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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

mercury-1

Exceptional bronze sculpture, bust of the god Mercury (1) on wooden base. Unsigned, c.1900.

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(1) In Roman religion, Mercury is the god of merchants, commonly identified with the Greek Hermes son of Zeus and Maia. A popular deity, Hermes was the messenger of the gods who often led men astray. He was god of travelers and roads, of luck, of music and eloquence, of merchants and commerce, of young men, and of cheats and thieves. He was credited with having invented the lyre and the shepherd’s flute. is sometimes depicted holding a purse, symbolic of his business functions. More often he is given the attributes of Hermes and portrayed wearing winged sandals or a winged cap and carrying a caduceus.

The God Mercury in Art

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Metamorphoses by Ovid – BOOK II

Mercury sees Herse

The god with the caduceus lifted upwards on his paired wings and as he flew looked down on the Munychian fields, the land that Minerva loves, and on the groves of the cultured Lyceum. That day happened to be a festival of Pallas, when, by tradition, innocent girls carried the sacred mysteries to her temple, in flower-wreathed baskets, on their heads. The winged god saw them returning and flew towards them, not directly but in a curving flight, as a swift kite, spying out the sacrifical entrails, wheels above, still fearful of the priests crowding round the victim, but afraid to fly further off, circling eagerly on tilted wings over its hoped-for prey. So agile Mercury slanted in flight over the Athenian hill, spiraling on the same winds. As Lucifer shines more brightly than the other stars, and golden Phoebe outshines Lucifer, so Herse was pre-eminent among the virgin girls, the glory of that procession of her comrades. Jupiter’s son was astonished at her beauty, and, even though he hung in the air, he was inflamed. Just as when a lead shot is flung from a Balearic sling it flies on and becomes red hot, discovering heat in the clouds it did not have before. He altered course, leaving the sky, and heading towards earth, without disguising himself, he was so confident of his own looks. Nevertheless, even though it is so, he takes care to enhance them. He smooths his hair, and arranges his robe to hang neatly so that the golden hem will show, and has his polished wand, that induces or drives away sleep, in his right hand, and his winged sandals gleaming on his trim feet.

Mercury elicits the help of Aglauros

There were three rooms deep inside the house, decorated with tortoiseshell and ivory. Pandrosus had the right hand room, Aglauros the left, and Herse the room between. She of the left hand room first saw the god’s approach and dared to ask his name and the reason for his visit. The grandson of Atlas and Pleione replied “I am the one who carries my father’s messages through the air. My father is Jupiter himself. I won’t hide the reason. Only be loyal to your sister and consent to be called my child’s aunt. Herse is the reason I am here. I beg you to help a lover.” Aglauros looked at him with the same rapacious eyes with which she had lately looked into golden Minerva’s hidden secret, and she demanded a heavy weight of gold for her services. Meanwhile she compelled him to leave the house.

Puppenbrücke (Lübeck)

Puppenbrücke (Lübeck)

Puppenbrücke

Poem by Emanuel Geibel(1815-1884)


Zu Lübeck auf der Brücken
da steht der Gott Merkur.
Er zeigt in allen Stücken
olympische Figur.
Er wußte nicht von Hemden
in seiner Götterruh;
drum kehrt er allen Fremden
den bloßen Podex zu.

Other Mercurys

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Mercury Temple in the Schwetzingen Castle

Mercury Temple in the Schwetzingen Castle

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Unique artisan brass Hanukkah lamp Menorah, in Ludwig Wolpert style, Israel, C. 1950.

Ludwig Yehuda Wolpert (1900-1981)

Sculptor and designer of Jewish ritual objects.
Born in 1900 in Hildesheim, Germany, to a traditional Jewish family. From 1916 until 1920 he studied sculpture in Frankfurt-am-Main’s Kunstgewerbeschule, School for Arts and Crafts.
After several years of independent work as a sculptor, he returned to the School of Arts and Crafts to study metalwork under the silversmith Leo Horowitz. Wolpert decided to devote himself to Jewish ceremonial art, applying the new trends of that time.
In 1930 he created his first work with Hebrew lettering, a Passover plate for the Seder table, made from silver, ebony, and glass.
In 1933 he immigrated to Palestine. In 1935 he became a professor at the New Bezalel Academy for Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem.
His teaching stressed simplicity and functional purity of design.
In 1956 he was invited to the Jewish Museum in New York by Drs. Abraham Kanof and Stephen Kaiser.
There he established and was designated director of the Tobe Pascher Workshop, which is devoted to the creation of modern Jewish ceremonial art.

The bronze gates of the synagogue at the Kennedy International Airport, in New York, 1968

The bronze gates of the synagogue at the Kennedy International Airport, in New York, 1968

Ludwig Wolpert authentic Hanukkah Menorahs

Hanukkah Menorahs in Ludwig Wolpert style

Art Deco Hanukkah Menorahs

Collection of menorahs at the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt.

Collection of menorahs at the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt.


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This is a beautiful portrait of the highest quality depicting a Spanish lady (Maja). It’s an oil painting on ceramic tile signed on the back and mounted on a gilt wood frame. The work is marked by bold colors and incorporated elements of Fauvism and Impressionism.

Majas

I took off petal after petal
by Juan Ramón Jiménez

I took off petal after petal, as if you were a rose,
in order to see your soul,
and I didn’t see it.

However, everything around
-horizons of fields and oceans-
everything, even what was infinite,
was filled with a perfume,
immense and living.

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This pair of wooden struts from Nepal, dating from around the 17th century or early, is an interesting example of the wood carving tradition of the region. The carving depicts ithyphallic (1) guardians or protectors. The struts would once have adorned one of the many-tiered temples in the Kathmandu Valley, forming a bracket between a wall and the edge of a roof. Probably the wood used is “sal” (2).

