Giacobbe Giusti, Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World’

Giacobbe Giusti, ‘Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World’

 

Crayton Sohan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, left, and Wolfgang Massmann, head stone conservator from the Antikensammlung, Berlin, position the head of an immense 10-foot-tall marble statue of Athena.

Crayton Sohan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, left, and Wolfgang Massmann, head stone conservator from the Antikensammlung, Berlin, position the head of an immense 10-foot-tall marble statue of Athena. Photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Giacobbe Giusti, ‘Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World’

A fragment of the colossal sculpture “Head of a Youth” is among the ancient art works on display at the Met’s exhibition of Hellenistic art.

A fragment of the colossal sculpture “Head of a Youth” is among the ancient art works on display at the Met’s exhibition of Hellenistic art.Credit Photograph courtesy the Met Museum

Giacobbe Giusti, ‘Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World’

 

The Borghese Krater. Greek, Late Hellenistic period, 40-30 B.C. Marble

The Borghese Krater. Greek, Late Hellenistic period, 40-30 B.C. Marble RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY

Giacobbe Giusti, ‘Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World’

Statue of a Roman General (The Tivoli General). Roman, Late period, ca. 80-60 B.C. Marble

Statue of a Roman General (The Tivoli General). Roman, Late period, ca. 80-60 B.C. Marble Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma

Mass Invasion of Greek Art Comes to the New York Met

The rare treasures of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin will be on display

By

Eben Shapiro

Rhyton in the form of a Centaur Greek, Seleucid, Hellenistic period, ca. 160 B.C. Silver with gilding
Rhyton in the form of a Centaur Greek, Seleucid, Hellenistic period, ca. 160 B.C. Silver with gilding Antikensammlung, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The Akropolis of Pergamon, by Friedrich (von) Thiersch, 1882. Pen and ink with watercolor on canvas
The Akropolis of Pergamon, by Friedrich (von) Thiersch, 1882. Pen and ink with watercolor on canvas SMB/Antikensammlung
Mosaic Emblèma with Itinerant Musicians, Roman, Late Republican period, 2nd-1st century B.C.
Mosaic Emblèma with Itinerant Musicians, Roman, Late Republican period, 2nd-1st century B.C. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples
The Vienna Cameo Greek (Ptolemaic), Early Hellenistic period, 278-270/69 B.C. Ten–layered onyx
The Vienna Cameo Greek (Ptolemaic), Early Hellenistic period, 278-270/69 B.C. Ten–layered onyx Antikensammlung, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Statuette of a Veiled and Masked Dancer (The Baker Dancer). Greek, Hellenistic period, 3rd-2nd century B.C. Bronze.
Statuette of a Veiled and Masked Dancer (The Baker Dancer). Greek, Hellenistic period, 3rd-2nd century B.C. Bronze. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Pair of Armbands with Triton and Tritoness. Greek, Hellenistic period, ca. 200 B.C. Gold and silver.
Pair of Armbands with Triton and Tritoness. Greek, Hellenistic period, ca. 200 B.C. Gold and silver. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Small statue of Alexander the Great astride Bucephalos Roman, Late Republican or Early Imperial period, second half of the 1st century B.C.; copy of a Greek original of ca. 320-300 B.C. Bronze
Small statue of Alexander the Great astride Bucephalos Roman, Late Republican or Early Imperial period, second half of the 1st century B.C.; copy of a Greek original of ca. 320-300 B.C. Bronze Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples

 
Statuette of the Weary Herakles Greek, Hellenistic period, 3rd century B.C., base early 1st century A.D. Bronze and silver
Statuette of the Weary Herakles Greek, Hellenistic period, 3rd century B.C., base early 1st century A.D. Bronze and silver Museo Archeologico Nazionale d’Abruzzo
Stater of Mithridates VI Eupator Dionysos Greek, Late Hellenistic period, 86-85 B.C. Gold
Stater of Mithridates VI Eupator Dionysos Greek, Late Hellenistic period, 86-85 B.C. Gold Epigraphic and Numismatic Museum, Athens, Greece
Portrait of a Man. Greek, Late Hellenistic period, early 1st century B.C. Bronze
Portrait of a Man. Greek, Late Hellenistic period, early 1st century B.C. Bronze Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs/Archaeological Receipts Fund
Sleeping Hermaphrodite Roman, first half of the 2nd century A.D. Copy of a Greek original of the 2nd century B.C. Marble
 
Sleeping Hermaphrodite Roman, first half of the 2nd century A.D. Copy of a Greek original of the 2nd century B.C. Marble Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma
 

The Pergamon Museum in Berlin houses one of the world’s leading collection of antiquities. But World War II badly damaged the building—bullet holes from large-caliber machine guns still pockmark it—and it’s finally in the early stages of a much-needed renovation. “The building was absolutely rotten,” said Dr. Andreas Scholl, the director of the Staatliche, the museum and research group that oversees the Pergamon. “The fire brigade kept threatening to close the entire place.” Most of the museum will stay closed, with the collection off limits to the public, until 2019.

