Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Pergamon Museum

I visited another superb museum yesterday, the Pergamon. I've come across mentions of this museum many times in various articles and books I've read over the years. I'm going to insert a few photos now and come back later to flesh out this entry better when I have more time. I bought my tickets to Elblag, Poland, and will depart Berlin early tomorrow morning. Because I don't know what sort of Internet Daniel & Ewa have, I might not get the chance to upload everything I want to share immediately. The other thing that has impressed me greatly is a visit to what Jana termed "The East Side Gallery." I think she purposely withheld the true meaning of that term because it was the most incredible thing I've seen on this trip so far. Read on... But first, pictures of some of the early art and sculpture from the Pergamon:

This first is the roman Emperor Caracalla (AD 212-217). Remember, this head has been carved out of marble! It's utterly fantastic to see  the details closeup.



Here is another Roman emperor's likeness:


The artists for both of these used similar devices to make their subjects appear fierce and strong: the determined mouth, the furrowed brow, the eyes staring into the distance, the strong chin treatment. The ideal in these times was Alexander the Great. Many sculptors used a portrait of him as inspiration for their stylistic treatment of these important subjects.

Next I show a portion of a carved frieze of some sort. I'm not sure where it was found or what its provenance is but the carving details are pretty amazing.











Above we see a grave stele relief from the 4th century BC Athens. The married couple portrayed here are deceased. The figures in the background are a servant (on the left and incompletely rendered) and a relative. Both are shown in mourning postures.




This sculpture is amazing also - the draped robe clearly reveals the goddesses body beneath. Below is shown a detail of her left foot. The workmanship is of exceptional quality.




There is much art and sculpture from Babylonian times in the Pergamon and it's quite impressive. Below are some samples that particularly impressed me. I'm not going to comment much because I'm simply not qualified to be your guide here. But check out the fine details, the power of the imagery, the colored enamels preserved over the millennia since the time of the kingdom of Urok.


 

Below is a detailed view of one of the warriors:





And lastly I include a couple of samples of ancient art just because they are so impressive. The first is a glass flask with fine gold filigree and the other a line drawing, colored in some manner unknown to me, of an elephant and driver. Simply stunning.


 

There's so much more that I saw and that impressed me. But that's enough for now. I think supper is about ready. Jana is working away in the kitchen making Quiche Lorraine for dinner. She says I can take a couple of pieces along with me on the train tomorrow. Sounds like a plan.