Archive for ‘kunst’


Western contact with China began long before Marco Polo, experts say

_91770731_soldiers_getty624Greek artisans may have trained those who made the Terracotta Warriors(Getty Images)

China and the West were in contact more than 1,500 years before European explorer Marco Polo arrived in China, new findings suggest.

Archaeologists say inspiration for the Terracotta Warriors, found at the Tomb of the First Emperor near today’s Xian, may have come from Ancient Greece.

They also say ancient Greek artisans could have been training locals there in the Third Century BC.

Polo’s 13th Century journey to China was the first to be well-documented.

However, Chinese historians recorded much earlier visits by people thought by some to have been emissaries from the Roman Empire during the Second and Third Centuries AD.

«We now have evidence that close contact existed between the First Emperor’s China and the West before the formal opening of the Silk Road. This is far earlier than we formerly thought,» said Senior Archaeologist Li Xiuzhen, from the Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Museum.

A separate study shows European-specific mitochondrial DNA has been found at sites in China’s western-most Xinjiang Province, suggesting that Westerners may have settled, lived and died there before and during the time of the First Emperor.

Qin Shi Huang lived between 259-210BC and became the first emperor of a unified China

Farmers first discovered the 8,000 terracotta figures buried less than a mile from the tomb of China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang in 1974.

However there was no tradition of building life-sized human statues in China before the tomb was created. Earlier statues were simple figurines about 20cm (7.9ins) in height.

To explain how such an enormous change in skill and style could have happened, Dr Xiuzhen believes that influences must have come from outside China.

«We now think the Terracotta Army, the Acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art,» she said.

Prof Lukas Nickel from the University of Vienna says statues of circus acrobats recently found at the First Emperor’s tomb support this theory.

 The findings feature in a new BBC documentary

He believes the First Emperor was influenced by the arrival of Greek statues in Central Asia in the century following Alexander the Great, who died in 323BC.

«I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the locals,» he said.

Other discoveries include new evidence that the First Emperor’s tomb complex is much bigger than first thought and 200 times bigger than Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.

They also include the mutilated remains of women, believed to have been high-ranking concubines of the First Emperor, and the skull of a man with a crossbow bolt embedded in it.

The skull is believed to have belonged to the First Emperor’s eldest son, thought to have been killed along with others during a power struggle after the emperor’s death.


Cycladic Art Museum shares secrets of ancient craftsmen


The Museum of Cycladic Art in central Athens has temporarily transformed the three halls of its central building on Neofytou Douka Street into arts and crafts workshops, named after Athena, Daedalus and Hephaestus, for pottery, marble and metal.

The spaces feature long tables fully equipped with all the tools needed to turn humble base materials into fine works of art, where presentations take place to show the public how ancient sculptors, potters, goldsmiths and bronze workers went about their craft.

There is also an exhibition, which, museum director Nicholas Stampolidis explains, describes the construction of some of the spectacular pieces on display in the museum. It is these 40 pieces that are reproduced in the workshops, allowing museum-goers rare insight into the techniques and methods that were applied.

The initiative belongs to Nikos Papadimitriou, who also curated the exhibition, and the aim is to showcase the skill that went into the wonderful pieces by known and anonymous ancient artisans which have survived to this day.

Admission costs 3.50 euros and is valid all day long, allowing visitors to take as much time as they like wandering from one workshop to the next and viewing the exhibition.

“It is enchanting to see how a pottery wheel helps transform a lump of clay into a vase,” says Stampolidis.

Regular visitors to the museum will remember the bronze shield from the Idaean Cave, found in Eleutherna, now a symbol of the new museum that will be inaugurated at the archaeological site on Crete in June. In the current exhibition, which runs through February 29, they can see how the ancient artifact was made. The replica shield will be put in the place of the original exhibit, which has now returned to Crete.

How did the ancients craft the Cycladic idols? The quality of the rock, almost exclusively marble, was key and this would be whittled by the craftsman with special tools and shaped according to the stone’s natural contours.

