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Found 521 results

  1. Daily Quotes

    The Open-minded see the truth in Different things, the Narrow-Minded see only the Differences
  2. Geisha

    Hope you have enjoyed this!
  3. Check out the Art Installations on the LEA sims in Second Life, details on my blog: https://strawberrysingh.com/2018/06/17/art-installations-at-lea-sims
  4. Portrait of a young woman

    Hi, I leave here a short video to show you some stages of the digital painting process for a portrait of a young woman. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks so much for watching!! ArtByte wallet: AKgD6DN9N2YVPQ59Faa4sy5e1dMG9Z8Tm4
  5. Springs home of artist Jackson Pollock limits visitors after complaint The East End home of the abstract artist attracted as many as 350 visitors a day last year but is now limited to three tours of no more than 12 people each, officials said. Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in Pollock's studio in 1949. Photo Credit: Lawrence Larkin The Springs home that belonged to abstract artist Jackson Pollock — an international destination for art enthusiasts and the set of the 2000 film "Pollock" — has restricted the number of visitors after a neighbor’s complaint about traffic congestion and parking conditions. The 1.5-acre property contains a small shingle-sided home overlooking Accabonac Creek and the paint-covered studio where Pollack created some of his iconic works. He lived there until his death in 1956. His wife, artist Lee Krasner, continued to live there until she died in 1984. Pollock, the leader of the abstract expressionist movement of the 1940s and 50s, pioneered his “spontaneous paint pouring” technique at his Springs home, using turkey basters and other methods to spread paint on canvas. It is filled with the couple’s furniture and personal items such as Krasner’s surviving spider plant. The studio of artist Jackson Pollock at the Pollock-Kranser House and Study Center in Springs, seen here on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, which is operated by the Stony Brook Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising agency of Stony Brook University, attracted hundreds of visitors per day to the Springs Fireplace Road site. A record 350 people visited the home one day last year, center director Helen Harrison said. Springs resident Martin Drew had complained publicly, and in emails to news organizations and town officials, about congestion in the residential neighborhood, where most visitors park along the road’s shoulder. Drew said the center was operating outside the limits of its site plan, originally approved by the town planning board in 1991. Organizers of the center indicated in their original application the property would only accommodate two groups of five per day, five days per week. Under a new agreement with East Hampton Town, the Pollock-Krasner House is limiting visitors to three daily tours of 12 people each Thursdays through Saturday. The site was previously open the same days from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with no limits on the number of people. Reservations will now be required. The town "wants the historic story of the location shared with the public, but has significant concerns about the traffic congestion and safe parking conditions that result from the expanded use of the premises,” reads a letter from East Hampton Town attorney Michael Sendlenski to Harrison confirming the agreement that went into effect Aug. 1. “All I was asking was to stop parking on our public right of ways,” Drew said. “They’ve been operating out of their use status for 28 years.” Sendlenski declined to say if Drew’s comments prompted to the town act. The Pollock-Kranser House and Study Center in Springs, seen here on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant The new rules mean the site will likely have to turn visitors away, cutting into the center’s roughly $300,000 annual budget, Harrison said. The Stony Brook Foundation, which owns the property, provides $185,000 and the rest is made up through admissions which is $10 for adults and $5 for children, gift shop sales, grants and other sources. Springs Citizen Advisory Committee chairwoman Loring Bolger said it was regrettable that access to the cultural instition had to be limited, but added the traffic situation was dangerous. "People may not be happy with this solution, but they understand something had to be done," Bolger said. The studio drew a record 9,996 people during the 2017 season and was on pace to attract even more in 2018, Harrison said. A sign at the entance of the Pollock-Kranser House and Study Center in Springs on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant Fewer visitors has one benefit for the site, where guests are asked to put on booties before stepping on the paint-splattered studio floor. “It will cut down on the wear and tear of the property and will preserve the studio,” Harrison said.
  6. yesterday's echoes

    From the album Digital works

    Digital painting, line-art

    © J. Van de Perre

  7. Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?

    From the album @icartzz

    LILITH'S PLEASURES When I last had a man I lost him in the infinite blackness of my hair he was holding on grasping with his greedy hands when he disappeared somewhere around my vast hips I had sung my siren-song and he was gone .... when I slip naked between your sheets beware that you do not lose your way .... I do relish my flight my creation of so much darkness to combat the glaring light -- just look into my eyes do you see me do you see through me do you see at all but I see you just try to banish me again just try to keep your loved ones away from me just try to close the door to my cave the windows are your vanity your shame your longings for purity in blood-covered bodies I came First I had the First Man I danced with the First Cause when I last had a man I swallowed him whole and he laughed with joy inside my belly...

    © iCArtzz

  8. Francesco Hayez / Shakespeare | The Kiss, 1859 | Art in Detail Let me not to the marriage of true minds Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; Non sia mai ch'io ponga impedimenti all'unione di anime fedeli; Amore non è Amore se muta quando scopre un mutamento o tende a svanire quando l'altro s'allontana. Oh no! Amore è un faro sempre fisso che sovrasta la tempesta e non vacilla mai; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come: Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. Non sia mai ch'io ponga impedimenti all'unione di anime fedeli; Amore non è Amore se muta quando scopre un mutamento o tende a svanire quando l'altro s'allontana. Oh no! Amore è un faro sempre fisso che sovrasta la tempesta e non vacilla mai; è la stella-guida di ogni sperduta barca, il cui valore è sconosciuto, benché nota la distanza. Amore non è soggetto al Tempo, pur se rosee labbra e gote dovran cadere sotto la sua curva lama; Amore non muta in poche ore o settimane, ma impavido resiste al giorno estremo del giudizio: se questo è errore e mi sarà provato, io non ho mai scritto, e nessuno ha mai amato. FOR MORE SUCH ARTISTS' & ARTWORKS FOLLOW SUJITH PUTHRAN
  9. Painting a fish

    Hi, I'm glad to share with you a new paint project I made in Photoshop. The sketch is drawn directly in Photoshop Refining the drawing Cleaning the outlines Toned in greys Adding colours Finished work Hope you enjoyed it!! My ArtByte wallet: AKgD6DN9N2YVPQ59Faa4sy5e1dMG9Z8Tm4
  10. Adolphe Valette | Urban landscapes of Manchester Pierre Adolphe Valette (1876-1942) was a French Impressionist painter. His most acclaimed paintings are urban landscapes of Manchester, now in the collection of Manchester Art Gallery. Today, he is chiefly remembered as L. S. Lowry's tutor. Born in St Etienne in 1876, he trained at the Ecole Municipale de Beaux-Arts et des Arts Decoratifs in Bordeaux. Valette arrived in England for unknown reasons in 1904 and studied at the Birkbeck Institute, now part of the University of London. In 1905 he travelled to the North West of England where he designed greetings cards and calendars for a Manchester printing company. He attended evening classes at Manchester Municipal School of Art and in 1907 he was invited to join the staff as a teacher. His French teaching style, painting by demonstration, was new to the United Kingdom. Lowry expressed great admiration for Valette, who taught him new techniques and showed him the potential of the urban landscape as a subject. He called him "a real teacher … a dedicated teacher". Lowry added: "I cannot over-estimate the effect on me of the coming into this drab city of Adolphe Valette, full of French impressionists, aware of everything that was going on in Paris". In 1920 Valette resigned from the Institute owing to ill health. He stayed in Lancashire for eight more years, teaching privately and painting in Manchester and Bolton. In 1928 he returned to Paris, and subsequently moved to Blacé en Beaujolais where he died in 1942. Valette's paintings are Impressionist, a style that suited the damp fogginess of Manchester. Manchester Art Gallery has a room devoted to him, where the viewer may compare some of his paintings with some of Lowry's, and judge to what extent Lowry's own style was influenced by him and by French Impressionism generally. The Lowry hosted an exhibition of about 100 works by Valette alongside works by his pupil L. S. Lowry between October 2011 and January 2012. It included paintings of Manchester from Manchester Art Gallery and loans from private owners. FOR MORE SUCH ARTWORKS & ARTISTS' FOLLOW SUJITH PUTHRAN
  11. free Sundays at cultural sites

    Italy scraps free Sundays at cultural sites like Pompeii and the Colosseum Move introduced by new culture minister sparks political backlash but museum directors express support Visiting the Colosseum will no longer be free on the first Sunday of the month Flickr/alljengi Follow The new culture minister of Italy’s populist coalition government, Alberto Bonisoli, has sparked mixed reactions with the announcement that a monthly free-entry initiative at the country’s museums and monuments is coming to an end. Since July 2014, more than 480 state-run cultural sites, including Pompeii, the Uffizi and the Colosseum, have been free to visit on the first Sunday of every month. Known as Domenica al museo (Sunday at the museum), the policy was one of many culture reforms introduced by Bonisoli’s centre-left predecessor, Dario Franceschini. At a press conference in Naples on 31 July, Bonsoli said the decision to abolish free Sundays will take effect “after the summer”. While the initiative “worked well as a publicity campaign”, he said, “we are going in a direction that nobody likes.” At Pompeii, for example, it was problematic to maintain the policy on the first Sunday of August “with thousands of foreign tourists arriving and thinking Italians are mad for letting them in free”. Bonisoli said that museum directors he had consulted were “unanimous” in supporting the move, but stressed they will have “freedom” to continue the initiative at their own institutions if they wish. Franceschini hit back on Facebook that the free Sundays have “involved around 10 million people from the summer of 2014 to today”, encouraging many first-time museum visitors. “Don’t make culture and Italians pay for a political desire to break with the past,” Franceschini urged. The former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, whose Democratic Party administration introduced the policy, criticised the new government for “dismantling all our good and useful initiatives”. He wrote: “They have activated the bulldozers against culture”. The news was welcomed in Florence, however, by Eike Schmidt, the director of the Uffizi galleries, and Cecilie Hollberg, the director of the Galleria dell’Accademia. “Perhaps it is time to change strategy, especially in high season,” Schmidt told La Nazione newspaper, adding that “more flexible” discounts would attract locals rather than tourists who would otherwise pay for a ticket. In an interview with Il Fatto Quotidiano, Hollberg said that “overcrowding” on free Sundays “created security problems” for the museum that holds Michelangelo’s David. But the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, pledged on 1 August that the city’s museums—including the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Cenacolo Vinciano, the museum of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper—will remain free on the first Sunday of the month. “Milan is not stopping,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “We are going ahead with the joy of seeing so many citizens and tourists visiting our museums.”
  12. In Crown Jewels Heist in Sweden, 2 Thieves Escape by Speedboat ________________________________________________________________________________ Two 17th-century burial crowns stolen from a cathedral near Stockholm on Tuesday. One of the orbs was also taken in the theft, which happened at around midday STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Three national treasures of Sweden — two crowns and an orb made for the funerals of King Charles IX and his wife, Christina the Elder, in the 17th century — have been stolen in an audacious midday theft from a cathedral near Stockholm. The two thieves smashed a showcase at the cathedral in Strangnas, a town on Lake Malar, on Tuesday, according to its dean, the Rev. Christofer Lundgren. However, the criminals might be disappointed with their haul, because the crowns and orb were meant for burial purposes and have a relatively low intrinsic value, despite being made of gold. “The stones applied to these crowns are not diamonds, they are rock crystals and pearls,” Mr. Lundgren said. “The worst thing that could happen is that these thieves do not fully understand what these objects are and their value and the importance of them. And that they would be melted.” “If they would show up at any auction house in Europe, I’m sure they would be recognized,” he added. “These are not things that you can sell or show in Sweden or even Europe. They are well known. They are well documented.” When the theft occurred, Mr. Lundgren said, no one else was in the publicly accessible room where the artifacts were displayed, though four other people, including a priest and a janitor, were in the building. He said witnesses had seen the thieves make their getaway across the lake in a speedboat. The police dispatched helicopters, boats and officers on foot once alerted to the theft. But Lake Malar is one of the largest in Sweden, with more than 8,000 islands and skerries and several cities on its perimeter, including Stockholm to the east. “So you can head in several different directions,” Thomas Agnevik, a police spokesman, said on Wednesday. “We think it’s an incredibly limited market for this type of booty,” Mr. Agnevik added. “Either it’s a very advanced theft someone has ordered or they are people who don’t understand the value.” Investigations are continuing, he said. Lars Amreus, director general of the Swedish National Heritage Board, a government agency, said he was stunned by the theft. “This happened during the middle of the day in an open cathedral where there were people in the cathedral at the point of the theft,” he said. “They were kept in locked showcases with an alarm and they still managed to get away.” “Of course, it’s absolutely devastating. These are our national heritage items of great significance,” he added. The bishop of Strangnas, Johan Dalman, said in a statement issued to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that the theft was a “disrespectful and callous act that strikes against all of us for whom the cathedral and its rich history means so very much.” It was “a theft of a piece of Swedish history,” he added, and “a blow against us as a nation.” The getaway method, though unusual, has at least one precedent in Sweden. In 2000, three armed robbers confronted guards at the National Museum in Stockholm and made off with two works by Renoir and a self-portrait by Rembrandt. Those thieves also escaped by speedboat, but they and their accomplices were later caught, and they were charged and sent to jail in 2001.
  13. Leonardo da Vinci scholar challenges attribution of $450m painting Matthew Landrus believes most of Salvator Mundi was by one of artist’s studio assistants Bernardino Luini is the ‘primary painter’ of the Salvator Mundi, says Landrus, joining others experts in expressing their doubts. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Months after the painting Salvator Mundi sold for a record-breaking $450m (£335m), a leading Oxford art historian is challenging its attribution to Leonardo da Vinci. Matthew Landrus, a Leonardo scholar, believes most of the painting is by the artist’s studio assistant Bernardino Luini, whose own work generally sell for less than £1m. “This is a Luini painting,” Landrus said. “By looking at the various versions of Leonardo’s students’ works, one can see that Luini paints just like that work you see in the Salvator Mundi.” He said between 5% and 20% of the painting was by Leonardo, and that Luini was the “primary painter” The picture, which portrays Jesus gesturing in blessing with his right hand while holding a crystal orb in his left hand, was sold last November by Christie’s New York as “one of fewer than 20 known paintings by Leonardo”. Acquired for the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, it will be unveiled in September at the Louvre Abu Dhabi before its inclusion in aLeonardo exhibition at the Louvre in Paris next year. Some of the world’s foremost experts confirmed the Leonardo attribution in 2011, when Luke Syson, the then National Gallery curator, included the painting ina Leonardo retrospective at the London gallery that year. But other leading experts have their doubts. Frank Zöllner, a German art historian at the University of Leipzig, believes the Salvator Mundi could be a “high-quality product of Leonardo’s workshop” or even a later follower, and Charles Hope, the Italian Renaissance specialist, has argued that accepted Leonardo paintings look “quite different”. Michael Daley, the director of ArtWatch UK, criticised the painting for its lack of Leonardo’s “greater naturalism and complexity of posture”, and said Landrus’s theory was “very interesting”. Sources say that some Louvre staff also have their doubts. They were surprised to learn that Vincent Delieuvin, the head of the museum’s 16th-century Italian art and one of the curators of its Leonardo Paris exhibition, declined to comment on the painting when the Guardian approached him. Landrus, a research fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, has published numerous books on the artist. His latest, Leonardo da Vinci, is published in September. The book is a substantial update of his 2006 publication, which has sold about 200,000 copies in 15 languages. The Salvator Mundi had not yet surfaced then as a Leonardo Landrus said: “I can prove that Luini painted most of that painting. A comparison of Luini’s paintings with the Salvator Mundi will be sufficient evidence.” Describing Luini as one of Leonardo’s two most talented studio assistants (the other was Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio), he has compared Luini’s Christ among the Doctors in the National Gallery with the Salvator Mundi. The evidence has led him to conclude that Luini was “the only reasonable candidate for much of the authorship”. He added: “By traditional standards, we can call it ‘a Leonardo studio’ painting.” Landus highlighted stylistic similarities, including the depiction of the gold bands and the fabric on the robes, saying: “One sees a similar construction on both of those gold bands and on the way the drapery is done. Luini did other paintings that had very good gold tracery in them. Also Christ’s face in both paintings has very similar modelling and, while the hairstyles are slightly different, the approaches are quite similar. Also, the shoulders on Christ are very similar.” Pointing to a photograph of the Salvator Mundi before its extensive restoration, he said: “There’s a lot of missing paint in certain sections. So it really does add to the discussion about how overpainted it is.” Landus believes that, if Leonardo’s hand is there, it is in the sophistication of the “sfumato technique, the subtle gradations of shading that avoid perceptible contours or dramatic shifts in tonal values”. The Salvator Mundi was in fact attributed to Luini in 1900, when it was acquired by Sir Charles Robinson for the Cook collection. Landrus said: “It’s more accurate than just calling it a Leonardo.”
  14. Hans Heyerdahl | Norwegian Realist

