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Why do two ancient Greek beauties hold up flowers? Fascinating and mysterious at the same time

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Why do two ancient Greek beauties hold up flowers? Fascinating and mysterious at the same time
Why do two ancient Greek beauties hold up flowers? Fascinating and mysterious at the same time

Ancient Greek Statue · 3

Why do two ancient Greek beauties hold up flowers? Fascinating and mysterious at the same time

"Praise for Flowers", Anon. 470-460 BC, in the Louvre

"In Praise of Flowers"

The French writer Francis once wrote in his novels that the 5th-century BC "Praise of Flowers" is one of the most touching artifacts in the Louvre:

Why do two ancient Greek beauties hold up flowers? Fascinating and mysterious at the same time

"It is a piece of marble that has been worn or broken in many places, but one can still clearly identify on it two young girls holding flowers, two beauties: they are young people living in the new period of Greece, which is said to be a perfect era. The sculptor depicts the two girls from the side and meticulously depicts the legendary flowers, as if people can get relief from the blue calyx and forget the misfortunes in life.

"The scholars were very interested in the two young girls, and they were busy studying them, and they consulted a large number of relevant books—parchment, kraft, and many pigskin papers—but they still have not figured out why these two beautiful young girls held flowers in their hands."

The answer remains unclear: the marble is likely to be a tombstone rather than a relief to express a wish, and one of the women may be dying, and the poppy with the seed in the hands of her sister or daughter suggests a new life and a future?

Why do two ancient Greek beauties hold up flowers? Fascinating and mysterious at the same time

The Sarcophagus of an Etruscan Couple, excavated in Caele, Italy, at the end of the 6th century BC, in the Louvre

The Sarcophagus of an Etruscan Couple

Next take a look at the early Etruscan civilization that appeared on the Italian peninsula in the 10th century BC:

The Sarcophagus of an Etruscan Couple is made of sarcophagus and divided into two halves.

The coffin lid resembles a bed with a couple on it. Under the woman's left elbow is not a pillow, but a wine sac (a soft water bottle made of animal skins), and the man's arm is wrapped around the woman's shoulder, and both of their outstretched hands are originally holding something—maybe a cup or a thin-necked bottle (a perfume container), or an egg that symbolizes eternal life.

Despite being limited by the archaic style: abstract shapes and rigid postures, the soft materials allowed the sculptor to create plump and rounded shapes, capturing the extraordinary frankness and liveliness of Etruscan art. The entire sarcophagus was originally coated with bright paints, but the most recent cleaning made the color more clearly apparent.

Why do two ancient Greek beauties hold up flowers? Fascinating and mysterious at the same time

The Pedestal of the Altarpiece of Domitius Akhnobarbus, excavated in Rome, circa 100 BC, in the Louvre

The Pedestal of the Altarpiece of Domitius Akhnobarbus

The Jason History of Art also analyzes the relief "Domitius Akhnobarbus Altar Pedestal" in the Louvre, most likely the pedestal of a group of sculptures, which scholars believe was originally placed next to the road when the triumphant procession passed through the city of Rome, and it included four thick stone slabs, three of which are now in the Munich Museum, and the one in the Louvre represents a civic survey ceremony, determining service eligibility based on personal property records. On the left are rows of soldiers and citizens, waiting for a citizen survey.

On either side of the altar are two larger figures, Mars, the god of war, and the investigator who presided over the ceremony, who may have ordered the construction of the monumental building. The servants brought in a bull, a sheep, and a pig as offerings on the altar, which also ended the civic survey ceremony.

Why do two ancient Greek beauties hold up flowers? Fascinating and mysterious at the same time
Why do two ancient Greek beauties hold up flowers? Fascinating and mysterious at the same time

Part of the altar base of Domitius Akhnobarbus

Why do two ancient Greek beauties hold up flowers? Fascinating and mysterious at the same time

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