Stampolidis explains how the eye-catching gold ornaments we see at the museum were made by cutting a thin leaf of gold into small squares, melting them into pellets and then shaping these into forms. The goldsmith, he says, needed skill not just in producing the material but also in fusing the different elements of a piece together.

Bronzesmiths also had their hands full with “outlining the shapes, turning the sheet inside out and giving it volume and form.” It also required a lot of skill to know how to “divide the surface, particularly when crafting curves for, say, a shield.”

“Experience was not enough” for the potters of ancient times, says Stampolidis, explaining how, while it was key that they knew how to find the right clay and dilute it to its proper consistency, it also took physical labor, requiring “strong legs and hands.”

— Eleni

Museum of Cycladic Art, 4 Neofytou Douka, Kolonaki, tel 210.722.8321. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Archaeologists make exciting discovery at Aptera in Crete

Archaeologists excavating the site of Ancient Aptera in Iraklio, Crete, on Tuesday announced the discovery of two small yet spectacular statues depicting the gods Artemis and Apollo.

The two statues, which are believed to be a pair, have a height of about half a meter, including their pedestals, and are believed to date to the second half of the 1st century or early 2nd century AD.

That of Artemis, the hunting goddess worshiped in Aptera, is cast in bronze, while her brother Apollo is carved from marble.

The goddess, standing on an ornate base also of bronze, is in an excellent state of preservation, the head of the excavation, Vanna Niniou-Kindeli, said, with all of her limbs intact and posed as though ready to shoot an arrow.

The statue of Apollo, said the archaeologist, is much simpler in style – possibly denoting the god’s junior position to his sister – but well executed and with traces of rare red paint at its base.

The two sculptures may have been imported to the island in order to adorn the Roman-era villa in which they were found, archaeologists believe.

Aptera’s survived from Minoan through Hellenistic times, after which it fell into decline.


Stikkord: , ,

Sfinxene i Amfipolis

I den nyfunne graven, kanskje ikke ukjent for de fleste leser. Takk til Eleni for link til bildsamling.


sfinxer2 kapitäl phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg      sfinx_tass

sfinxvänster  sfinx


Klassisisme = dekadanse og forfall


John Ruskin setter brittisk rekord (1851) i kulturkonservatisme. Han var like fullt moderne, helt rett i tiden. (Teksten inneholder anti-katolske uttalelser som kan synes anstøtelige.)

Now observe. The transitional (or especially Arabic) style of the Venetian work is centralised by the date 1180, and is transformed gradually into the Gothic, which extends in its purity from the middle of the thirteenth to the beginning of the fifteenth century; that is to say, over the precise period which I have described as the central epoch of the life of Venice. I dated her decline from the year 1418; Foscari became doge five years later, and in his reign the first marked signs appear in architecture of that mighty change which Philippe de Commynes notices as above, the change to which London owes St. Paul’s, Rome St. Peter’s, Venice and Vicenza the edifices commonly supposed to be their noblest, and Europe in general the degradation of every art she has since practised.

This change appears first in a loss of truth and vitality in existing architecture all over the world. (Compare ”Seven Lamps,” chap. ii.) All the Gothics in existence, southern or northern, were corrupted at once: the German and French lost themselves in every species of extravagance; the English Gothic was confined, in its insanity, by a strait-waistcoat of perpendicular lines; the Italian effloresced on the mainland into the meaningless ornamentation of the Certosa of Pavia and the Cathedral of Como (a style sometimes ignorantly called Italian Gothic), and at Venice into the insipid confusion of the Porta della Carta and wild crockets of St. Mark’s.

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Katalog over italiensk kirkekunst (BeWeB)

The Vatican has published a vast online catalogue of the Italian Catholic Church’s artistic heritage. The project, which began 16 years ago, is ongoing but in the meantime the Church hopes the database will help in the recovery of works if they are stolen.

The database will eventually be expanded to include the Church’s architectural heritage and literary archives.


