The earliest Nativity scene in art is carved into a sarcophagus lid once thought to be for a Roman general, Stilicho, who died in 408 CE. The ox and the ass and two birds are the only figures that appear in addition … Continue reading
Rhyton An ancient drinking vessel with a cone shape, sometimes with a human or animal design.
Scholars are closer to unlocking the mystery of the ancient monument, Stonehenge. This month, Michael Parker-Pearson at University College London published an article in Antiquity supporting the “graveyard theory,” which is the idea that the site was used as a … Continue reading
Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey last week. Results are in and they are crystal clear. The vast majority of you enjoy the bread and butter of The Art Minute, the short posts about an artist or … Continue reading
In recent months, the media has released videotapes of members of ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) destroying irreplaceable artifacts from ancient civilizations with sledgehammers and jackhammers inside the Mosul Museum in Iraq. Thankfully, many of these works … Continue reading
“Life is short, the art long.” Hippocrates (460-370 BCE)
Beneath the stepped pyramid of the Temple of Inscriptions, down a steep stairway and in a small chamber, rests the tomb of K’inich Janaab’ Pakal. The ancient Mayan king Pakal, part political leader and part living god, ascended to the … Continue reading
The Apoxyomenos, or the “Scraper,” is a popular subject in ancient Greek art that depicts athletes cleaning themselves by rubbing olive oil on their bodies and then scraping it off with a curved metal scraper, called a strigil. This particular … Continue reading
The Art Minute University: This post was written by Meghan Rayford, a student at Southwestern University. Laocoön, who was the priest of Poseidon, was subjected to the wrath of Athena after he suggests that the Trojan horse, filled with the Greek … Continue reading
Not long after the Roman Emperor Constantine defeated his foe Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, wresting control of the Roman Empire, he left Italy in 324 CE to found Constantinople, which is present-day Istanbul. This is not … Continue reading
Obelisk (noun) A four-sided monument with a pyramid-shaped, pointed top that originated in ancient Egypt. The shape is thought to be inspired by the rays of the sun. The obelisk that today stands in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in … Continue reading
Krater (noun) An ancient Greek vessel in which wine and water were mixed. Kraters come in different shapes. A calyx krater has a bell shape with handles near the base and a volute krater has handles shaped like scrolls.