    Hans Heyerdahl | Realist painter Hans Olaf Halvor Heyerdahl (8 July 1857, Smedjebacken, Sweden - 10 October 1913, Oslo) was a Norwegian Realist painter. He was the son of Halvor Heyerdahl (1825-1900), a prominent engineer. In 1859, the family moved to Drammen, where his father took up the joint posts of City Engineer and Fire Chief. He began his education with the intent of following in his father's footsteps, but soon discovered that he was more attracted to drawing and art. In 1873, he entered the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry and studied under Peder C. Thurmann, a landscape artist trained in Dusseldorf. The following year, he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, where his professors were Wilhelm von Lindenschmit the Younger and Ludwig von Löfftz, who encouraged him to switch from landscapes to historical painting and portraits. From 1878-1882, he lived in Paris and won a third-place Medal at the Exposition Universelle for his painting of Adam and Eve's expulsion from Paradise, finished in 1877 under the guidance of Wilhelm Lindenschmit (1829-95). He made his début at the Salon in 1879 with a portrait of the composer Johan Svendsen. Léon Bonnat - Fille romaine à la fontaine While in Paris, he came under the influence of Léon Bonnat and took up painting en plein-air. In 1881, his work "Det døende barn" (The Dying Child) won the "Grand Prix* du Florence" at the Salon, which enabled him to spend two years studying in Italy. After finishing his studies, he returned to Norway and settled in Christiania (Oslo), where he gave private art lessons to support his studio. His summers were spent painting in Åsgårdstrand, where he inspired Edvard Munch, who was just beginning his career. In addition to his landscapes, he did scenes from Norwegian history and several portraits of notable people, including Frits Thaulow (1885), Knut Hamsun (1893) and Henrik Ibsen (1894). After 1900, he spent another six years in Paris, where his paintings took on a more melancholy tone. In 1904, he was named a Knight in the Order of St. Olav. Heyerdahl, Hans Olaf - Pittore, nato nel Dalarne in Svezia l'8 luglio 1857, morto a Cristiania il 10 ottobre 1913. Cominciò i suoi studî alla scuola pittorica di Morten Müller in Cristiania e nel 1874 si recò all'Accademia di Monaco. Acquistò la qualifica di colorista eccellente, come già dimostra Adamo ed Eva cacciati dal Paradiso (1877). Il suo successivo lavoro Bambino morente del 1882 fu comprato dal governo francese. Studiò a Firenze e le opere eseguite sotto l'influsso dell'arte antica si distinguono non solo nella ricca e variata produzione di Heyerdahl, ma in tutta l'arte norvegese, specialmente per la loro straordinaria qualità coloristica. Tra le sue molte opere notiamo; La Maddalena penitente e Due sorelle nella Galleria nazionale di Oslo. | © Treccani FOR MORE SUCH ARTWORKS & ARTISTS' FOLLOW SUJITH PUTHRAN
  15. $800,000 art prize

    Austin museum picks winner of $800,000 art prize New York-based Nicole Eisenman’s art will be seen here in 2020. METRO-STATE Nicole Eisenman’s “Sketch for a Fountain.” Artwork @Nicole Eisenman. Image: @Skulptur Projekte 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and Anton Kern Gallery, New York. Photo: Henning Rogge. The Contemporary Austin has named New York-based artist Nicole Eisenman as winner of the 2020 Suzanne Deal Booth/FLAG Art Foundation Prize. By far Austin’s largest art award — and one of the biggest in the country — it is now valued at $800,000, including $200,000 in cash, plus twinned exhibitions here and in New York, as well as publications and travel. Started in 2016 by Booth, a top Austin art collector and backer, the initial $100,000 cash prize was awarded to Los Angeles-based Rodney McMillian. His 2018 exhibition, “Against a Civic Death,” is still on view at the Jones Center on Congress Avenue through Aug. 26. It takes the viewer on a journey through the nation’s racial history and includes a haunting video downstairs, as well as symbolically charged black-and-white objects upstairs. Eisenman, a MacArthur Foundation fellow, combines more familiar practices of figurative painting, drawing and sculpture with elements of punk sensibility and emotional rawness, as well as feminist and queer activism. First noticed in the 1990s, her often allegorical work also delves into the realms of photography and collage. + New York artist Nicole Eisenman wins the $800,000 Booth/FLAG Art Prize, based in Austin. Image courtesy of the artist and Susanne . “Nicole Eisenman is an artist with whom I’ve wanted to work for years,” said Heather Pesanti, chief curator and director of curatorial affairs at the Contemporary Austin. “So it’s incredibly exciting that the advisory committee selected her for this next prize. In particular, Nicole’s recent turn to three-dimensional work is a testament to this next chapter: her anti-monumental and enigmatic sculptures bring the painted bodies from her canvases into three-dimensional space.” A solo exhibition of Eisenman’s art will premiere in Austin in February 2020 at the Contemporary’s downtown space, with an option to extend it to the museum’s 14-acre sculpture park at Laguna Gloria. Just three months ago, the Booth Art Prize doubled in monetary value with the addition of a commitment from the New York-based FLAG Art Foundation, founded in 2008 by art patron Glenn Fuhrman. A related showing of Eisenman’s 2020 prize exhibition from Austin will be seen at the foundation’s space in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan in the fall of 2020. “I am thrilled with the selection of Nicole Eisenman,” said Louis Grachos, executive director and CEO of the Contemporary, “and I look forward to the new work that the prize will enable her to present to the art world and the general public.”
  16. Priacanthus

