Peplos Kore

The “Rampin Master” (?)
Peplos Kore, c. 530 BC, Parian Marble, H. 1.2 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece
https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-peplos-kore

The Peplos Kore was discovered, back in 1886, in the Acropolis of Athens, during excavation work (1885-1889) led by P. Kavvadias. The lower part of her body was lying, broken, along with thirteen more broken statues, mostly female, architectural members, bronze figurines, marble statue bases, a hoard of silver coins, terracotta figurines, and sherds of pottery, in the so-called “Korai Pit” northwest of the Erechtheion. According to the Acropolis Museum experts, the “Korai Pit” is the conventional name for an artificial fill that covered a hollow located northwest of the Erechtheion, in order to create a level plane to receive the new fortification wall of the Acropolis. The hollow was filled with the debris of the Acropolis after it was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC during the second Persian invasion of Greece. The buried treasures of the Acropolis are also known as the Perserschutt, a German term meaning “Persian debris or rubble.” The head of the Peploforos was found near the Korai Pit, and the statue’s torso, a little to the south, in the area of the Old Temple of Athena. https://theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-5

The so-called “Korai Pit” northwest of the Erechtheion in the Acropolis of Athens, 1909 photo
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perserschutt

The “Peplophoros” as it is affectionately called by the Greeks, is an Archaic period (c. 600-480 BC) statue of a young female. Statues of a Kore, plural korai, refer to a type of freestanding effigy of a maiden specifically created during the Archaic Period. The Questions and Answers that follow, will hopefully help to better understand their role and importance in the development of Ancient Greek Art.

Can you define what a Kore statue is? Statues of a Kore, plural Korai, refer to a type of freestanding effigy of a maiden. Kore is a draped female figure—carved from marble and originally painted—standing erect with feet together or sometimes with one foot, usually the left, slightly advanced. The arms are sometimes down at the sides, but in most cases, one is brought up closely across the front of the body or is extended, holding an offering; the other is lowered, often clasping a fold of drapery. In the earliest korai, the bodies are so blocklike that they hardly seem to represent feminine form… Later, the drapery became more fluid, with a greater variation in the folds gained by having one hand of the kore pull the drapery tightly across thighs and buttocks. The garments worn by the kore figures changed in style as well, displaying a pattern, either on borders or as single ornaments scattered over larger areas. https://www.britannica.com/art/kore-Greek-sculpture and http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/artifact?name=Athens%2C+Acropolis+679&object=Sculpture

Can you describe the Peplos Kore? The Kore has been named the “Peplos Kore” due to the garment she wears – the peplos. The peplos was fastened in the middle with a belt and on the shoulders with bronze pins which were secured in the small holes that are still preserved. Beneath her peplos, the Kore wears a longer chiton, whose slender folds encase her legs. Spectrographic analysis of the colours has shown that the belt was once blue and green and the chiton blue, with a green band at the neck. The peplos was white – its middle section decorated with vertical rows of small animals, birds, and riders shown on squares of red framed by bands of colourful rosettes on a green background. The peplos borders were decorated by a double band with spirals, floral elements, and a chain of volutes and palmettes alternating with lotus flowers. https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-peplos-kore

The “Rampin Master” (?)
Peplos Kore, c. 530 BC, Parian Marble, H. 1.2 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece
https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-peplos-kore

Do we know the name of the artist who created the Peplos Kore? The face of the Peplos Kore is characterized by an interest in converging planes. The eyes and mouth occupy hollows that emphasize these features, separated by strongly protruding cheeks and a broad nose. The details are so close to the face of the Rampin Horseman that the two are often attributed to the same sculptor often called the “Rampin Master.” If true, she must be one of his late works, for she is stylistically much advanced. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/artifact?name=Athens%2C+Acropolis+679&object=Sculpture

Who is the Peplos Kore, and what is she holding in her left hand? We do not know for sure who she was, and what she was holding in her left hand. However, the combination of a very conservative attire for the time the statue was created, leads many scholars to assume this is not a simple votive Kore statue, but the representation of a goddess – perhaps Artemis, who would have been gripping arrows in her right hand, and a bow in her left. https://theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-5

Two more Teacher Curator BLOG POSTS on Ancient Greek Archaic Korai… https://www.teachercurator.com/art/daughters-of-eleutherna/ on the Daughters of Eleutherna, and https://www.teachercurator.com/ancient-greek-art/%CE%BA%CE%AC%CE%BB%CE%BB%CE%BF%CF%82-and-the-kore-from-chios/ on the Kore from Chios

For a Student Activity, please… Check HERE!

The Khan Academy Educational Video on the Peplos Korehttps://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/greek-art/daedalic-archaic/v/peplos-kore

An interesting Video by the Cambridge University on the Peplos Kore and the way she was dressed and coloured… https://www.classics.cam.ac.uk/museum/collections/peplos-kore  

A fun Student Activity created by the Acropolis Museum Education Department, and titled Color the Peplos Korehttp://repository.acropolis-education.gr/acr_edu/handle/11174/305

The Bee Goddess of Eleutherna

Gold Pendant with the representation of a Bee Goddess, On the upper torso she is depicted as a female with a Daedalic wig and arms bent at the elbows. The rest of the body resembles an insect, its large wings decorated with stippled rosettes, 7th century BC, Archaeological Museum of Eleutherna, Crete, Greece
https://mae.uoc.gr/exhibits/

On the 20th of May… Let’s celebrate World Bee Day! Let’s observe the importance of the 25,000 to 30,000 species of bees as effective pollinators. According to the United Nations pollinators allow many plants, including many food crops, to reproduce. Indeed, the food that we eat, such as fruits and vegetables, directly relies on pollinators. A world without pollinators would equal a world without food diversity – no blueberries, coffee, chocolate, cucumbers and so much more. The ancient Greeks understood the importance of pollination and revered Bees as the “Divine Queens” of their ecosystem. The 7th century BC Gold Pendant with the representation of a Bee Goddess from Eleutherna in Crete is proof enough! https://www.un.org/en/observances/bee-day/background

