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

Lion Hunt Mosaic

Lion Hunt (detail), late 4th century, from the House of Dionysos, Pebble Mosaic, 4.90 x 3.20 m., Pella Archaeological Museum

Is the Lion Hunt Mosaic at Pella inspired by Plutarch’s description that follows?    “Accordingly, he exerted himself yet more strenuously in military and hunting expeditions, suffering distress and risking his life, so that a Spartan ambassador who came up with him as he was bringing down a great lion, said: “Nobly, indeed, Alexander, hast thou struggled with the lion to see which should be king.” (Plutarch, Life of Alexander 40.5) This hunting-scene Craterus dedicated at Delphi, with bronze figures of the lion, the dogs, the king engaged with the lion, and himself coming to his assistance; some of the figures were moulded by Lysippus, and some by Leochares.”     https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Alexander*/5.html     Could the Mosaic at Pella present Alexander the Great and Krateros? Is the Pella Mosaic a faithful copy of the Delphi ex-voto sculptural monument? This is not an easy question to answer…

Chrisoula Saatsoglou-Paliadeli, back in 1989, wrote an article Το ανάθημα του Κρατερού στους Δελφούς (The Votive Offering of Krateros at Delphi), I always enjoy reading, particularly when I visit Pella or Delphi with my students. This article is a detailed and well-documented reference to the Lion Hunt event Plutarch describes. It takes me on a trip to Delphi – where Krateros dedicated an impressive monument commemorating the famous Lion Hunt event Prutarch mentions, the Louvre – the residence of an interesting Lion Hunt relief sculpture from ancient Messene and the Archaeological Museum of Pella – home of the celebrated Lion Hunt mosaic.     https://www.academia.edu/7923619/%CE%A4%CE%BF_%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%AC%CE%B8%CE%B7%CE%BC%CE%B1_%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85_%CE%9A%CF%81%CE%B1%CF%84%CE%B5%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%8D_%CF%83%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85%CF%82_%CE%94%CE%B5%CE%BB%CF%86%CE%BF%CF%8D%CF%82_%CE%9C%CE%B5%CE%B8%CE%BF%CE%B4%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%BF%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%AC_%CF%80%CF%81%CE%BF%CE%B2%CE%BB%CE%AE%CE%BC%CE%B1%CF%84%CE%B1_%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%B1%CF%80%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%AC%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B1%CF%83%CE%B7%CF%82_%CE%95%CE%B3%CE%BD%CE%B1%CF%84%CE%AF%CE%B1_1_1989_79_100

Monument of Krateros at Delphi, probably around 320 BC, or at the end of the 4th century BC     https://twitter.com/CarolynPPerry/status/1328250004402790401

The impressive bronze monument, commissioned by Krateros and immortalized by Lysippos and Leochares, at Delphi, has unfortunately long perished. We can only guess that the protagonists of the composition were placed on a pedestal against the back wall of the building arrayed one next to the other. What survives, in the area between the Theater and the Temple of Apollo,  is an impressive structure, rectangular in shape, measuring some 15.27 x 6.35 meters and standing up to 4 meters high. The building was probably a portico with a colonnade on its façade and a dedicatory inscription on its rear, according to which the building was identified as the ex-voto of Krateros, the Macedonian general and close friend of Alexander the Great and his son by the same name, after his father’s death, probably around 320 BC, or at the end of the 4th century BC.

The dedicatory inscription reads… “Alexandros’s son, Krateros, promised this to Apollo, an honored and glorious man; his son, whom he begot in his palace and left as a child, composed it, Krateros, thereby fulfilling every promise to his father, hoping that the hunt for this bull-killing lion may have eternal and attractive fame for him. For when he followed Alexander and destroyed everything together with him, with that much-praised king of Asia, he defeated him and killed him when he fell into his hands in the land of the sheep-bearing Syrians.”     https://pausanias-footsteps.nl/regios/phokis/delphi-votiefgaven/?lang=en     Can we reconstruct this amazing sculptural composition? Plutarch’s description and the Delphi inscription present us with the necessary but inconclusive hints!

