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Name Mythological

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Image of 2003.3.1 -

2003.3.1 -

This sculpted Muchalinda Buddha is an icon that records the Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, one of the eight major events in the life of Buddha. Once painted with lacquer, the sculpture represents the artistic tradition of Southeast Asia. This is the region where Theravada Buddhism prevailed, with its focus upon the historical Buddha and his former incarnations. Positioned frontally, the Buddha sits cross-legged in a posture of meditation on bulging snake coils with honeycomb scales. Buddha is attired in the vestments of a monk, his sash and robe defined by curving double lines. His strongly structured face, rendered with a tranquil but profound expression, features a broad forehead, wide, sq

Image of 2003.3.2 -

2003.3.2 -

Thai narrative paintings have just one purpose to guide and inspire the devout through the illustrations of religious traditions or moral values. Thai painters derived their inspiration from Jatakas, religious fables that recall the lives of the Buddha as either human being or beast and his path to enlightenment. The last ten tales of 550 Jatakas, to the exclusion of all others, are subjects for painting, and teaching. Although the paintings are not intended as individual aesthetic expressions, they are nonetheless works of art in their own right. The Jataka in this Thai narrative painting, Great Departure, depicts Prince Siddharta Guatama upon his horse Kanthanka, carried noiselessly t

Image of 98.4.1 -

98.4.1 -

Woven decorative fringed border with mythological beings. Keeping in mind that some Paracas embroideries measured up to 85 feet long,this piece is a small fragment of the border of a much larger piece. It nevertheless contains a great deal of valuable information for understanding the Paracas textile tradition and the culture as a whole. The border strip shows a row of repeating anthropomorphic figures with outstretched limbs, suggesting that they are in flight. The color scheme is typical of Block Color embroideries (see Notes), with a predominance of rich green, red, yellow, and orange hues. The figures wear stylized masks revealing only a triangular chignon of hair that seems to proje

Image of 60.2 - Severo da Ravenna

60.2 - Severo da Ravenna

Attributed to the workshop of the prominent Paduan sculptor Severo da Ravenna, this statuette shows a satyress sitting calmly on an antique-style tree stump, with one arm around the shoulders of a child satyr, and the other extended, probably once supporting the candleholder now bolted to the statuette's base. In the tradition of similar Renaissance bronzes, the group is elegantly and naturalistically modeled, with a typical interest in the careful and lifelike representation of bodily form. Like the statuette's naturalistic style, its subject would have been incongruous in the pre-Renaissance era. The satyress, like her male counterpart, the satyr, is a creature derived from classical myt

Image of 61.66 -

61.66 -

Coptic tapestry woven oval textile fragment from a tunic, black on brown background with birds and fish on border, two figures and tree in center. In the Byzantine period artisans transformed the imagery available to them to relate to Christian iconography, such as is seen in the central image of Adam and Eve and the tree of life on the fragment here.

Image of 60.85 - Garnier, Pierre

60.85 - Garnier, Pierre

Antiquity was an endless source of inspiration for Renaissance artists. In 1496-97, Michelangelo created a standing marble figure of a Bacchus, which seems to be the model for our figure. The Greek god stands in an exaggerated classical contrapposto position on a rectangular base. In his right hand he holds a tazza (wine cup) and in his left a bunch of grapes. Dionysus leans against a tree stump covered by an animal skin and grapevines, which curl up and cover his genitals. Wine was his gift to his followers, who drank it in abundant quantities and indulged themselves at orgies that accompanied the ritualistic ceremonies dedicated to him. The basic characteristic of these rituals was ecstasy,

Image of 60.86 -

60.86 -

This small Italian Renaissance bronze is also an example of the direct imitation of classical antiquity. The miniature statue is modeled after the famous, over life-size Hercules that the Farnese family dug up from the Baths of Caracalla in Rome in the 16th century. Much interest was aroused by that nearly ten-foot-high, highly-detailed statue. The Greek artist Glykon's signature is on the ancient statue, but scholars believe that he modeled it after a bronze attributed to Lysippos. The Farnese Hercules was immensely popular and attracted many visitors. Humanist scholars who read ancient texts and collected ancient artifacts were the most likely people to acquire such small bronze copies o

Image of 63.36 - Unknown

63.36 - Unknown

Engraving, copy made after Albrecht Durer's (1471-1528) "The Three Genii."