The so-called Dark Ages of Greece, when the Eleutherna Gold Pendant with the representation of a Bee Goddess was created, were not dark at all! They were years of adjustment to a new reality, the aftermath years of the Homeric Epos, the years of the naissance of the great Greek art of antiquity. The small Bee Goddess of Eleutherna, a wonderful amalgam of old, and current Cretan traditions, is persuasive in its purpose and beautiful in its artistry. Whoever the pendant’s artist was, he was familiar with the Minoan past of female divine potency and the Homeric, rich literary tradition of metaphors relating the bee to human society. Let’s not forget how Homer (8th cent. BC) compares the Achaean warriors leaving the ships to attend an assembly to a swarm of bees leaving their hive in search of flowers:     From the camp the troops were turning / out now, thick as bees that issue from some / crevice in a rock face, endlessly pouring / forth, to make a cluster and swarm on / blooms of summer here and there, glinting / and droning, busy in bright air.     /     Like bees innumerable from ships and huts / down the deep foreshore streamed those / regiments toward the assembly ground. (Iliad II 86-93, trans. Robert Fitzgerald) https://www.apiservices.biz/documents/articles-en/beekeeping_in_mediterranean.pdf

The small Bee Goddess pendant was discovered in the necropolis of Orthi Petra in Crete and inspired Professor Νikolaos Stampolidis to use it as the logo of the Museum of ancient Eleutherna. This amazing ornament is a composite creation: it shows the bust of a woman, with arms folded over the chest, and the lower body of a bee, with large wings, adorned with dotted flowers. https://www.lamdadev.com/en/the-company/corporate-social-responsibility/culture/commemorative-volume-eleutherna.html?os_image_id-34

Gold Pendant with the representation of a Bee Goddess, 7th century BC, Archaeological Museum of Eleutherna, Crete, Greece
https://gr.pinterest.com/pin/343540277802257776/ and https://www.pinterest.de/pin/91409067412568201/

The city of Eleutherna, on the island of Crete, was of great importance in prehistoric times and continued to be so from the dawn of Hellenic Civilization to the Byzantine era. Systematic excavations organized by the University of Crete under the directorship of Professors Petros Themelis, Athanasios Kalpaxis, and Nikos Stampolidis since 2009, brought to light three sectors of the city and the necropolis at Orthi Petra, enhancing our knowledge of the political, economic, social, religious, and artistic history of the whole of Crete, particularly during the so-called “Dark Ages.” Eleutherna, close to Mount Ida, where the Νεφεληγερέτης (Cloud Gatherer) Zeus was safely born, raised with milk and honey, and protected by the Kourites warriors, is a city that eloquently bespeaks the continuity of the island’s prosperity and its seminal contribution to the genesis of Hellenic civilization. Discover its importance with the help of ELEUTHERA, by Nikolaos Chr. Stanmpolidis, LAMDA DEVELOPMENT, 2020. https://www.latsis-foundation.org/content/elib/book_29/eleytherna-english-l.pdf and https://www.latsis-foundation.org/content/elib/book_29/eleytherna-greek-f.pdf

For a Student Activity inspired by the 7th century BC Gold Pendant with the representation of a Bee Goddess from Eleutherna in Crete, please… Check HERE!

Hellenistic Golden Hairnets

Gold Hairnet with a relief bust of  Athena from Thessaly (Detail), 2nd century BC, gold, Diam. 0.111 m, Benaki Museum, Athens Photo Credit: https://mobile.twitter.com/tzoumio/status/1413408320489144320

Amarantha sweet and fair / Ah braid no more that shining hair! / As my curious hand or eye / Hovering round thee let it fly.    /    Let it fly as unconfin’d / As its calm ravisher, the wind, / Who hath left his darling th’East, / To wanton o’er that spicy nest.    /    Ev’ry tress must be confest / But neatly tangled at the best; / Like a clue of golden thread, / Most excellently ravelled.    /    Do not then wind up that light / In ribands, and o’er-cloud in night; / Like the sun in’s early ray, / But shake your head and scatter day… wrote Richard Lovelace, back in the 17th century… no Hellenistic Golden Hairnets for… Amarantha sweet and fair! https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/richard-lovelace

Gold Hairnet with a relief bust of  Athena from Thessaly, 2nd century BC, gold, Diam. 0.111 m, Benaki Museum, Athens Greece
Photo Credit: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/642596 

The visitors of the Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom Exhibition in the Science Museum (London, 17 November 2021 – 05 June 2022) will be able to admire a rare, Hellenistic Golden Hairnet from the Benaki Museum in Athens and marvel at its amazing beauty and craftsmanship! This is a real treat as only a handful of such Golden Hairnets survive today scattered around major Museums around the world. https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/ancient-greeks-science-and-wisdom

The Exhibited Hairnet comes to London from Greece, and specifically, the Benaki Museum in Athens. Gold Hairnets were created by exceptional goldsmiths for aristocratic, well-to-do Greek ladies of the Hellenistic period (late 4th to early 1st cent. BC), to contain a simple hair chignon at the back of their head. The Benaki Hairnet consists of a central gold medallion with a bust of Athena in high relief, and an intricate, gold net. Goddess Athena is depicted wearing a helmet with three plumes, a laurel wreath, and an oblique aegis with a mermaid. The bust of Athena is framed by concentric bands adorned with ornaments applied in the jeweler’s fine technique of filigree and granulation. The lavish decoration is mostly floral consisting of a wreath of beautifully executed pointed leaves, an exquisite, and complex band of floral designs, and a strip of eggs and tiny rosettes. The central medallion was further embellished with enameling and minuscule beads of garnet. The gold net around the medallion consists of a lattice of chains with intersecting points articulated with tiny rosettes. What an amazing achievement of workmanship! https://www.benaki.org/index.php?option=com_buildings&view=building&id=11&Itemid=533&lang=en and https://www.benaki.org/index.php?option=com_collectionitems&view=collectionitem&id=140287&lang=en&lang=el and https://ellaniapili.blogspot.com/2015/11/blog-post_328.html

