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March 03 2015

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Big giant scarab statue at the Temple of Karnak, thanks to King Amenhotep III aka Amenhotep The Great

November 03 2014


May 02 2014


June 01 2013

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Jambiya Dagger

  • Dated: 18th - 19th century
  • Culture: probably Yemeni
  • Measurements: 30 x 5 cm

This jambiya dagger was probably designed for ceremonial/presentation purposes. Its main feature is the crystal handle, which is quite rare since in any jambiya case the most significant part of a the dagger is its hilt. In fact, the price of a jambiya is in most cases determined by its hilt.

The saifani handle is known to be the most famous and is found on the daggers of wealthier citizens and is made of rhinoceros’s horns. Though, different versions of saifani handles can be distinguished by their colour.

Source: © 2013. Lotus Within Gallery

Reposted byzoraxzEveRedhellsiriusminervagurskisashthesplashKryptonitefrittatensuppeFienriragoldzioorelhdudikTiffanysmonimichmellyGZombiebridepiratka-wariatkagetstonedstragglerconsensualnonconsentjandrynoirfaerysJaanis93derpderpderpczinokTodeswalza
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Ceremonial Dagger from Gebel el-Arak

  • Dated: Naqada Period, circa 3300–3200 BCE
  • Culture: Egyptian, Gebel el-Arak, south of Abydos
  • Medium: silex (blade), hippopotamus ivory (handle)
  • Measurements: L. 25.50 cm

This unique dagger from the late predynastic period consists of a light silex blade, sculpted using a highly sophisticated technique, and an ivory handle featuring carved bas-relief scenes. It is one of the oldest known examples of bas-relief sculpture. The themes come from Nilotic as well as Mesopotamian traditions: animals, the hunt, lions overwhelmed by a figure, boats, and human combats.

  • A luxury object

Everything in this weapon illustrates luxury and technical expertise. The blade, made of extremely high-quality, light ocher slate, reflects an accomplished mastery of stone-cutting techniques. Parallel strips were removed on one side to form a regular pattern. The other side of the blade is simply polished. Small areas were reworked to form a sharp serrated edge.

Egyptian craftsmen used this meticulous technique for a short period only, between 3500 and 3200 BCE. This is the most accomplished example of the silex tool making technique. Analyses of the handle determined that it is made of a hippopotamus tooth. Only a small number of ivory dagger handles of this type, decorated with relief carving, exist. These were exceptional works, reserved to an elite.

  • Men and animals

The blade is set into a carved hippopotamus tooth and has a central knob with a hole for attaching a cord. On one side is a bearded figure wearing a cap, standing between and subduing two lions. Below are two domesticated dogs and wild animals; a hunter seems to be catching an antelope. The other side depicts combats arranged in several registers. At the top are quasi-nude men wearing penis sheaths, in hand-to-hand combat. At the bottom, dead bodies are strewn between two different types of boats, both in use in Egypt during the Naqada period.

  • A key work

Animal life, hunting, and boating on the Nile are ancient themes that had already appeared on ceramics and paintings during the Naqada Period. The bas-relief carving that appeared at this time on large contemporaneous palettes depicted more dynamic and less static scenes than images on earlier traditional ceramic pieces. Furthermore, the battle theme appeared toward the end of this period, which is why researchers have tried to find a narrative link to historical events. Today they are interpreted more as referential images, a catalogue of themes that were important to the ruling class during a period when the Egyptian state was taking shape. 

As is often the case, certain motifs are variations of those from the contemporaneous Mesopotamian culture, such as the bearded figure of the priest king and the “Master of Animals” figure subduing two beasts. Direct or indirect contacts certainly existed between the two civilizations. The design of superimposed registers and the conventions used to represent the human figure were used throughout the entire pharaonic period. This object illustrates the shift from the late predynastic period to the birth of the pharaonic civilization.

Source: © Musée du Louvre

Reposted byzEveRsiriusminerva

January 06 2013


DOCUMENTS DADA: James Panero. « The Armory Show at 100 »

James Panero. « The Armory Show at 100. The lessons of the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art. », The New Criterion, December 2012

For a century, the 1913 “International Exhibition of Modern Art,” better known as the Armory Show, has served as a shorthand in the history of taste. Here is the exhibition that dazzled American provincialism with European sophistication. Here is the event that delivered American culture, kicking and screaming, to the world stage. Here is the moment that separates the reactionary past from the more enlightened present. We may remember little about the barnstorming tour that brought the latest paintings of Duchamp, Picasso, and Matisse—along with up to 1,200 other works—to New York, Chicago, and Boston, but we know enough not to make the same mistakes again. No longer will the avant-garde be dismissed, will progressive cultures be ridiculed, or will the masterpieces of contemporary art remain unrecognized. These have been the lessons of 1913. We are all Armorists now.

