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: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

Giacobbe Giusti: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

POWER14

 

by Mike Boehm Los Angeles Times

Here’s a paradox: Today’s art lovers would recoil at the thought of travel disasters, building collapses or volcanic eruptions afflicting their own communities. But over the next three months, visitors to the Getty Museum can enjoy a unique display of bronze statuary that was saved for posterity precisely because such calamities befell its ancient owners.

The show is “Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World,” running Tuesday to Nov. 1 at the Getty Center in Brentwood — an atypical venue for an ancient-art show, which normally would be seen at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.

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The two Getty curators who spent seven years organizing “Power and Pathos” say the 46 rare bronzes in the show needed to be seen in the best light and from all angles. The special exhibitions galleries in Brentwood afford space and natural lighting that the Villa lacks.

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Having spent up to 2,300 years buried far below the ground or sunken in ocean beds of the Mediterranean Sea, this is art that deserves a deluxe presentation, given all it has been through.

What’s most special about the exhibition, curators Jens Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin say, is that it’s the first to bring together so many prized and exceedingly rare works of its period and kind.

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Gallery and museum reviews: Full coverage

Gallery and museum reviews: Full coverage

For scholars it’s an unprecedented opportunity to eyeball one-fourth of the world’s known Hellenistic bronzes in one place, comparing and contrasting and perhaps leading to new understanding of how these works were created and what they meant to their ancient public.

For museum-goers, “Power and Pathos” is a chance to get a good sense of the complex currents that influenced creativity between the golden age of Greece, which historians call the “classical” period, and the dawn of the Roman Empire. The seeds of today’s conceptions about what art is for were planted in the Hellenistic world, as a burgeoning nonroyal upper class formed history’s first art market and began to commission works reflecting themselves rather than their rulers and their gods.

“All of what we have survived by chance, and we’re lucky to have it. How many more statues are under the sea bed or underground waiting to be pulled up, we don’t know.
— Kenneth Lapatin, curator

 

The Hellenistic period spans nearly 300 years, from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC to Augustus Caesar’s triumph over Cleopatra and Mark Antony in 31 BC. The Egyptian queen was the last descendant of Ptolemy, one of the generals who had divided Alexander’s empire, which sprawled from Greece to what’s now Pakistan.

With a few exceptions, the statues on display were lost for centuries. Some were excavated starting in the 1700s from sites such as Herculaneum in Italy, which perished along with Pompeii in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Many were pulled from coastal waters off Italy, Greece, Croatia, Tunisia and Turkey, where ancient cargo ships had been scuttled by pirates or wrecked by storms. One star attraction, a bronze sculpture of a seated boxer with bandaged hands and a battered, broken-nosed face and cauliflower ears, was placed in a deep pit at the bottom of an ancient wall in Rome for reasons that remain a mystery.

“All of what we have survived by chance, and we’re lucky to have it,” said Lapatin, whose vertical shock of hair makes him the Lyle Lovett of antiquarians. “How many more statues are under the sea bed or underground waiting to be pulled up, we don’t know. They were ubiquitous in antiquity, but they are rare today.”

Bronze was valuable and easily repurposed for myriad practical uses, so statues made of the metal became antiquity’s equivalent of the passenger pigeon — except for about 200 known exceptions. “You also had ideological reasons” for their wholesale destruction, Lapatin said. “Early Christians weren’t interested in preserving nude statues of pagan gods, and this was ready cash.”

That disaster kept a precious few bronzes from destruction “is the utter paradox” that underlies the show, said Daehner, an affable, soft-spoken German. “You could call it the paradox of archaeology in general, but for bronze it’s particularly true and poignant.”

Silver lining

The show is itself a silver lining of sorts. It had its genesis in the 2007 settlement of the Italian government’s grievances over looted ancient artworks the Getty had acquired, in which the museum returned 40 suspect pieces to Italy, including some of its most prized holdings. But with the return of comity and cooperation, Getty curators could now approach the great museums of Italy with ideas for art loans and collaboration on exhibitions. In 2008 the Getty entered a pact for art exchanges with the National Archaeological Museum in Florence.