For New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the rotting of the Pergamon gave it a rare opportunity to get its hands on the some of the most prized objects of the Hellenistic period. Next week, the Met will open one of the most ambitious exhibitions of Greek art in the museum’s history, “Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World.” At the heart of the show are 73 pieces on loan from the Pergamon. “We lent very, very liberally,” said Dr. Scholl.

 

“This won’t happen again,” said Carlos A. Picón, the curator in charge of the Greek and Roman Art department at the Met. “Once the museum reopens, they won’t send one-third of its collection here.”

Dr. Scholl said the only piece he was unwilling to send was a famous marble head of the ruler Attalus. The piece is renowned for its tousled hair, and a curator was worried that the many curls were too fragile to withstand the rigors of travel. (Classical sculptors loved playing with the contrast between a figure’s smooth marble skin and the gnarly, robust beards of figures like Zeus.)

Thanks to the core provided by the Pergamon collection, “this is the largest and most comprehensive show” the museum’s Greek and Roman department has undertaken, said Mr. Picón. It’s also the department’s first major show since the Met completed its own renovation in 2007, a 15-year, $223 million project that Mr. Picón presided over.

Experts say “Pergamon” is the first major-museum show to focus on the art of the Hellenistic period, which dates from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. to the suicide of Cleopatra in 30 B.C. The exhibition, which opens Monday and closes July 17, will not travel outside of New York.

Pergamon, in modern day Turkey, was one of the wealthiest cities of the ancient world, coming into its own as Athens was in decline and before the rise of Rome. “It is one of the top-five hit-parade ancient cities,” said Mr. Picón.

For the past six years, Mr. Picón and his staff have made dozens of trips to nearly 50 museums in 12 countries, pulling together loans for the blockbuster show.

One of the most dramatic pieces they were able to borrow is an Athena statue that weighs over three tons. It was shipped in three sections from the Pergamon in Berlin and carefully reassembled in the Met galleries.

The Hellenistic period is a challenging time for art historians. It is not marked by a single school of artistic development, and artists worked in many styles with many materials. So instead of having a thematic show, the Met focused on what the museum trade calls “an objects show.”

The galleries are filled with exquisite ancient glass, opulent jewelry, engraved cameos, mosaics, lifelike bronze sculptures and dramatic marble statues. Many have never traveled to the U.S. before. “I can’t claim that every single object is the best of its type, because I would be boasting,” said Mr. Picón, but “this is the top 1% of what has survived in terms of quality.”

Crayton Sohan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, left, and Wolfgang Massmann, head stone conservator from the Antikensammlung, Berlin, position the head of an immense 10-foot-tall marble statue of Athena.
Crayton Sohan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, left, and Wolfgang Massmann, head stone conservator from the Antikensammlung, Berlin, position the head of an immense 10-foot-tall marble statue of Athena. Photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Mr. Picón—who speaks five languages and has a reading knowledge of ancient Greek and Latin—did his undergraduate work at Haverford and Bryn Mawr colleges and got his Ph.D. from Oxford University. He grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and when he announced his plan to become an art historian, specializing in Greek art, his businessman father, speaking on behalf of parents around the world, was taken aback by the impracticality of the profession. Mr. Picón recalls that his father then added, “You could at least have done pre-Columbian art.”

Touring the Met galleries last week as the Met installers put the finishing touches on the show, Mr. Picón was in a state of high excitement. Pausing before a marble Alexander in the first room of the exhibition, he declared it “the most beautiful Alexander, at the height of his youth.” A nearby small bronze of Hercules was “the best.”

In a nearby gallery he paused before “a spectacular” piece of ancient glass. “You would walk a mile to see something like this,” Mr. Picón said. Even the damaged pieces were perfect. Admiring a marble head that was split in half, he said, “If you had to break it, you couldn’t break it better!” Stopping before a glass plate borrowed from the British Museum, the curator exclaimed, “It’s a glass of staggering quality—one of the best pieces in the world.”

He delights in the tiny details, pointing out an Eros admiring himself in the mirror on a tiny plaster cast.

Mr. Picón is mischievous as well. One prone statue is displayed so that its shapely backside greets the approaching viewer. “You get a nice surprise when you walk around,” he said. The piece turns out to be a hermaphrodite. One of the workers installing the statue, he said, “went white” after discovering the statue’s dual nature.

