of Sant’Egidio.

Via Ratak Monodosico.

24 Aug 2013

Female Memorial Figure

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Female sculpture from Zentralfriedhof Cemetery, Simmering, Vienna (click on picture for larger image)

My curiosity is insatiable once provoked, and I’ve just wasted more than a hour trying to figure out whose memorial this very charming statue ornaments, and what is intended by the image of a classically-draped Bernini-esque female figure, kneeling, long hair hanging down, wringing her hands over a peculiar Art Noveau jewelry box or miniature model of a theater. Are we to take it that the soul or anima of the deceased is housed in this rock-crystal-windowed casket and the lady is imploring for it to come back to life?

A statue of this quality and interest is bound to be photographed more than once, and sure enough, I found more details at least, here and here. But none of the photographers can be bothered to identify the deceased party being memorialized, the sculptor, or what exactly is supposed to be going on. Imagine my frustration.

Via Fred Lapides (who means to say “Memento Mori”).

15 Aug 2013

Gods and Heroes Dressed for Today

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Louis-Simon Boizot, Meleager, Musée du Louvre, Paris; Meleager after Boizot, Léo Caillard and Alexis Persani, 2012. Street Stone Series

Street Stone series at Leo Caillard and Alexis Persani.

07 Aug 2013

“Most Beautiful Woman of the Middle Ages”

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Naumberg Master, Uta von Ballenstedt (c. 1000 — after 23 October, 1046) Margravine of Meissen, wife of Eckard II, one of twelve founders of the Naumberger Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, Mid-13th century.

The statue of Uta von Ballenstedt has been called the image of “the most beautiful woman of the German Middle Ages,” and was designated a model of ideal German art, “an Aryan Madonna” by the Nazis.

Hat tip to Ratak Monodosico.

16 May 2008

Bust of Caesar Made in His Lifetime Found in Rhone

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BBC:

Divers in France have found the oldest known bust of Roman dictator Julius Caesar at the bottom of the River Rhone, officials have said.

The marble bust was found near Arles, which was founded by Caesar.

France’s culture ministry said the bust was from 46BC, the date of the southern town’s foundation.

The ministry described the bust – which shows a lined face and a balding head – as typical of realist portraits of the Republican era.

It said other items had been found at the same site, including a 1.8m (6ft) marble statue of Neptune from the first decade of the third century AD, and two smaller statues in bronze.

Divers taking part in an archaeological excavation made the discovery between September and October 2007.

Luc Long, the archaeologist who directed the excavations, said all the busts of Caesar in Rome were posthumous.

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