Gold Hairnet with repousse bust of  Athena from Thessaly, 2nd century BC, gold, Diam. 0.111 m, Benaki Museum, Athens Greece
Photo Credit: https://www.myfaveplaces.com/contemp-galleries/2016/7/6/gold-gold-gold-plus-some-bronze-and-silver

Describing the Benaki Museum Medallion Berta Segall writes… The artist of the Benaki medallion wanted to achieve unity. The elements of the ornamental frame are part of a continuous, flowing design, the bust, by taking up as much as possible of the background and touching the border, gives the impression of a full length figure cut off by a wreath. Its modeling is an example of the “impressionistic” technique in relief which uses a soft, almost imperceptible gradation of planes from the high to the very low, and from there to engraving. Thus, the folds of the garment are indicated in low relief, and even shallower, almost disappearing into the background, are the two plumes of the helmet right and left of the face. Berta Segall, Two Hellenistic Gold Medallions from Thessaly, Record of the Museum of Historic Art, Princeton University, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Autumn, 1945), pp. 2-11 https://www.jstor.org/stable/3774132?seq=3#metadata_info_tab_contents

The Benaki Museum Hairnet was part of an unbelievable “treasure” of 44 pieces of jewelry sold to private collectors in Athens, in 1929. The “treasure,” a product of illegal excavations, came from Thessaly, and the exact circumstances of their discovery are not well established. According to one testimony, they were discovered inside a copper vessel near Almyros in Magnesia, according to a source, the “treasure” came from the area of ​​Lamia-Lianokladi. It has also been claimed that the 44 pieces of exquisite jewelry were found in Domokos, while the antique dealer, who sold 35 pieces of jewelry to the collector Eleni Stathatou (today in the Stathatos Collection in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens) and 9 to the Benaki Museum, assured that they were discovered near Karpenisi. https://ellaniapili.blogspot.com/2015/11/blog-post_328.html

For a PowerPoint on Hellenistic Golden Hairnets, please… check HERE!

Gold Hairnet with repousse bust of  Athena from Thessaly, 2nd century BC, gold, Diam. 0.111 m, Benaki Museum, Athens Greece
Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/AngHellenLeague/status/1464252708806873091/photo/1

The Science Museum in London promises a unique experience to the visitors of their free exhibition Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom (17 November 2021 – 05 June 2022). The Museum experts believe that curiosity and investigation are central to furthering our understanding of the universe today… and suggest that we step back through millennia… and discover how the ancient Greek civilization questioned, contemplated, and debated the natural world. If your steps take you to London, the Science Museum Exhibition Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom, is worth visiting! https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/ancient-greeks-science-and-wisdom and https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/guides for a free guidebook.

Theseus and Antiope

Theseus and Antiope, sculpture from the West Pediment of the Temple of Apollo Daphnephorus in ancient Eretria, late 6th century, Marble, 110 cm, Archaeological Museum of Eretria, Greece
https://www.esag.swiss/eretria/museum/

The multiple aspects of the concept of Kallos in the everyday life and the philosophical discourse of ancient Greece are presented in the major, emblematic, archaeological exhibition of the Museum of Cycladic Art, titled ΚΑLLOS. The Ultimate Beauty. Τhis exhibition displays three hundred emblematic antiquities from fifty-two museums, collections, and Ephorates of Antiquities throughout Greece, as well as from Italy, and the Vatican. The overwhelming majority appear for the first time outside of the museums of their provenance. They meet and mingle in the Museum of Cycladic Art, so as to give an integrated picture of the ideal of Kallos, inadequately translated into English as Beauty. On the 6th of November I presented you one such exhibit… the Kore from Chios today, I will present you a favourite Archaic work of art… Theseus and Antiope! https://cycladic.gr/en/page/kallos-i-ipertati-omorfia

The story of  Theseus and Antiope has it all… adventure, strife, love, and devotion! According to Pausanias and his Description of Greece… As one enters the city (of Athens) there is a monument to Antiope the Amazon. This Antiope, Pindar says, was carried off by Peirithous and Theseus, but Hegias of Troezen gives the following account of her. Heracles was besieging Themiscyra on the Thermodon, but could not take it, but Antiope, falling in love with Theseus, who was aiding Heracles in his campaign, surrendered the stronghold. Such is the account of Hegias. But the Athenians assert that when the Amazons came, Antiope was shot by Molpadia, while Molpadia was killed by Theseus. To Molpadia also there is a monument among the Athenians. https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Paus.%201.2.1&lang=original

ΚΑLLOS. The Ultimate Beauty Exhibition Photo, Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
Photo Credit: Paris Tativian, Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
https://cycladic.gr/page/kallos-i-ipertati-omorfia?slide=1

The effigy of Theseus and Antiope, temporarily exhibited in the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, was originally created for the West Pediment of the Temple of Apollo Daphnephorus in Eretria. Information regarding the Temple of Apollo in Eretria is unfortunately scarce. Eretria, a town in Euboea facing the coast of Attica, was first mentioned in Homer’s Iliad as one of the cities that provided ships against the Trojans. During the 8th century BC, the citizens of Eretria, a flourishing city during the Geometric and Archaic periods, built an impressive Temple to honour God Apollo, apsidal in architectural form. Soon after, a second, wooden Temple followed on the same site. Finally, around 520- 490 BC, a larger stone Temple was built, the remains of which are still visible today. Unfortunately, the Archaic Temple was badly destroyed during the Persian invasion of 490 BC. https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/classics/intranets/students/modules/greekreligion/database/clunba/