    From the album Digital works

    Digital painting

    © J. Van de Perre

  17. Should Museums Be Advocating For Viewers to Slow Down ?? Visitors at “A Russian Love for French Art,” dedicated to the works of French painters Paul Gauguin, Pierre Bonnard, and Maurice Denis, at the Hermitage in Amsterdam. You probably were a bit too rushed last April 14 to notice that it was worldwide Slow Art Day at over 200 museums around the world. Now in its eighth year, the annual event hasn’t necessarily gained a lot of popularity, but the notion behind it, to discourage fleeting-glance style art spectating, might have a growing number of advocates—at least on the part of museum professionals. Matthew Gale, the exhibitions director at London’s Tate Modern and the curator of the museum’s upcoming Pierre Bonnard show is advocating for a “slow looking” approach to his new exhibition, and will build programming around it. He wants visitors to take more time for every exhibit, and is this offering might well show them what a viewing experience can be like when one pumps the brakes. “The longer one looks, the more one sees,” he said. “That’s probably true for the work of every artist, but certainly for this artist and how he makes his work. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the richness of the colors, and it takes time to see other things, for instance, a figure at the bottom right of the canvas that you might have overlooked while looking at the mimosas in the foreground.” Compotiers et assiettes de fruits, ca. 1930, by Pierre Bonnard. Sort of like the slow food movement, the slow art movement aims to get people to have a little more appreciation for the item at hand. But unlike that diet trend du jour, which tries to promote locally sourced and unprocessed food, slow art advocates aren’t attempting to change the product, just how we consume. That a lot of visitors make a beeline through art museum galleries has long been a bugaboo for curators and directors—“studies of museum visitors have shown that people look at artworks very quickly, spending maybe five seconds or less per painting,” Brent Benjamin, director of the Saint Louis Art Museum told Observer. But despite this desire on the part of arts professionals, slowing visitors down in front of individual objects has not been the primary goal at most institutions of late—though they certainly want to get people in, and get them to stay. Go to any major art museum and you will find packed galleries with most, if not everyone, staring at their cell phones rather than at the pictures on the wall. It’s an “appalling,” practice according to Elizabeth Merritt, director of the Center for the Future of Museums at the American Alliance of Museums. At the same time, museums are increasingly integrating tablets and phone interactive features into temporary and permanent shows. The fact that all those people are there in the museum, rather than somewhere else, is viewed as a victory for these institutions, and what many of these people may be reading on their cell phones is information about a particular artwork or artist that the museum made available through a downloadable app—i.e., they are still engaging with the work, just perhaps in a not-yet-traditional way. An observer takes a photo of The Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. Slowing down does matter to Juline Chevalier, head of interpretation and participatory experiences at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. “When you spend more time in front of an artwork, you have a more memorable and enjoyable experience,” she believes. The Minneapolis Institute of Art was one of 100 museums in the United States that participated in the Slow Art Day, using docents to keep a group of visitors in one place for approximately 10 minutes. “They talked about a particular work of art and encouraged dialogue among the people in the group.” That conversation was of value, “because having another pair of eyes helps people see more.” The goal of museums these days is to “enhance the visitor experience so that people will want to stay longer,” said Mary Ellen Munley, a museum consultant in Burlington, Vermont. That enhancement may involve video projections, music, audio tours, apps, wall plaques, touch screens, alcoves where visitors may sit down and page through the exhibition catalogue, printed brochures and whatever else can be brought to bear. But beyond the concern for viewer appreciation, getting people to spend more time within museum walls could be more about another potential boon for institutions. The longer they can keep visitors, the more likely these people will buy something from the gift shop or eat something from the museum café or restaurant, two of the principal revenue sources. Terrasse a Vernon by Pierre Bonnard. space rentals, yoga classes, gourmet food items, activities for moms with infants and toddlers, camps, art classes, concerts, valet parking, film series and lectures. If they use that extra time to spend looking at an artwork or two, well, that’s fine, too. And some experts in the museum field are not so convinced that slower is better. Jean Svadlenak, a museum consultant in Kansas City, Missouri, noted that “we process visual information differently than we do print material. You can take in visual information quickly, so if people appear to be rushing through the galleries they aren’t necessarily wasting their time.” She added that “I’m not personally concerned with how many seconds someone stands and looks at something, because a short exposure can be O.K. You may look briefly at some pieces, but spend a little more time with one or two things, things that you are more comfortable with. Maybe, the next time, you’ll spend more time with a few more things.” In the parlance of the museum field, visitors are “customizing their own experience.” But then is it just short attention spans, or is there another reason viewers seem to be hastening through galleries? Those who have paid $25 to enter the Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim, Whitney, Art Institute of Chicago or San Francisco Museum of Modern—or $20 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and many others)—are “under the perceived imperative to see every single work in every single gallery,” Benjamin said, noting that the Saint Louis Art Museum is free to the public. “People here can come in every day and just look at one painting, if that is all they’re interested in.” So if a leisurely pace is of such keen importance in museum-going, perhaps those advocating for change in their institutions should take a close look at what’s drawing viewers in, and what’s driving them along.
  18. Fabian Perez, 1967 | Abstract Figurative painter In 2009 Fabian Perez was named the official artist of the 10th annual Latin Grammy Awards. In 2010 Perez was selected to paint the 2010 Winter Olympics. For Fabian Perez, the purpose of art is to perpetuate beauty. Pausing, he says, "I would like to say that it is not important what you have, but how you enjoy it". Born in 1967 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Fabian had a difficult childhood. His father owned bordellos and nightclubs that were illegal. He also was a gambler. To this day, Fabian remembers the police coming to their home looking for his father who would try to escape through the back door. Eventually his father gave up the business, lost everything and lapsed into depression. Meanwhile, Fabian’s mother, who was artistic herself, encouraged her son to develop his aptitude for art. From an early age he loved to draw and she would proudly display these endeavors. He was also passionate as a boy about soccer and martial arts-the latter becoming an integral part of his life and his work as an artist. As a young adult, he did decide to take a few art courses to learn more about the true craft of drawing and painting, but it was never formal training. It is imagery from his past that he draws from in his painting, his father his inspiration. He is the cool guy outside the nightclubs and bordellos in Fabian’s images. And the women are his memories of those he saw at his father’s brothels and nightclubs-their somber mood, brooding thoughts and intense sensuality emanating from his canvases. But that is now. For several years after his parents died, his mother when he was 16, his father when he was 19, he lived as a gypsy. The sadness and despair he experienced left him confused and searching for answers. It was in martial arts that he found an inner strength. He immersed himself in the discipline. Alone and struggling to take care of himself, he began to teach karate while living in martial arts studios or friends’ homes. It was then that he crossed paths with a Japanese karate master, Oscar Higa, who became his teacher, mentor, friend and father figure. For a while, Fabian spent time in Rio; living the life of a nomad, finding refuge on warm beaches. Then he collected himself, deciding to follow Oscar to Italy. It was there, in the small town of Padova outside Venice, that he began his career as an artist. European tourists liked his work. Fabian began having small exhibitions. He spent his time painting and teaching martial arts, the latter to support himself. His dream was to become a karate master. After seven years in Italy, where he traveled frequently, giving martial arts exhibitions, he moved to Japan and continued to teach karate, not realizing that martial arts would become such an influence in his painting technique and, indeed, in his life’s path. Inspired by the Shodo, he utilized this influence to combine figurative and abstract styles. Shodo is often practiced by Samurais and Buddhist monks. It is as much a discipline as an art form. The influence of artists such as Lautrec, Picasso, Sargent and Cezanne are felt in Fabian’s work. "But in the end it is my own", he says. Today, Fabian has a studio in Los Angeles, where he also lives with his wife, Luciana and his three children. She is in many of his paintings. Mostly he works in the mornings and early afternoon, when the light is best. Usually he uses acrylic paint, so that he doesn’t have to wait for it to dry. He likens painting to music and this is particularly evident in his Flamenco pieces, where the dancer creates complex rhythmic patterns. The scenes from his youth in Argentina reflect a time that, in his view, is more romantic than the present day. Fabian Perez è un artista nato a Buenos Aires, ma il suo spirito irrequieto lo spinge a viaggiare per il mondo. Dopo aver trascorso parti significative della sua vita in Argentina, Italia e Giappone si stabilisce negli Stati Uniti. Attualmente risiede a Los Angeles ed è conosciuto per i suoi dipinti del tango e per i suoi ritratti. Nel 2009 Perez è stato nominato artista ufficiale del 10 ° annuale Latin Grammy Awards. Nel 2010 è stato scelto per dipingere le Olimpiadi Invernali 2010 e le Olimpiadi estive del 2012. Le sue opere non passano mai inosservate. Gli piace dipingere con colori acrilici, perché si asciugano velocemente e gli consentono di seguire i suoi impulsi, senza che l’attesa di un colore ancora bagnato lo limiti nel generare un nuovo tratto col pennello. Le sue immagini hanno la forza di trasmettere il carisma e la sensualità del suo autore. Un'arte che difficilmente si può sintetizzare in una categoria. Non a caso lo ribadisce spesso nelle sue dichiarazioni "..ciò limita tanto l’artista quanto le sue opere". FOR MORE SUCH ARTWORKS & ARTISTS' FOLLOW SUJITH PUTHRAN
  19. Gil Bruvel, 1959 ~ Visionary painter Thereafter he set up his studio in St. Remy de Provence until 1986 when he first made his way to the United States, making it his permanent residence in 1990. At that time he started to experiment more with sculptures in bronze, mixed media and digital modeling as well as continuing to learn about creative processes in artistic expression. He is currently creating functional art, sculptures and paintings. Gil Bruvel has been exhibiting his work since 1974 in various places around the world and including: France, Monaco, England, Denmark, The Netherlands, Hungary, Japan, Singapore, New York, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Hawaii. His work has received many awards and his collectors span the globe. FOR MORE SUCH ARTWORKS & ARTISTS FOLLOW SUJITH PUTHRAN
  20. Failed fashion ball claims Powerhouse Museum director Dolla Merrillees, the director of the Powerhouse Museum who presided over the institution's failed fashion ball which caused the museum to spend three times more money than it raised, has stepped down. Ms Merrillees will not be returning to lead the museum's relocation from Harris St, Ultimo to a new purpose-built building on the Parramatta Riverside. Dolla Merrillees will not be returning to the Powerhouse Museum. The position of director, which Merrillees has held since April 2016, has been abolished and a new position of chief executive will be advertised by the government in the next week to supervise the museum's relocation, site building works and transformation. Ms Merrillees had decided not to apply and will not return to the museum after an extended period of leave ends in September. Ms Merrillees' resignation comes in the wake of revelations that the black-tie dinner hosted by the museum in February was a massive loss maker, costing $388,000 to stage, and requiring the museum to chip in $215,209.50 from its own budget. The fundraiser raised $78,000, of which a mere $1050 was raised from supporters on the night. Questions remain unanswered around the conduct of senior museum executives on the night of the ball with the release of security logs doing little to settle allegations made in NSW Parliament by the NSW Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party MP, Robert Borsak, of drunken revelry and excess. AUSTRALIAN FASHION 'She should go': Calls for Powerhouse Museum director to resign over fashion ball Security logs reveal that staff members were dancing and listening to music at 3.30am in executive offices well after final drinks were served and the museum doors closed. One staffer was so drunk they ''had to be looked after by another member of staff and then taken home by taxi'', according to an event report also obtained under Freedom of Information laws. The museum has denied allegations made in NSW Parliament by Mr Borsak that several prominent museum staff were discovered ''intoxicated, drinking Moet & Chandon in the presence of a white powder''. But it is the government's need to push on with the $1.1 billion capital works project and manage construction and redevelopment on three sites in Ultimo, Parramatta and Castle Hill, that is likely to have played a major factor in Thursday's announcement. President of the MAAS Trust, Prof Barney Glover, paid tribute to Ms Merrillees for her outstanding leadership and her curatorial skills. ''Making this decision now allows us the time to find the best candidate who can manage this major new cultural infrastructure project through to implementation,'' he said. Ms Merrillees has championed fashion and design at the museum, and was successful in securing the donation of Akira Isogawa's design collection. She was director of curatorial, collections and exhibitions at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences before her appointment as overall museum director. The upper house inquiry into the museum's relocation to Parramatta is expected to investigate the use of taxpayer money for the fashion ball at future hearings. Ms Merrillees's departure comes as the museum has been haemorrhaging specialist expertise. The museum is without a manager of conservation, head of development and a senior audio-visual technician. The director of external affairs left soon after the fashion ball. The museum’s maintenance department is believed to be making all trades roles redundant - three electricians and three machine fitters - and these are expected to be replaced by external contracts. Those staff will leave in September. The head of Sydney Observatory resigned in September 2017, and the head of the Museum's Discovery Centre resigned last December. Inquiry's chairman, Mr Borsak said the new CEO position was about the government appointing a ''developer's dog'' to strong arm the development process and destroy the Powerhouse Museum once and for all. Former trustee, Kylie Winkworth, said the turnover of three directors in six years was a disaster and unheard of in the museum sector. ''Three museum directors have gone from a great museum under this government,'' she said. ''Perhaps the problem at MAAS is not with the directors but the government’s museum demolition plans. ''
  21. The Hudson River School of painter

    The Hudson River School of painter Thomas Moran (1837-1926) The Hudson River School was America's first true artistic fraternity. Its name was coined to identify a group of New York City-based landscape painters that emerged about 1850 under the influence of the English émigré Thomas Cole (1801-1848) and flourished until about the time of the Centennial. Because of the inspiration exerted by his work, Cole is usually regarded as the "father" or "founder" of the school, though he himself played no special organizational or fostering role except that he was the teacher of Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900). Thomas Cole 1801-1848 Thomas Cole - Destruction Thomas Cole - Il Penseroso, 1845 Along with Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), Church was the most successful painter of the school until its decline. After Cole's death in 1848, his older contemporary Asher B. Durand (1796-1886) became the acknowledged leader of the New York landscape painters; in 1845, he rose to the presidency of the National Academy of Design, the reigning art institution of the period, and, in 1855-56, published a series of "Letters on Landscape Painting" which codified the standard of idealized naturalism that marked the school's production. Albert Bierstadt - Storm in the mountains Albert Bierstadt - Sunset over the River Albert Bierstadt - Yosemite Valley Sunset The New York landscape painters were not only stylistically but socially coherent. Most belonged to the National Academy, were members of the same clubs, especially the Century, and, by 1858, many of them even worked at the same address, the Studio Building on West Tenth Street, the first purpose-built artist workspace in the city. Eventually, several of the artists built homes on the Hudson River. Though the earliest references to the term "Hudson River School" in the 1870s were disparagingly aimed, the label has never been supplanted and fairly characterizes the artistic body, its New York headquarters, its landscape subject matter, and often literally its subject. If Cole is rightly designated the founder of the school, then its beginnings appear with his arrival in New York City in 1825. He determined to become a landscape painter after a period of itinerant portrait painting in Ohio and western Pennsylvania, and a stint in Philadelphia during which he admired and imitated the landscapes of early American specialists such as Thomas Doughty. As significantly, in 1824, a tourist hotel was opened in the Catskill Mountains one hundred miles upriver from New York. Once in New York in late 1825, Cole sailed for the Catskills, making sketches there and elsewhere along the banks of the Hudson. He produced a series of paintings that, when spotted in a bookstore window by three influential artists, gained him widespread commissions and almost instant fame. He was welcomed into the larger cultural life of the city, and was befriended especially by William Cullen Bryant, the poet and newspaper editor, who wrote a sonnet to Cole when he departed on a Grand Tour of Europe in 1829. George Inness - Hillside at Etretat George Inness - Monastery at Albano George Inness - October George Inness - Rosy Morning George Inness - Stream in the Mountains From the start, Cole's style was marked by dramatic forms and vigorous technique, reflecting the British aesthetic theory of the Sublime, or fearsome, in nature. In the representation of American landscape, really in its infancy in the early nineteenth century, the application of the Sublime was virtually unprecedented, and moreover accorded with a growing appreciation of the wildness of native scenery that had not been seriously addressed by Cole's predecessors. However, the wilderness theme had earlier gained currency in American literature, especially in the "Leatherstocking" novels of James Fenimore Cooper, which were set in the upstate New York locales that became Cole's earliest subjects, including several pictures illustrating scenes from the novels. Fired by the initial reception to his work, as well as by engravings of historical landscapes by J. M. W. Turner and John Martin, Cole's ambitions swelled during his European tour. After Cole returned to America, he continued to interpret the Italian landscape in the form of monumental allegories comprising several pictures, such as The Course of Empire (1834-36; New-York Historical Society) and, following his second European trip in 1839-40, The Voyage of Life (1840; Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Ithaca, N.Y.). Cole continued to produce scenic American subjects, but even in those his aims were aggrandized by the historical and religious preoccupations of his mature career. He died rather suddenly in Catskill, New York, where he had moved in 1836, starting a tradition followed by many Hudson River School artists. The engraver, portrait, and Genre painter Asher Durand was one of the three discoverers of Thomas Cole in 1825 and, in the following decade, was gradually moved to take up landscape painting himself. However, by the time Durand wrote "Letters on Landscape Painting" in the 1850s, he had seen the plein-air work of John Constable, Turner's colleague and rival, in England, and held Constable's naturalism up as the standard for young landscape painters—in the process, gently relegating Cole's histrionic subjects and style to the past. With the example of Durand in both word and practice, outdoor sketching in oils as the foundation of and model for studio landscapes became common, and both plein-airism and the loosening authority of Sublime aesthetics led to a less inflected idiom whose most conspicuous features often were the light influencing terrestrial forms and the air bathing them. This trend coincided with the proliferation of tourist resorts both inland and on the coast during the Civil War period, along with the refinement of the vacation experience—increasingly pursued to relieve the pressures of urban workaday life. Painters who both reflected the new aesthetic standards and accommodated the vacationing class of patrons were John F. Kensett (1816-1872), Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904), Worthington Whittredge (1820-1910), Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880), Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823-1900) and Jervis McEntee (1828-1891). Somewhat exceptional were Frederic Church and Albert Bierstadt, who in a measure extended the heroic landscape ambitions of Cole after his death. Church enjoyed the privilege and distinction of being Cole's student (1844-46), but supplanted his teacher's literary and historical conceits with scientific and expeditionary ones. Establishing his reputation with outsize depictions of North American scenic wonders such as Niagara Falls, Church was stirred by the travel accounts and scientific tracts of the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt to journey twice to South America in the 1850s and paint large-scale landscapes of the equatorial Andean regions that encompassed torrid to frigid habitats in a single picture—the Earth in microcosm. The Museum's ten-foot-wide Heart of the Andes (09.95) is the most ambitious and acclaimed of these works. It was promoted as a single-picture attraction—i.e., set in a dark, windowlike frame draped with curtains and starkly illuminated in an otherwise darkened room—that drew thousands of paying spectators in New York, London, and eight other American cities. Later Church exhibited "full-scale" paintings of the Arctic regions and the Holy Land. George Inness (1825-1894) George Inness (1825-1894) George Inness (1825-1894) George Inness (1825-1894) George Inness seated in his studio Smithsonian Institution George Inness (1825-1894) Early Moonrise, Florida Thomas Moran (1837-1926) Thomas Moran - The Golden Hour Thomas Moran, Opus 24 Rome, from the Campagna, Sunset, 1867 List of Hudson River School painters 19th century Art Albert Bierstadt ~ Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Frederic Edwin Church | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! George Inness ~ Tonalist painter | The Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Louis Rémy Mignot | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade ~ Landscapes | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade ~ Still Life | Hudson River School Sanford Robinson Gifford | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! The Hudson River School of painter - Nuovo!! Thomas Cole | The Voyage of Life, 1842 - Nuovo!! Thomas Cole ~ Founder of the Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Thomas Moran | Hudson River School 20th century Art Martin Johnson Heade ~ Still Life | Hudson River School Thomas Moran | Hudson River School 21th century Art Martin Johnson Heade ~ Still Life | Hudson River School American Artist Albert Bierstadt ~ Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Frederic Edwin Church | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! George Inness ~ Tonalist painter | The Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Louis Rémy Mignot | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade ~ Landscapes | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade ~ Still Life | Hudson River School Sanford Robinson Gifford | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Thomas Cole | The Voyage of Life, 1842 - Nuovo!! Thomas Cole ~ Founder of the Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Thomas Moran | Hudson River School Art Movements and Styles The Hudson River School of painter - Nuovo!! Art in Detail Thomas Cole | The Voyage of Life, 1842 - Nuovo!! British Artist Thomas Cole | The Voyage of Life, 1842 - Nuovo!! Thomas Cole ~ Founder of the Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Thomas Moran | Hudson River School German Artist Albert Bierstadt ~ Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Hudson River School Albert Bierstadt ~ Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Frederic Edwin Church | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! George Inness ~ Tonalist painter | The Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Louis Rémy Mignot | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade ~ Landscapes | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade ~ Still Life | Hudson River School Sanford Robinson Gifford | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! The Hudson River School of painter - Nuovo!! Thomas Cole | The Voyage of Life, 1842 - Nuovo!! Thomas Cole ~ Founder of the Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Thomas Moran | Hudson River School Impressionist art movement Frederic Edwin Church | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! George Inness ~ Tonalist painter | The Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Louis Rémy Mignot | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! The Hudson River School of painter - Nuovo!! Museum Masterpieces Frederic Edwin Church | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Realist Artist Martin Johnson Heade | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade ~ Landscapes | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade ~ Still Life | Hudson River School Romantic Art Albert Bierstadt ~ Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Frederic Edwin Church | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! George Inness ~ Tonalist painter | The Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Louis Rémy Mignot | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade ~ Landscapes | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Martin Johnson Heade ~ Still Life | Hudson River School Sanford Robinson Gifford | Hudson River School - Nuovo!! The Hudson River School of painter - Nuovo!! Thomas Cole | The Voyage of Life, 1842 - Nuovo!! Thomas Cole ~ Founder of the Hudson River School - Nuovo!! Thomas Moran | Hudson River School Asher Brown Durand - Mrs. Winfield Scott Asher Brown Durand - The Catskill Valley Asher Brown Durand - The Solitary Oak Asher Brown Durand Self-Portrait, 1857 Asher Brown Durand Tutt'Art@ Asher Brown Durand Tutt'Art@ Victor de Grailly (1804-1889) French-born American painter Victor de Grailly (1804-1889) French-born American painter Thomas Worthington Whittredge (American painter 1820-1910) Thomas Worthington Whittredge (American painter 1820-1910) Thomas Worthington Whittredge (American painter 1820-1910) Paul Weber [German-born American 1823-1916] Paul Weber [German-born American 1823-1916] Paul Weber [German-born American 1823-1916] George Inness - Sunset at Etretat George Inness - The Trout Brook, 1891 George Inness George Inness George Inness George Inness George Inness George Inness George Inness George Inness George Inness – Sundown, 1894 Samuel Colman (1832-1920) Samuel Colman (1832-1920) Samuel Colman (1832-1920) Samuel Colman (1832-1920) Samuel Colman (1832-1920) Samuel Colman (1832-1920) Samuel Colman (1832-1920) Thomas Moran (1837-1926) Thomas Moran (1837-1926) Thomas Moran (1837-1926) Thomas Moran (1837-1926) Thomas Moran - Cliffs of the Upper Colorado River, Wyoming Territory, 1882 Thomas Moran - Fantastic Landscape, America 1895 Thomas Moran - Grand canyon in mist Thomas Moran - Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Thomas Moran - Sunset at Sea, 1906 Thomas Moran - The Much Resounding Sea, 1884 Thomas Moran - View of Venice La Hudson River School fu un movimento artistico americano sviluppato nella metà del XIX secolo da un gruppo di paesaggisti influenzati dal romanticismo. Il suo nome è dato dal fatto che la prima generazione di questi artisti usava dipingere nella valle del fiume Hudson e nella zona circostante. I pittori della seconda generazione di artisti associati alla scuola ampliarono la loro attività oltre i limiti della valle dell'Hudson per includere altre località. I dipinti della Hudson River School riflettono tre temi dell'America del XIX secolo: scoperta, esplorazione e insediamento. Inoltre questi dipinti rappresentano i paesaggi americani con un'impostazione pastorale, dove l'essere umano e la natura coesistono pacificamente. I paesaggi della Hudson River School sono caratterizzati da un realistico, dettagliato e talvolta idealizzato ritratto della natura, spesso contrapponendo alla pacifica agricoltura le zone disabitate restanti, allontanandosi velocemente dalla valle del fiume Hudson, così come veniva apprezzata per le sue qualità di imponenza e sublimità. In generale gli artisti della Hudson River School pensavano che la natura, nella forma dei paesaggi americani, fosse un'ineffabile manifestazione di Dio, variata dagli artisti in base alla loro convinzione religiosa. Essi si ispirarono a maestri europei come Claude Lorrain, John Constable e J. M. W. Turner, condividendo la loro ammirazione per le bellezze naturali dell'America con gli scrittori loro contemporanei Thoreau ed Emerson. FOR MORE SUCH ARTISTS' AND ARTWORKS FOLLOW SUJITH PUTHRAN
  22. Ancient Egypt / La Civiltà Egizia

