lexlingua: (fanfiction)
"Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority."
-- Francis Bacon
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey took me by surprise. A mystery book-- arguably, again in the top ten list of most mystery fans-- which begins when a convalescing detective from Scotland Yard finds something wrong in the portrait of King Richard III of England.



Josephine Tey re-creates one of history's most famous -- and vicious -- crimes in her classic bestselling novel, a must read for connoisseurs of fiction, now with a new introduction by Robert Barnard

Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history. Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world's most heinous villains -- a venomous hunchback who may have killed his brother's children to make his crown secure? Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England's throne? Grant determines to find out once and for all, with the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, what kind of man Richard Plantagenet really was and who killed the Little Princes in the Tower.

The Daughter of Time is an ingeniously plotted, beautifully written, and suspenseful tale, a supreme achievement from one of mystery writing's most gifted masters.



Well, take a look at the picture to your right. Do you think this is a good man, or a bad man? Or is it simply a man in suffering? Is it even possible to deduce character from the lines on one's face? The real deal is that this man is Richard III, who has been condemned in most history books-- including school textbooks-- as the evil uncle who killed off his two very young nephews in order to usurp the throne of England. Grant (our hero detective)  who suffers from acute boredom in the hospital, decides to dapple into the mystery of this much reviled man.
Read more... )
lexlingua: (Crafts)

Lord Elgin: Saviour or Vandal?

 



Lord Thomas Bruce (British Ambassador to Constantinople 1799-1803 and the 7th Earl of Elgin) removed whole boatloads of ancient sculpture from Greece's capital city of Athens and shipped them off to his home in Scotland, where he wished to decorate his mansion as a wedding present for his bride. The pride of this collection was a large amount of fifth-century BC sculpture taken from the Parthenon, the temple to the goddess Athena, which stood on the Acropolis hill in the centre of the city.

 

Read more about how Greece demands England to return the Elgin Marbles stolen from Athens about 200 years ago, and how the demand has sparked off a major debate... )
lexlingua: (Curious)

ART IS THE JOURNEY OF A FREE SOUL. (ALEV OGUZ)


ANCIENT ART -- 6


The dynasties of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Persia, Etruscan, Aegean Sea Dwellers and Rome were the major contributors to the art of this period.

 
ANCIENT ART OF ITALY or ROME


ETRUSCAN ART


Italian art history begins with the Etruscans who originally belonged to a region in Asia Minor, and settled down in the now known Tuscany region of Italy. These people rose to prosperity and power, and then disappeared, leaving behind many unanswered questions concerning their origin and their culture. Little Etruscan literature remains and the language of inscriptions on their monuments has been only partially deciphered.
For their Greek contemporaries and Roman successors, the Etruscans were clearly a different ethnic group.

Etruscans built palaces, public buildings, and early temples in wood, clay and brick, so nothing remained. Ceramic models of temples, as well as traces of later stone structures, indicate how temples were built in enclosures and had tiled, gabled roofs supported on pillars.

The cult of the dead, similar to contemporaneous Egyptian practices, produced a highly developed sepulchral funerary art. The sculptured lids of sarcophagi often represented a single figure or a couple with the haunting archaic smile so evident in early Greek sculpture.
Surviving Etruscan painting in underground funerary vaults, consists of murals on the stone or plastered stone walls and ceilings of tombs. Frescoes frequently depict banquets, festivals, and scenes of daily life, sometimes have subjects from religion. Figures are stylized, heavy, and often outlined in black.
 
They were experts with the potter's wheel. The most famous Etruscan works are in terra-cotta, or baked clay, and these include besides sculptures on sarcophagi and temples. Etruscans were particularly noted for their black bucchero pottery with incised or relief decoration suggesting metalwork.
The Etruscans were famous for their gold jewelry. They also crafted silver, and ivory jewelry, using filigree and granulation.
The Etruscans brought the art of bronze working to a very high level of achievement, and made chariots, bowls, candelabra, cylindrical coffers, and especially polished mirrors, all richly engraved with mythological motifs.

The influence of Etruscan art on the Romans was supreme from the 6th century BC until the ascendancy of Greek styles in the 3rd century B.C.

ROME
The Romans inherited much from the Etruscans, but they also borrowed many ideas from the Greeks.

Sculpture was used to decorate public and private buildings and much of Roman art was made as official propaganda to glorify the ruler, proclaim victories, or to make pious references to the state and its governance.
From the time of Augustus, the first emperor, artists created idealized representations of the imperial family. Such statues could portray important personalities in armor to proclaim a military victory, as an orator in reference to learned activities, or even as a deity to suggest an association with the gods.

The Roman Art & Architecture later melted away into the Byzantine Art & Architecture.


lexlingua: (Curious)

ART IS THE BRIDGE BETWEEN MIND AND SPEECH. (ANONYMOUS)


ANCIENT ART -- 5


The dynasties of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Persia, Etruscan, Aegean Sea Dwellers and Rome were the major contributors to the art of this period.