Hunt scene, known as “Alexander’s Hunt” from Messene, 3rd or 2nd century BC, grey-blue marble, 0,59×1.52 m, the Louvre

Petros Themelis writes about the Messene Lion Hunting scene in the Louvre, in his article A Macedonian Horseman – the Relief Louvre, inv. no. ΜΑ 858 from Messene, presenting the latest archaeological discoveries and attributes it to the funerary monument of the Philliades family. “The stone block Louvre MA858 (height: 0,60 m, width: 1,205 m, depth: 0,28 m) carries a relief representing (on the right) a naked male figure with a lion-skin wrapped around his left arm, striking down a lion with a double axe, while a horseman wearing a Macedonian causia, chlamys, and belted chiton with short sleeves comes rushing up from the left side. The hunter with the lion-skin and the axe is usually identified with Alexander, while the horseman with the causia is identified with Craterus because the relief is taken to reflect Craterus’ Monument at Delphi.”     https://www.academia.edu/39501780/P_Themelis_2019_A_Macedonian_Horseman_the_Relief_Louvre_inv_no_MA_858_from_Messene_%CF%83%CF%84%CE%BF_EXCELLENCE_STUDIES_IN_HONOUR_OF_OLGA_PALAGIA

Lion Hunt, late 4th century, from the House of Dionysos, pebble mosaic, 4.90 x 3.20 m., Pella Archaeological Museum

The Lion Hunt Mosaic at the Archaeological Museum of Pella, detached from the so-called house of Dionysus, is a masterpiece of mosaic making. “The bodies of the figures on the mosaic floors at Pella are highlighted against the dark background by white pebbles, and the sculpted volumes are accentuated by the chiaroscuro created by grey pebbles in various tonic gradations. Red pebbles… were used in a limited way… The ground in the mosaic of the lion hunt is characterised by its many colours, while the outline and details of the figures’ body parts are rendered by thin strips of lead or terracotta.” Please note the intensity of the figures’ movements, the lion’s position in the middle of the composition, moving forward/looking backwards, his right front pow stepping over the foot of the receding man to the right, wearing a Petasos…     https://www.latsis-foundation.org/content/elib/book_18/pella_en.pdf     and     http://www.pella-museum.gr/explore/museum/enotita1/kathimerini-zoi

My students and the Lion Hunt Mosaic, Archaeological Museum at Pella. For a PowerPoint, please… Check, HERE!

Daughters of Eleutherna

Lady of Auxerre, c. 640-630 BC, from Crete, limestone statuette, H. 0.63 m, the Louvre, Paris
Daughter of Eleutherna, 7th century BC, limestone statuette, the surviving height of 60 cm, so a total of about one meter, Museum of Ancient Eleutherna
 https://www.akg-images.com/archive/Dame-d%E2%80%99Auxerre-2UMDHUH75U8W.html
http://en.mae.com.gr/exhibits.html
https://burgondiart.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/la-mysterieuse-dame-dauxerre-est-elle-vraiment-bourguignonne/

The two statues Professor Nicholas Chr. Stampolidis, so affectionately calls Daughters of Eleutherna, hold me in fascination… “Crete was obviously the most important centre and it is the place where most of the stone sculptures of the Daedalic style originate. In contrast to the works that were directly influenced by oriental standards, the Daedalic sculptures depict mostly feminine forms. They are characterized by a complete frontality, and are represented with the hands placed on the thighs, with the hair combed into horizontal layers that were considered to be wigs -the known layered wig-like hair- usually with their head quite broadened and with clothes without folds. These elements can be seen in the known “Auxerre Kore”, who wears the characteristic large belt and her clothes are decorated with engravings and painted with a geometric pattern…” and, I would like to add, the badly damaged lower part of another Daedalic Kore at the Museum of Ancient Eleutherna. Foundation of the Hellenic World –  http://www.fhw.gr/chronos/04/en/culture/321arts_sculp_daedalic.html

The Daughters of Eleutherna were exhibited side by side at the Museum of Cycladic Art during the ELEUTHERNA Exhibition. The two statues can be barely seen at the right side of the Museum Photograph.

Back on December 1, 2004, until September 1, 2005, the Daughters of Eleutherna were exhibited side by side in a Museum of Cycladic Art Exhibition, titled, ELEUTHERNA, whose purpose was to bring together “…the results of systematic excavations conducted by the University of Crete at the site of ancient Eleutherna over the past 20 years… (and) to demonstrate the continuity of human presence and habitation in a city from the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC) to the Middle Ages (12th-13th c. AD), that is, a period of some 4500 years.” This exhibition marked the beginning of a new Lesson Plan for ancient Greek Archaic Art!     https://cycladic.gr/en/page/eleutherna

The Daughters of Eleutherna were exhibited side by side at the Museum of Cycladic Art during the ELEUTHERNA Exhibition.