    Ancient Egypt / La Civiltà Egizia Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. It is one of six civilizations to arise independently. Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3150 BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh Narmer (commonly referred to as Menes). History of Egypt Prehistoric Egypt pre–3100 BC Ancient Egypt Early Dynastic Period 3100–2686 BC Old Kingdom 2686–2181 BC 1st Intermediate Period 2181–2055 BC Middle Kingdom 2055–1650 BC 2nd Intermediate Period 1650–1550 BC New Kingdom 1550–1069 BC 3rd Intermediate Period 1069–664 BC Late Period 664–332 BC Achaemenid Egypt 525–332 BC Classical antiquity Macedonian and Ptolemaic Egypt 332–30 BC Roman and Byzantine Egypt 30 BC–641 AD Sasanian Egypt 619–629 Middle Ages Arab Egypt 641–969 Fatimid Egypt 969–1171 Ayyubid Egypt 1171–1250 Mamluk Egypt 1250–1517 Early modern Ottoman Egypt 1517–1867 French occupation 1798–1801 Egypt under Muhammad Ali 1805–1882 Khedivate of Egypt 1867–1914 Modern Egypt British occupation 1882–1922 Sultanate of Egypt 1914–1922 Kingdom of Egypt 1922–1953 Republic 1953–present The history of ancient Egypt occurred in a series of stable Kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age. Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, during the Ramesside period, where it rivalled the Hittite Empire, Assyrian Empire and Mitanni Empire, after which it entered a period of slow decline. Egypt was invaded or conquered by a succession of foreign powers, such as the Canaanites/Hyksos, Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, Babylonians, the Achaemenid Persians, and the Macedonians in the Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period of Egypt. In the aftermath of Alexander the Great's death, one of his generals, Ptolemy Soter, established himself as the new ruler of Egypt. This Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom ruled Egypt until 30 BC, when, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province. The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, and social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to defeat foreign enemies and assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs. The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics, a practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques, the first known planked boats, Egyptian faience and glass technology, new forms of literature, and the earliest known peace treaty, made with the Hittites. Egypt left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were widely copied, and its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world. Its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of travelers and writers for centuries. A new-found respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy. History The Nile has been the lifeline of its region for much of human history. The fertile floodplain of the Nile gave humans the opportunity to develop a settled agricultural economy and a more sophisticated, centralized society that became a cornerstone in the history of human civilization. Nomadic modern human hunter-gatherers began living in the Nile valley through the end of the Middle Pleistocene some 120,000 years ago. By the late Paleolithic period, the arid climate of Northern Africa became increasingly hot and dry, forcing the populations of the area to concentrate along the river region. Predynastic period In Predynastic and Early Dynastic times, the Egyptian climate was much less arid than it is today. Large regions of Egypt were covered in treed savanna and traversed by herds of grazing ungulates. Foliage and fauna were far more prolific in all environs and the Nile region supported large populations of waterfowl. Hunting would have been common for Egyptians, and this is also the period when many animals were first domesticated. By about 5500 BC, small tribes living in the Nile valley had developed into a series of cultures demonstrating firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry, and identifiable by their pottery and personal items, such as combs, bracelets, and beads. The largest of these early cultures in upper (Southern) Egypt was the Badari, which probably originated in the Western Desert; it was known for its high quality ceramics, stone tools, and its use of copper. The Badari was followed by the Amratian (Naqada I) and Gerzeh (Naqada II) cultures, which brought a number of technological improvements. As early as the Naqada I Period, predynastic Egyptians imported obsidian from Ethiopia, used to shape blades and other objects from flakes. In Naqada II times, early evidence exists of contact with the Near East, particularly Canaan and the Byblos coast. Over a period of about 1,000 years, the Naqada culture developed from a few small farming communities into a powerful civilization whose leaders were in complete control of the people and resources of the Nile valley. Establishing a power center at Hierakonpolis, and later at Abydos, Naqada III leaders expanded their control of Egypt northwards along the Nile. They also traded with Nubia to the south, the oases of the western desert to the west, and the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East to the east. Royal Nubian burials at Qustul produced artifacts bearing the oldest-known examples of Egyptian dynastic symbols, such as the white crown of Egypt and falcon. The Naqada culture manufactured a diverse selection of material goods, reflective of the increasing power and wealth of the elite, as well as societal personal-use items, which included combs, small statuary, painted pottery, high quality decorative stone vases, cosmetic palettes, and jewelry made of gold, lapis, and ivory. They also developed a ceramic glaze known as faience, which was used well into the Roman Period to decorate cups, amulets, and figurines. During the last predynastic phase, the Naqada culture began using written symbols that eventually were developed into a full system of hieroglyphs for writing the ancient Egyptian language. Early Dynastic Period (c. 3050-2686 BC) The Early Dynastic Period was approximately contemporary to the early Sumerian-Akkadian civilisation of Mesopotamia and of ancient Elam. The third-century BC Egyptian priest Manetho grouped the long line of pharaohs from Menes to his own time into 30 dynasties, a system still used today. He chose to begin his official history with the king named "Meni" (or Menes in Greek) who was believed to have united the two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt (around 3100 BC). The transition to a unified state happened more gradually than ancient Egyptian writers represented, and there is no contemporary record of Menes. Some scholars now believe, however, that the mythical Menes may have been the pharaoh Narmer, who is depicted wearing royal regalia on the ceremonial Narmer Palette, in a symbolic act of unification. In the Early Dynastic Period about 3150 BC, the first of the Dynastic pharaohs solidified control over lower Egypt by establishing a capital at Memphis, from which he could control the labour force and agriculture of the fertile delta region, as well as the lucrative and critical trade routes to the Levant. The increasing power and wealth of the pharaohs during the early dynastic period was reflected in their elaborate mastaba tombs and mortuary cult structures at Abydos, which were used to celebrate the deified pharaoh after his death. The strong institution of kingship developed by the pharaohs served to legitimize state control over the land, labour, and resources that were essential to the survival and growth of ancient Egyptian civilization. Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BC) Major advances in architecture, art, and technology were made during the Old Kingdom, fueled by the increased agricultural productivity and resulting population, made possible by a well-developed central administration. Some of ancient Egypt's crowning achievements, the Giza pyramids and Great Sphinx, were constructed during the Old Kingdom. Under the direction of the vizier, state officials collected taxes, coordinated irrigation projects to improve crop yield, drafted peasants to work on construction projects, and established a justice system to maintain peace and order. Along with the rising importance of a central administration arose a new class of educated scribes and officials who were granted estates by the pharaoh in payment for their services. Pharaohs also made land grants to their mortuary cults and local temples, to ensure that these institutions had the resources to worship the pharaoh after his death. Scholars believe that five centuries of these practices slowly eroded the economic power of the pharaoh, and that the economy could no longer afford to support a large centralized administration. As the power of the pharaoh diminished, regional governors called nomarchs began to challenge the supremacy of the pharaoh. This, coupled with severe droughts between 2200 and 2150 BC, is assumed to have caused the country to enter the 140-year period of famine and strife known as the First Intermediate Period. First Intermediate Period (2181-1991 BC) After Egypt's central government collapsed at the end of the Old Kingdom, the administration could no longer support or stabilize the country's economy. Regional governors could not rely on the king for help in times of crisis, and the ensuing food shortages and political disputes escalated into famines and small-scale civil wars. Yet despite difficult problems, local leaders, owing no tribute to the pharaoh, used their new-found independence to establish a thriving culture in the provinces. Once in control of their own resources, the provinces became economically richer-which was demonstrated by larger and better burials among all social classes. In bursts of creativity, provincial artisans adopted and adapted cultural motifs formerly restricted to the royalty of the Old Kingdom, and scribes developed literary styles that expressed the optimism and originality of the period. Free from their loyalties to the pharaoh, local rulers began competing with each other for territorial control and political power. By 2160 BC, rulers in Herakleopolis controlled Lower Egypt in the north, while a rival clan based in Thebes, the Intef family, took control of Upper Egypt in the south. As the Intefs grew in power and expanded their control northward, a clash between the two rival dynasties became inevitable. Around 2055 BC the northern Theban forces under Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II finally defeated the Herakleopolitan rulers, reuniting the Two Lands. They inaugurated a period of economic and cultural renaissance known as the Middle Kingdom. Middle Kingdom (2134-1690 BC) The pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom restored the country's prosperity and stability, thereby stimulating a resurgence of art, literature, and monumental building projects. Mentuhotep II and his Eleventh Dynasty successors ruled from Thebes, but the vizier Amenemhat I, upon assuming kingship at the beginning of the Twelfth Dynasty around 1985 BC, shifted the nation's capital to the city of Itjtawy, located in Faiyum. From Itjtawy, the pharaohs of the Twelfth Dynasty undertook a far-sighted land reclamation and irrigation scheme to increase agricultural output in the region. Moreover, the military reconquered territory in Nubia that was rich in quarries and gold mines, while laborers built a defensive structure in the Eastern Delta, called the "Walls-of-the-Ruler", to defend against foreign attack. With the pharaohs' having secured military and political security and vast agricultural and mineral wealth, the nation's population, arts, and religion flourished. In contrast to elitist Old Kingdom attitudes towards the gods, the Middle Kingdom experienced an increase in expressions of personal piety and what could be called a democratization of the afterlife, in which all people possessed a soul and could be welcomed into the company of the gods after death. Middle Kingdom literature featured sophisticated themes and characters written in a confident, eloquent style. The relief and portrait sculpture of the period captured subtle, individual details that reached new heights of technical perfection. The last great ruler of the Middle Kingdom, Amenemhat III, allowed Semitic-speaking Canaanite settlers from the Near East into the delta region to provide a sufficient labour force for his especially active mining and building campaigns. These ambitious building and mining activities, however, combined with severe Nile floods later in his reign, strained the economy and precipitated the slow decline into the Second Intermediate Period during the later Thirteenth and Fourteenth dynasties. During this decline, the Canaanite settlers began to seize control of the delta region, eventually coming to power in Egypt as the Hyksos. Second Intermediate Period (1674-1549 BC) and the Hyksos Around 1785 BC, as the power of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs weakened, a Western Asian people called the Hyksos had already settled in the Eastern Delta town of Avaris, seized control of Egypt, and forced the central government to retreat to Thebes. The pharaoh was treated as a vassal and expected to pay tribute. The Hyksos ("foreign rulers") retained Egyptian models of government and identified as pharaohs, thus integrating Egyptian elements into their culture. They and other invaders introduced new tools of warfare into Egypt, most notably the composite bow and the horse-drawn chariot. After their retreat, the native Theban kings found themselves trapped between the Canaanite Hyksos ruling the north and the Hyksos' Nubian allies, the Kushites, to the south of Egypt. After years of vassalage, Thebes gathered enough strength to challenge the Hyksos in a conflict that lasted more than 30 years, until 1555 BC. The pharaohs Seqenenre Tao II and Kamose were ultimately able to defeat the Nubians to the south of Egypt, but failed to defeat the Hyksos. That task fell to Kamose's successor, Ahmose I, who successfully waged a series of campaigns that permanently eradicated the Hyksos' presence in Egypt. He established a new dynasty. In the New Kingdom that followed, the military became a central priority for the pharaohs seeking to expand Egypt's borders and attempting to gain mastery of the Near East. New Kingdom (1549-1069 BC) The New Kingdom pharaohs established a period of unprecedented prosperity by securing their borders and strengthening diplomatic ties with their neighbours, including the Mitanni Empire, Assyria, and Canaan. Military campaigns waged under Tuthmosis I and his grandson Tuthmosis III extended the influence of the pharaohs to the largest empire Egypt had ever seen. Between their reigns, Hatshepsut generally promoted peace and restored trade routes lost during the Hyksos occupation, as well as expanding to new regions. When Tuthmosis III died in 1425 BC, Egypt had an empire extending from Niya in north west Syria to the fourth waterfall of the Nile in Nubia, cementing loyalties and opening access to critical imports such as bronze and wood. The New Kingdom pharaohs began a large-scale building campaign to promote the god Amun, whose growing cult was based in Karnak. They also constructed monuments to glorify their own achievements, both real and imagined. The Karnak temple is the largest Egyptian temple ever built. The pharaoh Hatshepsut used such hyperbole and grandeur during her reign of almost twenty-two years. Her reign was very successful, marked by an extended period of peace and wealth-building, trading expeditions to Punt, restoration of foreign trade networks, and great building projects, including an elegant mortuary temple that rivaled the Greek architecture of a thousand years later, a colossal pair of obelisks, and a chapel at Karnak. Despite her achievements, Amenhotep II, the heir to Hatshepsut's nephew-stepson Tuthmosis III, sought to erase her legacy near the end of his father's reign and throughout his, touting many of her accomplishments as his. He also tried to change many established traditions that had developed over the centuries, which some suggest was a futile attempt to prevent other women from becoming pharaoh and to curb their influence in the kingdom. Around 1350 BC, the stability of the New Kingdom seemed threatened further when Amenhotep IV ascended the throne and instituted a series of radical and chaotic reforms. Changing his name to Akhenaten, he touted the previously obscure sun deity Aten as the supreme deity, suppressed the worship of most other deities, and attacked the power of the temple that had become dominated by the priests of Amun in Thebes, whom he saw as corrupt. Moving the capital to the new city of Akhetaten (modern-day Amarna), Akhenaten turned a deaf ear to events in the Near East (where the Hittites, Mitanni, and Assyrians were vying for control). He was devoted to his new religion and artistic style. After his death, the cult of the Aten was quickly abandoned, the priests of Amun soon regained power and returned the capital to Thebes. Under their influence the subsequent pharaohs Tutankhamun, Ay, and Horemheb worked to erase all mention of Akhenaten's heresy, now known as the Amarna Period. Around 1279 BC, Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, ascended the throne, and went on to build more temples, erect more statues and obelisks, and sire more children than any other pharaoh in history. A bold military leader, Ramesses II led his army against the Hittites in the Battle of Kadesh (in modern Syria) and, after fighting to a stalemate, finally agreed to the first recorded peace treaty, around 1258 BC. With both the Egyptians and Hittite Empire proving unable to gain the upper hand over one another, and both powers also fearful of the expanding Middle Assyrian Empire, Egypt withdrew from much of the Near East. The Hittites were thus left to compete unsuccessfully with the powerful Assyrians and the newly arrived Phrygians. Egypt's wealth, however, made it a tempting target for invasion, particularly by the Libyan Berbers to the west, and the Sea Peoples, a conjectured confederation of seafarers from the Aegean Sea. Initially, the military was able to repel these invasions, but Egypt eventually lost control of its remaining territories in southern Caanan, much of it falling to the Assyrians. The effects of external threats were exacerbated by internal problems such as corruption, tomb robbery, and civil unrest. After regaining their power, the high priests at the temple of Amun in Thebes accumulated vast tracts of land and wealth, and their expanded power splintered the country during the Third Intermediate Period. Third Intermediate Period (1069-653 BC) Following the death of Ramesses XI in 1078 BC, Smendes assumed authority over the northern part of Egypt, ruling from the city of Tanis. The south was effectively controlled by the High Priests of Amun at Thebes, who recognized Smendes in name only. During this time, Berber tribes from what was later to be called Libya had been settling in the western delta, and the chieftains of these settlers began increasing