Looking for intersections between the collections, curators noted that each sported magnificent Hellenistic bronzes — among them the “Getty Bronze,” a famous statue of a young athlete that was netted from the Aegean Sea by Italian fisherman, and the “Herm of Dionysos,” a Getty-owned example of one of the quirkiest forms of ancient art.

From there, they approached dozens of other museums, landing loans from 30 institutions in 12 countries — among them the Metropolitan Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, British Museum, the Prado and the Louvre.

“Many are national treasures or highlights of a museum,” Lapatin said. That so many pitched in — often with works never seen before in the United States — shows how strong the exhibition’s allure has been for scholars of ancient art. “It’s a testament to bringing them out of splendid isolation to [the Getty], where they’re talking to each other. No one has ever done this before.”

Today’s international politics kept a few desired sculptures out of reach. “There are pieces in Baghdad and Tehran that would have been very interesting to have in the show,” Daehner said. “In 2008 the world looked very different than it is now,” and getting them momentarily had seemed possible.

The display of the Getty’s two prime Hellenistic bronzes embodies the quest for consonance, comparison and contrast that Daehner and Lapatin were after. Viewers will get a simultaneous glimpse of the life-size “Getty Bronze,” which usually occupies a room of its own at the Villa, alongside similar works from the British Museum and the Museum of Underwater Antiquities in Athens. Together, Daehner said, they reflect the Hellenistic convention of idealizing the human body, yet making it more accessibly natural than would have been the case in the 400s BC and earlier.

Herms were boundary markers with a sculpted head at the top of a narrow pedestal and male genitalia poking out farther down. The genre gets its name from the god Hermes, whose head frequently topped the markers. The Getty’s herm shows a head of the god Dionysos, its hat and beard calling to mind portraits of the English King Henry VIII. To its right stands a near doppelganger fetched from coastal waters of Tunisia.

Were they made by the same sculptor or workshop? If so, why is the coloration so different, and why does the Tunisian herm have subtle, intricate touches — such as a fully detailed head of hair on the back of his scalp — that the Getty version is missing?

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The word “pathos” in the show’s title reflects the objects’ lost-and-found history of past tragedy as well as Hellenistic sculptors’ key aesthetic breakthrough — using bronze, which is more pliable than marble, to register in acute detail the often careworn lives of mere mortals after centuries in which the main purpose of statuary was to capture the otherworldly majesty of gods and heroes.

A gallery devoted to depictions of ordinary humans rather than gods or rulers shows how Hellenistic sculptors began to embody common feelings. The face of a large “Portrait Statue of a Boy,” dug from the sands on the island of Crete, wears a look that projects sneering disgust mixed with an aching throb of sadness. The angsty defiance of adolescents apparently predates Holden Caulfield and Kurt Cobain by two millennia.

“Our modern idea of capturing character or personality is something that happens in the Hellenistic age that isn’t there before,” Daehner said. “Expression, emotion and a certain psychological realism get into a portrait.”

The Hellenistic period was the era when Greece had ceased being a great power in the Mediterranean world, yet it triumphed culturally by spreading its styles and ideas far beyond the reaches of the Athenian empire at its height in the 400s BC.

Alexander, the Macedonian king whose father had conquered Greece, carried his sword — and Greek notions about art and philosophy that he’d learned from his teacher, Aristotle — through most of the world known to ancient Europeans.

Lapatin said that one way to understand what was happening in bronze sculpture during the era is to follow the money.

“It’s an economic development,” he said. “In the classical period if you were wealthy you made a donation to the sanctuary” and commissioned a statue of a god. “In Hellenistic times, you could decorate your villa. The wealthy had more options, and a lot was about displaying statues and showing you were wealthy and cultured.” The vast sacked riches of Persia, Alexander’s key conquest, contributed mightily to enlarging this new class of private art consumers, Lapatin said.