This Lesson Plan uses 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

8 Steps to a Lesson Plan Success

Prepare by  Reading… https://www.ancient-origins.net/artifacts-other-artifacts/lady-of-auxerre-0010215 and https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/statue-woman-known-lady-auxerre and https://www.tovima.gr/2008/11/24/culture/h-epistrofi-mias-kyrias/ and http://en.mae.com.gr/museum.html

Introduction Essential Questions: How do we communicate thoughts and feelings in the visual arts? – How do the arts of each period reflect the values of the culture? and Goals: Help students understand the importance of Daedalic Art in the development of Ancient Greek Sculpture – Assist students to connect the past with the present

Visual Learning PP: Show students what PP “teachercurator” has prepared, please… Click HERE!

Be Inquisitive 1: Ask Visual Learning Strategy Questions… and conduct a constructive conversation

Visual Learning Video: Show students the following Video titled “HALL B: THE LADY OF AUXERRE” directed by Andonis Theocharis Kioukas for the Museum of Ancient Eleutherna http://en.mae.com.gr/films.html

Be Inquisitive 2: Ask Questions… on the information provided by the Video on the Lady of Auxerre

Enduring Understanding: Daedalic Sculpture was the 1st step in the development of Ancient Greek Sculpture.

Assessment Activity: For an RWAP Activity, please… Check HERE!    (RWAP stands for Research-Writing-Art-Project)

Daughter of Eleutherna, as exhibited in the Museum of Ancient Eleutherna

1st Day Back to School

School Lesson, Attic red-figure Kylix from Cerveteri by the painter Duris, around 480 BC, 11.5×28.5 cm, . Altes Museum, Pergamonmuseum

Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.” Said young Malala Yousafzai and I couldn’t agree more! Today, September 14, 2020, is the 1st Day Back to School for all students in Greece and I want to celebrate it with a new Lesson Plan. https://www.shutterfly.com/ideas/school-quotes/

Have you ever thought about how the 1st Day Back to School was during ancient Greek time? We can only guess by examining an amazing ancient Greek Kylix in the Altes Museum, in Berlin by the Duris Painter. Using it as an example, I will introduce my students to school reality in Greece – 2.500 years ago!   

“Every student has a teacher, every teacher teaches a different discipline; the picture unites what actually took place in different rooms. One side of the shell begins on the left with lessons in the lyre game, teacher and student play in unison. A particularly worthy teacher follows in a comfortable armchair; for the viewer of the picture he has opened the scroll with the beginning of the heroic song, which the pupil standing there in a cloak has to recite by heart. On the right a strange spectator, half belonging, half excluded. He sits there with his legs crossed in a casual, ignoble style: we have to see him as the pedagogue (‘boys’ leader’), the servant who accompanies the distinguished boy to school and back home. – On the opposite side, on the left, a young teacher is playing the melody with the double flute, to which the schoolboy sings. The fourth teacher corrects a work of his pupil on the blackboard. The scene ends again with a pedagogue.”     http://www.smb-digital.de/eMuseumPlus?service=direct/1/ResultLightboxView/result.t1.collection_lightbox.$TspTitleImageLink.link&sp=10&sp=Scollection&sp=SfilterDefinition&sp=0&sp=2&sp=1&sp=Slightbox_3x4&sp=12&sp=Sdetail&sp=0&sp=F&sp=T&sp=15   

1st Day back to School Lesson Plan

Essential Question: Compared to antiquity, how similar or how different is Education and subsequently, School Classrooms, today?

Goals: Help students understand the importance of Education in the development of Mankind – Assist students to connect the past with the present – Help students learn about Education through works of art

Enduring Understanding: Education is the process of helping students acquire knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.

8 Steps to Success

Introduction to the Lesson -Essential Question: Compared to antiquity, how similar or how different is Education, and subsequently School Classrooms, today?

Visual Learning – Part 1, “My Classroom … then”: Show students what PP “teachercurator” has prepared, please… Click HERE!

Be Inquisitive – Questions and Answers: Discuss each picture and then ask students the questions “teachercurator” prepared for you … Q&A click HERE!

Goals: To help students understand the importance of education – Assisting students to connect the past with the present- To help students learn about education from works of art.