Write to Eben Shapiro at eben.shapiro@wsj.com

http://www.wsj.com/articles/mass-invasion-of-greek-art-comes-to-the-new-york-met-1460568224

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

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Giacobbe Giusti, The Lampedusa Cross by Francesco Tuccio

Giacobbe Giusti, The Lampedusa Cross by Francesco Tuccio

Lampedusa Cross

The Lampedusa Cross was made specially for the museum by an Italian carpenter

 

La croce di Lampedusa usata dal Papa finisce tra le opere del British Museum

British Museum boss MacGregor leaves Lampedusa cross

British Museum boss Neil MacGregor’s final acquisition before stepping down is a cross made from the wreck of a refugee boat sunk in the Mediterranean.

The 2013 Lampedusa Cross was made and gifted by carpenter Francesco Tuccio, who lives on the Italian island.

The boat was carrying more than 500 refugees from Eritrea and Somalia, of which 151 people survived

MacGregor, who steps down on Friday, said: “This simple yet moving object is a poignant gift to the collection.”

He continued: “Mr Tuccio’s generosity will allow all visitors to the museum to reflect on this significant moment in the history of Europe, a great migration which may change the way we understand our continent.

“In my time at the museum we have acquired many wonderful objects, from the grand to the humble, but all have sought to shine a light on the needs and hopes that all human beings share.”

The overcrowded boat caught fire, capsized and sank. Some of the survivors were Eritrean Christians fleeing from persecution in their home country.

Mr Tuccio met some of them in his local church. Though unable to help them in a concrete way, he collected wood from their boat and made each of them a cross as a symbol of hope.

The carpenter also made a cross for Pope Francis to carry at a memorial service.

Neil MacGregor
Image caption Neil MacGregor has been credited with transforming the one-time ‘stuffy’ image of the British Museum

Mr Tuccio then created another cross for the museum, after it contacted him to find out if he would donate one he had already made.

When the museum thanked the carpenter, he wrote back saying: “It is I who should thank you for drawing attention to the burden symbolised by this small piece of wood.”

The museum said: “It is essential that the museum continues to collect objects that reflect contemporary culture in order to ensure the collection remains dynamic and reflects the world as it is.

“The Lampedusa disaster was one of the first examples of the terrible tragedies that have befallen refugees/migrants as they seek to cross from Africa into Europe.

“The cross allows the museum to represent these events in a physical object so that in 10, 50,100 years’ time this latest migration can be reflected in a collection which tells the stories of multiple migrations across millennia.”

MacGregor, who joined the museum in 2002, has said he is stepping down as director because he wants to stop working full-time.

During his time in charge, he has been credited with reforming its one-time “stuffy” image to make it one of the world’s most visited attractions.

Major success stories under his watch have included its First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army exhibition in 2007 and Turner Prize-winner Grayson Perry’s Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman in 2011.

And overall, visitor numbers to the museum in central London have also risen from 4.6 million a year to 6.7 million since 2002.

Although he will no longer be working full-time, MacGregor has said he will continue to be involved with special projects undertaken by the museum.

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-35120004

http://palermo.repubblica.it/cronaca/2015/12/19/news/la_croce_di_lampedusa_usata_dal_papa_finisce_tra_le_opere_del_british_museum-129814683/#gallery-slider=129815215

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

 

Giacobbe Giusti, THE LAVAGNONE PLOUGH

Giacobbe Giusti, THE LAVAGNONE PLOUGH

 

 

 

The Lavagnone plough dates back to an early phase of the Polada culture (Early Bronze Age I A, ca. 2000 BC) and is the oldest plough in the world.
The prehistoric plough is made of a single piece of wood, which, since it is an organic material, decomposes; but wood keeps completely in anaerobic conditions, for instance in a peat-bog.
The plough, discovered in a peat layer in 1978, was stuck between the piles of a Lavagnone pile-dwelling. It was restored in the laboratory of Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum at Mainz.
Made of oak, the plough consists of 3 parts:
a- plough-stock/ plough-share (working part);
b- plough-beam, enabling the tool fastening to the yoke;
c- plough-stilt, a sort of shaft to control the direction and the furrows’ depth.
The variety between the shape of the 3 above-mentioned elements and their mutual link determine the plough’s type.
The Lavagnone plough belongs to the Trittolemo type: the plough-beam and the plough-stock/ plough-share are made in a single piece, out of an oak branch’s divarication; the plough-stilt is fitted in the stock. The real share – still missing – was supposed to be inserted in a groove on the stock’s lower side and fastened with some strings. The share was the portion more subject to wear and fracture.
The end of the plough-beam was made to be articulated with the yoke to which it was linked. Three plough-stilts and half of a yoke were found togheter with the plough.
The Trittolemo plough belongs to the sole-ard type; this type reamained more or less unchanged over the centuries up to the introduction of new technologies. The plough-stock/share works in a horizontal direction and the beam is curved. This is a tool suitable for light soils, already tilled and flat. The Trittolemo plough has a symmetrical share (like all the other prehistoric ploughs); this technical peculiarity enables the plough to turn clods, therefore from aerating the soil to make it richer.
In Italy during the Bronze Age the Trittolemo plough was the only one in use and is the most common in prehistoric Europe.
Trittolemo ploughs were found in peat-bogs in Denmark, Northern Germany and Ukraine; the ploughs shown on VIth and Vth century BC Greek pottery and in Vth century BC arte delle situle are of Trittolemo type too.
The Lavagnone yoke is an extraordinary find, since it is, for sure, one of the oldest so far discovered. It is a piece made with care and grace, formed by a cylindrical bar. The bar is curved by the sides to stick to the oxen’s withers and ends with a big moulded knob. The yoke was fastened to the beam with strings, hooked to 3 teeth in the middle of the bar. Leather straps, going through side rectangular holes, fastened the ox to the joke.
A similar piece of a yoke has been discovered in the pile-dwelling of Fiavè (Trento), dating to the beginning of Middle Bronmillennium BC) in Georgia and Armenia, therefore later than Lavagnone plough.
Lots of yokes date back to the European Iron Age. The most famous is the yoke from the site of La Téne (Swiss; III-II century BC).
In the Egyptian mastaba (Ancient Kingdom; 2686-2160 BC) a straight bar, fastened directly to the oxen’s horns, always symbolises the yoke.
The wooden models from Middle Kingdom graves (2134-1778 BC) represent the yoke placed on oxen’s withers.