Theseus and Antiope, sculpture from the West Pediment of the Temple of Apollo Daphnephorus in ancient Eretria, late 6th century, Marble, 110 cm, Archaeological Museum of Eretria, Greece
In colour reconstruction on plaster and on paper, Investigations by Vinzenz Brinkmann, executed by Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann, 1992
https://www.wikiart.org/en/ancient-greek-painting/reconstruction-of-antiope-and-theseus–490
(c) Vinzenz Brinkmann 2018 & Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann, Polychromy Research Project
http://www.stiftung-archaeologie.de/Theseus_Antiope_ApollDahnephorosEretria.html
https://www.esag.swiss/eretria/museum/

The late Archaic period (510-500 BC) pediment sculpture depicting the abduction of Antiope by Theseus portrays the moment of Theseus stepping onto a chariot’s platform while tightly holding Antiope in his arms… a decisive moment in the development of the story, a key moment in the development of ancient Greek Art. Notice the depicted entwined torsos and think of the evolution accomplished as figural depiction moves from the frontal and immobile Kouros and Kore type of sculpture to the more naturalistic modeling of the classical era. Notice how the psychological drama unfolds, and consider the subtle ways the artist of Theseus and Antiope presents the understated surrender of the elegant Amazon, and the restrained triumph of the victorious hero. Notice how the heads of both figures slightly bend and observe the created interplay of light and shade, shapes and forms. What an accomplishment for the unknown artist. Could he be the famous Athenian sculptor Antenor? https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/classics/intranets/students/modules/greekreligion/database/clunba/

For a PowerPoint on the Theseus and Antiope theme, please… Check HERE!

Photograph of the actress Katharine Hepburn in the 1932 Broadway production of The Warrior’s Husband, March 1932
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Katharine_Hepburn_in_The_Warriors_Husband.jpg

“Κάλλος” and the Kore from Chios

The “Kore from Chios,” c. 510 BC, Marble from the island of Paros, H. 0.545 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens Greece
https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-kore-chios

Kallos, according to the Museum of Cycladic Art experts, is an ideal developed in ancient Greek thinking and was expressed through the verses of the epic (8th century BC) and lyric (7th – 6th century BC) poets, initially as outward beauty. From the sixth century BC onwards, the concept was crystallized gradually through the texts of the philosophers, who referred to Kallos as a combination of physical appearance and virtues of the soul. It is on this dimension of Kallos that the exhibition of the Museum of Cycladic Art concentrates, enhancing the contribution of ancient Greece to defining the notion of beauty that prevails to this day.Κάλλος The Ultimate Beauty is a must-see Exhibition in the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens running from 29/09/2021 until 16/01/2022. “Κάλλος” and the Kore from Chios is my new BLOG POST inspired by this wonderful Exhibition… focusing on a unique exhibit from the Acropolis Museum in Athens. https://cycladic.gr/en/page/kallos-i-ipertati-omorfia and https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-kore-chios

The “Kore from Chios,” c. 510 BC, Marble from the island of Paros, H. 0.545 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens Greece
https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-kore-chios

The Kore from Chios is one of the most impressive Kore excavated on the Acropolis of Athens back in the late 19th century, part of the Perserschutt, the numerous remains of statues vandalized by the Achaemenids during the terrible years of the second Persian invasion… Ten years after the Battle of Marathon (490 BC), the Persians returned to Greece and after their victory at the Battle of Thermopylae, in September of 480 BC, they entered Athens. The small number of Athenians who had barricaded themselves on the Acropolis, hoping that the Wooden Walls of the Delphic Oracle will protect them, were eventually defeated, and Xerxes ordered Athens to be torched. Those Persians who had come up first betook themselves to the gates, which they opened, and slew the suppliants; and when they had laid all the Athenians low, they plundered the temple and burnt the whole of the acropolis. (Herodotus VIII.53). Months later, after the victory at Salamis, and the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC, the Athenians returned to their city… they respectfully buried the mutilated sacred statues of the Archaic period on the Acropolis and proceeded with reorganizing their civic and private lives… waiting for the right time to rebuild their Acropolis. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/special-topics-art-history/arches-at-risk-cultural-heritage-education-series/xa0148fd6a60f2ff6:ruins-reconstruction-and-renewal/a/destruction-memory-and-monuments-the-many-lives-of-the-parthenon

In 1886, excavating the Perserschutt deposits, archaeologists discovered the head of the Kore from Chios east of the Parthenon while its body was discovered in 1888 south of the Parthenon temple. The “Chiotissa” as it is affectionately called by the Greeks, is an Archaic period (c. 600-480 BC) Kore, whose artist was most probably from the Aegean island of Chios. Statues of a Kore, plural korai, refer to a type of freestanding effigy of a maiden. Kore is a draped female figure—carved from marble and originally painted—standing erect with feet together or sometimes with one foot, usually the left, slightly advanced. The arms are sometimes down at the sides, but in most cases, one is brought up closely across the front of the body or is extended, holding an offering; the other is lowered, often clasping a fold of drapery. In the earliest korai, the bodies are so blocklike that they hardly seem to represent feminine form… Later, the drapery became more fluid, with a greater variation in the folds gained by having one hand of the kore pull the drapery tightly across thighs and buttocks. The garments worn by the kore figures changed in style as well, displaying a pattern, either on borders or as single ornaments scattered over larger areas. https://www.britannica.com/art/kore-Greek-sculpture, https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-kore-chios. You can also check BLOG POST Daughters of Eleutherna https://www.teachercurator.com/art/daughters-of-eleutherna/

