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.

Neptune

The Sea God

Fountain of Neptune, Florence, Italy

The marble statue of Neptune is the centerpiece of the Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy. The figure was completed in 1565, by sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati. Commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici, the fountain symbolizes Florence’s command of the Mediterranean Sea. The statue of Neptune is a 19th century copy; the original is in the National Museum. The other marble and bronze elements of the fountain were not finished in 1574.

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Guarding the Cathedral

Lion guarding the steps of San Lorenzo, Genoa’s cathedral.

In the Niche

Votive Sculpture

Votive Statue, Cloister of Silence, Alcabaça Monastery,Alcabaça, Portugal

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Color Your World Almond

Avenue of the Sphinxes

Avenue of the Sphinxes, Luxor, Egypt

An avenue of sandstone sphinxes stretches over 1.5 miles from the Temple of Luxor to the Temple of Karnak. At one time, over 1300 statues lined the road, which was used annually for the Opet Festival honoring the ancient Egyptian god Amun, his wife Mut, and their son Khonsu. The the sacred pathway was used as early as the 15th century BCE.  The pharaoh Nectenabo I (380-362 BCE) built the existing avenue and lined it with sphinxes bearing his name. Most of the sphinxes have human heads, but some earlier statues near Karnak have rams heads. In 2004, the Egyptian government began a massive excavation and restoration project to restore the road and its sphinxes, many of which had deteriorated, been buried in the sand, or used for other projects by the Romans and others.  Large sections of the avenue linking the two temples have been completed.

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Ancient Shadows

Satyr in Shadow

 

Satyr’s Head, Roman, mid 2nd century CE, Marble, Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal

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