The show that brings together so much begins with nothing at all: an empty, broken stone pedestal that, like many others across the landscape from the eastern Mediterranean to central Asia, sports an inscription but no statue.

“It’s signed by Lysippos, the favorite sculptor of Alexander the Great,” Lapatin said. Lysippos was credited in ancient times with having created more than 1,500 bronze statues, “none of which survives,” he said, except via copies made by others.

While Hellenistic artists and their public responded to new cultural currents, they did not turn their backs on tradition. A bust of a man, signed by the Greek sculptor Apollonios, is a blatant knockoff of a famous full-length statue of a spear-carrier by Polykleitos, who’d lived 400 years earlier.

“The original is famous, but it’s a good copy, so he signs it,” Lapatin said. “It’s got the cachet of an old master.” As a business move, that seems downright contemporary.

Although it is organized by the two Getty curators, “Power and Pathos” first was seen at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Its last stop, after the Getty, is the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

mes.com/entertainment/arts/la-ca-cm-getty-hellenistic-bronze-20150726-story.html
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Giacobbe Giusti, 50 ancient bronzes at the Getty Museum

Giacobbe Giusti, 50 ancient bronzes at the Getty Museum

In this Monday, July 27, 2015 photo, a sculpture titled "Athlete, The Croatian Apoxyomenos, Greek, 1st century BC," is seen at the J. Paul Getty Museum in the "Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of Hellenistic World" exhibit in Los Angeles. The exhibit brings together more than 50 bronzes from the Hellenistic period that extended from about 323 to 31 B.C. Photo: Nick Ut, AP / AP
Photo: Nick Ut, AP
“Athlete, The Croatian Apoxyomenos, Greek, 1st century BC,” is seen at the J. Paul Getty Museum in the “Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of Hellenistic World” exhibit in Los Angeles. The exhibit brings together more than 50 bronzes from the Hellenistic period that extended from about 323 to 31 B.C.

Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World is on view through November 1 in the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. Hours, Tuesday through Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free; parking $15. For more information or to learn about events related to the exhibition, call (310) 440-7300 or go to getty.edu. ER

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Dozens-of-brilliant-bronze-works-on-display-at-6409657.php#photo-8372594

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Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos at the Getty Museum

Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos at the Getty Museum


http://www.artribune.com/2015/08/scultura-classica-e-poesia-italiane-si-incontrano-a-los-angeles-gabriele-tinti-protagonista-al-getty-museum-e-allistituto-italiano-di-cultura-ecco-le-immagini/il-pugile-a-riposo-esposto-nella-mostra-power-and-pathos-al-getty-museum/
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Giacobbe Giusti, Panagyurishte Treasure

Giacobbe Giusti, Panagyurishte Treasure

The Panagyurishte Treasure (Bulgarian: Панагюрско златно съкровище) is a Thracian treasure excavated on December 8, 1949 by three brothers, Pavel, Petko and Michail Deikov who worked together at the region of “Merul” tile factory near the town of Panagyurishte, Bulgaria. It consists of a phiale, an amphora and seven rhytons with total weight of 6.164 kg of 24-karat gold. All of the objects are richly and skilfully decorated with scenes of Thracian myths, customs and life. It is dated from the 4th-3rd centuries BC, and is thought to have been used as a royal ceremonial set by the Thracian king Seuthes III. As one of the best known surviving artifacts of Thracian culture, the treasure has been displayed at various museums around the world. When not on a tour, the treasure is the centerpiece of the Thracian art collection of the National Museum of History in Sofia.

The items may have been buried to hide them during 4th century BC invasions of the area by the Celts or Macedonians. The phiale carries inscriptions giving its weight in Greek drachmae and Persian darics.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panagyurishte_Treasure

 

Il tesoro come è conservato nel museo di Sofia

Il Tesoro di Panagjurište è un corredo tracio rinvenuto dai tre fratelli bulgari Pavel, Petko e Michail Deikovs l’8 dicembre 1949, nei pressi della cittadina di Panagjurište, nella Bulgaria nord-occidentale[1].