Kallos. The Ultimate Beauty Exhibition, Museum of Cycladic Art – from 29/09/2021 until 16/01/2022 – Photo Credit: Paris Tavitian
https://cycladic.gr/en/page/kallos-i-ipertati-omorfia
The “Kore from Chios” (in colour), c. 510 BC, Marble from the island of Paros, H. 0.545 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens Greece
My life and fortunes are a monstrosity, partly because of Hera, partly because of my beauty. If only I could shed my beauty and assume an uglier aspect, the way you would wipe color off a statue… by Euripides, Helen, 260-263. (Translated by R.Kannicht, Heidelberg 1969) https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-kore-chios

The Kore from Chios is small in size but impressive in… Κάλλος! Created by a fine Eastern Greek sculptor… maybe the grandson of  Archermos of Chios, the fine-looking “Chiotissa,” is depicted stepping slightly forward pulling her skirt to the side with her left arm, creating thus, a fan of fine radiating folds. She wears the Ionian style of dress… a fine, crinkly chiton over which a short himation is draped diagonally. The carving is richly detailed, the paint even more so. The chiton is blue, the himation edged with a red and blue design, the Stephane was decorated with a Maeander, the earrings and a necklace painted, and the hair colored as well. I look at her and remember Eleni, Euripides’s heroine… My life and fortunes are a monstrosity, partly because of Hera, partly because of my beauty. If only I could shed my beauty and assume an uglier aspect, the way you would wipe color off a statue…  http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/artifact?name=Athens%2C+Acropolis+675&object=Sculpture and https://www.greece-is.com/the-colors-of-antiquity/

For a Student Activity on the Kore from Chios, please… Check HERE!

Weaving in Ancient Greece

Attributed to the Amasis Painter, active around 550–510 BC
Terracotta Black-Figure Lekythos (oil flask) depicting the preparation of wool and the weaving of cloth, ca. 550–530 BC, H. 17.15 cm, the MET, NY, USA
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/253348?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&high=on&ao=on&showOnly=openAccess&ft=*&offset=560&rpp=80&pos=573

First some god breathed the thought in my heart to set up a great web in my halls and fall to weaving a robe—fine of thread was the web and very wide; and I straightway spoke among them: ‘Young men, my wooers, since goodly Odysseus is dead, be patient, though eager for my marriage, until I finish this robe—I would not that my spinning should come to naught—a shroud for the lord Laertes against the time when the fell fate of grievous death shall strike him down; lest any one of the Achaean women in the land should be wroth with me, if he were to lie without a shroud, who had won great possessions…’ spoke Penelope in Homer’s Odyssey (Book 19, 138-147). Weaving in Ancient Greece is a fascinating topic to explore… https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0136%3Abook%3D19%3Acard%3D89

Searching for information on the famous Black-Figure Lekythos by Amasis Painter at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York of women making woolen cloth, I came across a site I would like to share… and acting more like a Curator rather than a Teacher, I present you with THE PENELOPE PROJECT site I am fascinated about. I like the way it was founded, how it operates, and the wealth of information on the topic of Weaving in Ancient Greece. I wish I was a member of this amazing group of scholars… who at the Institute for the History of Technology and Science at Deutsches Museum in Munich… aim to integrate ancient weaving into the history of science and technology, especially digital technology… encompasses the investigation of ancient sources as well as practices and technological principles of ancient weaving… and setting up in Munich a PENELOPE laboratory they detect the models and topologies of weaves and develop codes to make them virtually explorable. https://penelope.hypotheses.org/It is worth exploring and you will most definitely enjoy browsing it!

Back to the Black-Figure Lekythos by Amasis Painter at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York of women making woolen cloth… I love every decorated part f it… from top to bottom! https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/253348?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&high=on&ao=on&showOnly=openAccess&ft=*&offset=560&rpp=80&pos=573

Attributed to the Amasis Painter, active around 550–510 BC
Terracotta Black-Figure Lekythos (oil flask) depicting the preparation of wool and the weaving of cloth (neck view of women dancing), ca. 550–530 BC, H. 17.15 cm, the MET, NY, USA
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/253348?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&high=on&ao=on&showOnly=openAccess&ft=*&offset=560&rpp=80&pos=573

According to the Metropolitan experts, on the shoulder, a seated woman, perhaps a goddess, is approached by four youths and eight dancing maidens. The depicted dance is a group performance of women, and it looks synchronized, with pre-planned movements. Could this scene depict a women’s religious dance… something like the Ierakio (Ιεράκειο) performed in honour of the goddess Hera? https://books.google.gr/books?id=fkSuDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=%CE%99%CE%B5%CF%81%CE%B1%CE%BA%CE%B9%CE%BF+(%CE%99%CE%B5%CF%81%CE%AC%CE%BA%CE%B5%CE%B9%CE%BF)+dance&source=bl&ots=0Dt8N4ENqf&sig=ACfU3U36X2qnvm01sqhovtng8da1yfMc1g&hl=el&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjmkIyAqdrxAhVE_7sIHSydAUAQ6AEwD3oECAoQAw#v=onepage&q=%CE%99%CE%B5%CF%81%CE%B1%CE%BA%CE%B9%CE%BF%20(%CE%99%CE%B5%CF%81%CE%AC%CE%BA%CE%B5%CE%B9%CE%BF)%20dance&f=false

Attributed to the Amasis Painter, active around 550–510 BC
Terracotta Black-Figure Lekythos (oil flask) depicting the preparation of wool and the weaving of cloth (three sides of the pot’s body), ca. 550–530 BC, H. 17.15 cm, the MET, NY, USA
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/253348?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&high=on&ao=on&showOnly=openAccess&ft=*&offset=560&rpp=80&pos=573

On the body of the Metropolitan Lekythos, women are making woolen cloth. In the center, two women work at an upright loom. To the right, three women weigh wool. Farther to the right, four women spin wool into yarn, while between them finished cloth is being folded. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/253348?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&high=on&ao=on&showOnly=openAccess&ft=*&offset=560&rpp=80&pos=573