Visual Learning – Part 2, “Classrooms … now”: Show students the “33 Eye-Opening Pictures Of Classrooms Around The World” so you can discuss it.     https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/gabrielsanchez/this-is-what-going-to-school-looks-like-around-the-world

Be Inquisitive: Guide students to Comparisons between the past and the present. Compare pictures to their own classroom. Furthermore, discuss with students what they like/dislike in each picture and what they would like to have in their own classroom. Be creative!!!

Enduring Understanding: Education is the process of helping students acquire knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.

Assessment Activity: For a “Writing across the Curriculum” Activity, please… check HERE!

OR… Music was a very important component of Ancient Greek Education and students were expected to learn how to play musical instruments. Inspired by the 2nd and 3rd Slides, have students do the Getty Museum “Classy Cardboard Lyre” Art Activity because it is easy, exciting, creative, fun, and educational! https://www.getty.edu/education/teachers/classroom_resources/tips_tools/downloads/aa_cardboard_lyre.pdf

Alexandrian Mischievous Dog

Mosaic of a Mischievous Dog, Ptolemaic period, 2nd century BC, Length 3.25 m; width: 3.25 m, Museum of Antiquities – Bibliotheca Alexandrina     

There was once a Dog, according to Aesop, who was so ill-natured and mischievous that his Master had to fasten a heavy wooden clog about his neck to keep him from annoying visitors and neighbours. But the Dog seemed to be very proud of the clog and dragged it about noisily as if he wished to attract everybody’s attention. He was not able to impress anyone. You would be wiser, said an old acquaintance, to keep quietly out of sight with that clog. Do you want everybody to know what a disgraceful and ill-natured Dog you are? This is definitely not the case for the Alexandrian Mischievous Dog depicted in the most adorable Mosaic!    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQDRKs8tfag    and    https://fablesofaesop.com/the-mischievous-dog.html

If you are a dog lover this Alexandrian Mosaic will become your favourite! It is about a kind but mischievous dog, that looks at you with big, guilty eyes because he has just dropped a pitcher down and spilt perfectly good wine… The Alexandrian Mosaic of this mischievous but remorseful Dog makes your heart leap and your hands open up for a big embrace!   

This wonderful 2nd century BC composition once decorated a floor in the royal quarter of Alexandria in Egypt. It is an astounding floor mosaic executed using the tiniest cubes in the Opus Vermiculatum (“worm-like work”) technique. Developed in Greece during the Hellenistic period, the “Opus Vermiculatum is a method of laying mosaic tesserae to emphasise an outline around a subject.”  This mosaic method allowed very fine details, imitating the illusionistic approach of Hellenistic painting. “It was generally used for emblēmata, or central figural panels, which were surrounded by geometrical or floral designs in opus tessellatum, a coarser mosaic technique with larger tesserae; occasionally opus vermiculatum was used only for faces and other details in an opus tessellatum mosaic.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_vermiculatum    and    https://www.britannica.com/art/opus-vermiculatum

We will never know if the Mischievous Dog Mosaic depicts a scene from a popular Hellenistic literary work performed in Alexandria. The mosaic itself gives no clues. The mosaicist created a circular composition, stark and minimal, with the Dog mosaic as a precious emblēma in its center. Quoting the Library of Alexandria Museum site where the mosaic is exhibited “the mosaic illustrates a dog sitting next to an inverted Greek vase. The details of the scene highlight the artist’s ability to make a realistic portrait of the dog so as to express the strength and vitality of the animal. Thus, the dog’s coat, spotted with black, is finely depicted, as well as the red collar that surrounds its neck. The central stage includes several colours, including black, white and yellow. The artist was able to accentuate the shadow-light contrasts by representing the dog from the angle of 3/4; the front part reflects the light while the rest of the body is in the shade. The same is true for the bronze vase, the gradation of its colours shows the reflection of light on the central part, while the sides are more and more shaded. The artist, using these rigid and inanimate materials, has indeed managed to give depth to the scene presented. This piece testifies to the virtuosity of the mosaic design workshops in Alexandria.” http://antiquities.bibalex.org/Collection/Detail.aspx?lang=fr&a=859

For a Student Activity, please…Check HERE!

