E.J.Wilkins

16 Sep 2010 471 views
 
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photoblog image Mérida, Spain

Mérida, Spain

National Museum of Roman Art

The description in the case alongside this remarkable artefact tells us that it is an ...

 

Agate Vessel.

 

Found in 1916 in the yard of a house in Mérida, next to a glass unguentarium and a fragment of funerary inscription. Has seared a front face representation of a Silenus, whose mouth is the vessel, serving as handles are his ears.

1st C.AD

(On loan from National Archaeological Museum (Madrid))


According to Wikipedia, Silenus was companion and tutor to Wine God Bacchus. On Answers.com it says this :-

 

A famous story relates how Midas made Silenus drunk in order to learn his secrets. In Virgil, Eclogue 6, Silenus is caught by two shepherds and sings them songs of ancient myths. He is sometimes represented as Dionysus' tutor, or depicted in the train of Dionysus, making music or getting drunk.

 

Socrates was often compared with Silenus, and likenesses of the former are remarkably similar to ancient portrait heads of the latter. But the comparison was meant to include not only physical appearance but a common incongruity between outward appearance and inner wisdom.

 

And that's all I can find out for now.

 

Irrespective of whose face is carved on this, I think this is a beautiful piece of work that demonstrates astonishing craftsmanship. I can imagine it being quite a precious, and probably very expensive, thing to own.

 

If you'd like to know more about this amazing Museum and some of its' priceless and awe-inspiring exhibits please take a look the text accompanying other pictures I've uploaded, they can be found - here -.

.

Mérida, Spain

National Museum of Roman Art

The description in the case alongside this remarkable artefact tells us that it is an ...

 

Agate Vessel.

 

Found in 1916 in the yard of a house in Mérida, next to a glass unguentarium and a fragment of funerary inscription. Has seared a front face representation of a Silenus, whose mouth is the vessel, serving as handles are his ears.

1st C.AD

(On loan from National Archaeological Museum (Madrid))


According to Wikipedia, Silenus was companion and tutor to Wine God Bacchus. On Answers.com it says this :-

 

A famous story relates how Midas made Silenus drunk in order to learn his secrets. In Virgil, Eclogue 6, Silenus is caught by two shepherds and sings them songs of ancient myths. He is sometimes represented as Dionysus' tutor, or depicted in the train of Dionysus, making music or getting drunk.

 

Socrates was often compared with Silenus, and likenesses of the former are remarkably similar to ancient portrait heads of the latter. But the comparison was meant to include not only physical appearance but a common incongruity between outward appearance and inner wisdom.

 

And that's all I can find out for now.

 

Irrespective of whose face is carved on this, I think this is a beautiful piece of work that demonstrates astonishing craftsmanship. I can imagine it being quite a precious, and probably very expensive, thing to own.

 

If you'd like to know more about this amazing Museum and some of its' priceless and awe-inspiring exhibits please take a look the text accompanying other pictures I've uploaded, they can be found - here -.

.

comments (16)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 16 Sep 2010, 00:47
What a place!
More, please...
EJWilkins: Yes, there'll be a few more from the Museum, then some from the other sites. As long as nobody gets too bored!
Some art work I can tell
EJWilkins: Amazing skills
  • Chris
  • England
  • 16 Sep 2010, 08:26
This is craftsmanship of a very high order Ellie
EJWilkins: It certainly is.
When I first saw it I thought it had been carved on/from a shell of some sort. I didn't imagine it started life as a lump of rock.
  • Aussie
  • Australia
  • 16 Sep 2010, 09:18
Beautiful art work.
EJWilkins: It is, I was really 'taken' by this piece
A wonderful piece of art Ellie!
EJWilkins: AMazing thing, isn't it
Certainly there were no dremel tools when this was made. It is truly a magnificent piece.
EJWilkins: No, there weren't. It's hard to imagine how long it must have taken to make this piece from a chunk of rock.
Ohhh, how beautiful!!! Look at the delicacy they managed to create so many, many centuries ago!
EJWilkins: Yes, they were very skilled
A fascinating object Ellie. I like the way you present your images these days.
EJWilkins: Totally fascinating Chad.

Thanks - not sure what I've changed, or if it's been deliberate. Perhaps the break has made a difference too?
This is beautifully photgraphed, Ellie, and I can imagine it was not easy to do. Fabulous piece of sculpted art - quite humbling when you know how long ago it was made. (:o)
EJWilkins: It wasn't 'that' easy - lighting, sunlight and a layer of glass with reflections, so I'm pleased with the way it turned out.
To think this piece started life as a lump of agate!
It does look a rather wonderful object Ellie
EJWilkins: It was, almost mesmerisingly so.
What an unusual item.
EJWilkins: Very unusual. I think it was a drinking vessel of some sort.
Can you imagine the thrill of having this dug up in your yard? The craftsmanship is incredible.
EJWilkins: It's possible that those people who live in Mérida who have gardens are quite used to finding little bits and pieces - a bit like us finding scraps of clay pipe stems ... but to find something as special as this would be absolutely amazing
Amazing work, how lucky to have still got it and almost intact smile
EJWilkins: Yes, the front was perfect. It was beautiful to see
  • Scotia
  • United Kingdom
  • 16 Sep 2010, 21:30
Fantastic series Ellie so many beautiful images
EJWilkins: The images, although I'm generally pleased with them, don't really do justice to the artefacts. They were all amazing, it was a real culture-fest.
This Agate is truly a beautiful funeral, to the point of being in the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid. I like Roman art, I like The usage that made the sculpture for advertising their Caesars, its emperors.
By the way Have you been in Tunisia?. I was visiting there and I was fascinated with Roman ruins at El Jem, Dougga, Sbeitla. If you have not traveled there, I would recommend also the National Museum of Bardo, there you will enjoy some beautiful Roman mosaics, unmatched.
Excuse my English, I am forced to use google translate and I think between the two made too many mistakes.
A greeting.
EJWilkins: Thank you. My Spanish is zero, so I sometimes use English or Babelfish - which makes mistakes.
I have not been to Tunisia, I would love to go there.
Such creativity, a truly wonderful object.
EJWilkins: It was one of very many wonderful objects, but I thought it was quite special. I'm glad you do too.

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