Attributed to the Amasis Painter, active around 550–510 BC
Terracotta Black-Figure Lekythos (oil flask) depicting the preparation of wool and the weaving of cloth (detail), ca. 550–530 BC, H. 17.15 cm, the MET, NY, USA
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/253348?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&high=on&ao=on&showOnly=openAccess&ft=*&offset=560&rpp=80&pos=573

Making cloth is one of the most important responsibilities women of Ancient Greece were entrusted with. They were responsible to create the clothing worn by all members of their family, as well as textiles for household needs. Their craftsmanship was testimony to their industriousness, ‘value’ as a wife, and ‘beauty’ as a woman. According to Homer, making cloth, was the work of elite women: Helen, Andromache, Penelope, Arete, as well as goddesses. Circe and Calypso wove, to say nothing of Athene herself, warrior and weaver both. They wove patterned cloth which, in the case of the first three, expressed their own qualities, as well as their relationship to particular men. Helen weaves the story of the Trojan War, Andromache weaves flowery love charms, not knowing that Hector is dead, and Penelope weaves a stratagem to forestall betrayal of Odysseushttps://chs.harvard.edu/susan-t-edmunds-picturing-homeric-weaving/

The Metropolitan Lekythos is attributed to Amasis the Painter, an artist whose real name is a mystery, known today by the name of the Potter Amasis whose works he most often decorated. They were both leading black-figure artists active around 550–510 BC. This Metropolitan Lekythos displays characteristics the Amasis the Painter incorporated in his oeuvre like symmetry, precision, clarity, harmony, and a preference to small scale figures.

For a PowerPoint on the work of Amasis, please… Check HERE!

An interesting 1985 Book to read, prepared to accompany an exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1985-1986… is titled The Amasis Painter and His World: Vase Painting in Sixth-Century B.C. Athens by Dietrich von Bothmer and Alan L. Boegehold, and you can download it… https://www.getty.edu/publications/virtuallibrary/0500234434.html

Teaching with the Kritios Boy

Kritios Boy, 480  BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 116.7 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/youth-statue-kritios-boy

Teaching with the Kritios Boy is a set of student activities and worksheets inspired by an awe-inspiring work of art created by a remarkable artist, a daring creator, and an amazing innovator! According to the Acropolis Museum experts, The statue’s torso was found in 1865-1866 southeast of the Parthenon, while the head in 1888 near the south walls of the Acropolis. It is one of the most important works of ancient Greek art and the most characteristic of the so-called “Severe Style”. Archaeologists have dubbed it the “Kritios Boy”, after the name of the sculptor believed to have created it. The “Kritios Boy” is depicted standing in the nude. He supports his weight on his left leg, while the right one remains loose, bent at the knee, in the characteristic posture of the “Severe Style”. His expression is solemn and his eyes, which were originally crafted from another material, have not survived. His hair follows the shape of his scalp and is tightly gathered around a ring with a few scattered strands falling on his temples and the nape of his neck. Traces of red dye are preserved on his hair. The attribution of this statue to the sculptor Kritios is based on the similarities it presents with the statue of Harmodios from the bronze group of the Tyrannicides, a work of Kritios in collaboration with Nesiotes. This group, known to us today through marble copies of the Roman period, was erected in the Ancient Agora of Athens. Who does this statue portrays, however, is not known. Some scholars believe he represents a young athlete, the winner of an event in the celebration of the Greater Panathenaia. Others claim he depicts a hero, most likely Theseus. Moreover, they link the dedication of the statue on the Acropolis with the activities of 476/5 BC, when Kimon transferred Theseus bones from the island of Skyros to Athens. https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/youth-statue-kritios-boy

Kritios Boy – face detail, 480  BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 116.7 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece http://ancientrome.ru/art/artworken/img.htm?id=5960

Teaching with the Kritios Boy References, PowerPoint, and Activities…

For a List of ONLINE References on the Kritios Boy TeacherCurator put together, please… Click HERE!

For my PowerPoint on the Kritios Boy, please… Click HERE!

I always feel confident discussing an artist with my students when I prepare my Steps to Success Lesson Plan Outline

For Student Activities (3 Activities), please… Click HERE!

Marble statue of a kouros (youth), ca. 590–580 BC, Marble from the island of Naxos, (194.6 × 480 BC51.6 × 63.2 cm, the MET, NY, USA https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/253370
Aristodikos Kouros, 510-500 BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 1.9 m, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece http://nam.culture.gr/portal/page/portal/deam/virtual_exhibitions/EAMS/EAMG3938
Kritios Boy, 480  BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 116.7 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/youth-statue-kritios-boy  

I hope, Teaching with the Kritios Boy, will prove easy and helpful. Do you think it justifies my BLOG name Teacher Curator?

Marble statue of a kouros (face), ca. 590–580 BC, Marble from the island of Naxos, (194.6 × 480 BC51.6 × 63.2 cm, the MET, NY, USA
https://gr.pinterest.com/pin/682436149758725905/
Aristodikos Kouros (face), 510-500 BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 1.9 m, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece https://arthistorykmg.omeka.net/items/show/106
Kritios Boy (face), 480  BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 116.7 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece http://ancientrome.ru/art/artworken/img.htm?id=5960

Amphora showing Athena and Hermes

Berlin Painter, ca. 500–ca. 460 BC
A:  Athena – B: Hermes,
ca. 480 B.C. Athenian Red-Figure Terracotta Amphora, Height: 33.20 cm, Yale University Art Galler, New Haven, CT, USA https://artgallery.yale.edu/collections/objects/1726 