 
ANCIENT ART OF GREECE

Greek art and architecture has had a lasting influence with its simplicity and reasonableness on the history of Western civilization and art.
Greek artists first established mimesis (imitation of nature) as a main principle for art. The nude human figure in Greek art reflects a belief that "Man is the measure of all things". Another Greek legacy that the West has inherited is architecture. Many of the structural elements, decorative motifs, and building types that were established in Ancient Greece are still used in architecture today.

After the collapse of the Aegean Civilisation around 1100 BC, the Greek cities fell into decline and this was followed by a period of wars and invasions, known as the Dark Ages.


During the Dark Ages, Greeks settled in Ionia and produced an abstract style of painted pottery called Protogeometric (meaning "first geometric") and their Phoenician Alphabet. The last 2 centuries of the Dark Age are called the Geometric period due to the high degree of precision of the art.

This is the period when monumental buildings and stone sculpture began to reflect Greek ideas and the desire for cultural supremacy. Kouros and kore statues (stylized figures of young men and maidens)  were created. These express the birth of a specifically Greek artistic obsession - the idealization of the human figure. The art of vase painting reached a level of artistic and technical excellence.
 
The period of Classical or Hellenic Art began in Greece about the middle of the 5th century BC, and flourished during the reign of Philip and Alexander of Macedonia.

Greek sculptors had learned to represent the human body naturally and easily, portraying gods and their best sculptures in an almost godlike perfection of calm, ordered beauty, with wonderful feeling for form and line.

Hellenistic Art

The death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC represents the start of the Hellenistic (Greek-like) Age.
People sought to portray the inner emotions and details of everyday life instead of the heroic beauty. The style changed from godlike serenity to individual emotion, and from the dramatic to melodramatic pathos (extreme expressions of pain, stress, wild anger, fear, and despair), using dramatic poses and theatrical contrasts of light and shade playing over figures in high reliefs. The first Theaters and Corinthan Columns were built in the Hellenistic Period.


lexlingua: (Curious)

ART IS BEYOND THE INDIVIDUAL. (MICHAELANGELO)


ANCIENT ART -- 4


The dynasties of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Persia, Etruscan, Aegean Sea Dwellers and Rome were the major contributors to the art of this period.

 

ANCIENT ART OF THE AEGEAN REGION

This was the art of the civilizations that flourished around the Aegean sea (an area that included mainland Greece, the Cyclades Islands, and Crete) in the Bronze Age, about 2800–1100 BC.

Despite cultural interchange by way of trade with the contemporaneous civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, the Aegean cultures developed their own highly distinctive styles.

Cycladic Art or the art in the Cyclades Islands, about 2500–1400 BC, is exemplified by pottery with incised ornament and marble statuettes, usually highly stylized and abstract females .

Minoan Art or the art of Bronze Age Crete, about 2300–1100 BC, is exemplified by its fine pottery, painted in a fresh, spontaneous style with plant and animal motifs curving to suit the form of the vases, best represented by ‘light-on-dark’ and the ‘polychrome-on-dark’ colouring.
Its magnificent palaces, such as Knossos, Phaestos, and Mallia, were decorated with cheerful frescoes depicting scenes from everyday life, plants, birds, leaping fish, and dolphins.

The culture came to an end when, after the eruption of the volcano on Santorini, and with the destruction of the Minoan centre on that island, the Mycenaeans gained control in the Aegean.

Mycenaean Art of 1580–1100 BC, reflects the warlike preoccupations of the mainland Mycenaean society, both in character and in the subjects portrayed.
Fortified citadels were developed and the magnificent entrance to the central citadel was called the Lion Gate because of the massive lion figures, carved from stone, that adorned it. Stylized frescoes decorated the palaces, and the pottery was focussed on large bowls (kraters), depicting scenes of warfare.
This period is famous for its bronze and gold metalware, particularly the war and funeral masks.

Mycenaean civilization mysteriously disappeared shortly after 1200 B.C., but many of the ideas and art forms of the Mycenaean and other early seafaring civilizations were later adapted by the Greeks.



lexlingua: (Curious)

A WORK OF ART IS LIKE A PERSON, YET IT HAS MORE THAN ONE SOUL IN ITS BREAST. (ALFRED BRENDEL)


ANCIENT ART -- 3

The dynasties of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Persia, Etruscan, Aegean Sea Dwellers and Rome were the major contributors to the art of this period.

 

ANCIENT ART OF PERSIA

Persian Civilisation flourished in modern-day Iran in about 3500 B. C. before the advent of Islam in the 7th century A.D, and much of its art was influenced by that of Mesopotamia.

The choice of biological subjects, simplified into patterns, may be called the formative principle of Persian art, as can be proved from some of the early superb ceramics found in Susa and Persepolis.