their autonomy. Libyan princes took control of the delta under Shoshenq I in 945 BC, founding the Libyan Berber, or Bubastite, dynasty that ruled for some 200 years. Shoshenq also gained control of southern Egypt by placing his family members in important priestly positions. In the mid-ninth century BC, Egypt made a failed attempt to once more gain a foothold in Western Asia. Osorkon II of Egypt, along with a large alliance of nations and peoples, including Persia, Israel, Hamath, Phoenicia/Caanan, the Arabs, Arameans, and neo Hittites among others, engaged in the Battle of Karkar against the powerful Assyrian king Shalmaneser III in 853 BC. However, this coalition of powers failed and the Neo Assyrian Empire continued to dominate Western Asia. Libyan Berber control began to erode as a rival native dynasty in the delta arose under Leontopolis. Also, the Nubians of the Kushites threatened Egypt from the lands to the south. Drawing on millennia of interaction (trade, acculturation, occupation, assimilation, and war) with Egypt, the Kushite king Piye left his Nubian capital of Napata and invaded Egypt around 727 BC. Piye easily seized control of Thebes and eventually the Nile Delta. He recorded the episode on his stela of victory. Piye set the stage for subsequent Twenty-fifth dynasty pharaohs, such as Taharqa, to reunite the "Two lands" of Northern and Southern Egypt. The Nile valley empire was as large as it had been since the New Kingdom. The Twenty-fifth dynasty ushered in a renaissance period for ancient Egypt. Religion, the arts, and architecture were restored to their glorious Old, Middle, and New Kingdom forms. Pharaohs, such as Taharqa, built or restored temples and monuments throughout the Nile valley, including at Memphis, Karnak, Kawa, Jebel Barkal, etc. It was during the Twenty-fifth dynasty that there was the first widespread construction of pyramids (many in modern Sudan) in the Nile Valley since the Middle Kingdom. Piye made various unsuccessful attempts to extend Egyptian influence in the Near East, then controlled by Assyria. In 720 BC, he sent an army in support of a rebellion against Assyria, which was taking place in Philistia and Gaza. However, Piye was defeated by Sargon II and the rebellion failed. In 711 BC, Piye again supported a revolt against Assyria by the Israelites of Ashdod and was once again defeated by the Assyrian king Sargon II. Subsequently, Piye was forced from the Near East. From the 10th century BC onwards, Assyria fought for control of the southern Levant. Frequently, cities and kingdoms of the southern Levant appealed to Egypt for aid in their struggles against the powerful Assyrian army. Taharqa enjoyed some initial success in his attempts to regain a foothold in the Near East. Taharqa aided the Judean King Hezekiah when Hezekiah and Jerusalem was besieged by the Assyrian king, Sennacherib. Scholars disagree on the primary reason for Assyria's abandonment of their siege on Jerusalem. Reasons for the Assyrian withdrawal range from conflict with the Egyptian/Kushite army to divine intervention to surrender to disease. Henry Aubin argues that the Kushite/Egyptian army saved Jerusalem from the Assyrians and prevented the Assyrians from returning to capture Jerusalem for the remainder of Sennacherib's life (20 years). Some argue that disease was the primary reason for failing to actually take the city; however, Senacherib's annals claim Judah was forced into tribute regardless. Sennacherib had been murdered by his own sons for destroying the rebellious city of Babylon, a city sacred to all Mesopotamians, the Assyrians included. In 674 BC Esarhaddon launched a preliminary incursion into Egypt; however, this attempt was repelled by Taharqa. However, in 671 BC, Esarhaddon launched a full-scale invasion. Part of his army stayed behind to deal with rebellions in Phoenicia, and Israel. The remainder went south to Rapihu, then crossed the Sinai, and entered Egypt. Esarhaddon decisively defeated Taharqa, took Memphis, Thebes and all the major cities of Egypt, and Taharqa was chased back to his Nubian homeland. Esarhaddon now called himself "king of Egypt, Patros, and Kush", and returned with rich booty from the cities of the delta; he erected a victory stele at this time, and paraded the captive Prince Ushankhuru, the son of Taharqa in Nineveh. Esarhaddon stationed a small army in northern Egypt and describes how "All Ethiopians (read Nubians/Kushites) I deported from Egypt, leaving not one left to do homage to me". He installed native Egyptian princes throughout the land to rule on his behalf. The conquest by Esarhaddon effectively marked the end of the short lived Kushite Empire. However, the native Egyptian rulers installed by Esarhaddon were unable to retain full control of the whole country for long. Two years later, Taharqa returned from Nubia and seized control of a section of southern Egypt as far north as Memphis. Esarhaddon prepared to return to Egypt and once more eject Taharqa; however, he fell ill and died in his capital, Nineveh, before he left Assyria. His successor, Ashurbanipal, sent an Assyrian general named Sha-Nabu-shu with a small, but well trained army, which conclusively defeated Taharqa at Memphis and once more drove him from Egypt. Taharqa died in Nubia two years later. His successor, Tanutamun, also made a failed attempt to regain Egypt for Nubia. He successfully defeated Necho, the native Egyptian puppet ruler installed by Ashurbanipal, taking Thebes in the process. The Assyrians then sent a large army southwards. Tantamani (Tanutamun) was heavily routed and fled back to Nubia. The Assyrian army sacked Thebes to such an extent it never truly recovered. A native ruler, Psammetichus I was placed on the throne, as a vassal of Ashurbanipal, and the Nubians were never again to pose a threat to either Assyria or Egypt. Late Period (672-332 BC) With no permanent plans for conquest, the Assyrians left control of Egypt to a series of vassals who became known as the Saite kings of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. By 653 BC, the Saite king Psamtik I (taking advantage of the fact that Assyria was involved in a fierce war conquering Elam and that few Assyrian troops were stationed in Egypt) was able to free Egypt relatively peacefully from Assyrian vassalage with the help of Lydian and Greek mercenaries, the latter of whom were recruited to form Egypt's first navy. Psamtik and his successors however were careful to maintain peaceful relations with Assyria. Greek influence expanded greatly as the city of Naukratis became the home of Greeks in the delta. In 609 BC Necho II went to war with Babylonia, the Chaldeans, the Medians and the Scythians in an attempt to save Assyria, which after a brutal civil war was being overrun by this coalition of powers. However, the attempt to save Egypt's former masters failed. The Egyptians delayed intervening too long, and Nineveh had already fallen and King Sin-shar-ishkun was dead by the time Necho II sent his armies northwards. However, Necho easily brushed aside the Israelite army under King Josiah but he and the Assyrians then lost a battle at Harran to the Babylonians, Medes and Scythians. Necho II and Ashur-uballit II of Assyria were finally defeated at Carchemish in Aramea (modern Syria) in 605 BC. The Egyptians remained in the area for some decades, struggling with the Babylonian kings Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar II for control of portions of the former Assyrian Empire in The Levant. However, they were eventually driven back into Egypt, and Nebuchadnezzar II even briefly invaded Egypt itself in 567 BC. The Saite kings based in the new capital of Sais witnessed a brief but spirited resurgence in the economy and culture, but in 525 BC, the powerful Persians, led by Cambyses II, began their conquest of Egypt, eventually capturing the pharaoh Psamtik III at the battle of Pelusium. Cambyses II then assumed the formal title of pharaoh, but ruled Egypt from his home of Susa in Persia (modern Iran), leaving Egypt under the control of a satrapy. A few temporarily successful revolts against the Persians marked the fifth century BC, but Egypt was never able to permanently overthrow the Persians. Following its annexation by Persia, Egypt was joined with Cyprus and Phoenicia (modern Lebanon) in the sixth satrapy of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. This first period of Persian rule over Egypt, also known as the Twenty-seventh dynasty, ended after more than one-hundred years in 402 BC, and from 380 to 343 BC the Thirtieth Dynasty ruled as the last native royal house of dynastic Egypt, which ended with the kingship of Nectanebo II. A brief restoration of Persian rule, sometimes known as the Thirty-first Dynasty, began in 343 BC, but shortly after, in 332 BC, the Persian ruler Mazaces handed Egypt over to the Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great without a fight. Ptolemaic Period In 332 BC, Alexander the Great conquered Egypt with little resistance from the Persians and was welcomed by the Egyptians as a deliverer. The administration established by Alexander's successors, the Macedonian Ptolemaic Kingdom, was based on an Egyptian model and based in the new capital city of Alexandria. The city showcased the power and prestige of Hellenistic rule, and became a seat of learning and culture, centered at the famous Library of Alexandria. The Lighthouse of Alexandria lit the way for the many ships that kept trade flowing through the city-as the Ptolemies made commerce and revenue-generating enterprises, such as papyrus manufacturing, their top priority. Hellenistic culture did not supplant native Egyptian culture, as the Ptolemies supported time-honored traditions in an effort to secure the loyalty of the populace. They built new temples in Egyptian style, supported traditional cults, and portrayed themselves as pharaohs. Some traditions merged, as Greek and Egyptian gods were syncretized into composite deities, such as Serapis, and classical Greek forms of sculpture influenced traditional Egyptian motifs. Despite their efforts to appease the Egyptians, the Ptolemies were challenged by native rebellion, bitter family rivalries, and the powerful mob of Alexandria that formed after the death of Ptolemy IV. In addition, as Rome relied more heavily on imports of grain from Egypt, the Romans took great interest in the political situation in the country. Continued Egyptian revolts, ambitious politicians, and powerful Syriac opponents from the Near East made this situation unstable, leading Rome to send forces to secure the country as a province of its empire. Roman Period Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire in 30 BC, following the defeat of Marc Antony and Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII by Octavian (later Emperor Augustus) in the Battle of Actium. The Romans relied heavily on grain shipments from Egypt, and the Roman army, under the control of a prefect appointed by the Emperor, quelled rebellions, strictly enforced the collection of heavy taxes, and prevented attacks by bandits, which had become a notorious problem during the period. Alexandria became an increasingly important center on the trade route with the orient, as exotic luxuries were in high demand in Rome. Although the Romans had a more hostile attitude than the Greeks towards the Egyptians, some traditions such as mummification and worship of the traditional gods continued. The art of mummy portraiture flourished, and some Roman emperors had themselves depicted as pharaohs, though not to the extent that the Ptolemies had. The former lived outside Egypt and did not perform the ceremonial functions of Egyptian kingship. Local administration became Roman in style and closed to native Egyptians. From the mid-first century AD, Christianity took root in Egypt and it was originally seen as another cult that could be accepted. However, it was an uncompromising religion that sought to win converts from Egyptian Religion and Greco-Roman religion and threatened popular religious traditions. This led to the persecution of converts to Christianity, culminating in the great purges of Diocletian starting in 303, but eventually Christianity won out. In 391 the Christian Emperor Theodosius introduced legislation that banned pagan rites and closed temples. Alexandria became the scene of great anti-pagan riots with public and private religious imagery destroyed. As a consequence, Egypt's native religious culture was continually in decline. While the native population certainly continued to speak their language, the ability to read hieroglyphic writing slowly disappeared as the role of the Egyptian temple priests and priestesses diminished. The temples themselves were sometimes converted to churches or abandoned to the desert. Government and economy Administration and commerce The pharaoh was the absolute monarch of the country and, at least in theory, wielded complete control of the land and its resources. The king was the supreme military commander and head of the government, who relied on a bureaucracy of officials to manage his affairs. In charge of the administration was his second in command, the vizier, who acted as the king's representative and coordinated land surveys, the treasury, building projects, the legal system, and the archives. At a regional level, the country was divided into as many as 42 administrative regions called nomes each governed by a nomarch, who was accountable to the vizier for his jurisdiction. The temples formed the backbone of the economy. Not only were they houses of worship, but were also responsible for collecting and storing the nation's wealth in a system of granaries and treasuries administered by overseers, who redistributed grain and goods. Much of the economy was centrally organized and strictly controlled. Although the ancient Egyptians did not use coinage until the Late period, they did use a type of money-barter system, with standard sacks of grain and the deben, a weight of roughly 91 grams (3 oz) of copper or silver, forming a common denominator. Workers were paid in grain; a simple laborer might earn 5½ sacks (200 kg or 400 lb) of grain per month, while a foreman might earn 7½ sacks (250 kg or 550 lb). Prices were fixed across the country and recorded in lists to facilitate trading; for example a shirt cost five copper deben, while a cow cost 140 deben. Grain could be traded for other goods, according to the fixed price list. During the fifth century BC coined money was introduced into Egypt from abroad. At first the coins were used as standardized pieces of precious metal rather than true money, but in the following centuries international traders came to rely on coinage. Social status Egyptian society was highly stratified, and social status was expressly displayed. Farmers made up the bulk of the population, but agricultural produce was owned directly by the state, temple, or noble family that owned the land. Farmers were also subject to a labor tax and were required to work on irrigation or construction projects in a corvée system. Artists and craftsmen were of higher status than farmers, but they were also under state control, working in the shops attached to the temples and paid directly from the state treasury. Scribes and officials formed the upper class in ancient Egypt, known as the "white kilt class" in reference to the bleached linen garments that served as a mark of their rank. The upper class prominently displayed their social status in art and literature. Below the nobility were the priests, physicians, and engineers with specialized training in their field. Slavery was known in ancient Egypt, but the extent and prevalence of its practice are unclear. The ancient Egyptians viewed men and women, including people from all social classes except slaves, as essentially equal under the law, and even the lowliest peasant was entitled to petition the vizier and his court for redress. Although, slaves were mostly used as indentured servants. They were able to buy and sell, or work their way to freedom or nobility, and usually were treated by doctors in the workplace. Both men and women had the right to own and sell property, make contracts, marry and divorce, receive inheritance, and pursue legal disputes in court. Married couples could own property jointly and protect themselves from divorce by agreeing to marriage contracts, which stipulated the financial obligations of the husband to his wife and children should the marriage end. Compared with their counterparts in ancient Greece, Rome, and even more modern places around the world, ancient Egyptian women had a greater range of personal choices and opportunities for achievement. Women such as Hatshepsut and Cleopatra VI even became pharaohs, while others wielded power as Divine Wives of Amun. Despite these freedoms, ancient Egyptian women did not often take part in official roles in the administration, served only secondary roles in the temples, and were not as likely to be as educated as men. Legal system The head of the legal system was officially the pharaoh, who was responsible for enacting laws, delivering justice, and maintaining law and order, a concept the ancient Egyptians referred to as Ma'at. Although no legal codes from ancient Egypt survive, court documents show that Egyptian law was based on a common-sense view of right and wrong that emphasized reaching agreements and resolving conflicts rather than strictly adhering to a complicated set of statutes. Local councils of elders, known as Kenbet in the New Kingdom, were responsible for ruling in court cases involving small claims and minor disputes. More serious cases involving murder, major land transactions, and tomb robbery were referred to the Great Kenbet, over which the vizier or pharaoh presided. Plaintiffs and defendants were expected to represent themselves and were required to swear an oath that they had told the truth. In some cases, the state took on both the role of prosecutor and judge, and it could torture the accused with beatings to obtain a confession and the names of any co-conspirators. Whether the charges were trivial or serious, court scribes documented the complaint, testimony, and verdict of the case for future reference. Punishment for minor crimes involved either imposition of fines, beatings, facial mutilation, or exile, depending on the severity of the offense. Serious crimes such as murder and tomb robbery were punished by execution, carried out by decapitation, drowning, or impaling the criminal on a stake. Punishment could also be extended to the criminal's family. Beginning in the New Kingdom, oracles played a major role in the legal system, dispensing justice in both civil and criminal cases. The procedure was to ask the god a "yes" or "no" question concerning the right or wrong of an issue. The god, carried by a number of priests, rendered judgment by choosing one or the other, moving forward or backward, or pointing to one of the answers written on a piece of papyrus or an ostracon. Agriculture A combination of favorable geographical features contributed to the success of ancient Egyptian culture, the most important of which was the rich fertile soil