Thursday, July 13, 2006

From the ancient world



So, in keeping with my promise to keep bringing the art nerdery, here is a still life from a wall in the city of Herculaneum. It was buried, along with Pompeii, in 79 CE in the eruption of Mt Vesuvius. Herculaneum is really interesting because they were locked in ash rather than lava (as I recall) and therefore there is a lot of extant wood, ie furniture, that survived here but was destroyed in the lava of Pompeii. I also learned from a TLC special that the residents of Herculaneum, though once presumed to have escaped, were found relatively recently down by the harbor. They had time to get down there, but couldn't escape the heat. They said their brains boiled and 'sploded. EW! But I digress.

This painting, albeit a really bad image of it- the color is kind of off- just amazes me! Do you know how hard it is to paint glass? And the viewpoint is so interesting. They aren't supposed to have had any system of perspective, but who needs one anyway? This painting? Survives from the years that Christ walked the earth! Isn't that so cool? This thing is 2000 years old, and it's just. so. beautiful.

3 comments:

Vicki said...

Wow, that really is incredible! I'm amazed at the preservation of the greens especially, and the clarity of tones in the whites - really sophisticated for fresco!

(off to read about the Herculaneum...)

Papa Bradstein said...

Interesting about Herculaneum. My favorite Pompeii artifact (and Barky's too, I assume) is the "beware of dog" mosaic.

Art Nerd Lauren said...

Yes! Papa, I love that! I saw it for the first time in Ms. Davis' third period Latin class. Cave Canem, awesome!