Image of 61.5 - Riccio, Andrea

61.5 - Riccio, Andrea

Formerly attributed to the workshop of the Italian sculptor Severo Calzetta da Ravenna, "Atlas Supporting an Oil Lamp" is a product of a bronze-casting technique that enabled the artist and his assistants to create more than one statuette from a given model. Set upon a square base, the titan is weighed down by an oil lamp, shaped like the globe of the heavens, resting upon his right shoulder. He supports himself with his left hand and turns his head towards the lamp, the hemispheric lid of which is lost. Most likely, a spout and a wick emerged through the missing cover. Atlas' upward-turned head conveys either anguish or anger, since he was condemned to the labor of bearing the heavens on his

Image of 61.65 -

61.65 -

Coptic Egyptian black on brown tapestry woven textile fragment, square with medallion center, border decorated with putti, animals, and vegetal designs. This fragment shows the classical motifs of the spiral and wave pattern in the borders. Craftsmen had at their disposal a vast storehouse of images, many of which circulated in the form of patterns, a few of which have survived on pappyri. Examples of classical imagery are seen on this tunic fragment.

Image of 61.74 -

61.74 -

This tomb figure, in the form of an imposing creature, is powerful in appearance although small in stature. Full-bodied and winged as an "incorporeal spirit," it is positioned on squat hind legs on a raised double cylindrical platform. The muscular beast turns its head to the left, with a severe grimace and frowning expression indicated by squinting eyes and straining eyebrows. The lively gesture and pose of the beast are necessary for a guardian tomb figure, whose sole purpose is to protect the deceased from trespassers and evil spirits. Other outstanding features that define its mythic, unearthly dimension include fleshy, antenna-like horns, a coiling snake that nestles beneath its chin, an

Image of 62.28 -

62.28 -

The androgynous figure represented in this ivory panel stands within an archway, as if enshrined; surrounded by stylized plant forms. The contours of the body, carved in low relief, are suggested by decorative bands encircling the torso and arms. Folds of drapery are rendered by the schematic use of repeated parallel lines. The clothing, headgear and jewelry are typical of those seen in paintings and sculpture over many periods and regions in the complex of art styles known as Indian art. The art of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) is best viewed within this larger context, which is characterized by certain common conceptions and forms of design that originated in India and continued to develop in neig

Image of 62.7 - Dotte, Franz

62.7 - Dotte, Franz

This object is a very elaborate and decorative example of Renaissance metalwork used by wealthy patrons. In the central circle, oval patterns contain allegorical figures of women in a background specific to one of the four seasons. Around the outer rim animals run through simply depicted landscapes. Before the invention of the fork, the purpose of such objects was to clean one's hands after eating. When the fork was invented in the Renaissance, it changed the culture of eating into a more social activity. Aristocratic festivities including food, drink, and entertainment increased: at these feasts, guests could exchange their knowledge of the new humanist learning that emerged in the works

Image of 63.54 - Zanetti, Antonio Maria

63.54 - Zanetti, Antonio Maria

There are two Antonio Maria Zanetti's known to art historians: Zanetti the Younger and Zanetti the Elder. There is little scholarship about these two different artists, but one can see their differences in style. A print identical to this drawing was signed by Zanetti the Elder and dated 1723. This drawing may thus have been by the artist himself, though it could also be a copy or a sketch by a student or follower. Antonio Maria Zanetti the Elder was born in Venice in 1680 and was a collector of art as well as a writer and an artist himself; his date of death is unsure. Some believe he died in 1757, but others say he could have lived until 1765. He traveled throughout Europe, had an exten

