statues

Aphrodite Misses Milos

AphroditeofMilos

The ‘Venus de Milo’  at Louvre Museum in France was discovered in 1820 on the Greek island of Milos.

I know, if Aphrodite spoke she would not be speaking in English, or French for that matter. But, I’m sure she would picked up a few foreign words here and there from all those years of being at the Louvre and listening to the tourists speak.

The strange thing about this post is that at the time that I came up with the idea I didn’t know that there is an actual campaign in Greece, specifically by the residents of the island of Milos, to bring the statue back to the island.  So weird! Maybe it’s a sign that it will return? It doesn’t seem to likely since it has been at the Louvre for such a long time. But, if it does happen it would be an extraordinary event to see the removal and return of the statue however you may feel about it.

Karyatides Everywhere/Καρυατιδες Παντου

 

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A historical building located in downtown Athens with Karyatides as the decor

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A copy of Karyatid outside of at a museum in Athens

The word Karyatides comes from the ancient Greek word ‘Kariates’ which means daughter. The daughters are said to have come a town outside of Sparta called ‘Karyes’. It is believed that they were very strong maidens who danced together in a circle with baskets on their heads. These women influenced Greek architecture and even the architecture beyond Greece.

Last year, all of Greece have been abuzz with the excavations of the large burial mound at Amphipolis in the region of Macedonia.  some of the things that have been discovered include a large mosaic depicting the abduction of Persephone  have been found and recently skeletons have been found. Whether the skeletons are that of Alexander the Great or one of his generals remain to be seen. In the second chamber be Karyatids were found that appeared to be guard at the entrance to the tomb chamber. The discovery of the Karyatides had every Greek talking about these mysterious women. What is the story behind them? Why are they everywhere? There are five of them at the Erechtheum at the Acropolis, the sixth one is in the British museum in London.  In 525 B.C there used to be Karyatides at a temple in Delphi with ionic style clothing. We can find them a many national banks in Western Europe as well.

Ancient Busts/Αρχαίοι Προτομές

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Digital collage photograph

The original version of the above photograph didn’t appeal to me very much.   I took the photograph at a souvenir shop in Athens.  The colours were off due to the lighting from the store and the street. But, instead of deleting it I decided to make into a digital collage photograph. I made the handmade collage background, and then layered the photograph over it.

The result I think was much better 🙂

Secrets of the Museum

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A Colossal female head made of lime stone. Possibly the Goddess Hera.

This was my second visit to the Archaeological Museum of Olympia in Greece. This year, I had some cousins that were working there and they, with their observant eyes  and knowledge. were able to point out some things that I did not notice on my first visit.

One of the things that I didn’t notice on my first visit was a snake that is coming out of Hera’s head in the photograph below.

Snake coming out of Heras' Head

Snake coming out of the Goddess Hera’s Head. Yuck I hate snakes!

I was suprised to discover a heart shape on the upper right side of  this sculpture of a bull. It was prominent Greek aristocrat Herod of Atticus who had this statue of a bull made in honour of  his Roman wife Aspasia Regilla. He even built the theatre ‘Odeon of Atticus’, which is next to the Parthenon, in memory of  her. This man really loved his wife! So much so that he even had a little heart drawn on the upper right side.  Who knew people drew hearts back then too?

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The inscription reads, ‘Regilla priestess of Demeter offers the water and appendices to Zeus’.

Aspasia hung around Olympia a lot and was even the only woman to be officially a spectator at the games. Only men were allowed to take part and be spectators at the games. Yes, my ancestors were very misogynistic.  Also, bulls were used as sacrifices for Zeus at his temple in Olympia.

The Bull a gift to Aspasia wife of Herod

The Bull was a gift for Aspasia Regilla the wife of Herod

The is the very famous statue of Hermes by Greek Sculptor Praxiteles from Athens.  This is the only authentic statue that has been saved from Praxiteles. It was found in the temple of Hera in Olympia in 1877 and it dates back to 343 A.D. Hermes (messenger of the Gods)  is holding baby Dionysos (God of wine) who is crying trying to grab something while crying. Hermes  (when he had his arm) most likely had some grapes in his hand. There are some very skilful techniques in this statue, from the left he looks sad, from the right happy and from the front he looks calm.

hermesdarktext.jpgI didn’t know that Praxiteles wasn’t happy with his masterpiece, and that is why the back of the marble statue has not been polished.   Artists are such perfectionists!

Front and back view of Hermes

Front and back view of Hermes. The front is polished the back is not.

This is the breast-plate of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.  Marcus had an affinity towards Greece. He wrote his famous philosophical book called ‘The Meditations’ in Greek.  To show his love for Greece he had carved on his breast-plate the Goddess Athena (with the owl and serpent on each side of her representing wisdom)  standing on top of the Etruscan she-wolf who is nursing the twins Romulus and Remus. The twins are central characters in the origin mythology of Rome. The fact that the Goddess Athena is depicted as standing over the twins means that Marcus believed that Athens was superior to Rome. We can see that Athena is being crowned as well.

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Breast-plate of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

I wasn’t aware of the history of tear bottles. These tear bottles were found in a cemetery in a grave in Miraka cemetery.  The ancient mourners of the deceased would collect their tears in the glass bottles and place them in the graves to show their respect and grief. This tradition dates back to ancient Persia, Biblical times, Rome and it made a come back in the Victoria era.

Tear BottleOne of my favourite statues at the museum. The statue of Apollo in the west pediment of the temple of Zeus which was built in 472 and 456 BC. The temple was built by sculptor Phidias at Olympia. The temple housed the 13 m (43 ft) high statue of Zeus-one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.

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The God Apollo

This old man is not on a cell phone, he is in deep thought, because he is ‘the Seer’.

