The Buddha statues and the iconographic representations of other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are often depicted while performing a number of different poses and ritual postures. Also referred to as an asana, there are over 100 poses illustrating the life of the Buddha. And each posture will have a specific hand gesture, called a mudra, and … Read more
Manu Scriptus The world manuscript derives from the Latin, manu scriptus, meaning handwritten. Before the invention of printing all books were written by hand. This was a time-consuming and labour-intensive process, and could take months or years. Medieval manuscripts can be considered true works of art in miniature: their value lies not only in the … Read more
The Gandhara art refers to the artistic production, mainly represented by reliefs in stone or clay, documented in the Northwest of the Indian subcontinent, northern Pakistan, and in Afghanistan, starting from the 1st Century BC till the 4th -5th Century AD. This production is characterized by being almost exclusively related to the Buddhist religion: Gandhara … Read more
According to the ancient Roman historian Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), Phoenician merchants moored on the river Belus discovered glass accidentally in Syria around 5,000 BC. However the first glass objects, mainly beads, date back to around 3,500 BC in Mesopotamia. Phoenician merchants and sailors later spread the glass making techniques throughout the Mediterranean. Glassblowing … Read more
Carnelian and its Frequent Use Carnelian is a semi-precious stone that was used frequently by the Egyptians of all social classes, through Dynastic Egypt till the Roman period. Sources mention of one mine, found in Egypt, which would have supplied carnelian from the Middle Kingdom. However, the source of the gemstone before this is relatively … Read more
What were shabtis? In ancient Egypt, shabtis were funerary statuettes placed in the tombs and used to accompany the deceased in the afterlife. They appeared at the end of the First Intermediate period. A shabti was a small human figurine who would perform a given task in the afterlife for the deceased, and therefore would … Read more
From the masters of the Renaissance such as Botticelli, Michelangelo and Caravggio, to the Romantic painters of the 19th century, the art of ancient Greece and Rome has inspired artists for over 2,500 years. Art History shows how every stylistic and aesthetic innovation bases its roots on the artistic productions of the previous centuries. The … Read more
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