The centenary of the Armory Show should put these assumptions to the test. The year 1913 was more than the unofficial start of the twentieth century. It was a highpoint in both European and American cultural innovation. While the historic exhibition of the Armory Show contained some of the most advanced paintings and sculptures coming out of Paris, its most radical feature was the show itself, an American creation with an ambition, foresight, and appreciation of these developments that has yet to be duplicated. “No single event, before or since, has had such an influence on American art,” wrote the Whitney Museum director Lloyd Goodrich at the time of its fiftieth anniversary. Another fifty years on and this claim has only been confirmed. …

December 13 2012

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“With his Fountain (1917), Duchamp made the quintessential statement about the history and future of art. Duchamp of course knew the history of art and, given recent trends, where art was going. He knew what had been achieved — how over the centuries art had been a powerful vehicle that called upon the highest development of the human creative vision and demanded exacting technical skill; and he knew that art had an awesome power to exalt the senses, the minds, and the passions of those who experience it. With his urinal, Duchamp offered presciently a summary statement. The artist is not a great creator — Duchamp went shopping at a plumbing store. The artwork is not a special object — it was mass-produced in a factory. The experience of art is not exciting and ennobling — it is puzzling and leaves one with a sense of distaste. But over and above that, Duchamp did not select just any ready-made object to display. He could have selected a sink or a door-knob. In selecting the urinal, his message was clear: Art is something you piss on.”

[Excerpt from Why Art became Ugly (2004).]

(via Stephen Hicks, Ph.D. » Marcel Duchamp, Fountain (1917))

Reposted bygehirnfasching gehirnfasching

August 07 2012

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Australian writer whose TV series The Shock of the New took modern art to a mass audience

… I  described him in the Guardian once as writing the English of Shakespeare, Milton, Macaulay and Dame Edna Everage, and Hughes enjoyed the description. His prose was lithe, muscular and fast as a bunch of fives. He was incapable of writing the jargon of the art world, and consequently was treated by its mandarins with fear and loathing. Much he cared.

When he reached a mass audience for the first time in 1980 with his book and television series The Shock of the New, a history of modern art starting with the Eiffel Tower and graced with a title that still resounds in 100 later punning imitations, some of the BBC hierarchy greeted the proposal that Hughes should do the series with ill-favoured disdain. “Why a journalist?” they asked, remembering the urbanity of Lord Clark of Civilisation.

He gave them their answer with the best series of programmes about modern art yet made for television, low on theory, high on the the kind of epigrammatic judgment that condenses deep truths. Van Gogh, he said, “was the hinge on which 19th-century romanticism finally swung into 20th-century expressionism”. Jackson Pollock “evoked that peculiarly American landscape experience, Whitman’s ‘vast Something’, which was part of his natural heritage as a boy in Cody, Wyoming”. And his description of the cubism of Picasso and Braque still stands as the most coherent 10-page summary in the literature. …

(via Robert Hughes obituary | Books |

June 19 2012

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An archaeologist says he has found the oldest piece of rock art in Australia and one of the oldest in the world: an Aboriginal work created 28,000 years ago in an outback cave.

The dating of one of the thousands of images in the Northern Territory rock shelter, known as Nawarla Gabarnmang, will be published in the next edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

The archaeologist Bryce Barker, from the University of Southern Queensland, said he found the rock in June last year but had only recently had it dated at the radiocarbon laboratory of New Zealand’s University of Waikato.

He said the rock art had been made using charcoal, so radiocarbon dating could be used to determine its age; most rock art is made with mineral paint, so its age cannot accurately be measured.

Barker said the work was “the oldest unequivocally dated rock art in Australia” and among the oldest in the world.

The oldest known rock art is in Spain, where hand stencils and red discs made by blowing paint on to the wall in El Castillo cave are at least 40,800 years old, according to scientists using a technique known as uranium-thorium dating.

Sally May, an archeologist from the Australian National University who is not involved with Barker’s research, said his find was “incredibly significant”.

“I don’t think it will surprise anyone that rock art is that old in Australia because we know people have been here a lot longer than that, and there’s no reason to believe they weren’t producing art,” she said.

Barker said he had found evidence that the cave where he found the rock art had been occupied for 45,000 years.

(via Rock of ages: Australia’s oldest artwork found | World news |

Reposted bysiriusminerva siriusminerva

April 20 2012

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Statue of Xochipilli, the Aztec “Prince of Flowers,” unearthed in Tlalmanalco on the slopes of the volcano Popocatepetl and now on display in the Museo Nacional in Mexico City.

Labels indicate probable botanical interpretations of stylized glyphs.

(via Hallucinogenic Plants)

Reposted bydrugsloldrugssiriusminervacornisawesomegosqSpinNE555Wekscygenb0ckmynniahairinmyKerisha

March 25 2011

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Predynastic Egyptian artifacts

Reposted byAncientEgyptiansiriusminerva

March 23 2011

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