The Orphic Hymn to Athena is an exuberant celebration of the goddess with intriguing images of her qualities… “Mother of Art in all your abundance, catalyst of progress! / You bring folly to the corrupt and a sense of purpose to the pure! / Indeed, you are male and female in one, / Patron of war and wisdom, / You are fluid of form, a dragon, / Infused with inspiration of the Gods! / Rightly-honored One, who brought Phlegran giants down to defeat, / You driver of steeds, Tritogeneia, save us from evil, bearing Victory in your arms! / Day and night, eternally, in even the loneliest hours, / Hear my prayer, and grant us an abundant peace, fulfillment, good health. / Make prosperous the hour, gray-eyed One, inventor of Art, / The object of the people’s ceaseless prayers– / My Queen!” I like it… and I will use it as an introduction to my BLOG POST Amphora showing Athena and Hermes. http://commonplacebook.com/journal/inspiration/ancient-greeks-hymns-to-athena/

Amphora showing Athena and Hermes comes from Yale University Art Gallery and is attributed to the Berlin Painter. It was purchased for Yale University by Rebecca Darlington Stoddard in 1913 and today, the Amphora is considered one of the Museum’s Highlights. Rightly so, as the Berlin Painter is one of the finest artists of Athenian 5th-century pottery painting.

We know nothing about him… the name we use today, Berlin Painter, is conventional, given to this talented Attic Greek vase-painter by Sir John Beazley based on the “system of forms” technique he used to identify ancient Greek pottery-painters. All scholars can attest, is that the Berlin Painter was most talented, a rival to the Kleophrades Painter, a prominent member of the Pioneer Group, who introduced red-figure painting… and more! The Berlin Painter introduced new principles of style and design. He set his figures free of frames and side pattern bands, allowing them to dominate the composition as they stand majestically against the black background. The Berlin Painter is the master of refined grandeur! https://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/tools/pottery/collection/johnbeazley1.htm and https://www.britannica.com/biography/Berlin-Painter

As the Yale University Art Gallery experts write for the unprecedented 2017 Exhibition The Berlin Painter and His World at Princeton Art Museum The Berlin Painter’s style is distinguished by a suave elegance and a palpable tension between shape and decoration. His figures, and the ornament accompanying them, are executed with taut, dexterous precision, whether on water jars (hydriai), large wine bowls (kraters), or smaller shapes such as jugs (oinochoai) and oil bottles (lekythoi). The single figures on either side of his amphorae frequently share the same conceptual space. Accompanied by little or no ornament and spotlighted against the black ground, they are framed only by the contours of the vessel itself.” https://cfileonline.org/exhibition-athenian-vase-painting-makes-its-formal-debut-with-first-solo-show/

Berlin Painter, ca. 500–ca. 460 BC
A: Athena – B, Herakles,
ca. 500–490 B.C. Athenian Red-Figure Terracotta Amphora, Height: 79 cm, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwi, Basel, Switcherland  https://artmuseum.princeton.edu/art/exhibitions/1656

References on the Berlin Painterhttps://artgallery.yale.edu/collections/objects/1726 and https://artmuseum.princeton.edu/art/exhibitions/1656 and https://static.artmuseum.princeton.edu/berlin-painter/ and http://artimage.princeton.edu/files/ProductionJpegs/BerlinPainter-web.pdf

For a PowerPoint on Berlin Painter Amphoras, please… Check HERE!

Cleobis and Biton

Polymides of Argos, a Greek sculptor of the Archaic Period (6th century BC)
The two Kouroi of Argos, known as Cleobis and Biton, dedicated to Delphi by the city of Argos, 580 BC, marble, H. 1.97 m, Archaeological Museum of Delphi
https://alchetron.com/Kleobis-and-Biton

Cleobis and Biton,” according to Herodotus “were of Argive stock, had enough to live on, and on top of this had great bodily strength. Both had won prizes in the athletic contests, and this story is told about them: there was a festival of Hera in Argos, and their mother absolutely had to be conveyed to the temple by a team of oxen. But their oxen had not come back from the fields in time, so the youths took the yoke upon their own shoulders under constraint of time. They drew the wagon, with their mother riding atop it, traveling five miles until they arrived at the temple.  When they had done this and had been seen by the entire gathering, their lives came to an excellent end, and in their case the god made clear that for human beings it is a better thing to die than to live. The Argive men stood around the youths and congratulated them on their strength; the Argive women congratulated their mother for having borne such children.  She was overjoyed at the feat and at the praise, so she stood before the image and prayed that the goddess might grant the best thing for man to her children Cleobis and Biton, who had given great honor to the goddess. After this prayer they sacrificed and feasted. The youths then lay down in the temple and went to sleep and never rose again; death held them there. The Argives made and dedicated at Delphi statues of them as being the best of men.” What a story…     http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0126%3Abook%3D1%3Achapter%3D31    and     https://www.jstor.org/stable/4476541?read-now=1&refreqid=excelsior%3A696d910b4f58214d895c34828b1f43ce&seq=3#page_scan_tab_contents

The two statues affectionately called The Twins of Argos hold me in fascination! They were sent to Delphi by the Argives back in the early 6th century BC… the first monumental commemorative monument to grace Apollo’s sanctuary. Many, resplended monuments followed… but the Kouroi of Cleobis and Biton forever bedazzle us with their monumentality and grace.