Beni ecclesiastici in Web (BeWeB)


”Kirkekunst” definieres vidt. Et søk på ”Apollo” gav blant annet:

Stikkord: ,

Friedrich Hölderlin, ”Empedokles”


Du søker liv. Det strømmer fra jordens dyp
og glitrer en guddommelig ild mot deg.
……Og skjelvende av lengsel kaster
………du deg i kilden og Etnas flammer.

Slik smeltet også dronningens overmot
de perlene hun elsket i vin. Men du!
……Å, om du hadde vendt deg fra det
………gjærende beger og skånt din rikdom!

Dog er du hellig for meg, o dikterhelt,
som jordens egen kraft, den som rev deg bort.
……Jeg fulgte gjerne deg i dypet,
………holdt ikke kjærlighet meg tilbake.

(G. Vestrheim)


Du søkjer liv, du leitar, det stig og skin
ein gudomseld frå jordjupet imot deg,
……og brått, med vilt du grys i trådom,
………kastar du deg ned i Etnas logar.

Slik smelta ein gong dronningi perlor raust
i vin; og kvifor skulde ho ikkje det?
……Og hadde du ikkje ofra, diktar,
………rikdomen din i det glødde staupet!

For meg du stødt er heilag, slik jordmakti
som tok deg, er, du djerve, som slik fòr burt!
……Og gjerne, dersom elsken ikkje
………heldt meg att, fylgde eg deg i djupet.

(O. H. Hauge)


Das Leben suchst du, suchst, und es quillt und glänzt
Ein göttlich Feuer tief aus der Erde dir,
……Und du in schauderndem Verlangen
………Wirfst dich hinab, in des Aetna Flammen.

So schmelzt’ im Weine Perlen der Übermut
Der Königin; und mochte sie doch! hättest du
……Nur deinen Reichtum nicht, o Dichter,
………Hin in den gärenden Kelch geopfert!

Doch heilig bist du mir, wie der Erde Macht,
Die dich hinwegnahm, kühner Getöteter!
……Und folgend möcht ich in die Tiefe,
………Hielte die Liebe mich nicht, dem Helden.


perler i vin

Stikkord: ,

Welhaven i Roma

Fra Henning Gran, Welhaven på klassisk grunn: Trekk av hans dagbok fra Italia-reisen 1858 (1942), s. 33–35

13. september innleder Welhaven dagen med ”Morgentour med Fru Agier, i Haven ved Palazzo Medici. Vor Samtale om Middelthun”, skriver dikteren: han har sett det som sin oppgave å sette mot i den selvkritiske billedhuggeren, som nå i syv lange år har vært sunket Inn i dådløs dagdrøm. — Ellers går Welhavens vei ”til Vatikanet under truende Veir. — Madonna med Barnet, Gibsgruppe over St. Knudskirkens Portal, smukt og frit Arbeide. — Antiksalerne, den forvirrede Opstilling, overvældende Masse af de forskjelligste Gjenstande. Pave-forfængelighed i Indskrifter. Indtrykkets overvældende Beskaffenhed. —” I de ”sildigere Antiker” finner han spirer ”til saavel Canovas Coketteri, som til Berninis forskruede Pomp, den romerske Periode”.

”Berninis forskruede Pomp”: for Ibsen var barokkmesteren mannen som hadde ”mod til at gjøre en galskab en gang imellem!” Welhaven derimot har en uvilje mot alt barokt, alt fantastisk i form og følelse: han guterer hverken den sen-barokke sensualisme som henger igjen i Canovas smektende ny-klassisisme, eller Berninis dynamiske form. Hver på sin måte avviker de fra det kunstneriske uttrykk han selv sverger til — og er så helt ut forankret i: det idealiserte, avklarede bilde av den objektive virkelighet. Det er måteholds-kravet i Welhavens kunstoppfatning som reagerer mot Bernini, — avholdet kunne man si. For Welhaven var Thorvaldsen billedhuggeren; Thorvaldsen med sin konkretiserte drøm om antikken, med sin milde syntese av Hellas, Kristus og Norden, sin myke avrundete ”skulptur over skulpturen” — og sin borgerlige kyskhet. I en kunst som denne fant Welhaven den harmoniske balanse mellom det sansbare og det ideale.


