Limestone Etruscan funerary urn, 104 x 75 cm, late 3rd century B.C, Italy.
This object is one of five ash urns found in a tomb of the Velsi family of ancient Chiusi. This urn is the largest and best preserved of the group. Its inscription, “FASTIA VELSI LARZL, VELUS PUIA,” which extends across the front and part of the left end of the lid, identifies the cremated remains as those of “Fastia Velsi, wife of Larza Velu.” - mfa.org
Painted limestone stela, ca. 1353-1336 BC, El-Amarna, Egypt.
This limestone stela shows King Akhenaten and his family as a “Holy Family.” It is considered to be an icon and was intended to be kept in a private chapel of an Amarna house. The stela, topped by the cavetto cornice, is decorated with a scene of an intimate moment from the daily life of the royal family under the protection of Aten. - globalegyptianmuseum.org
Limestone sculpture, Imperial Period, A.D. 150–200, Syria.
An elaborate Palmyrene funerary monument with a Greek inscription “Aththaia, daughter of Malchos, Happy One, Farewell”. Although the Greek inscription betrays her Hellenic affinities, her face and the details of carving are thoroughly Eastern. The incised relief line of the eyebrows and the rubbery folds of the neck foreshadow Graeco-Buddhist sculpture in northern and northwestern India, and central Asia. The carving of the chiton (tunic) and himation is expertly handled, but the number of tight zigzag folds also foreshadows Late Antique and Byzantine art. - mfa.org (text and photo)
Maya limestone relief, ca. AD 600-900, Yaxchilan, Mexico.
The scene represents a bloodletting ritual performed by the king of Yaxchilán, Shield Jaguar the Great (681-742), and his wife, Lady K’ab’al Xook (Itzamnaaj Bahlen III). The king holds a flaming torch over his wife, who is pulling a thorny rope through her tongue. Scrolls of blood can be seen around her mouth. The first two glyphs in the text at the top of the lintel indicate the event and the date on which it took place, 24 October, AD 709 (5 Eb, 15 Mak in the maya calendar). The lintel has traces of Maya blue, turquoise and red pigment. - britishmuseum.org
Cuneiform terracota tablets, ca. 1400 BC, Qatna, Syria.
63 cuneiform tablets were discovered in 2002, in a subterranean corridor. They were covered by the burned remains of several roofbeams. Maybe they were hidden during the Hittite invasion. The texts probably belong to the archive of King Idanda and contain both intelligence reports on the political situation in northern Syria, the Hittite threat and domestic and administrative texts. The texts are written in a mixture of the Akkadian and Hurrian languages hitherto unknown. - wikipedia.org
Victory stele of king Naram-Sin, limestone bas-relief, ca. 2254-2213 BC (Akkad),
During Naram-Sin reign the Lullubi tribe rebelled. The king subdued the revolt and erected this stele at Sippar.
This stele is a major work because it is considered to be the first landscape in oriental art as well as the first stele depicting a whole scene in only one piece. It is also the first work of art showing a deified king: Naram-Sin is a massive character and he is wearing a horned helmet which is the symbol of divinity in ancient Near-East. The two suns above the mountain represent the sun god Nergal, protector of the dynasty.
Silver and gold earflares from the Chimú culture,14th-15th century, Peru.
In ancient Peruvian cultures, precious metals had a special status. As materials, silver and gold were symbols of power and prestige and also held symbolic and religious significance. Objects of silver and gold — such as nose and ear ornaments — were worn exclusively by the elite, and expressed social status and political authority in life and in death when they were placed as offerings in tombs with the deceased. - metmuseum.org (text and photo).
-> I would totally kill for a pair of these :)
Fra Filippo Lippi, Coronation of the Virgin (detail), 1441-47, Tempera on wood. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
A bit of Renaissance, for a change :) Here’s a work by Botticelli’s master.
This detail is one of my favorite because of its finesse, its delicate colours and very precise drawing. Lippi appears here as a skilled colourist, particularly in the fabrics, with rich golden silks and a beautiful transparent veil interlaced in this young girl’s hair. The character is perfectly drawn, in the typical canon Lippi invented, with a round face over a small pointy chin.
Painted cervidae skin, 17th century, Illinois, United States.
When this cape is worn in a non traditional way - when the collar of the skin is right of the wearer’s head - the geometrical form of a powerful flying creature can be seen. Eagles, hawks and the spiritual creature “Thunderbird” are very important for Native American cultures. This cape could also be some kind of ritual shroud.
Photo by quaibranly.fr
Two terracotta sculptures from the Hōryū-ji temple in Ikaruga (Nara), Japan.
These two sculptures are guardians, situated at each entry of the buddhist temple. Agyo, the red one with its mouth open represents expressed power and Ungyo, the black one with its mouth closed represents latent power. They protect the temple against its ennemies and their fierce attitude is supposed to frighten off people with bad intentions.
photos by JapanPhotos.org.uk.