resulting from annual inundations of the Nile River. The ancient Egyptians were thus able to produce an abundance of food, allowing the population to devote more time and resources to cultural, technological, and artistic pursuits. Land management was crucial in ancient Egypt because taxes were assessed based on the amount of land a person owned. Farming in Egypt was dependent on the cycle of the Nile River. The Egyptians recognized three seasons: Akhet (flooding), Peret (planting), and Shemu (harvesting). The flooding season lasted from June to September, depositing on the river's banks a layer of mineral-rich silt ideal for growing crops. After the floodwaters had receded, the growing season lasted from October to February. Farmers plowed and planted seeds in the fields, which were irrigated with ditches and canals. Egypt received little rainfall, so farmers relied on the Nile to water their crops. From March to May, farmers used sickles to harvest their crops, which were then threshed with a flail to separate the straw from the grain. Winnowing removed the chaff from the grain, and the grain was then ground into flour, brewed to make beer, or stored for later use. The ancient Egyptians cultivated emmer and barley, and several other cereal grains, all of which were used to make the two main food staples of bread and beer. Flax plants, uprooted before they started flowering, were grown for the fibers of their stems. These fibers were split along their length and spun into thread, which was used to weave sheets of linen and to make clothing. Papyrus growing on the banks of the Nile River was used to make paper. Vegetables and fruits were grown in garden plots, close to habitations and on higher ground, and had to be watered by hand. Vegetables included leeks, garlic, melons, squashes, pulses, lettuce, and other crops, in addition to grapes that were made into wine. Animals The Egyptians believed that a balanced relationship between people and animals was an essential element of the cosmic order; thus humans, animals and plants were believed to be members of a single whole. Animals, both domesticated and wild, were therefore a critical source of spirituality, companionship, and sustenance to the ancient Egyptians. Cattle were the most important livestock; the administration collected taxes on livestock in regular censuses, and the size of a herd reflected the prestige and importance of the estate or temple that owned them. In addition to cattle, the ancient Egyptians kept sheep, goats, and pigs. Poultry such as ducks, geese, and pigeons were captured in nets and bred on farms, where they were force-fed with dough to fatten them. The Nile provided a plentiful source of fish. Bees were also domesticated from at least the Old Kingdom, and they provided both honey and wax. The ancient Egyptians used donkeys and oxen as beasts of burden, and they were responsible for plowing the fields and trampling seed into the soil. The slaughter of a fattened ox was also a central part of an offering ritual. Horses were introduced by the Hyksos in the Second Intermediate Period, and the camel, although known from the New Kingdom, was not used as a beast of burden until the Late Period. There is also evidence to suggest that elephants were briefly utilized in the Late Period, but largely abandoned due to lack of grazing land. Dogs, cats and monkeys were common family pets, while more exotic pets imported from the heart of Africa, such as lions, were reserved for royalty. Herodotus observed that the Egyptians were the only people to keep their animals with them in their houses. During the Predynastic and Late periods, the worship of the gods in their animal form was extremely popular, such as the cat goddess Bastet and the ibis god Thoth, and these animals were bred in large numbers on farms for the purpose of ritual sacrifice. Natural resources Egypt is rich in building and decorative stone, copper and lead ores, gold, and semiprecious stones. These natural resources allowed the ancient Egyptians to build monuments, sculpt statues, make tools, and fashion jewelry. Embalmers used salts from the Wadi Natrun for mummification, which also provided the gypsum needed to make plaster. Ore-bearing rock formations were found in distant, inhospitable wadis in the eastern desert and the Sinai, requiring large, state-controlled expeditions to obtain natural resources found there. There were extensive gold mines in Nubia, and one of the first maps known is of a gold mine in this region. The Wadi Hammamat was a notable source of granite, greywacke, and gold. Flint was the first mineral collected and used to make tools, and flint handaxes are the earliest pieces of evidence of habitation in the Nile valley. Nodules of the mineral were carefully flaked to make blades and arrowheads of moderate hardness and durability even after copper was adopted for this purpose. Ancient Egyptians were among the first to use minerals such as sulfur as cosmetic substances. The Egyptians worked deposits of the lead ore galena at Gebel Rosas to make net sinkers, plumb bobs, and small figurines. Copper was the most important metal for toolmaking in ancient Egypt and was smelted in furnaces from malachite ore mined in the Sinai. Workers collected gold by washing the nuggets out of sediment in alluvial deposits, or by the more labor-intensive process of grinding and washing gold-bearing quartzite. Iron deposits found in upper Egypt were utilized in the Late Period. High-quality building stones were abundant in Egypt; the ancient Egyptians quarried limestone all along the Nile valley, granite from Aswan, and basalt and sandstone from the wadis of the eastern desert. Deposits of decorative stones such as porphyry, greywacke, alabaster, and carnelian dotted the eastern desert and were collected even before the First Dynasty. In the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods, miners worked deposits of emeralds in Wadi Sikait and amethyst in Wadi el-Hudi. Trade The ancient Egyptians engaged in trade with their foreign neighbors to obtain rare, exotic goods not found in Egypt. In the Predynastic Period, they established trade with Nubia to obtain gold and incense. They also established trade with Palestine, as evidenced by Palestinian-style oil jugs found in the burials of the First Dynasty pharaohs. An Egyptian colony stationed in southern Canaan dates to slightly before the First Dynasty. Narmer had Egyptian pottery produced in Canaan and exported back to Egypt. By the Second Dynasty at latest, ancient Egyptian trade with Byblos yielded a critical source of quality timber not found in Egypt. By the Fifth Dynasty, trade with Punt provided gold, aromatic resins, ebony, ivory, and wild animals such as monkeys and baboons. Egypt relied on trade with Anatolia for essential quantities of tin as well as supplementary supplies of copper, both metals being necessary for the manufacture of bronze. The ancient Egyptians prized the blue stone lapis lazuli, which had to be imported from far-away Afghanistan. Egypt's Mediterranean trade partners also included Greece and Crete, which provided, among other goods, supplies of olive oil. In exchange for its luxury imports and raw materials, Egypt mainly exported grain, gold, linen, and papyrus, in addition to other finished goods including glass and stone objects. Language - Historical development The Egyptian language is a northern Afro-Asiatic language closely related to the Berber and Semitic languages. It has the second longest history of any language (after Sumerian), having been written from c. 3200 BC to the Middle Ages and remaining as a spoken language for longer. The phases of ancient Egyptian are Old Egyptian, Middle Egyptian (Classical Egyptian), Late Egyptian, Demotic and Coptic. Egyptian writings do not show dialect differences before Coptic, but it was probably spoken in regional dialects around Memphis and later Thebes. Ancient Egyptian was a synthetic language, but it became more analytic later on. Late Egyptian develops prefixal definite and indefinite articles, which replace the older inflectional suffixes. There is a change from the older verb-subject-object word order to subject-verb-object. The Egyptian hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic scripts were eventually replaced by the more phonetic Coptic alphabet. Coptic is still used in the liturgy of the Egyptian Orthodox Church, and traces of it are found in modern Egyptian Arabic. Sounds and grammar Ancient Egyptian has 25 consonants similar to those of other Afro-Asiatic languages. These include pharyngeal and emphatic consonants, voiced and voiceless stops, voiceless fricatives and voiced and voiceless affricates. It has three long and three short vowels, which expanded in Later Egyptian to about nine. The basic word in Egyptian, similar to Semitic and Berber, is a triliteral or biliteral root of consonants and semiconsonants. Suffixes are added to form words. The verb conjugation corresponds to the person. For example, the triconsonantal skeleton S-Ḏ-M is the semantic core of the word 'hear'; its basic conjugation is sḏm, 'he hears'. If the subject is a noun, suffixes are not added to the verb: sḏm ḥmt, 'the woman hears'. Adjectives are derived from nouns through a process that Egyptologists call nisbation because of its similarity with Arabic. The word order is predicate-subject in verbal and adjectival sentences, and subject-predicate in nominal and adverbial sentences. The subject can be moved to the beginning of sentences if it is long and is followed by a resumptive pronoun. Verbs and nouns are negated by the particle n, but nn is used for adverbial and adjectival sentences. Stress falls on the ultimate or penultimate syllable, which can be open (CV) or closed (CVC). Writing Hieroglyphic writing dates from c. 3000 BC, and is composed of hundreds of symbols. A hieroglyph can represent a word, a sound, or a silent determinative; and the same symbol can serve different purposes in different contexts. Hieroglyphs were a formal script, used on stone monuments and in tombs, that could be as detailed as individual works of art. In day-to-day writing, scribes used a cursive form of writing, called hieratic, which was quicker and easier. While formal hieroglyphs may be read in rows or columns in either direction (though typically written from right to left), hieratic was always written from right to left, usually in horizontal rows. A new form of writing, Demotic, became the prevalent writing style, and it is this form of writing-along with formal hieroglyphs-that accompany the Greek text on the Rosetta Stone. Around the first century AD, the Coptic alphabet started to be used alongside the Demotic script. Coptic is a modified Greek alphabet with the addition of some Demotic signs. Although formal hieroglyphs were used in a ceremonial role until the fourth century, towards the end only a small handful of priests could still read them. As the traditional religious establishments were disbanded, knowledge of hieroglyphic writing was mostly lost. Attempts to decipher them date to the Byzantine and Islamic periods in Egypt, but only in 1822, after the discovery of the Rosetta stone and years of research by Thomas Young and Jean-François Champollion, were hieroglyphs almost fully deciphered. Literature Writing first appeared in association with kingship on labels and tags for items found in royal tombs. It was primarily an occupation of the scribes, who worked out of the Per Ankh institution or the House of Life. The latter comprised offices, libraries (called House of Books), laboratories and observatories. Some of the best-known pieces of ancient Egyptian literature, such as the Pyramid and Coffin Texts, were written in Classical Egyptian, which continued to be the language of writing until about 1300 BC. Later Egyptian was spoken from the New Kingdom onward and is represented in Ramesside administrative documents, love poetry and tales, as well as in Demotic and Coptic texts. During this period, the tradition of writing had evolved into the tomb autobiography, such as those of Harkhuf and Weni. The genre known as Sebayt ("instructions") was developed to communicate teachings and guidance from famous nobles; the Ipuwer papyrus, a poem of lamentations describing natural disasters and social upheaval, is a famous example. The Story of Sinuhe, written in Middle Egyptian, might be the classic of Egyptian literature. Also written at this time was the Westcar Papyrus, a set of stories told to Khufu by his sons relating the marvels performed by priests. The Instruction of Amenemope is considered a masterpiece of near-eastern literature. Towards the end of the New Kingdom, the vernacular language was more often employed to write popular pieces like the Story of Wenamun and the Instruction of Any. The former tells the story of a noble who is robbed on his way to buy cedar from Lebanon and of his struggle to return to Egypt. From about 700 BC, narrative stories and instructions, such as the popular Instructions of Onchsheshonqy, as well as personal and business documents were written in the demotic script and phase of Egyptian. Many stories written in demotic during the Greco-Roman period were set in previous historical eras, when Egypt was an independent nation ruled by great pharaohs such as Ramesses II. Culture - Daily life Most ancient Egyptians were farmers tied to the land. Their dwellings were restricted to immediate family members, and were constructed of mud-brick designed to remain cool in the heat of the day. Each home had a kitchen with an open roof, which contained a grindstone for milling grain and a small oven for baking the bread. Walls were painted white and could be covered with dyed linen wall hangings. Floors were covered with reed mats, while wooden stools, beds raised from the floor and individual tables comprised the furniture. The ancient Egyptians placed a great value on hygiene and appearance. Most bathed in the Nile and used a pasty soap made from animal fat and chalk. Men shaved their entire bodies for cleanliness; perfumes and aromatic ointments covered bad odors and soothed skin. Clothing was made from simple linen sheets that were bleached white, and both men and women of the upper classes wore wigs, jewelry, and cosmetics. Children went without clothing until maturity, at about age 12, and at this age males were circumcised and had their heads shaved. Mothers were responsible for taking care of the children, while the father provided the family's income. Music and dance were popular entertainments for those who could afford them. Early instruments included flutes and harps, while instruments similar to trumpets, oboes, and pipes developed later and became popular. In the New Kingdom, the Egyptians played on bells, cymbals, tambourines, drums, and imported lutes and lyres from Asia. The sistrum was a rattle-like musical instrument that was especially important in religious ceremonies. The ancient Egyptians enjoyed a variety of leisure activities, including games and music. Senet, a board game where pieces moved according to random chance, was particularly popular from the earliest times; another similar game was mehen, which had a circular gaming board. Juggling and ball games were popular with children, and wrestling is also documented in a tomb at Beni Hasan. The wealthy members of ancient Egyptian society enjoyed hunting and boating as well. The excavation of the workers' village of Deir el-Madinah has resulted in one of the most thoroughly documented accounts of community life in the ancient world that spans almost four hundred years. There is no comparable site in which the organisation, social interactions, working and living conditions of a community were studied in such detail. Cuisine Egyptian cuisine remained remarkably stable over time; indeed, the cuisine of modern Egypt retains some striking similarities to the cuisine of the ancients. The staple diet consisted of bread and beer, supplemented with vegetables such as onions and garlic, and fruit such as dates and figs. Wine and meat were enjoyed by all on feast days while the upper classes indulged on a more regular basis. Fish, meat, and fowl could be salted or dried, and could be cooked in stews or roasted on a grill. Architecture The architecture of ancient Egypt includes some of the most famous structures in the world: the Great Pyramids of Giza and the temples at Thebes. Building projects were organized and funded by the state for religious and commemorative purposes, but also to reinforce the power of the pharaoh. The ancient Egyptians were skilled builders; using simple but effective tools and sighting instruments, architects could build large stone structures with accuracy and precision. The domestic dwellings of elite and ordinary Egyptians alike were constructed from perishable materials such as mud bricks and wood, and have not survived. Peasants lived in simple homes, while the palaces of the elite were more elaborate structures. A few surviving New Kingdom palaces, such as those in Malkata and Amarna, show richly decorated walls and floors with scenes of people, birds, water pools, deities and geometric designs. Important structures such as temples and tombs that were intended to last forever were constructed of stone instead of bricks. The architectural elements used in the world's first large-scale stone building, Djoser's mortuary complex, include post and lintel supports in the papyrus and lotus motif. The earliest preserved ancient Egyptian temples, such as those at Giza, consist of single, enclosed halls with roof slabs supported by columns. In the New Kingdom, architects added the pylon, the open courtyard, and the enclosed hypostyle hall to the front of the temple's sanctuary, a style that was standard until the Greco-Roman period. The earliest and most popular tomb architecture in the Old Kingdom was the mastaba, a flat-roofed rectangular structure of mudbrick or stone built over an underground burial chamber. The step pyramid of Djoser is a series of stone mastabas stacked on top of each other. Pyramids were built during the Old and Middle Kingdoms, but most later rulers abandoned them in favor of less conspicuous rock-cut tombs. The Twenty-fifth dynasty was a notable exception, as all Twenty-fifth dynasty pharaohs constructed pyramids. Art The ancient Egyptians produced art to serve functional purposes. For over 3500 years, artists adhered to artistic forms and iconography that were developed during the Old Kingdom, following a strict set of principles that resisted foreign influence and internal change. These artistic standards-simple lines, shapes, and flat areas of color combined with the characteristic flat projection of figures with no indication of spatial depth-created a sense of order and balance within a composition. Images and text were intimately interwoven on tomb and temple walls, coffins, stelae, and even statues. The Narmer Palette, for example, displays figures that can also be read as hieroglyphs Because of the rigid rules that governed its highly stylized and symbolic appearance, ancient Egyptian art served its political and religious purposes with precision and clarity. Ancient Egyptian artisans