A view of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt

Hegeso, daughter of Proxenos

Attributed to Kallimachos architect and sculptor working in the second half of the 5th century BC, Funerary Grave Stelae of Hegeso, c. 410-400 BC, found in Kerameikos, Pentelic Marble, 1,56  x 0,97 m, National Archaeological Museum of Athens

“Sometimes, staring at Hegeso. I am thinking that through tears the best smiles grow up.” The smile and the tears of Hegeso, daughter of Proxenos by Katerina Samara

Kerameikos Cemetery of ancient Athens

The amazing Funerary Stelae of Hegeso, daughter of Proxenos, is one of the many masterpieces exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Found during the 1870 archaeological excavation period at the ancient Athenian Cemetery of Kerameikos, Hegeso’s Stelae was made of Pentelic marble and has been attributed to the sculptor and architect Kallimachos. She was a cherished member of a prominent Athenian family, as the magnificence of the relief sculptural Stelae and the family grave plot to which the Stelae was paced, indicate. https://www.namuseum.gr/en/collection/klasiki-periodos-2/

Hegeso’s Stelae is an exquisite example of the so-called “Rich” style that dates to the end of the 5th century and its main characteristics are the artists’ interest in the human body, on garments with elaborate pleats and on airy figures that move gracefully in space. Hegeso is depicted seated on a smart seat (klismos), her feet resting on a footstall. She wears a chiton, a himation, and a transparent veil on her head. With her right hand, she takes a jewel (originally painted) from a pyxis (jewel box) handed to her by a young servant girl, who solemnly stands before her. The servant wears a “barbarian” (not Greek) garment, with long sleeves, and a net on her hair. What a simple, and unpretentious composition the artist achieved! At the same time elegance, grace, class, and sophistication prevail.

The relief sculpture of Hegeso, daughter of Proxenos, according to the epigram on the top of the stele which kept alive the Lady’s name for 25 centuries, is probably the work of a skillful artist called Kallimachos. Little is known about the artist, not even if he was Athenian or Corinthian. He is, however, reputed to have worked in the building of the Athenian Acropolis, and for designing the first Corinthian Capital at the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, after observing acanthus leaves growing out of a basket placed on top of a young girl’s tomb. Kallimachos, according to Pausanias, is described as clever, innovative, and “catatexitechnus,” meaning he was an extreme perfectionist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callimachus_(sculptor)

The Theban poet Pindar wrote that “We are things of a day… When brightness comes, and the gods give it, there is shining light on man, and his life is sweet.” Let me quote Gabriela Chartier and her comments on how “People should not strive only to be remembered after death, but instead to enjoy the sweetness of life…” and how “Hegeso’s stele seems to coincide with Pindar’s idea. Hegeso is not doing anything heroic; the image does not refer to myths or to the epic past. Instead, she is shown in an event of everyday life: a moment in democratic Athens when the light was shining on her. The fact that this image is on a grave stele reinforces Pindar’s message. Placing such scenes along the main road in the Kerameikos would have offered a constant reminder: human life is passing. We are things of a day.” https://archaeologystudentsspeak.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/gabriela-chartier-on-the-grave-stele-of-hegeso/

Hegeso, daughter of Proxenos RWAP (stands for Research-Writing-Art-Project) is… HERE!

Examples of student RWAP (stands for Research-Writing-Art-Project) Sketchbooks… HERE!

Watercolours of the Acropolis: Émile Gilliéron in Athens

Watercolours of the Acropolis: Emile Gillieron in Athens runs through January 3, 2020, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

While in New York, and if you are an Ancient Greek Art aficionado, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition Watercolors of the Acropolis: Émile Gilliéron in Athens is a MUST!

Back in 2011, I saw the Historic Images of the Greek Bronze Age: The Reproductions of E. Gilliéron & Son Metropolitan Museum Exhibition, and today I am eager and hopeful, to see the new Exhibition on Gilliéron père work for the Acropolis Archaic sculptures. The Gilliérons are tightly connected with Greek Bronze Age Archaeology. They were astonishing artists, hired by Sir Arthur Evans, to reconstruct the fresco paintings in the palace at Knossos. Their copies of Minoan Frescoes are highly recognizable today, allowing the viewer to accurately observe the fragmentary parts of the original fresco along with their own creative proposal for the appearance of missing elements. The Gilliéron restored Minoan Frescoes, in watercolours or plaster, popularized and spread the study of Greek Bronze Age Art throughout Europe and America. https://www.metmuseum.org/press/exhibitions/2010/e-gilli%C3%A9ron–sons-reproductions-of-art-from-greek-bronze-age-on-view-at-metropolitan-museum

The current Metropolitan Museum Exhibition titled Watercolors of the Acropolis: Émile Gilliéron in Athens features five watercolours that depict architectural sculptures from Archaic Monuments discovered in the Acropolis of Athens.

