Europe

‘Treasure of humanity’: 14,000yo cave paintings found under Spanish town

‘Treasure of humanity’: 14,000yo cave paintings found under Spanish town

via “RT

Pictures released by Provincial Council of Biscay showing 14,000 year old cave engravings in the Basque village of Lekeitio. © Diputacion Foral de Bizkaia

Ancient wall engravings of animals dating back 14,000 years have been discovered by archaeologists in a cave below a seaside Spanish town.

The 50 images were found etched into rock at the Armintxe cave in Lekeitio in Spain’s Basque region and depict animals rarely seen in Paleolithic art, such as lions.

Experts working with the Provincial Council of Bizkaia made the the discovery of the ancient cave artwork, which was reportedly located beneath a building in the small coastal town and confirmed to the public on Thursday.

Archaeologists believe the drawings are identical to ones found in the Pyrenees, according to Basque news outlet Deia, which suggests the people who created them were in close contact.

Cave engravings (top) representing animals like horses, bisons, lions or goats, and a highlighted version, in the Armintxe cave in the Basque village of Lekeitio. © Diputacion Foral de Bizkaia

The artwork contains images of five goats, two bison, 18 horses and a pair of lions. A series of circles and lines also make up the ancient art find.

Local official Andoni Iturbe told AFP how they were found in an “extremely difficult” cave to access – a place which will remain closed to the public.

Biscay council colleague Unai Rementeria has described the etchings as a “treasure of humanity.”

Images from the site reveal how the artwork could easily have been be missed due to their faint outlines.

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Art I Love – Owl Door

http://pin.it/CeYP2vD

Medieval Castle Rebuilt with Medieval Technology

Getty Museum returns the Head of Hades to Italy

Sometime between 300-400B.C., an unknown artist in Morgantina, Italy carefully sculpted this terra-cotta replica of the famed god of the Underworld, the feared Hades.  The skull or head itself was carefully sculpted on its own, and later the curly hair and beard were individually added, one curl at a time, just before the final firing in the kiln. Afterwards, it was carefully painted, and some parts of the paint remain such as the red in his hair and the blue in his beard.  This beautiful artifact is an amazingly well-preserved momento of painstaking artistry.

The piece goes by both the name “Head of Hades” and “Bluebeard” and was illegally excavated from an Italian archaeological dig during the 1970s. Afterwards it was sold and ended up at the Getty Museum in the USA.  

According to the Getty Website, the work was initially believed to be a depiction of Hades’ brother, Zeus (known occasionally as Bluebeard).  However, examination of the nearby discovered artifacts and the knowledge that Morgantina worshipped Persephone (kidnapped wife of Hades), they now believe it is actually Hades instead.  The kidnapping of Persephone is thought to have occurred at a lake near the city.  

Long story short, because the work was illegally excavated, it technically still belongs to Italy and was stolen property, meaning the Getty had to repatriate the bust to its nation of origin.  Although the legal exchange happened a couple years ago, the official trade occurred recently when Italian officials arrived to take over possession.  

One of the interesting notes to me is the fact that the Getty has owned this work since 1985 according to their own website. It is unclear why this is only being repatriated now.  

Either way, the work is finally home as Hades returns to his royal lands, protecting the good and punishing the wicked as they pass into his deadly realm.

Resources:

  1. Getty Website
  2. Yahoo! News

Coming Exhibition: Ornament and Illusion ~ Carlo Crivelli of Venice

Ornament and Illusion:
Carlo Crivelli of Venice

Who:  

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

When: Oct. 22, 2015 – January 25, 2016 (Hours Vary)

Where: 

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
25 Evans Way
Boston, MA 02115

More Information: Here.

Ornament and Illusion is the first monographic exhibition dedicated to Renaissance painter Carlo Crivelli in the United States. The Gardner’s newly conserved Saint George Slaying the Dragon is the touchstone for a two-part installation. The first reunites four of six surviving panels from Crivelli’s Porto San Giorgio altarpiece, of which the Gardner painting is a fragment. The second features 20 of Crivelli’s most important works from Europe and the U.S. Together, they will introduce visitors to the artist’s repertoire of dazzling pictorial effects, and refine each encounter with his bravura illusionism.