The Seer

The Seer from the West Pediment of the Temple of Zeus.

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The Centaur in a battle from The West Pediment of the Temple of Zeus.

Notice the veins on the hands-now that’s impressive.

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Details of a hand.

Sculptor Phidias’ work shop was as big as the temple of Zeus. It had to be the same size as the temple since the statue was so tall.

 

Portrait of the statue of Zeus and Phidia's

A painting of the statue of Zeus and Phidias’ workshop

There are more ‘secrets’ in the museum, but I can only put so  much in a blog post. I find that some the tour guides are more knowledgable than other tour guides and some like to divulge more information than others.

The Glorious Past/Το Ένδοξο Παρελθόν

A statue of a Greek soldier staring at the Acropolis from below.

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

  J.R.R. Tolkien

Wood Sculptures/Ξύλινα Γλυπτά

The Cross of the Martyr

Window of hope/Eye of the soul

The Window of Hope

Redemption

‘The Wing-symbolizes freedom’

Display of scultures and their meaning

A Poem by famous Greek poet Giannis Ritsos who was a patient at the sanatorium

In my previous blog post I talked about the Sanatoruim which is located outside of Athens on the mountain of Parnitha. Across the road from the abandoned building is a small park with wooden sculptures. The wooden sculptures  were created by sculptor Spirdon Dasiotis in 2012. The sculptures are an homage to the people who passed through the doors of the building when it was operating as a Sanatorium for tuberculosis patients.

 ‘We love the earth, , people, the animals.  The reptiles, the sky, and the insects. We are, we are and all of us together. Together and the sky and earth.” Giannis Ritsos

Στο προηγούμενο αρθρο μου έγραψα για το σανατόριο στο βουνό της Πάρνηθας. Απέναντι από το εγκαταλελειμμένο κτίριο είναι ένα μικρό πάρκο με ξύλινα γλυπτά που δημιουργήθηκαν από τον γλύπτη Σπυριδων Ντασιωτης το 2012. Τα γλυπτά είναι ένας φόρος τιμής προς τους ανθρώπους που πέρασαν μέσα από τις πόρτες του κτιρίου, όταν λειτουργούσε ως σανατόριο για τους ασθενείς της φυματίωσης.

A Window To The Soul/Ένα Παράθυρο Στην Ψυχή

‘A Window To The Soul’ digital collage by Angela Zafiris

This digital collage contains layers of photographs that I have taken of the Supermoon, a temple, a headless statue, a window and trees. I made the collage background scanned it and then I layered all of the images. I have made a black and white version and the original colourful one is below.

Αυτό το ψηφιακό κολάζ περιέχει στρώματα  από φωτογραφίες που τράβηξα με τo Supermoon, ένα αρχαίο ναό, ένα ακέφαλο άγαλμα, ένα παράθυρο και δέντρα. Σάρωσα το κολάζ φόντο, και στη συνέχεια  έβαλα όλες τις εικόνες. Έχω κάνει μια ασπρόμαυρη εκδοχή και το αρχικό πολύχρωμο είναι κάτω.

‘A Window To The Soul’ digital collage by Angela Zafiris

The Heart Is Revealed/Η Καρδιά Αποκαλύπτεται

‘The Heart is Revealed’ Digital Collage and poem by Angela Zafiris

The heart is revealed

In the darkest of times

Exposed to the four winds

To the storms outside

A heart weathered by time.

For my latest digital collage I layered two photographs, a photograph of the sea, and a photograph of statues that I took at the museum in Ancient Olympia in Greece. I then added the scanned collage background that I made. I came across a photo of a heart from a magazine and scanned it . I added the heart photo to the photograph of the female statue. The end result reminded me of a poem that I wrote a while back , so I thought I would add the poem. I named the digital collage after the poem.

Για την πιο πρόσφατη ψηφιακή κολάζ μου εβαλα δύο στρώσεις φωτογραφίων.  Μια φωτογραφία που εβγαλα στην παραλία και την δευτερη που τραβηξα στο μουσείο της Αρχαίας Ολυμπίας στην Ελλάδα.  Στη συνέχεια, πρόσθεσα το σαρωμένο κολάζ φόντο   που ειχα φτιαξει. Βρηκα μια φωτογραφία με μια καρδιά από ένα περιοδικό και την σαρωσα στο υπολογιστη. Επειτα την πρόσθεσα στη φωτογραφία του γυναικείου αγάλματος. Το τελικό αποτέλεσμα μου θύμισε ένα ποίημα που έγραψα πριν απο καιρο και έτσι πρόσθεσα το ποίημα, το τιτλο του ψηφιακο κολαζ ειναι απο το ποιημα.

The Waltz/Tο Bαλς

“The Waltz’ -Digital Collage By Angela Zafiris

This is a photograph that I took of a large statue of people dancing in downtown Athens on Panepistimiou (University) Street. I was in a hurry so I didn’t get closer to the statue to get more details about it, but I am assuming that they are people dancing. I decided to change it up a bit  since it has probably been photographed hundreds of times. I decided to make it into a digital photography collage. The background is a collage that I made with red and gold acrylics with letters of the alphabet glued on it.  I scanned the background collage to the computer and then I added a new layer an ancient Greek text  that I found on-line and that I enlarged. I changed the coloured photograph into a black and white photograph and then I made the contrast of the image a lot darker to pop out against the background.

Rooftop Angel/Ένας Άγγελος στην Ταράτσα

Rooftop Angel by Angela Zafiris

‘ I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.’- Michelangelo

‘Είδα εναν αγγελό στο μάρμαρο και λαξεύω μεχρι να τον απελευθερώσω’. –Μιχαλάγγελος