Δευτέρα, 25 Ιουνίου 2012

Cretomycenaean rural frescoes

It is by now evident that consuming Greek antiquity especially in Greece takes many forms and may have quite astonishing results. One should always be prepared for the unexpected, but there are lots of cases where evidently reality overcomes imagination. 


Today I present you one of these cases: two large-scale frescoes decorating the outer walls of the veranda of a decrepit Greek house in a mountainous village in Crete (Kouloukonas). 


***To be noted: both photographs of this house were taken and are hereby reproduced courtesy of Dr Anastasia Tzigounaki, an eminent Greek archaeologist working in Crete. 
I warmly thank her for her kindness to let me publish them here and offer information on the whereabouts of the house.***



Since Aegean iconography is my area of expertise I may add a few more words to this astonishing decoration. 
The veranda is decorated with two large figures well-known in Aegean fresco art, the Minoan Priest-King (an expected choice in Crete) and a woman holding a pyxis from a large procession scene copying an original from Tiryns. The two figures are evidently not interconnecting as they are depicted back to back against different backgrounds and also differing in size. 


The Priest King, slightly smaller than the woman, seems to be floating against the red background as his legs don't rest on the ground line. In this respect it differs from its prototype, E. Gillieron's reproduction as it was published in The Palace of Minos and presented on the site and Herakleion museum. 






I find the choice of the female procession figure more unexpected, at it adds a Mycenaean element to the picture. It follows another Gillieron reproduction of a fresco from Tiryns but again it is not a faithful reproduction of the reproduction. 






Evidently the artist of the Cretan village house felt the liberty to adapt his figures to available space, respect the architectural limitations, i.e. the openings of doors, and add refreshing decorative motifs to fill the space, i.e. the reeds in the Tiryns woman background or the narrow meander zones. 
Come to think of it he acted much like a Minoan or Mycenaean painter would have done in a similar situation some thousand years ago. 

The LA 1932 Olympics Discobolus



Another use of the well-known image of the Discobolus on a color poster advertising the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932 via the Chicago and North Western Railway Union Pacific. 


This poster lies in the collection of more than 350 travel posters of the Boston Public Library, Print Department. 
You may browse through the whole collection here




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Check out more images of the Discobolus presented in this blog


Hitler and the Discobolus


Iconic Embrace 


Tattooed Discobolus


Olympic Games posters


Modern Greek Architectural Eyesore (the first photo) 


















Παρασκευή, 15 Ιουνίου 2012

Artemision Zeus, Guardian of the Garage

Picking up from the last post -though it's been a while since- I today present another exquisite discovery made by the blogger Valia Calda dog. With his kind permission I hereby present you: the Zeus (or Poseidon) of Artemision, as a guardian of an entrance to the garage of a villa in Ano Platanos, Achaia (Peloponnese). As the Valia Calda dog observed there where two expensive cars in the underground garage which may explain the choice of a formidable god to discourage prospective thieves. 

An interesting choice by the modern copier is that he puts a spear in the god's hand (instead of a Zeus bolt or a Poseidon trident), thus giving him a more warlike appearance. 





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The original post by the Valia Calda dog is HERE


Many thanks again!