used stone to carve statues and fine reliefs, but used wood as a cheap and easily carved substitute. Paints were obtained from minerals such as iron ores (red and yellow ochres), copper ores (blue and green), soot or charcoal (black), and limestone (white). Paints could be mixed with gum arabic as a binder and pressed into cakes, which could be moistened with water when needed. Pharaohs used reliefs to record victories in battle, royal decrees, and religious scenes. Common citizens had access to pieces of funerary art, such as shabti statues and books of the dead, which they believed would protect them in the afterlife. During the Middle Kingdom, wooden or clay models depicting scenes from everyday life became popular additions to the tomb. In an attempt to duplicate the activities of the living in the afterlife, these models show laborers, houses, boats, and even military formations that are scale representations of the ideal ancient Egyptian afterlife. Despite the homogeneity of ancient Egyptian art, the styles of particular times and places sometimes reflected changing cultural or political attitudes. After the invasion of the Hyksos in the Second Intermediate Period, Minoan-style frescoes were found in Avaris. The most striking example of a politically driven change in artistic forms comes from the Amarna period, where figures were radically altered to conform to Akhenaten's revolutionary religious ideas. This style, known as Amarna art, was quickly and thoroughly erased after Akhenaten's death and replaced by the traditional forms. Religious beliefs Beliefs in the divine and in the afterlife were ingrained in ancient Egyptian civilization from its inception; pharaonic rule was based on the divine right of kings. The Egyptian pantheon was populated by gods who had supernatural powers and were called on for help or protection. However, the gods were not always viewed as benevolent, and Egyptians believed they had to be appeased with offerings and prayers. The structure of this pantheon changed continually as new deities were promoted in the hierarchy, but priests made no effort to organize the diverse and sometimes conflicting myths and stories into a coherent system. These various conceptions of divinity were not considered contradictory but rather layers in the multiple facets of reality. Gods were worshiped in cult temples administered by priests acting on the king's behalf. At the center of the temple was the cult statue in a shrine. Temples were not places of public worship or congregation, and only on select feast days and celebrations was a shrine carrying the statue of the god brought out for public worship. Normally, the god's domain was sealed off from the outside world and was only accessible to temple officials. Common citizens could worship private statues in their homes, and amulets offered protection against the forces of chaos. After the New Kingdom, the pharaoh's role as a spiritual intermediary was de-emphasized as religious customs shifted to direct worship of the gods. As a result, priests developed a system of oracles to communicate the will of the gods directly to the people. The Egyptians believed that every human being was composed of physical and spiritual parts or aspects. In addition to the body, each person had a šwt (shadow), a ba (personality or soul), a ka (life-force), and a name. The heart, rather than the brain, was considered the seat of thoughts and emotions. After death, the spiritual aspects were released from the body and could move at will, but they required the physical remains (or a substitute, such as a statue) as a permanent home. The ultimate goal of the deceased was to rejoin his ka and ba and become one of the "blessed dead", living on as an akh, or "effective one". For this to happen, the deceased had to be judged worthy in a trial, in which the heart was weighed against a "feather of truth". If deemed worthy, the deceased could continue their existence on earth in spiritual form. Burial customs The ancient Egyptians maintained an elaborate set of burial customs that they believed were necessary to ensure immortality after death. These customs involved preserving the body by mummification, performing burial ceremonies, and interring with the body goods the deceased would use in the afterlife. Before the Old Kingdom, bodies buried in desert pits were naturally preserved by desiccation. The arid, desert conditions were a boon throughout the history of ancient Egypt for burials of the poor, who could not afford the elaborate burial preparations available to the elite. Wealthier Egyptians began to bury their dead in stone tombs and use artificial mummification, which involved removing the internal organs, wrapping the body in linen, and burying it in a rectangular stone sarcophagus or wooden coffin. Beginning in the Fourth Dynasty, some parts were preserved separately in canopic jars. By the New Kingdom, the ancient Egyptians had perfected the art of mummification; the best technique took 70 days and involved removing the internal organs, removing the brain through the nose, and desiccating the body in a mixture of salts called natron. The body was then wrapped in linen with protective amulets inserted between layers and placed in a decorated anthropoid coffin. Mummies of the Late Period were also placed in painted cartonnage mummy cases. Actual preservation practices declined during the Ptolemaic and Roman eras, while greater emphasis was placed on the outer appearance of the mummy, which was decorated. Wealthy Egyptians were buried with larger quantities of luxury items, but all burials, regardless of social status, included goods for the deceased. Beginning in the New Kingdom, books of the dead were included in the grave, along with shabti statues that were believed to perform manual labor for them in the afterlife. Rituals in which the deceased was magically re-animated accompanied burials. After burial, living relatives were expected to occasionally bring food to the tomb and recite prayers on behalf of the deceased. Military The ancient Egyptian military was responsible for defending Egypt against foreign invasion, and for maintaining Egypt's domination in the ancient Near East. The military protected mining expeditions to the Sinai during the Old Kingdom and fought civil wars during the First and Second Intermediate Periods. The military was responsible for maintaining fortifications along important trade routes, such as those found at the city of Buhen on the way to Nubia. Forts also were constructed to serve as military bases, such as the fortress at Sile, which was a base of operations for expeditions to the Levant. In the New Kingdom, a series of pharaohs used the standing Egyptian army to attack and conquer Kush and parts of the Levant. Typical military equipment included bows and arrows, spears, and round-topped shields made by stretching animal skin over a wooden frame. In the New Kingdom, the military began using chariots that had earlier been introduced by the Hyksos invaders. Weapons and armor continued to improve after the adoption of bronze: shields were now made from solid wood with a bronze buckle, spears were tipped with a bronze point, and the Khopesh was adopted from Asiatic soldiers. The pharaoh was usually depicted in art and literature riding at the head of the army; it has been suggested that at least a few pharaohs, such as Seqenenre Tao II and his sons, did do so. However, it has also been argued that "kings of this period did not personally act as frontline war leaders, fighting alongside their troops". Soldiers were recruited from the general population, but during, and especially after, the New Kingdom, mercenaries from Nubia, Kush, and Libya were hired to fight for Egypt. Technology, medicine, and mathematics - Technology In technology, medicine and mathematics, ancient Egypt achieved a relatively high standard of productivity and sophistication. Traditional empiricism, as evidenced by the Edwin Smith and Ebers papyri (c. 1600 BC), is first credited to Egypt. The Egyptians created their own alphabet and decimal system. Faience and glass Even before the Old Kingdom, the ancient Egyptians had developed a glassy material known as faience, which they treated as a type of artificial semi-precious stone. Faience is a non-clay ceramic made of silica, small amounts of lime and soda, and a colorant, typically copper. The material was used to make beads, tiles, figurines, and small wares. Several methods can be used to create faience, but typically production involved application of the powdered materials in the form of a paste over a clay core, which was then fired. By a related technique, the ancient Egyptians produced a pigment known as Egyptian Blue, also called blue frit, which is produced by fusing (or sintering) silica, copper, lime, and an alkali such as natron. The product can be ground up and used as a pigment. The ancient Egyptians could fabricate a wide variety of objects from glass with great skill, but it is not clear whether they developed the process independently. It is also unclear whether they made their own raw glass or merely imported pre-made ingots, which they melted and finished. However, they did have technical expertise in making objects, as well as adding trace elements to control the color of the finished glass. A range of colors could be produced, including yellow, red, green, blue, purple, and white, and the glass could be made either transparent or opaque. Medicine The medical problems of the ancient Egyptians stemmed directly from their environment. Living and working close to the Nile brought hazards from malaria and debilitating schistosomiasis parasites, which caused liver and intestinal damage. Dangerous wildlife such as crocodiles and hippos were also a common threat. The lifelong labors of farming and building put stress on the spine and joints, and traumatic injuries from construction and warfare all took a significant toll on the body. The grit and sand from stone-ground flour abraded teeth, leaving them susceptible to abscesses (though caries were rare). The diets of the wealthy were rich in sugars, which promoted periodontal disease. Despite the flattering physiques portrayed on tomb walls, the overweight mummies of many of the upper class show the effects of a life of overindulgence. Adult life expectancy was about 35 for men and 30 for women, but reaching adulthood was difficult as about one-third of the population died in infancy. Ancient Egyptian physicians were renowned in the ancient Near East for their healing skills, and some, such as Imhotep, remained famous long after their deaths. Herodotus remarked that there was a high degree of specialization among Egyptian physicians, with some treating only the head or the stomach, while others were eye-doctors and dentists. Training of physicians took place at the Per Ankh or "House of Life" institution, most notably those headquartered in Per-Bastet during the New Kingdom and at Abydos and Saïs in the Late period. Medical papyri show empirical knowledge of anatomy, injuries, and practical treatments. Wounds were treated by bandaging with raw meat, white linen, sutures, nets, pads, and swabs soaked with honey to prevent infection, while opium thyme and belladona were used to relieve pain. The earliest records of burn treatment describe burn dressings that use the milk from mothers of male babies Prayers were made to the goddess Isis. Moldy bread, honey and copper salts were also used to prevent infection from dirt in burns. Garlic and onions were used regularly to promote good health and were thought to relieve asthma symptoms. Ancient Egyptian surgeons stitched wounds, set broken bones, and amputated diseased limbs, but they recognized that some injuries were so serious that they could only make the patient comfortable until death occurred. Maritime technology Early Egyptians knew how to assemble planks of wood into a ship hull and had mastered advanced forms of shipbuilding as early as 3000 BC. The Archaeological Institute of America reports that the oldest planked ships known are the Abydos boats. A group of 14 discovered ships in Abydos were constructed of wooden planks "sewn" together. Discovered by Egyptologist David O'Connor of New York University, woven straps were found to have been used to lash the planks together, and reeds or grass stuffed between the planks helped to seal the seams. Because the ships are all buried together and near a mortuary belonging to Pharaoh Khasekhemwy, originally they were all thought to have belonged to him, but one of the 14 ships dates to 3000 BC, and the associated pottery jars buried with the vessels also suggest earlier dating. The ship dating to 3000 BC was 75 feet (23 m) long and is now thought to perhaps have belonged to an earlier pharaoh. According to professor O'Connor, the 5,000-year-old ship may have even belonged to Pharaoh Aha. Early Egyptians also knew how to assemble planks of wood with treenails to fasten them together, using pitch for caulking the seams. The "Khufu ship", a 43.6-metre (143 ft) vessel sealed into a pit in the Giza pyramid complex at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza in the Fourth Dynasty around 2500 BC, is a full-size surviving example that may have filled the symbolic function of a solar barque. Early Egyptians also knew how to fasten the planks of this ship together with mortise and tenon joints. Large seagoing ships are known to have been heavily used by the Egyptians in their trade with the city states of the eastern Mediterranean, especially Byblos (on the coast of modern-day Lebanon), and in several expeditions down the Red Sea to the Land of Punt. In fact one of the earliest Egyptian words for a seagoing ship is a "Byblos Ship", which originally defined a class of Egyptian seagoing ships used on the Byblos run; however, by the end of the Old Kingdom, the term had come to include large seagoing ships, whatever their destination. In 2011 archaeologists from Italy, the United States, and Egypt excavating a dried-up lagoon known as Mersa Gawasis have unearthed traces of an ancient harbor that once launched early voyages like Hatshepsut's Punt expedition onto the open ocean. Some of the site's most evocative evidence for the ancient Egyptians' seafaring prowess include large ship timbers and hundreds of feet of ropes, made from papyrus, coiled in huge bundles. And in 2013 a team of Franco-Egyptian archaeologists discovered what is believed to be the world's oldest port, dating back about 4500 years, from the time of King Cheops on the Red Sea coast near Wadi el-Jarf (about 110 miles south of Suez). In 1977, an ancient north-south canal dating to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt was discovered extending from Lake Timsah to the Ballah Lakes. It was dated to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt by extrapolating dates of ancient sites constructed along its course. Mathematics The earliest attested examples of mathematical calculations date to the predynastic Naqada period, and show a fully developed numeral system. The importance of mathematics to an educated Egyptian is suggested by a New Kingdom fictional letter in which the writer proposes a scholarly competition between himself and another scribe regarding everyday calculation tasks such as accounting of land, labor, and grain. Texts such as the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus and the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus show that the ancient Egyptians could perform the four basic mathematical operations-addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division-use fractions, compute the volumes of boxes and pyramids, and calculate the surface areas of rectangles, triangles, and circles. They understood basic concepts of algebra and geometry, and could solve simple sets of simultaneous equations. Mathematical notation was decimal, and based on hieroglyphic signs for each power of ten up to one million. Each of these could be written as many times as necessary to add up to the desired number; so to write the number eighty or eight hundred, the symbol for ten or one hundred was written eight times respectively. Because their methods of calculation could not handle most fractions with a numerator greater than one, they had to write fractions as the sum of several fractions. For example, they resolved the fraction two-fifths into the sum of one-third + one-fifteenth. Standard tables of values facilitated this. Some common fractions, however, were written with a special glyph-the equivalent of the modern two-thirds is shown on the right. Ancient Egyptian mathematicians had a grasp of the principles underlying the Pythagorean theorem, knowing, for example, that a triangle had a right angle opposite the hypotenuse when its sides were in a 3-4-5 ratio. They were able to estimate the area of a circle by subtracting one-ninth from its diameter and squaring the result: Area ≈ [(8⁄9)D]2 = (256⁄81)r 2 ≈ 3.16r 2, a reasonable approximation of the formula πr 2. The golden ratio seems to be reflected in many Egyptian constructions, including the pyramids, but its use may have been an unintended consequence of the ancient Egyptian practice of combining the use of knotted ropes with an intuitive sense of proportion and harmony. Legacy The culture and monuments of ancient Egypt have left a lasting legacy on the world. The cult of the goddess Isis, for example, became popular in the Roman Empire, as obelisks and other relics were transported back to Rome. The Romans also imported building materials from Egypt to erect Egyptian-style structures. Early historians such as Herodotus, Strabo, and Diodorus Siculus studied and wrote about the land, which Romans came to view as a place of mystery. During the Middle Ages and The Renaissance, Egyptian pagan culture was in decline after the rise of Christianity and later Islam, but interest in Egyptian antiquity continued in the writings of medieval scholars such as Dhul-Nun al-Misri and al-Maqrizi. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, European travelers and tourists brought back antiquities and wrote stories of their journeys, leading to a wave of Egyptomania across Europe. This renewed interest sent collectors to Egypt, who took, purchased, or were given many important antiquities. Although the European colonial occupation of Egypt destroyed a significant portion of the country's historical legacy, some foreigners left more positive marks. Napoleon, for example, arranged the first studies in Egyptology when he brought some 150 scientists and artists to study and document Egypt's natural history, which was published in the Description de l'Égypte. In the 20th century, the Egyptian Government and archaeologists alike recognized the importance of cultural respect and integrity in excavations. The Supreme Council of Antiquities now approves and oversees all excavations, which are aimed at finding information rather than treasure. The council also supervises museums and monument reconstruction programs designed to preserve the historical legacy of Egypt. | Wiki FOR MORE SUCH ARTISTS' & ARTWORKS FOLLOW SUJITH PUTHRAN
  23. Iranian gallerists released on bail