Il tesoro consiste di sette rhyta, un’anfora ed una phiale tutti in oro a 23 carati, per un totale di 6,164 kg. Probabilmente vennero eseguiti da artisti traci nei pressi di Lampsaco, dal momento che sulla phiale c’è una misura usata in quella città, e risalirebbero al IV-III secolo a.C.[2] Vista la fattura, probabilmente appartennero ad un re odrisio, forse a Seute III.

Il tesoro è uno dei massimi esempi di oreficeria tracia e probabilmente venne sepolto all’arrivo dei Celti, nei primi decenni del III secolo a.C. La lavorazione è una combinazione di stile greco e tracio, e fu molto probabilmente una commissione, in quanto i Greci non facevano uso di rhyta con simili caratteristiche, bensì i Traci[3].

Immagine ravvicinata di un rhyton

I vari pezzi aurei sono[4] tre rhyta (contenitori per versare liquidi, in particolare vino) a forma di teste di donna (o Amazzoni oppure le dee Era, Artemide ed Atena, con la testa elmata) con lievi differenze e manico terminante in sfinge, alti 20,5, 21,5 e 22,5 cm, per un diametro massimo di 12,5, 13,5, 10,5 cm e pesanti rispettivamente 387, 461 e 467 grammi; ci sono altri quattro rhyta (in questo caso con la funzione di recipienti per bere): due a forma di testa di cervo (alti 12,5 cm e pesanti 689 grammi circa), uno di testa di ariete (alto 12,5 cm e pesante 505 grammi) ed uno, senza manico, di corpo di capra (alto 14 cm e pesante 440 grammi). La phiale (un grande recipiente di uso cerimoniale) ha un diametro di 25 cm, pesa 845 grammi ed ha quattro cerchi di 24 figure ciascuno: gli ultimi tre composti da teste di etiopi e quello interno composto da ghiande; al centro vi è un umbone ed è recato il valore dell’oggetto: 200 stateri, ½ dracma e 1 obolo di Lampsaco. L’anfora ha un’altezza di 29 cm per un peso di 1,69 kg, e raffigura una scena di battaglia; i due manici sono a forma di centauri.

Quando non è esposto in mostre all’estero, il tesoro si trova nel Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Sofia; in precedenza era conservato a Plovdiv.

Mappa del regno trace degli Odrisi, 5°-1° sec AC

 [

Dettaglio dei reperti

Rhyton a testa di daino con scene delle gesta eroiche di Ercole e Teseo.

(# di inventario 3198, Museo di Plovdiv, 689 g, 13 cm di altezza)

La parte superiore del manico è in foggia di leone che appoggia le zampe anteriori sul bordo della bocca del vaso, cesellata con una banda di piccoli scudi; la parte inferiore termina con un volto  femminile. Lo stelo è scanalato verticalmente Ercole è rappresentato con la pelle del Leone Nemeo sulle spalle (ucciso nella prima delle “dodici fatiche”) mentre lotta con la cerva Cerinea dalle corna d’oro (catturata della quarta delle sue “fatiche”), mandata da Artemide per punire il popolo dell’Arcadia. Inseguendo l’animale, l’eroe attraversò la Tracia e giunse sino alla terra degli Iperborei, alle sorgenti del fiume Istros (Danubio).Teseo è rappresentato con una clamys sventolante e con al fianco la sua spada, mentre lotta con il toro di Maratona.

Rhyton a testa di daino con scene delle gesta eroiche di Ercole e Teseo

Rhyton a testa di daino con scene delle gesta eroiche di Ercole e Teseo

Rhyton a testa di daino con scene delle gesta eroiche di Ercole e Teseo

Rhyton a testa di daino con scene delle gesta eroiche di Ercole e Teseo

Rhyton a testa di cervo con la scena del Giudizio di Paride.

