For those of you new to the art-viewing, museum-going experience, do you feel unsure what to see first? If so, I can make a few suggestions. I've come up with three areas that I think are particularly accessible and enjoyable to new viewers. You'll find them in most major museums, and they also happen to be among my favorites.
In the ancient city of Knossos, on the Aegean island of Crete, archaeologists found lots of beautiful frescos while excavating. Lots of them depicted scenes of everyday, real and imagined animals, and gorgeous foliage, but one of them depicted something far stranger - a trio of people vaulting over a bull.
One type of art I've always loved is ancient Cycladic figurines. These little marble figures have been found on the Aegean islands of the Cyclades and were created in ancient times. They depict human figures and can be found in most major museums.
Want to enjoy great architecture from your couch? I recently discovered a host of virtual tours of famous works of architecture. How cool is that? While you can never truly experience a place from a computer screen, it's nice to have the option when travelling to the site in person isn't in your schedule (or budget). All of the tours listed are 360° experiences, not just pictures.
We're used to thinking of ancient Greek sculptures as plain white. We look at them and clearly see that they're made of white marble with no other colors whatsoever. But, the truth is exactly the opposite. Learn about how the ancient Greeks and Romans painted their statuary and see what this might have originally looked like.
Roman historian Pliny the Elder tells a humorous story about two artists trying to outdo each other with their illusionistic paintings.
Ancient or classical Greek architecture formed the basis for so much of Euro-American architecture. Learn about its main forms and ideas.
I recently polled my Facebook friends about their burning art-related questions. I got four great questions, for which I hope I gave four good answers. Do you have an art question you want answered? Let me know in the comments! Question: Why do Greek and Roman gods always appear naked? Answer: Different cultures and religions… Continue reading Ask the Scholarly Skater
These lion gargoyles come from the Temple of Nike (Victory) at Himera, Sicily. The ancient temple was probably built to commemorate a military victory of the Syracusans (rulers of Sicily) over the Carthaginians c. 480 BCE, though it was destroyed around 408 BCE in another battle that resulted in victory for the Carthaginians. Ruins of… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day – Temple of Nike at Himera, Sicily
I read this very interesting article in the Sunday arts section of The New York Times this morning. It is basically a "Where are they now?" report on a few of the more interesting art and antiquities repatriation cases to be resolved in the recent past. I'm glad to see that people are taking an… Continue reading Where are they now? – Repatriated Art & Antiquities