Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Paris' Best #1: The Louvre (Sully)

 After leaving the Denon area, we entered the Sully which focuses on ceramics, terracota, Pharaonic Egypt, and Bronze objects, at least on the 1st floor where we were at the time. This first object is the Pendant with the Name of King Osorkon II: the God Osiris's Family dating from the reign of Osorkon II (874-850 BC). It is solid gold with lapis lazuli. It represents the holy triad of rht Osiris family and was a temple treasure.
 This object is labeled Coquemar, Cristal de roche, XV siecle. Monture: argent dore, France which, if I'm not mistaken, translates to "cauldron, crystal of rock, 15th century. Mounting: silver gold, France". Therefore, it is likely I actually photographed this object in the Renaissance area of the Richelieu and just mislabeled it, but I'll leave it here just in case. I'm not quite sure what "crystal of rock" means, so I may have mis-translated that part.
 This one was labeled Ange-reliquaire, France, XV siecle. Obviously from the 15th century, but I'm having some trouble translating the "Ange-reliquaire" part. I can find mention of it on French web pages, but that's not much help to me here.
 There were many fine examples of Greek and Roman pottery in this area: there must have been hundreds of objects. Whenever I see these, I wish that I could afford to have one on display in my home. Then I think about how devastated I would be if we accidently broke it, and how tempting a target it would be for thieves. I suppose I can live 99.9% as happy a life having a reproduction instead.
 This is known as the Levy oenochoe and is an Ionian "Wild Goat" oenochoe, reflecting the Oriental influence circo 640-630 BC. It is from Ionia or Rhodes, Greece and is clay with glossy pigment, engobe, and line drawings with red and white highlights. It was purchased by the Louvre in 1891.
 I was successful in finding out a little about these cheerful objects. The object on the left is a Donkey Head Rhyton found in Athens that dates from 440 BC - 430 BC and stands 9.8 inches tall. The object on the right is another Donkey Head Rhyton that dates that was also found in Athens, dates from 470 BC - 460 BC, and stands 6.7 inches tall. The note says it represents a musician and a dancer. Rhyton is a Greek word for a container from which fluids were meant to be consumed. For better photos, see the site http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/LX/DonkeyHeadRhytonCp3561.html
This gentleman has got me intrigued. He is the reason that I remembered to bring a camera to the Louvre this time. The last trip, I left my camera at the hotel because I did not want to carry it and, when I saw this eye popping bust, I wished I had it. This trip, I brought the camera just to take his photo. But when I got home, I had no information about this object, so I searched for over an hour on the web tonight. I finally found the object title: Tete d'Homme calcaire pente which translates to "head of man, limestone". Doh! I guess we don't know much about it. Too bad, because I think this bust's beauty approaches (but does not equal) the Nefertiti bust.
 In the Egyptian section of the Louvre, even fish become sculptures, as this school shows in a swimmingly way. Again, I could find nothing about this objects on the web but I thought it made a very neat composition anyway.
In the foreground is the gold Bowl of General Djehuty from the reign of Tuthmosis III (1479-1425 BC). It is soldered gold and engraved. Unfortunately, I can't find much information on the other objects in this photo.
It wasn't until we were about to leave that Laura mentioned how nice it would have been to take a photo of all the display plaques too, but at this point the full impact of having a camera that held 3500 pictures had not hit me yet: I was still carefully guarding each click so that we didn't get to Italy with no room left on the card. Sigh. I'd sure like to know what these things are now...can't find any information on this one.
 This one is fascinating: it is called Couple in Wood and it is wood that dates from approximately 2350 BC - 2200 BC (the old Kingdom). The Louvre website says it is 27 inches tall - I remember it being much taller (see the woman sitting behind it?) but maybe the photo is an optical illusion that has revised my memory of it's actual dimensions. It has been in the Louvre since 1826.
This is not the crispest photograph I've ever taken, but I included it because I wanted you to note their stance. Most Egyptian sculpture and painting that dates from the time of the Pharaohs have people in very stiff poses, many times with one foot forward. Unrealistic, I have thought. Remember this, because I am going to refer back to it in a few days...

Photos in this post: Olympus C-5060


1 comment:

Sandy said...

Every photo and commentary was FASCI-NA-TING!!!! Clicking and enlarging these brings out the details so nice. I can't even choose a favorite, but I enjoyed Osiris trio, The Man bust, well all of it really!

oh..and the school of fish, cool.