(# di inventario 3197, Museo di Plovdiv, 674,6 g, 13,5 cm di altezza)

La forma complessiva è simile al rhyton 3198, ma con differenze importanti. Lo stelo del manico è cesellato in sei timpani decorati con modanature convesso-concave (cyma reversa). Il collo della testa di donna alla base del manico si fonde con la gola dell’animale. I dettagli sono eseguiti con estrema precisione; le corna e le orecchie del cervo sono state modellate separatamente e poi saldate. La scena è composta da Hera, seduta sul trono decorato in postura regale, in posizione centrale, Atena, con elmo e scudo e Afrodite con un elegante himation ricamato a motivi triangolari puntati, siedono ai due lati. Entrambe portano collane con pendente centrale. Paride (Alexander è il nome scritto a sinistra della testa), vestito come un pastore, siede su una roccia e tiene nella mano sinistra il bastone, il braccio destro alzato per proclamare il verdetto. Le dee fissano Paride nell’attesa del giudizio su chi di loro è la più bella. I nomi delle dee sono scritti con lettere puntate a lato del capo.

Brocca rhytonizzata in forma della testa della dea Hera

(# di inventario 3200, Museo di Plovdiv, 460,75 g, 21,5 cm di altezza)

Il boccale fa parte dello stesso set dei due rhyton precedenti, ma lo stile lo fa porre come opera di un diverso orafo. Il manico ha sezione rettangolare ed è sormontato da una sfinge dotata di ali finemente cesellate che indossa collana e orecchini. Il collo della dea porta una collana con pendenti a goccia e un elemento centrale in foggia di testa di leone con la bocca forata, per consentire la mescita del vino. I capelli sono pettinati all’indietro e fasciati da un fazzoletto (kekriphalos) [5] annodato sulla fronte, ricamato con motivi triangolari puntati e stelle a cinque, sei e sette raggi e un motivo ondulato ad onde marine alla base. Sul lobo dell’orecchio sinistro è chiaramente visibile il segno in rilievo di un foro, ma non ci sono orecchini. Il volto è rimasto parzialmente schiacciato durante il recupero.

Brocca rhytonizzata in foggia della dea Hera

Brocca rhytonizzata in forma della testa della dea Atena

(# di inventario 3202, Museo di Plovdiv, 387,3 g, 20,5 cm di altezza)

La dea indossa un elmo in foggia di tiara riccamente decorato con due grifoni e due gruppi complessi di palmette in posizione centrale, in mezzo alla fronte. Anche in questo boccale il manico ha sezione rettangolare e la sfinge è praticamente identica a quella di Hera. La collana reca un pendente con foro centrale per la mescita. Gli occhi appaiono cavi, e si può solo apprezzare il profilo dell’iride, dal momento che il materiale usato per la costruzione (probabilmente pasta vetrosa) non si è conservato. È da notare come tra le decorazioni della tomba del re Odriso Seuthes III (scoperta nella regione di Kazanlak, nella cosiddetta “Valle dei Re”), appaia una rappresentazione di Atena molto simile a questa; la somiglianza ha fatto supporre che il tesoro appartenesse a questo sovrano. Il volto e la base sono rimasti parzialmente schiacciati durante il recupero.

 

Brocca rhytonizzata in foggia della testa della dea Atena

Brocca rhytonizzata in foggia della testa della dea Atena

Brocca rhytonizzata in forma della testa della dea Afrodite

(# di inventario 3201, Museo di Plovdiv, 466,3 g, 21,5 cm di altezza)

È complessivamente molto simile al rhyton di Hera, ma realizzato con dettagli diversi. Il fazzoletto che lega i capelli (kekryphalos) è molto più decorato con gruppi di punti e stelle a sei, sette, otto, dieci e undici raggi, in alcuni punti inscritte in una circonferenza di punti; anche in questo caso presenta un motivo ondulato ad onde marine alla base. Decorazioni  praticamente identiche sono state osservate sulla tiara d’oro reperita nella tomba di una principessa Tracia della tribù dei Tribali (tumulo di Mogilanska presso Vraza)[6] datata al 4° secolo AC. La collana presenta due ordini di pendenti alternati di lunghezza diversa, i più piccoli a forma di cuore, i più grandi di goccia rovesciata. Il pendente centrale forato per la mescita è anche in questo caso, a foggia di testa di leone, ma il profilo della bocca sembra accennare ad un sorriso. Le ali della sfinge sono  parzialmente spezzate nella parte superiore, ma è l’unico danno riportato durante il recupero.