Idus Martiae

… var det i går.

Max Klinger, ”Caesars Tod”

Cascas’s Dolk var den Parcernes Finger mod
Julius? Ha, den en blodig
Søn var af Cassii Lyst til
     Frihed og Cæsars
Lyst til at kyse med Sceptret
Parthens Panther og Romas
sultne Ulv.

Cassii Fædrelandskjærlighed krydsede
Cæsars Ærgjerrighed, lige
blaasorte Tordenskyer: var det
     Skjebne, om Cassi’
Svovelskye slynged’ et Lyn? om
Bruti Planer bevinged’
Cascas’s Haand? —

Henrik Wergeland, fra ”Napoleon


Cascas’s Dolk var den Parcernes Finger mod
Julius? Ha, den en blodig
Søn var af Cassii Lyst til
Frihed og Cæsars
Lyst til at kyse med Sceptret
Parthens Panther og Romas
sultne Ulv.


Cassii Fædrelandskjærlighed krydsede
Cæsars Ærgjerrighed, lige
blaasorte Tordenskyer: var det
Skjebne, om Cassi’
Svovelskye slynged’ et Lyn? om
Bruti Planer bevinged’
Cascas’s Haand? —


Cascas’s Dolk var den Parcernes Finger mod 

Julius? Ha, den en blodig

Søn var af Cassii Lyst til

Frihed og Cæsars

Lyst til at kyse med Sceptret

Parthens Panther og Romas

sultne Ulv.

Cassii Fædrelandskjærlighed krydsede

Cæsars Ærgjerrighed, lige

blaasorte Tordenskyer: var det

Skjebne, om Cassi’

Svovelskye slynged’ et Lyn? om

Bruti Planer bevinged’

Cascas’s Haand? —


Klassisk høst

Vi tackar gudarna för det strålande vädret och hälsar nya och gamla studenter välkomna till det nya läsåret vid klassiska faget. Inte minst är vi glada för att så många har valt att läsa Klassisk retorikk, och ett försvarligt antal till och med Antikkens litteratur, trots att den senare kursen utlystes efter att ansökningstiden gått ut.

Latin och grekiska frodas även med studenter på alla nivåer; oppgaver, avhandlingar, artiklar och böcker skrivs; intervjuer i pressen ges (se Dag og Tid av dags dato, s. 21, ”Koranen på gresk frå 800-talet”, tyvärr ej på nätet [–och tyvärr kom tydligen intervjun med vår medarbetare Gjert Vestrheim till slut inte ens med i tidningen, men artikeln om Christian Høgels upptäckt är ändå läsvärd.  Gjert påpekade att grekerna, till skillnad från latinarna, normalt inte ägnade sig åt översättning, med den hebreiska Bibeln, och nu enligt Høgel alltså även Koranen, som notervärt undantag.]).

Motgångar, dystra tider, neddragningar, besparingar, besvikelser nämner vi inte, ty

Husk det tankespråk som våre fedre formet:
”Mot to onde ting sjenker oss gudene
blott en enkelt ting som är god”.
Dårene makter ei bære dette verdig,
men den edle vender den lyse siden ut.

Låt oss i en anda av misskund mildra hedningen Pindaros hårda ord: även sorg och besvikelse har rätt till sina uttryck. Vid semesterstart väljer vi dock att framhäva det som är positivt.

På AHKR är det också aktivitet på klassikerfronten, och vi är glada och stolta över att man nu listar både sina egna och våra klassiskseminarier på sin hemsida.

Forskargruppen för antik historia har bjudit in professor Robin Osborne från Cambridge att gästföreläsa om ”Images of Slavery” onsdagen den 15 september kl. 1415–1600 i Sydneshaugen skole, Auditorum E. Detta rekommenderas varmt även för LLE-studenter.

Nu tillbaka till arbetet.