    Iranian gallerists released on bail after two years in Tehran prison Karan Vafadari and Afarin Neyssari paid a bail of around $10m according to sources but still await appeal request Afarin Neyssari and Karan Vafadari were arrested in 2016 Courtesy of Centre for Human Rights in Iran The Iranian gallery owner Afarin Neyssari and her husband, the Iranian-American businessman Karan Vafadari, have been released on bail from Tehran’s Evin Prison after two years in jail. The Art Newspaper has been told that the couple had to pay a bail of around IRR400bn ($10m). They remain in Tehran awaiting a decision on their appeal request. News of their temporary release on 21 July emerged in social media postings, but yesterday (24 July) the family declined to comment. The couple, who own the Aun Gallery in Tehran, were arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in July 2016. In January this year, the couple were sentenced to draconian jail terms of 16 years for Neyssari, and 27 years for Vafadari on accusations that have ranged from “assembly and collusion against national security”, “spreading corruption”, “storing alcoholic drinks” and “dealing in indecent art.” While Vafadari is one of a string of dual nationals to be incarcerated in Iran — and his wife has also been a US resident — the couple’s supporters have widely claimed that the case centers on valuable real estate that Vafadari’s well-known Zoroastrian family owns in fast-growing Tehran. In a letter written from prison earlier this year, Vafadari wrote that at the time of his arrest, he was attempting to claim back land confiscated from his family during the 1979 revolution, “when more than half of our agricultural lands were confiscated in the name of khoms [Islamic tax] and more assets were taken away from us for different reasons,” he wrote. The case has shocked the Iranian and international art community, and 15,000 people have signed an online petition for their release. The Aun Gallery’s artists include the Italian-based Iranian artist Bijan Basari, who went on to represent Iran at the 2017 Venice Biennale, after the couple were arrested Salman Matinfar, the founding director of the Tehran gallery Ab-Anbar, posted on Instagram about the couple’s release on 21 July. “It is great news that they are out after two years [in prison], even though they are on bail for now for IRR400bn (around $10m) and they have to wait for appeal” Matinfar says. “Many Iranians with dual nationalities have returned to Iran to start a business to contribute to their motherland for a brighter future”, he adds. “What happened to this couple gives many of these contributors cold feet.” The Armenian artist Jean Boghossian, whom Neyssari had planned to show at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, has also supported the appeal to release them. “I don’t understand why Afarin was arrested in the first place”, he says. “I am happy that two years afterwards they have been released on bail because freedom has no price and I look forward to meeting them whenever possible.”