Brocca rhytonizzata in forma della testa della dea Afrodite

Phiale decorato con volti di fattezze etiopi.

(# di inventario 3204, Museo di Plovdiv, 844,7 g, 25 cm di diametro)

Presenta un centro concavo (onfalos), saldato al vaso con un anello d’oro circondato da cinque corone di decorazioni di grandezza crescente. All’interno dell’onfalos c’è una scritta reca il nome della città di Lapsakos, probabilmente la città dove venne cesellato. La prima corona è costituita da dodici rosette, la seconda da 24 ghiande, le successive da 24 teste con tratti etiopi, di grandezza crescente, tutte intercalate da decori a palmette. Il bordo è introflesso, rendendo l’uso del vaso per bere direttamente piuttosto difficile. Secondo i greci, il termine etiopi indicava gli abitanti della parte più meridionale del mondo conosciuto (oikoumene), identificabile come Nord Africa. Nei pressi di Nesebar è stato rinvenuto un frammento di un vaso a figure nere rappresentante la testa di un etiope. La presenza di etiopi in Tracia non deve stupire. Nel poema epico Etiopide, che racconta le vicende della guerra di Troia tra la morte di Ettore e la disputa per le armi di Achille tra Aiace Telamonio e Odisseo, si narra di un contingente di guerrieri etiopi guidati da Memnone, giunti in soccorso dei troiani. Il poema (perduto e noto solo per riassunti posteriori) si stima sia stato composto nel VII secolo AC.

Phiale decorato con volti di fattezze etiopi

Anfora rhytonizzata con manici in foggia di centauri

(# di inventario 3203, Museo di Plovdiv, 1695,25 g, 29 cm di altezza)

Anfora ritonizzata con manici in foggia di centauri

È il vaso più spettacolare del tesoro e non solo per il suo peso. L’intera superficie del corpo ovoidale è decorata da sette figure maschili tra due bande di motivi floreali. Il collo del vaso, più affusolato, è stato saldato separatamente e la saldatura coperta con una cyma Ionica (modanatura convessa); termina con un bordo estroflesso.  I manici rappresentano due centauri con le braccia nella posizione di tendere l’arco. Un rhyton d’argento con manici in foggia di centauri è stato ritrovato vicino al villaggio di Topolchane, Sliven, nel 2007. Il corpo dell’anfora è completamente decorato con una scena costituita da sette figure. La prima figura è quella di un vecchio barbuto che esamina il fegato di un animale per predire il futuro ed è guardato, alla sua sinistra, da un giovane che indossa un mantello allacciato sul petto (chlamys), una corta spada ricurva (sica supina) e ha la mano sinistra su  di un bastone. È la figura centrale ed è la sola ad essere rappresentata con le calzature; queste sono stivaletti bassi senza risvolto che salgono poco sopra la caviglia e serrati da un laccio (endromides, letteralmente “da corsa”), tipiche calzature di Traci e Sciti [7] . Esichio di Alessandria nel suo immenso Glossario (Γλώσσαι) le definisce come “calzature adatte agli atleti”; Polluce conferma l’etimologia [8] e aggiunge che sono quelle più spesso calzate da Artemide, riprendendo un passo di Callimaco di Cirene che fa dire alla dea” Voglio dei servi che si prendano cura delle mie endromides e dei miei veloci cani”.[9] Alla sua sinistra, girato di spalle, un araldo suona il corno per chiama quattro guerrieri all’attacco. Uno di questi è di fronte ad una porta e, spada in pugno, sta spingendo uno dei battenti, nello spazio tra i battenti si vedono le mani e la testa di un vecchio barbuto e disarmato. Vi sono diverse ipotesi sul significato della scena: la più diffusa è che rappresenti il mito dei “Sette contro Tebe”, tragedia di Eschilo del ciclo tebano. La parte inferiore dell’anfora reca il bassorilievo di un Sileno barbuto che reca in una mano un flauto a due canne e nell’altra una coppa (cantaros) che si spinge sino ad uno delle due simmetriche bocche di mescita, costituite dalle teste di due etiopi. Sull’altro lato del fondo dell’anfora è rappresentato il giovane Ercole che strangola i serpenti inviati da Hera.