Image of 63.54 - Zanetti, Antonio Maria

63.54 - Zanetti, Antonio Maria

There are two Antonio Maria Zanetti's known to art historians: Zanetti the Younger and Zanetti the Elder. There is little scholarship about these two different artists, but one can see their differences in style. A print identical to this drawing was signed by Zanetti the Elder and dated 1723. This drawing may thus have been by the artist himself, though it could also be a copy or a sketch by a student or follower. Antonio Maria Zanetti the Elder was born in Venice in 1680 and was a collector of art as well as a writer and an artist himself; his date of death is unsure. Some believe he died in 1757, but others say he could have lived until 1765. He traveled throughout Europe, had an exten

Image of 64.30 - Severo da Ravenna

64.30 - Severo da Ravenna

The statuette shows a satyress, a mythological being who combines the characteristics of a human and a goat, seated in a frontal pose on a wooden base that has lost part of its molding. One of her hands is extended, holding what might once have been a candlestick, while the other is bent awkwardly at her side. The work is in good condition, but seems unfinished, with slightly uncontrolled modeling and a lack of fine detail. Its composition is remarkably similar to that of another small bronze satyress, in the collection of the Museo di Palazzo Venezia, which has been attributed to the workshop of the Paduan artist Severo da Ravenna, and also to that of catalogue in this exhibition, a Seate

Image of 66.45 -

66.45 -

This relief mirror is an example of the TLV design. Many variations of this motif include only one or two of the letter-shaped symbols. This mirror only displays the "T" symbol. Around the central knob-like figure is a square, which represents the earthly realm. "T" shapes emerge from the sides of this square, representing the four celestial corners of the universe. The zigzag pattern around the peripheral of the circle represents the mountain ranges the Chinese believed encircled the world. The space between the earthly square and the heavenly circle is filled with a repeated quail image, which represents auspicious transformation, or a personal symbol of the owner. The eighth quail h

Image of 66.49 - Dughet, Gaspard

66.49 - Dughet, Gaspard

This painting was formerly attributed to Charles Mellin, a French-born painter and draftsman who lived and worked in Italy, primarily Rome, from 1620 onward. Based on reevaluation of archival papers and the painting itself, this work seems more likely to have been painted by Gaspard Dughet, a student of Nicholas Poussin, court painter to Louis XIII. Dughet, who became Poussin's brother-in-law, was one of the best known landscape painters of 17th-century Rome. Although celebrated as a landscape artist, Dughet's figures were often executed by other painters-possibly, in this work, by Carlo Maratti with whom he worked on several paintings. Dughet's style was influenced by the work of Salvator

Image of 69.17 -

69.17 -

The same innovations which led the Renaissance into the modern world, are characteristic of this bronze as well. The centaur is a classical figure that humanists would have known, since they were well-versed in classical culture. Its patron was probably a person with a classical education. In the ancient world, centaurs represented barbarian forces, as seen on the sculpted metopes of the Parthenon that symbolically represented the battle of the Persians and the Greeks. We cannot say whether the artist or patron intended this centaur to symbolize the barbaric foreigners of their own time, or simply valued it as a generically classical allusion. Lauren Williams, in "SCHOLARS, EXPLORERS, PRIEST

Image of 75.1.2 -

75.1.2 -

This gilt bronze statue from Nepal shows the Buddha Shakyamuni meditating in the "ground touching" position, revealing the moment he reached enlightenment. He is seated here on a double lotus throne, the flower that symbolizes purity and life, a tradition rooted in ancient Indian mythology. The bronze figure of a Buddha is seated on a double lotus base, with his left hand in dhyanamudra in his lap. The hair is tightly curled, and colored blue. The bottom is sealed with a flat bronze closure, as was the custom. Religious relics, prayers, and sometimes jewels, would be placed into the figure through the bottom, and then sealed. Reference: Winter, Amy H., with Xiaoping Lin (eds.), "The Light