Luxurious works of decorative art were produced.

Typical Persian sculpture was executed in moulded and enameled brick, and great care was lavished on every stone detail, as can be seen from the fine gold and silver rhytons (drinking horns), bowls, jewelry, and other objects of this culture.

Pottery and metalwork was highly developed, the most usual objects being shallow silver cups, ceramic vases and large bronze ewers, engraved and worked in repoussé. The commonest themes were court scenes, hunters, animals, birds, and stylized plants. Most of the gilded silver cups and dishes of this period depict the royal hunting scenes or use the "Animal style" of ornamental animal motifs.

Bronze-casting began in about 1200-700 B.C., and the harness trappings, horse bits, axes, and votive objects made reflected a complex animal style created by combining parts of animals and fantastic creatures in various forms.

The earliest known distinctive style of Persian painting, referred to as the "Baghdad School", is reflected in the early Persian paintings seen on book covers and illustrations.

Gradually, a unified monumental style emerged, which gave importance to space and scale. Relief sculpture was used as an adjunct to massive architectural complexes. Palaces had many great columned audience halls. Architecture was often decorated with stucco reliefs (carved stone), immense outdoor rock-art, and colorful stone mosaics.

Persian architecture has a very long and complex history, and is often regarded as the field in which Persia made its greatest contribution to the world's culture. Although Persian styles differ sharply from any other Islamic architecture, they have strongly influenced buildings throughout much of the Islamic world, especially in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.


CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES )

*

Ceramic Tile  Mosaic Architecture




Persian Armulet (Example of Persian Jewellery)



Persian Textiles & Carpets




Ruins of the Palace of a Persian Emperor Darius at Persepolis





lexlingua: (Curious)

"ART IS THE BREATH OF SOUL."  --  BEETHOVEN


ANCIENT ART - 2


The dynasties of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Aegean Sea Region, Persia, Etruscan and Rome were the major contributors to the art of this period.


ANCIENT ART OF MESOPOTAMIA

The Mesopotamian Civilization was born over 4000 years ago on the banks of the River Tigris in modern-day Iraq, and stretches over 3 dynasties – Assyrian, Babylonian and Sumerian. Its art had a homogeneous style, decorative but generally conventional, and iconography was popular.

Gods took on human forms and humans were combined with animals to make fantastic creatures and mythological figures. Thus, art became a combination of realism and fantasy.

Stone was rare, and certain types had to be imported for sculpture, so the soil of Mesopotamia yielded the civilization's own major building material - mud brick. Gypsum and alabaster were widely used.
Large temples and imposing palaces dotted the landscape. Kings adorned palaces with magnificent wall- and rock- reliefs.

Variety of metals, as well as shells and precious stones, were used for the finest sculpture, jewellery and inlays.

The technique of polychrome glazing of bricks was used in pottery. Sculptors were at their best in depicting hunting scenes and battle episodes.

 

 
lexlingua: (Curious)

"ART IS I, SCIENCE IS WE."  --  CLAUDE BERNARD


ANCIENT ART - 1


The dynasties of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Aegean Sea Region, Persia, Etruscan and Rome were the major contributors to the art of this period.


ANCIENT ART OF EGYPT

Conventions of ancient Egyptian beliefs and culture strongly affected the art. The importance of religion and the respect for death and their divine Pharaoh (King) ruled their art. Representation of the figure presented the most reflexive view of each part of the body. Preparation for the afterlife was of extreme importance, because the body must be preserved if the soul or "ka" is to live on in the beyond in the same body, and for this reason, they built great grand treasure-containing tombs for their Pharaohs (kings). The Egyptian Mummy, the tomb-paintings, the Sphinx and the Pyramids are reflective of this art.

 


lexlingua: (Curious)

ART IS FROZEN MUSIC -- GOETHE


PREHISTORIC ART


"Stone Age" is a term used to define the oldest period in the human history. So, our earliest ancestors -- the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic cavemen -- about 2 million years ago, painted the walls of their caves and gravestones using nothing but stones, bones, vegetable dyes and animal horns.

Here is a recently discovered fresco from an ancient cave in Somalia.






The magnificent and mysterious Stonehenge belongs to this era.


lexlingua: (Music & Theory)












U. N. O. )









HISTORY )
lexlingua: (Curious)

A SHORT GUIDE TO THE HISTORY OF ART & ARCHITECTURE



This is a very, very short and very, very simple summary of the major developments in the history of world art and architecture, right from the time when man first stepped on earth, to the modern-day machine and internet ages.

If you're not interested in the typed-part, at least take a look at the pictures that have been acquired from various sources. I guarantee you'll enjoy doing so !!!

Feedback is <3 LOVE <3.





If you're interested, I'll be putting up more of these 'guides' soon. If you're not, I'll just have to drop it, I suppose. :/

[Watch out for -- Romanesque, Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic styles of Art & Architecture.]

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