Rhyton con protome di capro

(# di inventario 3196, Museo di Plovdiv, 439,05 g, 14 cm di altezza)

Questo rhyton differisce da quelli della  collezione in quanto non ha il manico e oltre la metà del corpo dell’animale è liscio e privo di decorazioni. L’ugello di mescita è tronco conico; le decorazioni della bocca del vaso sono molto simili a quelle delle brocche ritonate. Lo stile delle figure e le scritte dei nomi dei personaggi sono anch’esse dello stesso tipo ma, diversamente dal rhyton con il giudizio di Paride, il nome di Hera finisce con E invece che con A. La testa dell’animale con parte del collo, le corna, le orecchie e la parte anteriore delle zampe sono state cesellate separatamente. Diversamente dagli altri rhyta, gli occhi sono modellati nell’oro, con bulbi oculari e pupille concave. Hera è al centro della scena, seduta su di un trono, con i piedi appoggiati su di uno sgabello. Con la mano destra mesce una libagione da un fiale, mentre con l’altra mano solleva il bordo del velo che le copre il capo. Gli dei gemelli Apollo e Artemide, con i loro archi stretti nelle mani sinistre siedono ai lati di Hera. Sulla parte posteriore è rappresentata Nike alata, la dea della vittoria; porta i capelli raccolti in un’alta crocchia. Indossa una tunica legata dietro al collo con un nastro che si incrocia in mezzo al seno, dove è fissato con un medaglione rotondo centrato da un disco in rilievo. Hera e Artemide portano chitoni ionici con doppia cinta, ma solo quello di Hera è decorato con motivi a stelle e punti.[10]

Rhyton con protome di capro

Rhyton in foggia di testa di capretto con scena Dionisiaca

(# di inventario 3199, Museo di Plovdiv, 505,05 g, 12,5 cm di altezza)

Questo rhyton ha molte delle caratteristiche simili a quello a testa di cervo. Il capretto è rappresentato con tratti anatomici molto realistici; il profilo della sclera sinistra è inciso più profondamente di quello destro. I riccioli di pelo sono rappresentati con due piccoli cerchi concentrici. Il giovane Dioniso è seduto al centro della scena. I capelli, lunghi fino alle spalle, sono cinti da una ghirlanda d’edera. La parte inferiore del corpo è coperta da un imation. Nella mano destra tiene un tirso (il bastone con intrecciati pampini ed edera); la mano sinistra è appoggiata sulla spalla di una giovane che gli cinge la vita con il braccio; entrambi portano calzature basse allacciate simili a quelle dell’affresco della volta della Tomba trace di Kazanlak. A due lati sono due menadi che reggono un tirso e un timpano, in posa estatica danzante. I nomi a lato delle teste delle figure sono Dioniso ed Eriope; quest’ultimo è un appellativo di Arianna, abbandonata da Teseo sull’isola di Naxos, dove divenne la sposa di Dioniso. Il nome potrebbe essere una variante di Erigone, figlia di Icaro, di cui si innamorò Dioniso. Come ringraziamento per l’ospitalità data a Dioniso, Icaro ricevette in dono la vite e divenne il primo uomo a produrre vino in Attica. Il culto di Dioniso è molto probabilmente di origine Trace.