Unearthing Biton, 1894, the sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi, Greece
Archaeologists excavating Cleobis, 1894
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/greek-art/daedalic-archaic/a/the-kouroi-of-kleobis-and-biton

The Twins of Argos were excavated in Delphi by French archaeologists in 1893 and 1894. The discovery of two extremely similar statues of idealized nude male youths is a rare find of the kouros type. Like other kouroi, they are “naked except for boots, which distinguish them from images of Apollo and may mark them as travellers. They are stockily built, short though over-life-size, with broad shoulders and broad faces… The round eyes are set within curving upper and lower lids, the entire eye unit cut deeply into the head beneath heavy brows. The mouth is full. The large ears are set far back at the side of the head; the lobe is a flat disk. The transition between the front and sides of the head is very abrupt. A single row of large disk-like curls line the forehead. The rest of the hair, emphasizing the flat top of the head, is combed and then subdivided into large bead-like elements. In back the hair springs out from beneath the double cord which holds it in place, at the top of the ears and, again, at the base of the neck. Each of the tendrils, front and back, is neatly finished with a tie… The abdomen is defined linearly… The round knees are set off by incision as well as by modeling. The arms are held close to the body, the clenched hands securely attached to the thighs, the thumbs facing outward…”     http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/artifact?name=Delphi%2C+Kleobis+and+Biton&object=Sculpture

Polymides of Argos, a Greek sculptor of the Archaic Period (6th century BC)
The two Kouroi of Argos, known as Cleobis and Biton (detail), dedicated to Delphi by the city of Argos, 580 BC, marble, H. 1.97 m, Archaeological Museum of Delphi
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/greek-art/daedalic-archaic/a/the-kouroi-of-kleobis-and-biton

To introduce my students to ancient Greek Archaic Art and the Kouros Brothers from Argos, Cleobis and Biton, I use the Inquiry-based teaching method known as Visual Thinking Strategy introduced by Abigail Housen and Philip Yenawine which “uses art to teach visual literacy, thinking, and communication skills—listening and expressing oneself. Growth is stimulated by looking at artworks of increasing complexity, answering developmentally based questions, and participating in peer-group discussions carefully facilitated by teachers.” Philip Yenawine, Visual Thinking Strategies: Using Art to Deepen Learning Across School Disciplines, 2013  https://www.amazon.com/Visual-Thinking-Strategies-Learning-Disciplines-ebook/dp/B00XO20380

For a student “RWAP”, (RWAP stands for Research – Writing – Art – Project), please… Check HERE!

In 2016, after visiting the Archaeological Museum of Delphi… one of my Grade 7 students, inspired by Cleobis and Biton, presented me with the above poster!

Areskon is my Name and I am an Actor

Funerary Altar-Shaped Stele of Actor Marcus Varinius Areskon, 170-200 AD, Marble with traces of the original paint, 1670×70-72×52-66 cm, Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Photo Credit: Kostas Papantoniou https://www.amth.gr/en/exhibitions/highlights

O man, with your wonderful dower, / O woman, with genius and grace, / You can teach the whole world with your power, / If you are but worthy the place. / The stage is a force and a factor / In moulding the thought of the day, / If only the heart of the actor / Is high as the theme of the play.     …     No matter what role you are giving, / No matter what skill you betray, / The everyday life you are living, / Is certain to colour the play./ The thoughts we call secret and hidden / Are creatures of malice, in fact;/ They steal forth unseen and unbidden, / And permeate motive and act. Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) was an American author and poet who wrote THE ACTOR…an appropriate, in my humble opinion, introduction to our new POST… Areskon is my Name and I am an Actor.  http://www.ellawheelerwilcox.org/poems/pactor.htm     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Wheeler_Wilcox

Funerary Altar-Shaped Stele of Actor Marcus Varinius Areskon, 170-200 AD, Marble with traces of the original paint, 1670×70-72×52-66 cm, Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki Photo Credit: Kostas Papantoniou https://www.amth.gr/en/exhibitions/highlights

Marcus Varinius Areskon… I seek him out every time I visit the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. I introduce him to my students every time I guide them around this wonderful “shrine” of the Muses… and yet I know so little about him. An inscription introduces himself.  Carved above his portrait and under it, the epitaph inscription reads… Λ(ούκιος) Σηνάτιος Οἴκιος καὶ Οὐαρε | νία Ἀρέσκουσα Μάρκῳ Οὐαρ[ε] | νίῳ Ἀρέσκοντι τῷ τέ | κνῳ μνήμης χάριν Lucius Senatius (probably an unknown member of the family) and Var(e)inia Areskousa to her son Marcus Var(e)inius Areskon in memory… I am intrigued… can the portrait of a young man and an inscription help us unravel the knot?     https://www.amth.gr/en/exhibitions/highlights

Areskon was the son of Var(e)inia Areskousa, he was related? to Lucius Senatius, he was Roman, he lived in Thessaloniki, and he died painfully young. This beautiful funerary memorial, in marble and vividly painted, the colours remain remarkably well-preserved, testifying to the economic ability of the family to honour their young demised member with a worthy memorial.     https://m.flickr.com/photos/69716881@N02/50914350016/in/faves-36551225@N05/

Areskousa and Areskon, mother and son, members of a popular family of actors, were probably entertainment “stars” of the time. This is what their names connotate (Areskon/Areskousa= one who pleases, who is popular). The mother was probably an actress of the popular mime theatre, while the son managed to elevate himself and become a young, versatile tragic actor of fame and fortune. His funerary monument is a proper testament to his popularity and wealth.

The portrait on his rectangular funerary altar shows him en face, upright, attired in military gear. His right hand is raised in salutation, the left seems to hold a sword?  In the upper left corner of the composition, still beautifully coloured, a mask, worn by male actors for a female theatrical role, identifies the male portrait as an actor of versatile abilities.

1917, Trip to the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki… my respects to Areskon… Photo Credit: Kostas Papantoniou

The Portrait of Areskon is shown in the middle of a simple yet elegantly proportioned structure described by the Museum archaeologists as a funerary altar. It is simply framed, sits on a pedestal and is crowned by an inscribed pediment with a central rosette, leaves and stylized acroteria. It was discovered near the eastern fortification walls of Thessaloniki, almost embedded in an apartment building of modern times. Today, exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, it is considered one of the Museum’s highlights!

For a PowerPoint presenting a School Trip to the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and the Funerary Altar of Areskon, please… Check HERE!

For a StudentActivity, please… Check HERE!

2017, Grade 4 STARS in front of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki! Photo Credit: Kostas Papantoniou