|Ancient Greek & Roman Artifacts & Art : Reliefs & Wall Hangings|
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The Three Graces - Louvre Museum, Paris, 100BC : They are the beautiful sister Goddesses who attended Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and were personifications of grace and beauty. They spread the joy of nature and lived on Olympus. Their names, number and parentage vary, but they are generally said to be three sisters named Euphrosyne, who represented jollity, Thalia identified with abundance, and Aglaca, a representation of splendor. They are daughters of Zeus and Euryeome or Hera. They influenced artists throughout the ages. They were depicted in sculpture and vase paintings by the ancient Greeks, in Roman wall paintings at Pompeii, in Botticelli’s allegorical painting known as Springtime, and in a marble statue carved by Canova. In art they are frequently represented as naked girls with their hands on each other’s shoulders, the two outer figures looking one way and the middle one looking the other.
LOT 737 : 16"Hx14.5"W Wall Hanging
Athena Relief : Athena was the Greek Goddess of wisdom and women’s crafts. She was also a defender against evil and a warrior Goddess par excellence. She was the daughter of Zeus and Metis. When Metis became pregnant, Gaia and Uranus told Zeus that after giving birth to a daughter, she would then have a son by Zeus who would later dethrone him. On Gaia’s advice, Zeus swallowed Metis. When the time came for the child to be born, Zeus was afflicted with a dreadful headache and sought the help of Hephaestus who split his skull with a bronze axe to relieve the pain. A girl in full armor sprang forth from his head: It was Athena, Athena’s attributes were the spear, the helmet, and the Aegis (a goat-skin shield). She attached the Gorgon’s head which Perseus had given her to her shield, and this turned to stone every living thing that looked at it.
LOT 736 : 11"H
Poseidon Relief : Poseidon was above all, the God of the Sea, who was capable of calming the waves or of summoning up terrible storms and so taking the lives of those who displayed disrespect for him. One of the twelve Olympic Gods, he was brother of the mighty Zeus and son of Cronus and Rhea. Poseidon helped Zeus in the Battle of the Titans and received his famous trident, which became his symbol from the Cyclopes. He also contributed to the victory of the Gods in the Battle of the Giants. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades shared out power over the cosmos. Zeus was given the sky, Poseidon the sea, and Hades the underworld. He was usually depicted voyaging across the waves in his golden chariot, drawen by monstrous animals, hald horse and half serpent, surrounded by dolphins, nereids, and the other creatures of the deep. Poseidon was the progenitor of many mythical heroes such as Proteus, Orion, Theseus, etc.
LOT 399 : 13.5W x 10.5"H
The Contemplative Athena Relief - Acropolis Museum, Athens. 460 B.C. : Athena was the Goddess of wisdom and women's crafts in the mythology of the Greeks. She was also a defender against evil and as such she was a warrior Goddess par excellence. She was the daughter of Zeus and Metis. When Metis became pregnant, Gaia and Uranus told Zeus that after giving birth to a daughter, she would then have a son by Zeus who would later dethrone him. On Gaia's advice, Zeus swallowed Metis. When the time came for the child to be born, Zeus was afflicted with a dreadful headache and sought the help of Hephaestus who split his skull with a bronze axe to relieve the pain. A girl in full armor sprang forth from his head: It was Athena. Athena's attributes were the spear, the helmet and the Aegis (a goat-skin shield). She attached the Gorgon's head which Perseus had given her to her shield, and this turned to stone every living thing that looked at it.
LOT 396 : 17"H x 10"W , Wall Hanging
Demeter Relief - Versailles Municipal Library, France. 18th century : This medallion represents Demeter, maternal Goddess of the Earth, and especially of cultivated land. One of her attributes is wheat, shown here on her head. The adventures of Demeter and her daughter Persephone constitute the central myth of The Eleusinian Mysteries, the most important mysteries of classic Greece.
LOT 398 : 14.5"H x 11"W , Wall Hanging
Mask of Pan : A God of shepherds and flocks, he was depicted with a reed pipe, a shepherd's crook and being half-man half-goat, with horns, a goat's beard and goat legs. He personifies humanity's animal nature. He was a popular God, though never part of the official Olympian pantheon. Pan has much in common with Dionysos in that he is associated with wine, sex, and passion in general. A Homeric hymn says that he was the son of Hermes by a daughter of Dryops. Pan's mother was frightened by her monstrous offspring, so Hermes took him to Olympus. The Gods were delighted with the child, especially Dionysos, and he was given the name Pan because he made them all happy. (In Greek, Pan means "All").
LOT 397 : 9.5"H , Wall Hanging
Fauns and Bacchantes Dancing - The Louvre Museum, Paris. 18th century : This sculpture shows a celebration by the fauns (male followers of Dionysos) and the Bacchantes or Maenads who were women followers of Dionysos frenzied with wine that rushed through woods and mountains swept away in a fierce ecstasy. They celebrated his orgies with drunkenness, nakedness, singing and sacramental feasting. The Gods of Olympus loved order and beauty in their sacrifices and their temples. The madwomen, the Bacchantes, had no temples. They went to the wilderness to worship. There was much that was lovely, good and freeing in this worship under the open sky and yet alway present, too, was the horrible bloody feast. The worship of Dionysos was centered in these two ideas so far apart-of freedom and ecstatic joy and of savage brutality. The God of wine could give either of them to his worshippers. Throughout the story of his life, he is sometimes man’s blessing, sometimes his ruin.
LOT 401 : 13"H x 24"W
Fauns pressing grapes - The Louvre Museum, Paris. 18th century : This Neo-classic sculpture represents the “Lenea” or festival of the wine-pressing which is an Athenian fertility celebration in honor of Dionysos (also known as Bacchus in Rome), the Dionysian mysteries being one of the main components of the old Greek religion. As the wine was sacred to Dionysos, the grapes became one of his main attributes and symbols. The followers of Dionysos likened the plucking, crushing and pressing of the grape to form a pleasing nectar to the progress of the soul, which is formed whole and then crushed and pressed into shape by the trials of its earthly adventures, eventually to re-emerge as a refined and useful intelligence. This analogy was seen in the life of Dionysos himself, whose purification by way of madness and suffering finally gained him admittance to Olympus.
LOT 400 : 12"H x 23"W
Greek Warriors Relief :
LOT 974 : 21"H x 13.5"W, Wall Hanging
Caryatid Column - The Acropolis, Athens. 465 B.C. :
LOT 391 : 26"H
Hercules Relief : One of the greatest heroes of ancient Greek mythology, Heracles, better known by his Roman name Hercules, was supposedly the strongest man on earth. The son of Zeus-the ruler of the Greek gods-and a human mother, Hercules won fame for completing twelve seemingly impossible tasks, known as the "Labors of Hercules."
LOT 777 : 16.5"H Wall Hanging
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