Rhyton in foggia di testa di capretto con scena Dionisiaca

Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

 

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Giacobbe Giusti,  Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

Boy Removing a Thorn from His Foot
Boy Removing a Thorn from His Foot, “The Spinario,” about 50 B.C., bronze and copper. Musei Capitolini, Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala dei Trionfi – foto Zeno Colantoni

July 28–November 1, 2015, Getty Center

During the Hellenistic period from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. until the establishment of the Roman Empire in 31 B.C., the medium of bronze drove artistic innovation. Sculptors moved beyond Classical norms, supplementing traditional subjects and idealized forms with realistic renderings of physical and emotional states. Bronze—surpassing marble with its tensile strength, reflective effects, and ability to hold fine detail—was employed for dynamic compositions, dazzling displays of the nude body, and graphic expressions of age and character.

Cast from alloys of copper, tin, lead, and other elements, bronze statues were produced in the thousands: honorific portraits of rulers and citizens populated city squares, and images of gods, heroes, and mortals crowded sanctuaries. Few, however, survive. This unprecedented exhibition unites fifty significant bronzes of the Hellenistic age. New discoveries appear with works known for centuries, and several closely related statues are presented side by side for the first time.

This exhibition was organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, with the participation of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Bank of America is the National Sponsor of this touring exhibition. The Los Angeles presentation is also supported by the Getty Museum’s Villa Council, Vera R. Campbell Foundation, and the A. G. Leventis Foundation.

http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/power_pathos/

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Bronze Sculpture Discovered in Georgia Goes on Display in Los Angeles

Giacobbe Giusti, Bronze Sculpture Discovered in Georgia Goes on Display in Los Angeles

An ancient statue dating back to the Bronze Age and discovered in Georgia goes on a display among the ancient world’s masterpieces in Los Angeles.

After the long term collaboration of the Georgian National Museum and J. Paul Getty Museum unidentified bronze statue named Torso of a Youth dated 2nd – 1st century BC, discovered in Vani settlement, wester Georgia were available to go on a display at the exhibition in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

A major exhibition named Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World was open at the Los Angeles Getty Museum on July 28 and will last until November 1.

Before moving to Los Angeles, following exhibition was presented at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence and after Getty Museum, exposition will move to the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

Other pieces which are exhibited at the Los Angeles Getty Museum are from world’s leading ancient museums, such are the British Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Galleria degli Uffizi and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Florence, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples, the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, the Musйe du Louvre in Paris, and the Vatican Museums.

The exhibition in Los Angeles is organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, with the participation of the Tuscany’s directorate general for archaeology and it represents one of the largest expositions of this kind.

National Museum of Georgia is temporary housing of the statue, but as soon as Otar Lordkipanidze Vani Museum-Reserve will finish its large scale reconstruction works in 2016 the bronze torso of a youth will be returned at the original place.

 

 

 

Georgian National Museum currently takes part in one of the most important international cultural event. From 14 March to 21 June 2015, Palazzo Strozzi in Florence is hosting a major exhibition entitled “Power and Pathos”. Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World, devised and produced in conjunction with the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana, Tuscany’s directorate general for archaeology.  The exhibition showcases a host of outstanding examples of bronze sculpture to tell the story of the spectacular artistic developments of the Hellenistic era (4th to 1st centuries BCE).

The exhibition hosts some of the most important masterpieces of the ancient world from many of the world’s leading archaeological museums including the British Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Galleria degli Uffizi and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Florence, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples, the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Vatican Museums and the Georgian National Museum, which  represented bronze torso of a youth dated 2nd – 1st century BC, discovered in Vani settlement (Georgia).

Participation at the exhibition is due to the long term collaboration of Georgian National Museum and J. Paul Getty Museum. After the exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi, all exponents will be showcased at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in 2016.

As soon as Georgian National Museum Otar Lordkipanidze Vani Museum-Reserve will finish its large scale reconstructive works, bronze torso of a youth will be returned at the original place.

http://museum.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=72&info_id=13315

http://georgiatoday.ge/news/938/Bronze-Sculpture-Discovered-in-Georgia-Goes-on-Display-in-Los-Angeles

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com