Museo archeologico G.Rambotti

http://www.onde.net/desenzano/citta/museo/refresh/ENG/ARATRO/ARATRO.htm

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

 

 

The Lavagnone plough dates back to an early phase of the Polada culture (Early Bronze Age I A, ca. 2000 BC) and is the oldest plough in the world.
The prehistoric plough is made of a single piece of wood, which, since it is an organic material, decomposes; but wood keeps completely in anaerobic conditions, for instance in a peat-bog.
The plough, discovered in a peat layer in 1978, was stuck between the piles of a Lavagnone pile-dwelling. It was restored in the laboratory of Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum at Mainz.
Made of oak, the plough consists of 3 parts:
a- plough-stock/ plough-share (working part);
b- plough-beam, enabling the tool fastening to the yoke;
c- plough-stilt, a sort of shaft to control the direction and the furrows’ depth.
The variety between the shape of the 3 above-mentioned elements and their mutual link determine the plough’s type.
The Lavagnone plough belongs to the Trittolemo type: the plough-beam and the plough-stock/ plough-share are made in a single piece, out of an oak branch’s divarication; the plough-stilt is fitted in the stock. The real share – still missing – was supposed to be inserted in a groove on the stock’s lower side and fastened with some strings. The share was the portion more subject to wear and fracture.
The end of the plough-beam was made to be articulated with the yoke to which it was linked. Three plough-stilts and half of a yoke were found togheter with the plough.
The Trittolemo plough belongs to the sole-ard type; this type reamained more or less unchanged over the centuries up to the introduction of new technologies. The plough-stock/share works in a horizontal direction and the beam is curved. This is a tool suitable for light soils, already tilled and flat. The Trittolemo plough has a symmetrical share (like all the other prehistoric ploughs); this technical peculiarity enables the plough to turn clods, therefore from aerating the soil to make it richer.
In Italy during the Bronze Age the Trittolemo plough was the only one in use and is the most common in prehistoric Europe.
Trittolemo ploughs were found in peat-bogs in Denmark, Northern Germany and Ukraine; the ploughs shown on VIth and Vth century BC Greek pottery and in Vth century BC arte delle situle are of Trittolemo type too.
The Lavagnone yoke is an extraordinary find, since it is, for sure, one of the oldest so far discovered. It is a piece made with care and grace, formed by a cylindrical bar. The bar is curved by the sides to stick to the oxen’s withers and ends with a big moulded knob. The yoke was fastened to the beam with strings, hooked to 3 teeth in the middle of the bar. Leather straps, going through side rectangular holes, fastened the ox to the joke.
A similar piece of a yoke has been discovered in the pile-dwelling of Fiavè (Trento), dating to the beginning of Middle Bronmillennium BC) in Georgia and Armenia, therefore later than Lavagnone plough.
Lots of yokes date back to the European Iron Age. The most famous is the yoke from the site of La Téne (Swiss; III-II century BC).
In the Egyptian mastaba (Ancient Kingdom; 2686-2160 BC) a straight bar, fastened directly to the oxen’s horns, always symbolises the yoke.
The wooden models from Middle Kingdom graves (2134-1778 BC) represent the yoke placed on oxen’s withers.

Museo archeologico G.Rambotti

http://www.onde.net/desenzano/citta/museo/refresh/ENG/ARATRO/ARATRO.htm

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

ze Age (XVI century BC). Several yokes were found in wagon burials of the Catacomb Culture (2nd half III millennium BC) in Ukraine and of the Transcaucasian Culture (II