(1) Etymology: from ithyphallos erect phallus (ithys = straight and phallos = phallus)

Definition: showing erect penis in art: in sculpture, painting, or other art, having or showing an erect penis

(2) Sal – Agrath – Shorea Robusta

Sal is a tree of the lower altitudes, being found in Nepal from the Terai to about 1200 meters. Is one of the most important timber in India and Nepal. It is used for building constructions and for any kind of works where strength and durability are the main criteria. The wood is also used in temples for carvings and for decorative beams and doors. This is the most widely used timber for any wood work in Nepal.

The Roofs

The Struts

Kathmandu Valley

According to mythology the Kathmandu Valley was once a holy lake encircled by mountains. Was an important trade route between India and Tibet, which explains its historical, political, and economic importance, and its artistic roots.

Kathmandu City

Kathmandu is capital of Nepal. The name of Kathmandu is derived from Kasthamandap, an imposing Pagoda near Durbar Square. The Vishnumati River frames the west and runs north to south, with the Bagmati forming the southern boundary. Kathmandu is separated by a short bridge across the Bagmati River from the city of Patan. Kathmandu is also known as Kantipur, the capital of the Kingdom of Nepal.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

This is the historic places of the ancient kings of Nepal. A complex of many temples and monuments, built between the 12th-18th centuries.

Patan City

This city, once called Lalitpur (the beautiful city) lies across the Bagmati river, south-east of Kathmandu. The distance between the two Durbar Squares is approximately seven kilometers. The city is full of Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments with bronze gateways, guardian deities and wonderful carvings. Is the city of fine arts, enclosed within four stupas said to be built in 3rd century AD, by Emperor Ashoka.

Patan Durbar Square

Situated in the heart of the city, is the main tourist attraction. The square is full of ancient palaces, temples, and shrines noted for their exquisite carvings.

Bhaktapur City

To get to Bhaktapur (19 km from the heart of Kathmandu city) one has to travel to the eastern quarter of the Valley on a road fringed by rich green paddy-fields and brick houses.

Is also known as Bhadgaon meaning the city of devotees, this place is the home of medieval art and architecture. The city is at the height of 4600 ft. above see level.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is an assortment of pagoda and Shikhara-style temples grouped around a fifty-five-window palace of brick and wood. The square is part of a charming valley as it highlights the wood carvings (struts, lintels, tympanums, gateways and windows).

“Secrecy is a pervasive and fundamental aspect of Bhaktapur’s life. Its major symbolic representation is in the worship of the dangerous deities—above all in the Tantric mode with its emphasis on esoteric secrets, swearing of oaths to keep those secrets, and levels of initiation into progressively deeper ones. Many component units contribute elements to larger ritual or symbolic performances. Mask makers, ritual dancers, potters, image markers, astrologers, Brahmans, Acajus, and so forth may all contribute objects and/or actions.

Tantrism is intimately connected with the meanings of the dangerous deities who are the objects of its worship. Tantrism and the dangerous deities represent amoral forces and the force that controls such forces, and thus the possibility of using this force to protect the moral system itself. They represent danger and chaos, but also fertility and creativity”. Levy, Robert I. Mesocosm: Hinduism and the Organization of a Traditional Newar City in Nepal.

“The art of wood carving has been the pride of Nepal for many centuries. Woodwork has been part of traditional architecture of Nepal and wood carvings have graced monasteries, temples, palaces and residential homes since the twelfth century.The history of woodcarving in Nepal is older than that. A Chinese traveler Wang Hsuan Tsang (643 AD, has clearly mentioned the beautiful woodcrafts, wood sculptures, and decorations”.

“The people of Nepal are skilled in arts. Their houses are made of wood and carved.” Wang Hsuan Tsang: Memoirs. AD 643.

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Germany 19th century Mägdesprunger cast iron table.

Mark “ME” with obelisk and “MUSTERSCHUTZ”

Marke, oval, Obelisk ME, Musterschutz mit Musternummer

auf dem Relief Henkersteg Nürnberg

Höhe der Marke 27 mm

Another examples for OBELISK tables

Mägdesprunger table design

Tables catalogue – 1908

Cherubs design, drawing

Fig reduced, Orig. carton level 380 x 440 mm

The piece is included in the Price-Courant 1893, LV 35, page 74
Pattern Book Museum Allstedt

It presents exhibits from the Horn-Mägdesprung collection of Allstedt castle, including early art cats following the tradition of the Royal Prussian Foundries, copies of items from past art epoches, and pieces by well-known artists like Antonio Canova, Bertel Thorvaldsen, Ernst Ritschel, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Christian Friedrich Tieck et al., among them the ironworks sculptors Johann Heinrich Kureck 1821-1889), Wilhelm Elster 1840-1912) and Wilhelm Elster junior 1869-1916).

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Sri Lanka has a rich culture of theatre called Kolam and exorcism called Thovil which make use of actors, exorcists, masks, music and dance. The Sanni Yakuma is the best known exorcism ritual, in which numerous Sanni (disease) demons are portrayed by exorcists wearing elaborate masks. Occasionally the full complement of 18 possible disease demons is represented in the Daha Ata Sanniya (18 diseases) ritual, but usually a smaller number are used according to which demons are thought to be causing a person’s affliction. The exorcism ends with the appearance of an exorcist wearing the mask of the chief demon called Maha Kola (the terrific or all encompassing one), which usually incorporates miniature representations of the other 18 demons.

Maha Kola Mask, Sri Lanka

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“Seven Samurai” or “Shichinin no samurai” Directed by Akira Kurosawa

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