Perfection in Bronze

The Riace Bronzes or Riace Warriors, found off the coast of Calabria in 1972, are incredible. Sculpted of bronze in the mid-5th century BCE, probably in Greece, they are thought to be part of a cargo from a sunken ship. After years of conservation, the two statues are housed at the National Museum of Magna Grecia in Reggio Calabria.

Each life-sized bronze figure would have held a weapon in their right hand and have worn a shield on their left forearm.

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word

Protuberant Phalanges

Detail from bronze sculpture, Palais Garnier, Paris, France

Detail from a large bronze torchère at the foot of the grand staircase in the Palais Garnier Opera House. Two large female figures, resting on a raised pedestal, hold bouquets of lights aloft. The feet of the lower figure break out of the plain of the pedestal and protrude into space.

Join Paula’s Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in February

A Photo A Week: One

Hard Times

Standing in Line, Alone

Standing in Line, Alone

The head of one of a group of four male figures representing men standing in line for work during the Great Depression. The group sculpture is part the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC.

A Photo a Week: One

Saturday Statues: Royalty

Queens are Wild, Make That Empresses

Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, Vienna, Austria

Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, Vienna, Austria

Keeping with the royal theme in Suvi’s Saturday Statues challenge this week, behold Empress Maria Theresa of Austria.

Consolidated from Wikipedia entry:

Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (German: Maria Theresia) lived from 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780, and was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma. By marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress.

She started her 40-year reign when her father, Emperor Charles VI, died in October 1740. Charles VI paved the way for her accession with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and spent his entire reign securing it. Upon the death of her father, Saxony, Prussia, Bavaria, and France all repudiated the sanction they had recognised during his lifetime. Prussia proceeded to invade the affluent Habsburg province of Silesia, sparking a nine-year conflict known as the War of the Austrian Succession, and subsequently conquered it. Maria Theresa would later unsuccessfully try to reconquer Silesia during the Seven Years’ War.

Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, had sixteen children, including Maria Antoinette, the Queen of France, and two Holy Roman Emperors, Joseph II and Leopold II. She had eleven daughters and five sons, ten of which survived to adulthood. Maria Theresa understood the importance of her public persona and was able to simultaneously evoke both esteem and affection from her subjects.  She promulgated financial and educational reforms, promoted commerce and the development of agriculture, and reorganised Austria’s ramshackle military, all of which strengthened Austria’s international standing. However, she refused to allow religious toleration and contemporary travelers thought her regime was bigoted and superstitious. As a young monarch who fought two dynastic wars, she believed that her cause should be the cause of her subjects, but in her later years she would believe that their cause must be hers. 

Saturday Statues #4

Saturday Statues

Engineering Victory

General Warren Surveys the Battlefield From Little Round Top, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennyslyvania

General Warren Surveys the Battlefield From Little Round Top, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Brigadier General Gouverneur Kemble Warren (January 8, 1830 – August 8, 1882) was a civil engineer and Union Army general during the American Civil War.  He was Chief Engineer of the Union’s Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Gettysburg. His bronze statue stands atop the boulder on which he is said to have stood and surveyed the battlefield during the decisive battle of Little Round Top.  It was created by Karl Gerhardt (1853–1940) and dedicated in 1888.

Saturday Statues #6

The Price Of Freedom

“. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain . . .”

Abraham Lincoln


Detail from State of Louisiana Monument at the Gettysburg National Battlefield, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Detail from State of Louisiana’s Monument at the Gettysburg National Battlefield, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Detail of a fallen Confederate soldier from the State of Louisiana’s monument at the Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The three-day Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the American Civil War. The Union victory ended Confederate General Robert E. Lee  and his Army of Northern Virginia’s most ambitious invasion of the North. Gettysburg was the Civil War’s bloodiest battle and was the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, from which the quote above was taken.  An estimated 51,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, captured, or listed as missing after the guns of battle faded.

The male figure represents a wounded soldier from the New Orleans Washington Artillery; he holds a Confederate battle flag to his heart. Louisiana’s contingent of the Army of Northern Virginia was the seventh largest of the twelve Confederate states at Gettysburg, and it suffered the seventh highest casualties— approximately 725. The text from the monument reads: “This memorial was erected by the state of Louisiana to honor her sons who fought and died at Gettysburg July 1-2-3, 1863. In particular it memorializes the 2300 infantrymen of Hays and Nicholl’s Louisiana brigades, the cannoneers in the Washington Artillery of New Orleans, and those in the Louisiana Guard, Madison, and Donaldsonville Artillery Batteries.”


WPC: Details

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