Three of the largest watercolours depict the Hekatompedos Pediment. The central composition features two Lions tearing apart a Bull. On the left side, Herakles is depicted fighting a Triton and on the right, the Winged three-bodied Deamon, commonly known as “Bluebeard” with the symbols of the three elements of nature in his hands, fills the triangular space masterfully.

The third watercolour presents pedimental sculptures depicting the Introduction of Herakles into Olympos or as described in the Acropolis Museum of Athens, the Apotheosis (deification) of Hercules. This pedimental composition, made in an Attic workshop, belonged to an unidentified small temple. It shows an imposing seated Zeus, a frontally depicted Hera, Hercules dressed in his characteristic lion skin, Iris and Athena, the hero’s divine guardian. The entire composition, as Emile Gillieron shows us, was painted with bright colours, traces of which are still visible today.

The Hydra pediment is the last Emile Gillieronwatercolour in the MET Exhibition. Once more, the watercolour accurately shows pedimental sculptures of great aesthetic value, very descriptive and brightly painted. The Hydra Pediment comes from an unidentified small building on the Athenian Acropolis.

According to the MET, “In the days before color photography, hand-colored drawings and photographs were the principal means of documenting polychrome Greek art.” But “Reproductions and copies fell out of fashion, and Gilliéron’s work… retired to The Met’s basement… and remained in storage until 2015.” Today and after “the conservators’ heroic efforts to rehabilitate these forgotten pieces” we can once more admire the power with which these amazing watercolours “provide a fascinating insight into the sculptures found at the Acropolis as they appeared when they were first unearthed around the turn of the century.”

For a PowerPoint inspired by the Exhibition, please… click HERE!

Bibliography on the Exhibition: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2019/watercolors-of-the-acropolis-emile-gillieron and https://www.metmuseum.org/press/exhibitions/2019/emile-gillieron and https://store.metmuseum.org/watercolors-of-the-acropolis-emile-gillieron-in-athens-80046986?mma_source=mainmuseum&mma_medium=metmuseum.org&mma_campaign=watercolors-of-the-acropolis&mma_term=082619&mma_content=watercolors-of-the-acropolis-80046986 and https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search#!?q=Emile%20Gilli%C3%A9ron&perPage=20&sortBy=Relevance&offset=0&pageSize=0

Telling us goodbye…

They were young and charming, elegant and playful yet sad as they were Telling us Goodbye…

Two of my favourite Ancient Greek Funerary Stele depict a young girl holding a Bird (in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki) or in the case of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, two Birds. Both Stelae were made of Parian marble, around 440 BC.

The Funerary Stele in Thessaloniki “depicts a girl wearing a peplos and holding a dove by its wings with her left hand, while the right one lifts the edge of her garment, to reveal her body.” It is characterized by the superb quality of craftsmanship, a subtle sense of movement, and controlled emotions. Undoubtedly, it occupies a central part in the history of ancient Greek sculpture.

“The gentle gravity of this child is beautifully expressed through her sweet farewell to her pet doves. Her peplos is unbelted and falls open at the side, while the folds of drapery clearly reveal her stance…” The Metropolitan Museum Funerary Stele is the work of a great master sculptor, an artist who manages to enhance the white, translucent Parian marble by creating a “charming composition and delicate carving.”

Both Funerary Stelae grace with their beauty the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki (https://www.amth.gr/en/exhibitions/highlights and scroll down to ” Relief Funerary Stele from Nea Kallikrateia”) and the MET in New York ( https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/252890 ).

If you choose to use this Activity for your class, Grade 6 Social Studies or an Introductory Middle School class on Ancient Greek Art, it will be also nice to show Adam Fuss (the Photographer) discussing the MET Marble Grave Stele of a little girl.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – THE ARTIST PROJECT Video http://artistproject.metmuseum.org/4/adam-fuss/

Examples of student RWAP (stands for Research-Writing-Art-Project) Sketchbooks… HERE!

Telling us Goodbye RWAP (stands for Research-Writing-Art-Project) is… HERE!